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Panasonic FZ100 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in July 2010 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 14 megapixel.

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Is the Panasonic FZ100 a good camera? The FZ100 has a Camera Elo of 1457. This rating puts the FZ100 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the FZ100 also ranks below average. – Well, the Panasonic FZ100 is more than 8 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2010.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic FZ100
Fixed lens compact camera
25-600mm f/2.8-5.2
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1600 (100-6400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge
124 x 82 x 92 mm, 540 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Panasonic FZ100 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic FZ100 vs credit card front
FZ100 versus credit card top view
FZ100 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic FZ100 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2« » 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849- i Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic FZ100 was launched in the US market at a price of $499. 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.

Panasonic FZ100:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.

The Panasonic FZ100 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic FZ100 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Panasonic FZ100 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Panasonic FZ100
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
 
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550Fujifilm X10
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The FZ100 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the FZ100 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Panasonic FZ100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ100
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T3
 
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm X10
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10

One convenient feature of the FZ100 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ100
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
 
Fujifilm X10« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X10
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 

The FZ100 has a zoom lens built in (4.5-108.0mm f/2.8-5.2), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 25 to 600mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the FZ100 handle or perform in practice. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic FZ100+-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Canon SX60« »+ +75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Canon SX50« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2« »----- Sep 2010 849- i Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« »+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« »+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G3« »+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Panasonic FZ100 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the FZ100.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the FZ100?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the FZ100 with the Venus FHD image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the FZ100?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the FZ100 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

Does the Panasonic FZ100 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the FZ100 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BMB9 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic FZ100
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2
    Launch Date July 2010
    Launch Price USD 499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-6400 ISO
    Image Processor Venus FHD
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type DMW-BMB9 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz)

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