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Panasonic LX15 versus Sony RX100 III

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (called Panasonic LX10 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2016 and May 2014. Both the LX15 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 LX15 vs Sony RX100 III

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX15 and the Sony RX100 III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. 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 LX15 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 III
Compare LX15 versus RX100 III top
Compare LX15 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 LX15. Moreover, the RX100 III is markedly lighter (6 percent) than the LX15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX15 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the LX15 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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 LX15» 106 mm 60 mm 42 mm 310 g 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
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 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 TZ200« » 111 mm 65 mm 45 mm 340 g 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« » 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« » 138 mm 102 mm 135 mm 915 g 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic GX80« » 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic TZ100« » 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
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 V« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
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

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The LX15 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 LX15 vs Sony RX100 III

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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. The LX15 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between different aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

Panasonic LX15 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 LX15 and the RX100 III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the LX15 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.

LX15 versus RX100 III MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 LX15» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic LX15
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 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 TZ200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic GX80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX80
Panasonic TZ100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970Panasonic TZ100
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 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the LX15 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 LX15 vs Sony RX100 III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety 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 LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LX15, the Sony RX100 III, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, 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 LX15»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic LX15
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 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 TZ200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic GX80« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX80
Panasonic TZ100« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ100
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 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
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

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The LX15 has a touchscreen, while the RX100 III has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the LX15 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the LX15 and the RX100 III have zoom lenses build in. The LX15 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 LX15 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The LX15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX15»-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic LX15
Sony RX100 III«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G5 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X70
Panasonic TZ200« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic GX80« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX80
Panasonic TZ100« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ100
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 II

The LX15 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. 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 LX15 vs Sony RX100 III

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic LX15 better than the Sony RX100 III or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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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 1080/60p).
  • 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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Reasons to prefer 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.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • 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 LX15 is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 5 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.

LX15 09:05 RX100 III

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the LX15 or the RX100 III. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews 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 LX15»HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
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 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 TZ200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic GX80« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic TZ100« »HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
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 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
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

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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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