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Panasonic LX100 versus Panasonic TZ100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (labelled Panasonic ZS100 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and January 2016. Both the LX100 and the TZ100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (LX100) and an one-inch (TZ100) sensor. The LX100 has a resolution of 12.7 megapixel, whereas the TZ100 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 LX100 vs Panasonic TZ100

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX100 and the Panasonic TZ100. 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 – the LX100 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic LX100 vs Panasonic TZ100
Compare LX100 versus TZ100 top
Compare LX100 and TZ100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic TZ100 is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Panasonic LX100. Moreover, the TZ100 is markedly lighter (21 percent) than the LX100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX100 nor the TZ100 are weather-sealed.

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 LX100» 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Panasonic TZ100« 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699- i
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« » 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G1 X« » 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Fujifilm X30« » 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Panasonic TZ200« » 111 mm 65 mm 45 mm 340 g 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic LX15« » 106 mm 60 mm 42 mm 310 g 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GM5« » 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic GM1« » 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749- i
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« » 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 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. The TZ100 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 22 percent) than the LX100, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic LX100 vs Panasonic TZ100

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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX100 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Panasonic TZ100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the TZ100 is 48 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 2.75. The sensor in the LX100 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the TZ100 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic LX100 and Panasonic TZ100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the TZ100 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 12.7 MP of the LX100. 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 4.21μm for the LX100). However, it should be noted that the TZ100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the LX100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

LX100 versus TZ100 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 image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic LX100» Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Panasonic TZ100« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Panasonic TZ200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic LX15« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

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 LX100 vs Panasonic TZ100

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the LX100 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the TZ100 (2764k vs 1166k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic LX100 and Panasonic TZ100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, 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 LX100»2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Panasonic TZ100«1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic TZ200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX15« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y
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 GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the LX100 and the TZ100 have zoom lenses build in. The LX100 has a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 optic and the TZ100 offers a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the LX100 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the TZ100, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX100 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The LX100 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the TZ100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the TZ100 was succeeded by the Panasonic TZ200.

Review summary: Panasonic LX100 vs Panasonic TZ100

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic LX100 and the Panasonic TZ100? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2764k vs 1166k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 28%.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 81g or 21 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (22 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TZ100 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

LX100 05:08 TZ100

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the LX100 or the TZ100 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed 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 LX100»HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Panasonic TZ100«HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Panasonic TZ200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic LX15« »HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i 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 GM1« »Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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