Panasonic LX5 vs Sony H300
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2010 and February 2014. Both the LX5 and the H300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (LX5) and a 1/2.3-inch (H300) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic LX5||Sony H300|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||25-875mm f/3.4-6.5|
|10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|720/60p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)||ISO 80-3,200|
|Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 460k dots||3.0 LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||0.8 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|110 x 65 x 43 mm, 271 g||128 x 89 x 92 mm, 590 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? 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 physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX5 and the Sony H300 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the H300 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 H300 is considerably larger (59 percent) than the Panasonic LX5. Moreover, the H300 is substantially heavier (118 percent) than the LX5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX5 nor the H300 are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony H300||128 mm||89 mm||92 mm||590 g||350||n||Feb 2014||219|
|Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ330||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|Sony H400||130 mm||95 mm||122 mm||628 g||300||n||Feb 2014||319|
|Sony H200||123 mm||83 mm||87 mm||530 g||240||n||Jan 2013||249|
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 obviously take relative prices into account. 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. The H300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 56 percent) than the LX5, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. 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 LX5 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Sony H300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H300 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.4 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The LX5 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.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the H300 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the LX5. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 2.14μm for the LX5). However, it should be noted that the H300 is much more recent (by 3 years and 6 months) than the LX5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the H300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony H300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LX5 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
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. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
|Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
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 LX5 provides a higher frame rate than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 720/60p, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The LX5 and the H300 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the LX5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LX5, the Sony H300, and comparable cameras.
|Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
Both the LX5 and the H300 have zoom lenses built in. The LX5 has a 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 optic and the H300 offers a 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5 (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 LX5 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The LX5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H300 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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-LX5 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the LX5 has a hotshoe, while the H300 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The H300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the LX5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the LX5 was succeeded by the Panasonic LX7. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic LX5 or the Sony H300 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (720/60p versus 720/30p).
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/3.4).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x65mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 319g or 54 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2010).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 41%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (56 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the LX5 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX5 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 LX5 and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom 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 LX5 and the H300 in practical situations. 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 expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 LX5||+||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony H300||+||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||219|
|Canon G12||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica Q Typ 116||..||80/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Olympus XZ-1||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|Panasonic TZ90||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ330||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic GF3||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|Panasonic GF2||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony HX400V||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|Sony H400||o||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Feb 2014||319|
|Sony H200||..||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2013||249|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Leica M10-P vs Panasonic LX5
- Leica X Typ 113 vs Sony H300
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Sony H300
- Nikon D5100 vs Sony H300
- Nikon P900 vs Panasonic LX5
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony H300
- Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5
- Panasonic LX5 vs Panasonic TZ90
- Panasonic LX5 vs Sony A99
- Panasonic LX5 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Panasonic LX5 vs Sony WX800
- Sony H300 vs Sony RX1R
Specifications: Panasonic LX5 vs Sony H300
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 LX5||Sony H300|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||25-875mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||July 2010||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 219|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic LX5||Sony H300|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||46.2365 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.14 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.59 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/60p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus FHD||BIONZ|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||41||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.6||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||132||..|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic LX5||Sony H300|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic LX5||Sony H300|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||0.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic LX5||Sony H300|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic LX5||Sony H300|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
110 x 65 x 43 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
128 x 89 x 92 mm
(5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||271 g (9.6 oz)||590 g (20.8 oz)|
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