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Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony H300

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2010 and February 2014. Both the FZ100 and the H300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic FZ100
versus
Sony H300
Panasonic FZ100   Sony H300
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 80-3,200
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
124 x 82 x 92 mm, 540 g 128 x 89 x 92 mm, 590 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ100 and the Sony H300. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony H300
Compare FZ100 versus H300 top
Comparison FZ100 or H300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H300 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Panasonic FZ100. Moreover, the H300 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the FZ100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ100 nor the H300 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
2.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
3.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
4.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
5.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
8.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
9.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
14.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
15.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
16.
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
17.
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 H300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 56 percent) than the FZ100, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic FZ100 and Sony H300 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the H300 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 14 MP of the FZ100. This megapixels advantage translates into a 19 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the H300 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 1.41μm for the FZ100). However, it should be noted that the H300 is much more recent (by 3 years and 6 months) than the FZ100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony H300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ100 are 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

FZ100 versus H300 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
2.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
3.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
5.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
8.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
14.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
15.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
16.
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
17.
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ100 provides a higher video resolution than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the FZ100 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the H300 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic FZ100, the Sony H300, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
2.
 
Sony H300none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX530none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX610none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX30202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
14.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
15.
 
Sony HX400V210 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
Sony H400210 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
17.
 
Sony H200none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
The FZ100 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the H300 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the FZ100 and the H300 have zoom lenses built in. The FZ100 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the H300 offers a 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The FZ100 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The FZ100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H300 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Connectivity 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Sony H300-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon SX530-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX610-- / ---micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX40Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX30Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
14.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony HX400VYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony H400-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony H200-mono / mono---2.0---

It is notable that the FZ100 has a hotshoe, while the H300 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The H300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the FZ100 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the FZ100 was succeeded by the Panasonic FZ150. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic FZ100 better than the Sony H300 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x82mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2010).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 14MP), which boosts linear resolution by 19%.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (56 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the FZ100 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ100 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

FZ100 11:05 H300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ100 and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the FZ100 or the H300. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
2.
 
Sony H300..+....4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
3.
 
Canon SX530..+ +....4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
4.
 
Canon SX610........4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
5.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon SX40..+....4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
8.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +....3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
9.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2............ Sep 2010 849i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
14.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
15.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 499 i
16.
 
Sony H400..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
17.
 
Sony H200........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Panasonic FZ100:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H300:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony H300

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic FZ100 Sony H300
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date July 2010 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 219
    Sensor Specs Panasonic FZ100 Sony H300
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor Venus FHD BIONZ
    Screen Specs Panasonic FZ100 Sony H300
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic FZ100 Sony H300
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic FZ100 Sony H300
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Panasonic FZ100 Sony H300
    Battery Type DMW-BMB9 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    128 x 89 x 92 mm
    (5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)

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