Panasonic LX100 versus Sony RX100 II
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2014 and June 2013. Both the LX100 and the RX100 II are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (LX100) and an one-inch (RX100 II) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 12.7 megapixel, whereas the Sony 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 Sony RX100 II
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX100 and the Sony RX100 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth 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 the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 II is notably smaller (22 percent) than the Panasonic LX100. Moreover, the RX100 II is markedly lighter (28 percent) than the LX100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX100 nor the RX100 II 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|
|Panasonic LX100»||4.5 in||2.6 in||2.2 in||13.9 oz||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony RX100 II«||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-|
|Fujifilm X30« »||4.7 in||2.8 in||2.4 in||14.9 oz||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Panasonic GM5« »||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Sep 2014||749||-|
|Panasonic GM1« »||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||7.2 oz||230||n||Oct 2013||749||-|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony RX100 III« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-|
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 RX100 II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 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 Sony RX100 II
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX100 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony RX100 II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 II 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 LX100 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 II offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 II 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). Moreover, it should be noted that the LX100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the RX100 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Panasonic LX100»||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|Sony RX100 II«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||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|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Canon G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Fujifilm X30« »||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|Panasonic GM1« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|Sony RX100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66|
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 LX100 provides a higher video resolution than the RX100 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic LX100 vs Sony RX100 II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the LX100 has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX100 II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic LX100 and Sony RX100 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Sony RX100 II«||-||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|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 G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||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 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 V« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||24.0||Y||Y|
|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« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
Both the LX100 and the RX100 II have zoom lenses build in. The LX100 has a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 optic and the RX100 II offers a 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Sony, 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 RX100 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 II was succeeded by the Sony RX100 III.
Review summary: Panasonic LX100 vs Sony RX100 II
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic LX100 and the Sony RX100 II? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- 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/1.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the RX100 II).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 28%.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 115x66mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 112g or 28 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2013).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 II is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 6 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.
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 LX100 and the RX100 II in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Panasonic LX100»||HiRec||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony RX100 II«||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Canon G1 X« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-|
|Fujifilm X30« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Rec||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||-|
|Panasonic GM1« »||Rec||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||-|
|Sony RX100 V« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony RX100 III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-|
|Sony RX100« »||HiRec||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-|
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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