Olympus XZ-2 vs Panasonic LX100 II
The Olympus XZ-2 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and August 2018. Both the XZ-2 and the LX100 II are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (XZ-2) and a Four Thirds (LX100 II) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 11.8 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 16.8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Olympus XZ-2||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|28-112mm f/1.8-2.5||24-75mm f/1.7-2.8|
|11.8 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||16.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-12,800||ISO 200-25,600|
|Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder (2764k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||3.0 LCD, 1240k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|340 shots per battery charge||300 shots per battery charge|
|113 x 65 x 48 mm, 346 g||115 x 66 x 65 mm, 392 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus XZ-2 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II? 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 physical size and weight of the Olympus XZ-2 and the Panasonic LX100 II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX100 II is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Olympus XZ-2. Moreover, the LX100 II is markedly heavier (13 percent) than the XZ-2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XZ-2 nor the LX100 II are weather-sealed.
The power pack in the LX100 II can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Olympus XZ-2||113 mm||65 mm||48 mm||346 g||340||n||Sep 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica D-LUX 7||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Nov 2018||1,195|
|Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|Olympus E-P3||122 mm||69 mm||34 mm||369 g||330||n||Jun 2011||799|
|Olympus E-PL2||114 mm||72 mm||42 mm||362 g||280||n||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||810 g||350||n||Feb 2019||899|
|Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Pentax MX-1||122 mm||61 mm||51 mm||391 g||290||n||Jan 2013||499|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The XZ-2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the LX100 II, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus XZ-2 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Panasonic LX100 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the LX100 II is 330 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.4 and 2.2. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The LX100 II has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 16.8MP, the LX100 II offers a higher resolution than the XZ-2 (11.8MP), but the LX100 II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.32μm versus 1.91μm for the XZ-2) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the LX100 II is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 11 months) than the XZ-2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the LX100 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic LX100 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the LX100 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.7 x 17.8 inches or 60.1 x 45.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.9 x 14.2 inches or 48.1 x 36.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 11.8 inches or 40.1 x 30.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus XZ-2 are 19.8 x 14.9 inches or 50.4 x 37.8 cm for good quality, 15.9 x 11.9 inches or 40.3 x 30.2 cm for very good quality, and 13.2 x 9.9 inches or 33.6 x 25.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Olympus XZ-2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica D-LUX 7||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51|
|Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the LX100 II provides a better video resolution than the XZ-2. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the LX100 II has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XZ-2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the XZ-2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus XZ-2 and Panasonic LX100 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|Leica D-LUX 7||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The XZ-2 has one, while the LX100 II does not. While the built-in flash of the XZ-2 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the LX100 II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Olympus XZ-2 and the Panasonic LX100 II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the XZ-2 and the LX100 II have zoom lenses built in. The XZ-2 has a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 optic and the LX100 II offers a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Olympus, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX100 II offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XZ-2 and the LX100 II write their files to SDXC cards. The LX100 II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the XZ-2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Olympus XZ-2 and Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Leica D-LUX 7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
It is notable that the LX100 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the XZ-2 does not provide wifi capability.
The LX100 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the XZ-2 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the XZ-2 from Olympus. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus XZ-2 or the Panasonic LX100 II – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Olympus XZ-2:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 46g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (340 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16.8 vs 11.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 19%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 920k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/1.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the XZ-2 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX100 II is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 8 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 Olympus XZ-2 and the Panasonic LX100 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the XZ-2 or the LX100 II. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Olympus XZ-2||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX100 II||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon G15||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica D-LUX 7||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Nov 2018||1,195|
|Leica C-LUX||..||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|Olympus E-P3||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799|
|Olympus E-PL2||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PM1||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|Olympus XZ-1||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||..||83/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|Panasonic TZ90||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic LX100||+ +||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Pentax MX-1||..||74/100||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jan 2013||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Olympus XZ-2
- Canon M10 vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Canon SL2 vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus XZ-2
- Fujifilm X10 vs Olympus XZ-2
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Olympus XZ-2
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Olympus XZ-2
- Leica X2 vs Olympus XZ-2
- Nikon D3500 vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Olympus XZ-2 vs Pentax KP
- Olympus XZ-2 vs Sony RX1
- Panasonic LX100 II vs Sony A3000
Specifications: Olympus XZ-2 vs Panasonic LX100 II
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||Olympus XZ-2||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/1.8-2.5||24-75mm f/1.7-2.8|
|Launch Date||September 2012||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus XZ-2||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||15.7 x 11.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||185.26 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||19.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||11.8 Megapixels||16.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3968 x 2976 pixels||4736 x 3552 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.91 μm||3.32 μm|
|Pixel Density||27.26 MP/cm2||9.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VI||Venus|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||49||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||216||..|
|Screen Specs||Olympus XZ-2||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2764k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1240k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus XZ-2||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus XZ-2||Panasonic LX100 II|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Olympus XZ-2||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
113 x 65 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.9 in)
115 x 66 x 65 mm
(4.5 x 2.6 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||346 g (12.2 oz)||392 g (13.8 oz)|
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