Panasonic FZ1000 versus Sony RX100 III
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2014 and May 2014. Both the FZ1000 and the RX100 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. 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 RX100 III
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ1000 and the Sony RX100 III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 toggle the display 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 side – the FZ1000 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 III is considerably smaller (56 percent) than the Panasonic FZ1000. Moreover, the RX100 III is substantially lighter (65 percent) than the FZ1000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ1000 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.
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|
|Panasonic FZ1000»||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Sony RX100 III«||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||849||-|
|Canon G3 X« »||4.8 in||3.0 in||4.1 in||25.9 oz||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||5.4 in||4.0 in||5.3 in||32.3 oz||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic FZ300« »||5.2 in||3.6 in||4.6 in||24.4 oz||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|Panasonic LX100« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||2.2 in||13.9 oz||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-|
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 RX100 III was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 11 percent) than the FZ1000, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 RX100 III
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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the FZ1000 and the RX100 III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony RX100 III«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70|
|Canon G3 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic FZ300« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||19.3||11.0||97||38|
|Panasonic LX100« »||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony RX100 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ1000 provides a higher video resolution than the RX100 III. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony RX100 III
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety 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 RX100 III (2359k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic FZ1000 and Sony RX100 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Sony RX100 III«||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|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|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||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 RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 II« »||-||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
Both the FZ1000 and the RX100 III have zoom lenses build in. The FZ1000 has a 25-400mm f/2.8-4.0 optic and the RX100 III offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Panasonic, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 III offers the faster maximum aperture.
Both the FZ1000 and the RX100 III have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 III was replaced by the Sony RX100 IV, while the FZ1000 was followed by the Panasonic FZ2500.
Review summary: Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony RX100 III
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic FZ1000 and the Sony RX100 III? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
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.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 137x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 541g or 65 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (11 percent cheaper at launch).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (7 points each). 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the FZ1000 or the RX100 III handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Panasonic FZ1000»||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Sony RX100 III«||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-|
|Canon T6s« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||849||-|
|Canon G3 X« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic FZ300« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|Panasonic LX100« »||HiRec||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony RX100 II« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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