Panasonic LX100 vs Sony A58
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2014 and February 2013. The LX100 is a fixed lens compact, while the A58 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (LX100) and an APS-C (A58) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 12.7 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic LX100||Sony A58|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|24-75mm f/1.7-2.8||Sony A mount lenses|
|12.7 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 200-25,600||ISO 100-16,000 (100 - 25,600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2764k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 921k dots||2.7 LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|11 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|300 shots per battery charge||690 shots per battery charge|
|115 x 66 x 55 mm, 393 g||129 x 95 x 78 mm, 492 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX100 and the Sony A58. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A58 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 A58 is considerably larger (61 percent) than the Panasonic LX100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX100 nor the A58 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX100 has a lens built in, whereas the A58 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony A58||129 mm||95 mm||78 mm||492 g||690||n||Feb 2013||599|
|Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749|
|Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GH1||124 mm||90 mm||45 mm||385 g||300||n||Mar 2009||899|
|Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699|
|Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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.
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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX100 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony A58 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A58 is 63 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the LX100 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A58 offers a 3:2 aspect. The LX100 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
With 19.8MP, the A58 offers a higher resolution than the LX100 (12.7MP), but the A58 nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.21μm for the LX100) due to its larger sensor. However, the LX100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the A58, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A58 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A58 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LX100 are 20.6 x 15.4 inches or 52.2 x 39.2 cm for good quality, 16.4 x 12.4 inches or 41.8 x 31.4 cm for very good quality, and 13.7 x 10.3 inches or 34.8 x 26.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 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 Alpha SLT-A58 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the A58 has a markedly higher DXO score than the LX100 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, and 0.4 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 LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the LX100 provides a higher video resolution than the A58. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.
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 A58 (2764k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic LX100 and Sony A58 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The A58 has one, while the LX100 does not. While the built-in flash of the A58 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
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 LX100 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 LX100 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 LX100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A58 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The LX100 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A58 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-LX100 and Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony A7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the LX100 offers wifi support, while the A58 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The LX100 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the A58 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A58 was succeeded by the Sony A68. 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 what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic LX100 better than the Sony A58 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2764k vs 1440k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.57x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5 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.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the A58 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (115x66mm vs 129x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A58).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 6 months after the A58).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A58:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.8 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 27%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (690 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2013).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX100 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 9 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 LX100 and the Sony A58 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the LX100 or the A58 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Panasonic LX100||+ +||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony A58||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599|
|Canon G5 X||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Fujifilm X30||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Nikon D3300||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|Panasonic LX100 II||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|Panasonic FZ1000||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Panasonic GM5||+||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749|
|Panasonic G6||+ +||..||5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GH1||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899|
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony A68||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Nov 2015||699|
|Sony A7 II||+||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|Sony A6000||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony RX100 III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|Sony RX100||+ +||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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- Canon SX710 vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Canon T1i vs Panasonic LX100
- Leica TL2 vs Sony A58
- Nikon D300 vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Nikon D3000 vs Panasonic LX100
- Olympus E-3 vs Sony A58
- Olympus E-M1 vs Sony A58
- Panasonic GX800 vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Panasonic LX100 vs Sony A6100
- Panasonic LX100 vs Sony A7 III
- Sony A58 vs Sony HX90V
Specifications: Panasonic LX100 vs Sony A58
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 LX100||Sony A58|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-75mm f/1.7-2.8||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2014||February 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic LX100||Sony A58|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.7 Megapixels||19.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4112 x 3088 pixels||5456 x 3632 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.21 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.65 MP/cm2||5.41 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 16,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||67||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.3||23.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||553||753|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic LX100||Sony A58|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2764k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic LX100||Sony A58|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-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 LX100||Sony A58|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Panasonic LX100||Sony A58|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||690 shots per charge|
115 x 66 x 55 mm
(4.5 x 2.6 x 2.2 in)
129 x 95 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||393 g (13.9 oz)||492 g (17.4 oz)|
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