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Panasonic LX10 versus Sony RX100 III

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (called Panasonic LX15 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2016 and May 2014. Both the LX10 and the RX100 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. 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 LX10 vs Sony RX100 III

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX10 and the Sony RX100 III. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions 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 LX10 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic LX10 vs Sony RX100 III
Compare LX10 versus RX100 III top
Compare LX10 and RX100 III rear

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 (7 percent) than the Panasonic LX10. Moreover, the RX100 III is markedly lighter (6 percent) than the LX10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX10 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the LX10 gets 260 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the RX100 III can take 320 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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)
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX10» 106 mm 60 mm 42 mm 310 g 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
Sony RX100 III« 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G5 X« » 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« » 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Panasonic ZS200« » 111 mm 65 mm 45 mm 340 g 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic ZS70« » 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic ZS70
Panasonic FZ2500« » 138 mm 102 mm 135 mm 915 g 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic ZS100« » 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 II« » 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. 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 LX10 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the RX100 III, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic LX10 vs Sony RX100 III

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Panasonic LX10 and Sony RX100 III sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the LX10 and the RX100 III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the LX10 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

LX10 versus RX100 III 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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 LX10» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic LX10
Sony RX100 III« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X70
Panasonic ZS200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic ZS100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
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 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 LX10 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 LX10 vs Sony RX100 III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range 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 LX10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic LX10 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.

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))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX10»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic LX10
Sony RX100 III«1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
Panasonic ZS200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic ZS100« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
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, the LX10 features an electronic shutter, which makes silent shooting and higher burst speeds possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the LX10 and the RX100 III have zoom lenses build in. The LX10 has a 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 optic and the RX100 III offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX10 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The LX10 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 LX10 vs Sony RX100 III

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic LX10 and the Sony RX100 III? 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-LX10:

  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/1.8).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the RX100 III launch.

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

  • 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).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (320 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX10 is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 4 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.

LX10 08:04 RX100 III

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 LX10 or the RX100 III handle or perform in practice. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX10»HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
Sony RX100 III«HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Panasonic ZS200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic ZS70« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic ZS70
Panasonic FZ2500« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic ZS100« »HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 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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