Nikon W300 vs Panasonic GF1
The Nikon Coolpix W300 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2017 and September 2009. The W300 is a fixed lens compact, while the GF1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (W300) and a Four Thirds (GF1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix W300 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon W300 and the Panasonic GF1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The W300 can be obtained in three different colors (black, orange, yellow), while the GF1 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF1 is notably larger (14 percent) than the Nikon W300. It is worth mentioning in this context that the W300 is splash and dust resistant, while the GF1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the W300 is water-proof up to 30m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the W300 has a lens built in, whereas the GF1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GF1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the W300 gets 280 shots out of its EN-EL12 battery, while the GF1 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack. The power pack in the W300 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|2.||Panasonic GF1||119 mm||71 mm||36 mm||385 g||380||n||Sep 2009||749|
|3.||Leica X-U Typ 113||140 mm||79 mm||88 mm||635 g||450||Y||Jan 2016||2,950|
|4.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|5.||Nikon P1000||146 mm||119 mm||181 mm||1415 g||250||n||Jul 2018||999|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|7.||Panasonic FT7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|8.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|9.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|10.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|11.||Panasonic GH1||124 mm||90 mm||45 mm||385 g||300||n||Mar 2009||899|
|12.||Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599|
|13.||Ricoh WG-60||123 mm||62 mm||30 mm||193 g||300||Y||Oct 2018||279|
|14.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|15.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|16.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|17.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The W300 was launched at a lower price than the GF1, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon W300 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic GF1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF1 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon W300 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the Panasonic GF1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 4.33μm for the GF1). However, it should be noted that the W300 is much more recent (by 7 years and 8 months) than the GF1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon W300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the W300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GF1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon Coolpix W300 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 125-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|2.||Panasonic GF1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54|
|3.||Leica X-U Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|9.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|10.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|11.||Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
|12.||Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the W300 provides a higher video resolution than the GF1. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The W300 and the GF1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the GF1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon W300 and Panasonic GF1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon W300||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic GF1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Leica X-U Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|4.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|5.||Nikon P1000||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Panasonic FT7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic GH1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic G1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|13.||Ricoh WG-60||none||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|14.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony WX800||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony HX80||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
The W300 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the GF1 uses SDHC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix W300 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon W300||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Panasonic GF1||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Leica X-U Typ 113||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Nikon P1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic FT7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic G2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic GH1||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic G1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Ricoh WG-60||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony WX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony HX80||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the W300 offers wifi support, while the GF1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the W300 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
The W300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the GF1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GF1 was succeeded by the Panasonic DMC-GF2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon W300 or the Panasonic GF1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix W300:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GF1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x66mm vs 119x71mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the GF1).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 30m).
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 8 months of technical progress since the GF1 launch.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the W300 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon W300 and the Panasonic GF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the W300 or the GF1. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon W300||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389|
|2.||Panasonic GF1||..||85/100||..||69/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||749|
|3.||Leica X-U Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||Jan 2016||2,950|
|4.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|5.||Nikon P1000||..||+||3.5/5||73/100||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2018||999|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449|
|7.||Panasonic FT7||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|8.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|9.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|10.||Panasonic G2||..||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|11.||Panasonic GH1||..||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899|
|12.||Panasonic G1||..||+ +||..||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|13.||Ricoh WG-60||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||279|
|14.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|15.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|16.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|17.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Panasonic GF1
- Canon 70D vs Nikon W300
- Canon T7i vs Panasonic GF1
- Leica M10-P vs Nikon W300
- Leica X Vario vs Nikon W300
- Nikon D1H vs Nikon W300
- Nikon D3000 vs Panasonic GF1
- Nikon D300S vs Panasonic GF1
- Nikon W300 vs Panasonic GH5s
- Nikon W300 vs Panasonic S1
- Panasonic GF1 vs Sony A850
- Panasonic GF1 vs Sony RX10 II
Specifications: Nikon W300 vs Panasonic GF1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon W300||Panasonic GF1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-120mm f/2.8-4.9||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2017||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 389||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon W300||Panasonic GF1|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||4.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||5.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||54|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||513|
|Screen Specs||Nikon W300||Panasonic GF1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon W300||Panasonic GF1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon W300||Panasonic GF1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Nikon W300||Panasonic GF1|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (30m)||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||280 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
112 x 66 x 29 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.1 in)
119 x 71 x 36 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||231 g (8.1 oz)||385 g (13.6 oz)|
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