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Panasonic G7 versus Sony RX100 IV

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2015 and June 2015. The G7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX100 IV is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (G7) and an one-inch (RX100 IV) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixel, whereas the Sony 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 G7 vs Sony RX100 IV

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G7 and the Sony RX100 IV is provided 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. 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 G7 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic G7 vs Sony RX100 IV
Compare G7 versus RX100 IV top
Compare G7 and RX100 IV rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 IV is considerably smaller (45 percent) than the Panasonic G7. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7 nor the RX100 IV are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 IV has a lens build in, whereas the G7 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the G7 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G7 gets 350 shots out of its DMW-BLC12 battery, while the RX100 IV can take 280 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 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
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic G7» 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i
Sony RX100 IV« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic GX850« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GX85« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic GF7« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i
Panasonic G5« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 1,499- i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i

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. 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 G7 vs Sony RX100 IV

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G7 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony RX100 IV an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 IV is 48 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 2.7. The sensor in the G7 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 IV offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic G7 and Sony RX100 IV sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 IV offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the G7. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 3.77μm for the G7). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

G7 versus RX100 IV MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic G7» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----
Sony RX100 IV« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Panasonic GX850« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671
Panasonic GX85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
Panasonic G5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

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 (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic G7 vs Sony RX100 IV

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 G7 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the RX100 IV (2360k vs 2359k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G7 and Sony RX100 IV in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic G7»2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Sony RX100 IV«2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Panasonic GX850« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 10.0 Y n
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 9.0 Y Y
Panasonic GX85« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 5.8 Y n
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n
Panasonic G5« »1440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the G7 and the RX100 IV have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G7 was replaced by the Panasonic G85, while the RX100 IV was followed by the Sony RX100 IV.

Review summary: Panasonic G7 vs Sony RX100 IV

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic G7 or the Sony RX100 IV – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7:

  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • 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.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 280) on a single battery charge.

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1228k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the G7 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 125x86mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the G7).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 IV comes out slightly ahead of the G7 (7 : 6 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.

G7 06:07 RX100 IV

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G7 and the RX100 IV in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews 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
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic G7»HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i
Sony RX100 IV«HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic GX850« »Rec76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i
Panasonic G85« »HiRec84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GX85« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic GF7« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GM1« »Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i
Panasonic G5« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GH2« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« »Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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