Panasonic LX15 vs Sony A68
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (called Panasonic LX10 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha SLT-A68 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2016 and November 2015. The LX15 is a fixed lens compact, while the A68 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (LX15) and an APS-C (A68) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 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-LX15 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A68? 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 LX15 and the Sony A68. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX15 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A68 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 A68 is considerably larger (134 percent) than the Panasonic LX15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX15 nor the A68 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX15 has a lens built in, whereas the A68 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the LX15 gets 260 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the A68 can take 540 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack. The power pack in the LX15 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699|
|2.||Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|9.||Panasonic GX80||122 mm||71 mm||44 mm||426 g||290||n||Apr 2016||799|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|12.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|14.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|15.||Sony A77 II||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||647 g||480||Y||May 2014||1,199|
|16.||Sony A58||129 mm||95 mm||78 mm||492 g||690||n||Feb 2013||599|
|17.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 LX15 features an one-inch sensor and the Sony A68 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A68 is 216 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2. The LX15 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 24MP, the A68 offers a higher resolution than the LX15 (20MP), but the A68 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 2.41μm for the LX15) due to its larger sensor. However, the LX15 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the A68, 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 A68 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A68 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LX15 are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A68 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|9.||Panasonic GX80||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|14.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|15.||Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.7||1442||77|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the LX15 provides a higher video resolution than the A68. 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 range of features. For example, the A68 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic LX15 and Sony A68 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic GX80||2765||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Pentax K-S1||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||5.4||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|15.||Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A58||1440||n||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0 / 921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The LX15 has a touchscreen, while the A68 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The LX15 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 A68 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 LX15 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 LX15 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 LX15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A68 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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-LX15 and Sony Alpha SLT-A68 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic LX15||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony A68||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic GX80||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Pentax K-S1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A77 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A58||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony A77||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the LX15 offers wifi support, while the A68 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The LX15 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the A68 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the A68 from Sony. 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? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic LX15 or the Sony A68 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:
- 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).
- 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 (1040k vs 460k dots).
- 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 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.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the A68 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (106x60mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A68).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 10 months after the A68).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A68:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2015).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX15 emerges as the winner of the contest (15 : 12 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. 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 LX15 and the Sony A68 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the LX15 and the A68 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 LX15||..||+ +||..||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699|
|2.||Sony A68||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Nov 2015||699|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||4.5/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||..||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|9.||Panasonic GX80||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|12.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|14.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|15.||Sony A77 II||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||1,199|
|16.||Sony A58||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599|
|17.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||..||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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 100D vs Panasonic LX15
- Canon 250D vs Panasonic LX15
- Canon 40D vs Sony A68
- Leica M10-P vs Sony A68
- Leica V-LUX 1 vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon D5100 vs Sony A68
- Olympus E-M1 II vs Sony A68
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony A68
- Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic LX15
- Panasonic LX15 vs Panasonic LX7
- Panasonic LX15 vs Ricoh GR II
- Pentax Q vs Sony A68
Specifications: Panasonic LX15 vs Sony A68
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 LX15||Sony A68|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-72mm f/1.4-2.8||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2016||November 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony A68|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||701|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony A68|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony A68|
|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||10 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony A68|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony A68|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||260 shots per charge||540 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
106 x 60 x 42 mm
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
143 x 104 x 81 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||310 g (10.9 oz)||610 g (21.5 oz)|
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