Panasonic FZ300 versus Panasonic LX100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (called Panasonic FZ330 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2015 and September 2014. Both the FZ300 and the LX100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) and a Four Thirds (LX100) sensor. The FZ300 has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the LX100 provides 12.7 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 FZ300 vs Panasonic LX100
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ300 and the Panasonic LX100 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the FZ300 – represents the basis or 100 percent 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 Panasonic LX100 is considerably smaller (37 percent) than the Panasonic FZ300. Moreover, the LX100 is substantially lighter (43 percent) than the FZ300. It is worth mentioning in this context that the FZ300 is splash and dust resistant, while the LX100 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 camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|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|
|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 SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Fujifilm X30« »||4.7 in||2.8 in||2.4 in||14.9 oz||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||3.5 in||22.4 oz||450||Y||Jan 2016||2,950|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499||-|
|Panasonic LX5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Jul 2010||499||-|
|Sony RX10 II« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||-|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-|
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 FZ300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the LX100, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 FZ300 vs Panasonic LX100
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 FZ300 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic LX100 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the LX100 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 12.7MP, the LX100 offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the LX100 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.21μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. However, the FZ300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the LX100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the LX100 offers substantially better image quality than the FZ300 (overall score 29 points higher). The advantage is based on 3 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 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.
|Panasonic LX100«||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|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 SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Fujifilm X30« »||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.1||10.8||114||37|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40|
|Panasonic LX5« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.6||10.8||132||41|
|Sony RX10 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Feature comparison: Panasonic FZ300 vs Panasonic LX100
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the LX100 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ300 (2764k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic FZ300 and Panasonic LX100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|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 SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||2000||6.4||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||5.2||Y||Y|
|Fujifilm X30« »||2360||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||2000||5.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||2000||12.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic LX5« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||Y|
|Sony RX10 II« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||14.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y|
Both the FZ300 and the LX100 have zoom lenses build in. The FZ300 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the LX100 offers a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the LX100 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the FZ300, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX100 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Both the FZ300 and the LX100 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The FZ300 replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ200, while the LX100 does not have a direct predecessor.
Review summary: Panasonic FZ300 vs Panasonic LX100
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic FZ300 and the Panasonic LX100? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- 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.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the LX100).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (29 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2764k vs 1440k dots).
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (115x66mm vs 132x92mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 298g or 43 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX100 comes out slightly ahead of the FZ300 (11 : 10 points). 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 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 FZ300 or the LX100 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|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|
|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 SX60« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Fujifilm X30« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||-||-||-||-||3.5/5||Jan 2016||2,950|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||HiRec||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||HiRec||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||-|
|Panasonic LX5« »||Rec||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499||-|
|Sony RX10 II« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299||-|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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