Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony HX80
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2012 and March 2016. Both the FZ200 and the HX80 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic FZ200||Sony HX80|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|25-600mm f/2.8||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-3200 (100-6400)||ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1312k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 460k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|12 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|540 shots per battery charge||390 shots per battery charge|
|125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 g||102 x 58 x 36 mm, 245 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80? 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 FZ200 and the Sony HX80. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX80 is considerably smaller (46 percent) than the Panasonic FZ200. Moreover, the HX80 is substantially lighter (58 percent) than the FZ200. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ200 nor the HX80 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the FZ200 gets 540 shots out of its DMW-BLC12 battery, while the HX80 can take 390 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the HX80 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Panasonic FZ200»||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599||Panasonic FZ200|
|Sony HX80«||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720« »||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710« »||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX60« »||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799||Canon G1 X|
|Fujifilm X20« »||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599||Fujifilm X20|
|Panasonic FZ330« »||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599||Panasonic FZ330|
|Panasonic LF1« »||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499||Panasonic LF1|
|Panasonic LX7« »||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100« »||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5« »||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony WX800« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||Sony RX100 IV|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The HX80 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 42 percent) than the FZ200, 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the HX80 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the FZ200. This megapixels advantage translates into a 22 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX80 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ200). However, it should be noted that the HX80 is much more recent (by 3 years and 7 months) than the FZ200, 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 HX80 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX80 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inch or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inch or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ200 are 20 x 15 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Panasonic FZ200||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.1||10.8||114||37||Panasonic FZ200|
|Sony HX80||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX60||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Fujifilm X20||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X20|
|Panasonic FZ330||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||19.3||11.0||97||38||Panasonic FZ330|
|Panasonic LF1||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.8||11.6||211||52||Panasonic LF1|
|Panasonic LX7||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||20.7||11.7||147||50||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.6||10.8||132||41||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony WX800||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
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 FZ200 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the HX80 (1312k vs 638k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic FZ200 and Sony HX80 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ200|
|Sony HX80||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX60||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm X20|
|Panasonic FZ330||1440||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ330|
|Panasonic LF1||200||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LF1|
|Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony WX800||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
Both the FZ200 and the HX80 have zoom lenses built in. The FZ200 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the HX80 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Panasonic. The FZ200 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The FZ200 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX80 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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-FZ200 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ200|
|Sony HX80||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX60||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X20|
|Panasonic FZ330||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FZ330|
|Panasonic LF1||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic LF1|
|Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony WX800||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
It is notable that the FZ200 has a hotshoe, while the HX80 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The HX80 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the FZ200 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the FZ200 was succeeded by the Panasonic FZ300. 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 what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic FZ200 and the Sony HX80? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1312k vs 638k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.5).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (540 versus 390) 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 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
- 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.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 125x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 343g or 58 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (42 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the FZ200 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the HX80 comes out slightly ahead of the FZ200 (10 : 9 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 FZ200 and the Sony HX80 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the FZ200 or the HX80 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 provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
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. 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, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D X vs Panasonic FZ200
- Canon 50D vs Sony HX80
- Leica T vs Panasonic FZ200
- Nikon D500 vs Sony HX80
- Nikon D7000 vs Panasonic FZ200
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Panasonic FZ2500
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Panasonic ZS200
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Ricoh WG-60
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony A77 II
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony A850
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony NEX-5N
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony RX0
Specifications: Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony HX80
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 FZ200||Sony HX80|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||July 2012||March 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Sony HX80|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-3200 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-6400 ISO||80-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus VII FHD||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||37||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||114||..|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Sony HX80|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1312k dots||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Sony HX80|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||12 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||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Sony HX80|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Sony HX80|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge||390 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
125 x 87 x 110 mm
(4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||588 g (20.7 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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