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Panasonic FZ300 versus Panasonic ZS100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (called Panasonic FZ330 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (labelled Panasonic TZ100 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2015 and January 2016. Both the FZ300 and the ZS100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) and an one-inch (ZS100) sensor. The FZ300 has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the ZS100 provides 20 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 ZS100

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ300 and the Panasonic ZS100. 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 side – the FZ300 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic FZ300 vs Panasonic ZS100
FZ300 versus ZS100 top view
FZ300 and ZS100 rear side

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic ZS100 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Panasonic FZ300. Moreover, the ZS100 is substantially lighter (55 percent) than the FZ300. It is worth mentioning in this context that the FZ300 is splash and dust resistant, while the ZS100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the FZ300 gets 380 shots out of its DMW-BLC12 battery, while the ZS100 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack.

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 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 FZ300 (⇒ rgt) 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 YES 2015 599 latest check
Panasonic ZS100 (⇒ lft) 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 no 2016 699discont. check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 no 2015 679discont. check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 YES 2015 999 latest check
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 no 2015 799 latest check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 no 2014 549 latest check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 no 2014 599 latest check
Leica X-U Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.5 in 3.1 in 3.5 in 22.4 oz 450 YES 2016 2,950 latest check
Panasonic ZS200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 no 2018 799 latest check
Panasonic LX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 no 2016 699 latest check
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 no 2014 899discont. check
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 no 2014 899 latest check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 no 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 no 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 no 2010 499discont. check
Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 YES 2015 1,299discont. check
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 no 2015 999discont. check

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 somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the ZS100, 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 FZ300 vs Panasonic ZS100

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic FZ300 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic ZS100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the ZS100 is 314 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the FZ300 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the ZS100 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic FZ300 and Panasonic ZS100 sensor measures

With 20MP, the ZS100 offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the ZS100 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the ZS100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the FZ300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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.

FZ300 versus ZS100 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 ZS100 offers substantially better image quality than the FZ300 (overall score 32 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.5 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 4K/30p 19.3 11.0 97 38
Panasonic ZS100 (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 22.8 12.5 559 70
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.8 11.8 1169 72
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.4 12.3 521 63
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p - - - -
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 14.2 4608 3072 1080/60p 19.2 10.8 127 39
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Leica X-U Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Panasonic ZS200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Panasonic LX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 22.1 11.7 517 64
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.7 4112 3088 4K/30p 22.3 12.5 553 67
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.1 10.8 114 37
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.4 10.9 132 40
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736 720/60p 19.6 10.8 132 41
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

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison: Panasonic FZ300 vs Panasonic ZS100

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 FZ300 offers a higher resolution than the one in the ZS100 (1440k vs 1166k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic FZ300, the Panasonic ZS100, and comparable 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
(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 FZ300 (⇒ rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 12.0 8.8 YES
Panasonic ZS100 (⇒ lft) 1166 no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 10.0 YES YES
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.2 5 no
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.2 1620 tilting YES 2000 5.9 6.8 YES
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 2000 5.9 7 YES
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 922 no 3.0 922 swivel no 2000 6.4 5.5 YES
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 12.0 7 YES
Leica X-U Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Panasonic ZS200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2330 no 3.0 1240 fixed YES 2000 10.0 6.8 YES
Panasonic LX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 10.0 12.1 YES
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 921 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2764 no 3.0 921 fixed no 4000 11.0 no YES
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1312 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 12.0 9.5 YES
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 2.5 7.2 YES
Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 YES 3.0 1229 tilting no 3200 14.0 10.2 YES
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 1228 tilting no 2000 16.0 10.2 YES

Both the FZ300 and the ZS100 have zoom lenses build in. The FZ300 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the ZS100 offers a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the FZ300 and ZS100 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the ZS100 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The FZ300 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the ZS100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the ZS100 was succeeded by the Panasonic ZS200.

Review summary: Panasonic FZ300 vs Panasonic ZS100

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic FZ300 better than the Panasonic ZS100 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


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 viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 1166k 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 (380 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2015).

Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (32 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.5 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 compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 132x92mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 379g or 55 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ300 comes out slightly ahead of the ZS100 (10 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

FZ300 10:09 ZS100

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the FZ300 or the ZS100. 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 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.

Review scores
Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 599 latest check
Panasonic ZS100 (⇒ lft) HiRec 82/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2016 699discont. check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2015 679discont. check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 3.5/5 4/5 2015 999 latest check
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 78/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 799 latest check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 75/100 4/5 - 4.5/5 2014 549 latest check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 599 latest check
Leica X-U Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - 3.5/5 2016 2,950 latest check
Panasonic ZS200 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 81/100 Silver 4.5/5 .. 4.5/5 2018 799 latest check
Panasonic LX10 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 81/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 699 latest check
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2014 899discont. check
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 5/5 4/5 5/5 2014 899 latest check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 76/100 Silver 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 73/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 499discont. 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

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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