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Panasonic TZ100 versus Canon G9 X

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (called Panasonic ZS100 in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot G9 X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and October 2015. Both the TZ100 and the G9X are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic TZ100 and the Canon G9 X. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures 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 side – the TZ100 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Panasonic TZ100 vs Canon G9 X front
TZ100 versus G9X top view
TZ100 and G9X rear side
Body view (TZ100 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G9 X is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Panasonic TZ100. Moreover, the G9X is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the TZ100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TZ100 nor the G9X 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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic TZ100 (⇒ rgt) 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 no 2016 699 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 no 2015 529discont. check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 no 2017 529 latest check
Canon T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 no 2016 449 latest check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 no 2015 499discont. check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 no 2015 679discont. check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 no 2014 699discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G9X was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the TZ100, 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.75. 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.

Panasonic TZ100 and Canon G9 X sensor measures
Sensor size

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 TZ100 and the G9X have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

TZ100 versus G9X MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the TZ100 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G9X (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic TZ100 (⇒ rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 22.8 12.5 559 70
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.5 12.3 495 63
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.9 12.5 522 65
Canon T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p - - - -
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.2 11.4 753 65
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.8 11.8 1169 72
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 23.0 12.7 556 71

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 TZ100 provides a higher video resolution than the G9X. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the TZ100 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G9X 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 TZ100, the Canon G9 X, 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 Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic TZ100 (⇒ rgt) 1166 no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 10.0 YES YES
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 6.0 6 no
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 8.2 6 no
Canon T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.6 5 no
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.2 5 no
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 6.5 7 no

Both the TZ100 and the G9X have zoom lenses build in. The TZ100 has a 25.025-250.25mm f/2.8-5.9 optic and the G9X offers a 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. The G9X offers the faster maximum aperture.

The TZ100 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G9X has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G9X was succeeded by the Canon G9 X Mark II.

Summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic TZ100 or the Canon G9 X – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • 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 burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G9 X:

  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 111x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 103g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TZ100 is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 4 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.

TZ100 09:04 G9X

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the TZ100 and the G9X 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 why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic TZ100 (⇒ rgt) HiRec 82/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2016 699 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) HiRec - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 529discont. check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) .. .. 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 529 latest check
Canon T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 73/100 4/5 3.5/5 4/5 2016 449 latest check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - reviewed 4/5 2015 499discont. check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2015 679discont. check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2014 699discont. check

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 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.

Other comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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