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Panasonic GX85 vs ZS100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (called Panasonic GX80 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 April 2016 and January 2016. The GX85 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the ZS100 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GX85) and an one-inch (ZS100) sensor. The GX85 has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the ZS100 provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Panasonic GX85   Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic GX85 Panasonic ZS100
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9
15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-25600 ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)
Electronic viewfinder (2765k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
8 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
290 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
122 x 71 x 44 mm, 426 g 111 x 65 x 44 mm, 312 g

Body comparison: Panasonic GX85 vs ZS100

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX85 and the Panasonic ZS100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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. 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 – the GX85 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic GX85 and Panasonic ZS100
Compare GX85 versus ZS100 top
Compare GX85 or ZS100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic ZS100 is notably smaller (17 percent) than the Panasonic GX85. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX85 nor the ZS100 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the ZS100 has a lens built in, whereas the GX85 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GX85 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX85» 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
Panasonic ZS100« 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic ZS100
Olympus E-PL8« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Panasonic GX9« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.9 in 14.4 oz 260 n Feb 2018 849 i i Panasonic GX9
Panasonic ZS200« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899 i i Panasonic G85
Panasonic LX10« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GX7« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999- i Panasonic GX7
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The ZS100 was launched at a lower price than the GX85, despite having a lens built in. 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 GX85 vs ZS100

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GX85 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Panasonic ZS100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the ZS100 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 GX85 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the ZS100 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic GX85 and Panasonic ZS100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the ZS100 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX85. This megapixels 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 GX85). Moreover, it should be noted that the GX85 is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 months) than the ZS100, and its sensor might 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 GX85 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600..

GX85 versus ZS100 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX85» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX85
Panasonic ZS100« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970Panasonic ZS100
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
Panasonic GX9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Panasonic GX9
Panasonic ZS200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671Panasonic G85
Panasonic LX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic LX10
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GX7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870Panasonic GX7
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. 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: Panasonic GX85 vs ZS100

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 GX85 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the ZS100 (2765k vs 1166k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic GX85 and Panasonic ZS100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
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)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX85»2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX85
Panasonic ZS100«1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS100
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
Panasonic GX9« »2760 n 3.0 1240 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y Y Panasonic GX9
Panasonic ZS200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G85
Panasonic LX10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic LX10
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GX7« »2760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 8000 5.0 Y Y Panasonic GX7
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GX85 and the ZS100 write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison: Panasonic GX85 vs ZS100

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX85»Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX85
Panasonic ZS100«-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS100
Olympus E-PL8« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
Panasonic GX9« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic GX9
Panasonic ZS200« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic G85« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G85
Panasonic LX10« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic LX10
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GM5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GX7
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 II

It is notable that the GX85 has a hotshoe, while the ZS100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The GX85 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. 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 GX85 vs ZS100

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic GX85 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-GX85:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2765k vs 1166k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • 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.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 2 months after the ZS100).


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100:

  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GX85 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 122x71mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the GX85).
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZS100 comes out slightly ahead of the GX85 (8 : 7 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.

GX85 07:08 ZS100

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the GX85 and the ZS100 in practical situations. 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.

Expert reviews: Panasonic GX85 vs ZS100

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX85»HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
Panasonic ZS100«HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic ZS100
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Panasonic GX9« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 849 i i Panasonic GX9
Panasonic ZS200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic G85« »HiRec84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899 i i Panasonic G85
Panasonic LX10« »HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Panasonic GX8« »Rec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GX7« »Rec79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999- i Panasonic GX7
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic GX85 vs Panasonic ZS100

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic GX85 Panasonic ZS100
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9
    Launch Date April 2016 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 699
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 13.2 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0 2.7
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4592 x 3448 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO 125-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus Venus
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Resolution 2765k dots 1166k dots
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Silent ShootingElectronic ShutterElectronic Shutter
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type DMW-BLG10 power pack DMW-BLG10 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)290 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 71 x 44 mm
    (4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
    111 x 65 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 426 g (15.0 oz) 312 g (11.0 oz)

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