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Panasonic FZ1000 versus Sony A6000

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 and the Sony Alpha A6000 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2014 and February 2014. The FZ1000 is a fixed lens compact, while the A6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (FZ1000) and an APS-C (A6000) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony A6000

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ1000 and the Sony A6000. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the FZ1000 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony A6000
Compare FZ1000 versus A6000 top
Compare FZ1000 and A6000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6000 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Panasonic FZ1000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ1000 nor the A6000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ1000 has a lens build in, whereas the A6000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A6000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

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.

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)
Panasonic FZ1000» 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Sony A6000« 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Panasonic FZ2500« » 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic FZ300« » 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i i
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i
Sony A3000« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i
Sony NEX-6« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 12.2 oz 360 n Sep 2012 999- i

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. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony A6000

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. 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 FZ1000 features an one-inch sensor and the Sony A6000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A6000 is 216 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Panasonic FZ1000 and Sony A6000 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A6000 offers a higher resolution than the FZ1000 (20MP), but the A6000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 2.41μm for the FZ1000) due to its larger sensor. However, the FZ1000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the A6000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

FZ1000 versus A6000 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A6000 offers substantially better image quality than the FZ1000 (overall score 18 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 1.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic FZ1000» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony A6000« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic FZ300« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
Sony NEX-6« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the FZ1000 provides a higher video resolution than the A6000. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony A6000

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the FZ1000 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A6000 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic FZ1000 and Sony A6000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic FZ1000»2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony A6000«1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ300« »1440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 4000 3.5 Y n
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony NEX-6« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y n

Both the FZ1000 and the A6000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A6000 was replaced by the Sony A6300, while the FZ1000 was followed by the Panasonic FZ2500.

Review summary: Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony A6000

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic FZ1000 or the Sony A6000 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1440k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the A6000 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the A6000).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6000:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (18 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 137x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A6000 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

FZ1000 06:08 A6000

In any case, 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 FZ1000 or the A6000 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 expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic FZ1000»HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony A6000«Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Panasonic FZ2500« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic FZ300« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i i
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« »Rec-4.5/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i
Sony A3000« »Rec-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i
Sony NEX-6« »HiRec78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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