Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony RX100 II
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2010 and June 2013. Both the FZ100 and the RX100 II are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ100) and an one-inch (RX100 II) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic FZ100||Sony RX100 II|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|25-600mm f/2.8-5.2||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9|
|14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400)||ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0 LCD, 460k dots||3.0 LCD, 1229k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|11 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|410 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 82 x 92 mm, 540 g||102 x 58 x 38 mm, 281 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-RX100 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ100 and the Sony RX100 II. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 II is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Panasonic FZ100. Moreover, the RX100 II is substantially lighter (48 percent) than the FZ100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ100 nor the RX100 II are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the FZ100 gets 410 shots out of its DMW-BMB9 battery, while the RX100 II can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX100 II can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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, 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.
|Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
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.
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 FZ100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the RX100 II, 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.
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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic FZ100 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony RX100 II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 II is 314 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the FZ100 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 II offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 20MP, the RX100 II offers a higher resolution than the FZ100 (14MP), but the RX100 II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.41μm for the FZ100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX100 II is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 11 months) than the FZ100, 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 FZ100 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony RX100 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 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-RX100 II are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
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.
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
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 RX100 II provides a faster frame rate than the FZ100. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/60i.
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 RX100 II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX100 II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic FZ100, the Sony RX100 II, and comparable cameras.
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
Both the FZ100 and the RX100 II have zoom lenses built in. The FZ100 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the RX100 II offers a 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Sony. The RX100 II offers the faster maximum aperture.
The FZ100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 II uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the RX100 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the FZ100 does not provide wifi capability.
Both the FZ100 and the RX100 II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ100 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ150, while the RX100 II was followed by the Sony RX100 III. 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.
So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic FZ100 better than the Sony RX100 II or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- 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.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2010).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 14MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- 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.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 460k dots).
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 124x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 259g or 48 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- 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 device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the FZ100 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 II is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 9 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ100 and the Sony RX100 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings 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 RX100 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|Panasonic FZ100||+||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony RX100 II||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon SX40||+||..||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|Canon 1100D||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon SX30||+ +||..||3.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Panasonic FZ1000||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic G3||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic G10||..||70/100||4/5||..||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony RX100 III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|Sony RX100||+ +||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|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.
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.
- Canon 1100D vs Sony RX100 II
- Canon SX510 vs Sony RX100 II
- Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Sony RX100 II
- Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100 II
- Leica Q2 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Leica S2 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Nikon D1 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Nikon D7200 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Sony RX100 II
- Olympus E-P1 vs Sony RX100 II
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Panasonic FZ80
- Sony NEX-7 vs Sony RX100 II
Specifications: Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony RX100 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||Panasonic FZ100||Sony RX100 II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9|
|Launch Date||July 2010||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic FZ100||Sony RX100 II|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||14 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4320 x 3240 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.41 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||49.86 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus FHD||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||483|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic FZ100||Sony RX100 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|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||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic FZ100||Sony RX100 II|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-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 RX100 II|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic FZ100||Sony RX100 II|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
124 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
102 x 58 x 38 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||540 g (19.0 oz)||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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