Panasonic GX850 vs Sony H300
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850 (called Panasonic GX800 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2017 and February 2014. The GX850 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the H300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GX850) and a 1/2.3-inch (H300) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX850 and the Sony H300 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GX850 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, red), while the H300 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H300 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Panasonic GX850. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX850 nor the H300 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the H300 has a lens built in, whereas the GX850 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 GX850 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|2.||Sony H300||128 mm||89 mm||92 mm||590 g||350||n||Feb 2014||219|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|4.||Olympus E-PL5||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||Sep 2012||599|
|5.||Olympus E-PM2||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||269 g||360||n||Sep 2012||499|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499|
|7.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|9.||Panasonic G5||120 mm||83 mm||71 mm||396 g||320||n||Jul 2012||599|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|11.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|12.||Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|16.||Sony H400||130 mm||95 mm||122 mm||628 g||300||n||Feb 2014||319|
|17.||Sony H200||123 mm||83 mm||87 mm||530 g||240||n||Jan 2013||249|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The H300 was launched at a lower price than the GX850, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
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. 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 GX850 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony H300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H300 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the H300 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX850. 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 1.19μm versus 3.77μm for the GX850). Moreover, it should be noted that the GX850 is much more recent (by 2 years and 10 months) than the H300, 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony H300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GX850 are 23 x 17.2 inches or 58.3 x 43.8 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.7 x 35 cm for very good quality, and 15.3 x 11.5 inches or 38.9 x 29.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GX850||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|4.||Olympus E-PL5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72|
|5.||Olympus E-PM2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|9.||Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|11.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|12.||Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|14.||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. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GX850 provides a higher video resolution than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GX850 and the H300 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GX850 and Sony H300 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GX850||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0||Y||n|
|2.||Sony H300||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-PL5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-PM2||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||5.8||Y||n|
|7.||Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic G5||1440||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic GF3||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.2||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony HX400V||210||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony H400||210||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||0.7||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony H200||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GX850 has a touchscreen, while the H300 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The GX850 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the H300 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the GX850 is one of those camera that have an additional 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).
The Panasonic GX850 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The GX850 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H300 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The GX850 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the H300 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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-GX850 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic GX850||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony H300||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Olympus E-PL5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Olympus E-PM2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Panasonic G5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic G3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic GF3||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony HX400V||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony H400||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Sony H200||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the GX850 and the H300 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The H300 replaced the earlier Sony H200, while the GX850 followed on from the Panasonic GF7. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GX850 and the Sony H300? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850:
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More compact: Is smaller (107x65mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the H300 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/1500s vs 1/500s) to freeze action.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GX850 necessitates an extra lens.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2014).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GX850 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GX850 and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the GX850 and the H300 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|2.||Sony H300||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2014||219|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|4.||Olympus E-PL5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|5.||Olympus E-PM2||3/5||..||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499|
|7.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|9.||Panasonic G5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|11.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|12.||Panasonic GF3||3/5||82/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|16.||Sony H400||..||o||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2014||319|
|17.||Sony H200||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2013||249|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Panasonic GX850
- Canon 1Ds vs Sony H300
- Canon SL3 vs Sony H300
- Canon T1i vs Panasonic GX850
- Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Sony H300
- Leica M10 vs Sony H300
- Nikon D3X vs Panasonic GX850
- Nikon D7000 vs Panasonic GX850
- Panasonic GX850 vs Panasonic S1R
- Panasonic GX850 vs Panasonic S5
- Sony A5000 vs Sony H300
- Sony H300 vs Sony RX10
Specifications: Panasonic GX850 vs Sony H300
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic GX850||Sony H300|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||25-875mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||January 2017||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 219|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GX850||Sony H300|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.8 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4592 x 3448 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.77 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.04 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||73||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.2||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.3||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||586||..|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GX850||Sony H300|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GX850||Sony H300|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||0.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic GX850||Sony H300|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GX850||Sony H300|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
107 x 65 x 33 mm
(4.2 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
128 x 89 x 92 mm
(5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||269 g (9.5 oz)||590 g (20.8 oz)|
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