Panasonic GX800 versus Sony RX100 III
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX800 (called Panasonic GX850 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and May 2014. The GX800 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX100 III is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GX800) and an one-inch (RX100 III) 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 GX800 vs Sony RX100 III
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX800 and the Sony RX100 III. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 GX800 – represents the basis for the calculations 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 Sony RX100 III is notably smaller (15 percent) than the Panasonic GX800. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX800 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 III has a lens build in, whereas the GX800 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 GX800 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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 GX800 (⇒ rgt)||4.2 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.5 oz||210||no||2017||549||latest||check|
|Sony RX100 III (⇒ lft)||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||no||2014||799||discont.||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 G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||no||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.9 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||14.5 oz||350||no||2015||649||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.2 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.4 oz||230||no||2015||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||no||2014||899||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.4 oz||340||no||2013||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||no||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||9.4 oz||360||no||2012||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.7 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||14.0 oz||320||no||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||300||no||2011||549||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||no||2011||949||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||10.9 oz||300||no||2010||549||discont.||check|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||no||2015||999||discont.||check|
|Sony RX100 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||no||2013||749||discont.||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. 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 GX800 vs Sony RX100 III
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GX800 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony RX100 III an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 III 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 GX800 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 III offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 III offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX800. 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 GX800). Moreover, it should be noted that the GX800 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GX800 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 review, the GX800 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the RX100 III (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 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.
|Panasonic GX800 (⇒ rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|Sony RX100 III (⇒ lft)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10||458||49|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony RX100 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GX800 provides a higher video resolution than the RX100 III. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic GX800 vs Sony RX100 III
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GX800 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GX800 and Sony RX100 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Panasonic GX800 (⇒ rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||500||10.0||4||no|
|Sony RX100 III (⇒ lft)||1440||no||3.0||1229||tilting||no||2000||10.0||YES||YES|
|Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||2000||5.9||7||YES|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||2000||6.5||7||YES|
|Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||7.0||9.3||no|
|Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||500||5.8||4||no|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||921||swivel||no||4000||12.0||13.5||YES|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||4.2||6.3||no|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||1036||swivel||YES||4000||7.0||10.5||no|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||fixed||YES||4000||4.0||6.3||no|
|Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||920||swivel||YES||4000||6.0||10.5||no|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||fixed||YES||4000||3.2||6.3||no|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||460||swivel||YES||4000||4.0||11||no|
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||fixed||YES||4000||4.2||7.6||no|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||fixed||YES||4000||2.6||6.0||no|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||1228||tilting||no||2000||16.0||10.2||YES|
|Sony RX100 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1229||tilting||no||2000||10.0||15||YES|
The GX800 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX100 III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 III was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV.
Review summary: Panasonic GX800 vs Sony RX100 III
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GX800 and the Sony RX100 III? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX800:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the RX100 III launch.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (2000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GX800 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 107x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (320 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2014).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 III emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 7 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GX800 or the RX100 III handle or perform in practice. 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 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 GX800 (⇒ rgt)||Rec||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2017||549||latest||check|
|Sony RX100 III (⇒ lft)||HiRec||82/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2014||799||discont.||check|
|Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||78/100 Silver||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2015||799||latest||check|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||80/100 Silver||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||649||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||82/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2014||899||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||2011||549||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||75/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100 Rec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2011||949||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2010||549||discont.||check|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||85/100 Gold||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||999||discont.||check|
|Sony RX100 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||79/100 Silver||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2013||749||discont.||check|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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 use the search menu below. 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 the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.
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