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Panasonic FZ2000 versus Sony RX10 III

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2000 (called Panasonic FZ2500 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2016 and March 2016. Both the FZ2000 and the RX10 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ2000 and the Sony RX10 III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions 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 side – the FZ2000 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Panasonic FZ2000 vs Sony RX10 III front
FZ2000 versus RX10 III top view
FZ2000 and RX10 III rear side
Body view (FZ2000 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 III is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Panasonic FZ2000. However, the RX10 III is markedly heavier (15 percent) than the FZ2000. It is noteworthy in this context that the RX10 III is splash and dust-proof, while the FZ2000 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic FZ2000 (⇒ rgt) 138 mm 102 mm 135 mm 915 g 350 no 2016 1,199 latest check
Sony RX10 III (⇒ lft) 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 YES 2016 1,499discont. check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 YES 2015 999 latest check
Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 YES 2017 1,699 latest check
Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 YES 2015 1,299discont. check
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 no 2015 999discont. check
Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 YES 2013 1,299discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FZ2000 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the RX10 III, 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.

Panasonic FZ2000 and Sony RX10 III sensor measures
Sensor size
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Sensor size

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 FZ2000 and the RX10 III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the FZ2000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the RX10 III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

FZ2000 versus RX10 III MP
Sensor resolution
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Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic FZ2000 (⇒ rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Sony RX10 III (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 23.1 12.6 472 70
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.4 12.3 521 63
Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 23.0 12.6 531 70
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 22.8 12.6 591 70
Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 22.9 12.6 474 69

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

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 FZ2000 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the RX10 III (2360k vs 2359k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic FZ2000 and Sony RX10 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators. 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
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic FZ2000 (⇒ rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 12.0 13.2 no
Sony RX10 III (⇒ lft) 2359 YES 3.0 1229 tilting no 2000 14.0 10.8 no
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.2 1620 tilting YES 2000 5.9 6.8 no
Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 YES 3.0 1440 tilting YES 2000 24.0 10.8 no
Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 YES 3.0 1229 tilting no 3200 14.0 10.2 no
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 1228 tilting no 2000 16.0 10.2 no
Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 YES 3.0 1229 tilting no 3200 10.0 10.2 no

Both the FZ2000 and the RX10 III have zoom lenses build in. The FZ2000 has a 24-480mm f/2.8-4.5 optic and the RX10 III offers a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 (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 RX10 III offers the faster maximum aperture.

The FZ2000 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX10 III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX10 III was succeeded by the Sony RX10 IV.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic FZ2000 better than the Sony RX10 III or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2000:

  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 136g or 13 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the RX10 III).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:

  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.4 vs f/2.8).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x94mm vs 138x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2016).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 III 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.

FZ2000 06:08 RX10 III

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the FZ2000 or the RX10 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic FZ2000 (⇒ rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2016 1,199 latest check
Sony RX10 III (⇒ lft) Rec 84/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 1,499discont. check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 3.5/5 4/5 2015 999 latest check
Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 84/100 Gold 4.5/5 .. 5/5 2017 1,699 latest check
Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2015 1,299discont. check
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 999discont. check
Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 1,299discont. check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 comparisons

If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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