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Panasonic TZ100 versus Panasonic LX15

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (called Panasonic ZS100 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (labelled Panasonic LX10 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and September 2016. Both the TZ100 and the LX15 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic TZ100 and the Panasonic LX15 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size 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 TZ100 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Panasonic TZ100 vs Panasonic LX15 front
TZ100 versus LX15 top view
TZ100 and LX15 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 Panasonic LX15 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Panasonic TZ100. Moreover, the LX15 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the TZ100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TZ100 nor the LX15 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
Panasonic LX15 (⇒ lft) 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 no 2016 699 latest check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 Panasonic LX15 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 LX15 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the LX15 is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the TZ100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

TZ100 versus LX15 MP
Sensor resolution

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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
Panasonic LX15 (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p .. .. .. ..

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

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 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 TZ100, the Panasonic LX15, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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
Panasonic LX15 (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 10.0 12.1 YES

Both the TZ100 and the LX15 have zoom lenses build in. The TZ100 has a 25.025-250.25mm f/2.8-5.9 optic and the LX15 offers a 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the LX15 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the TZ100, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX15 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the TZ100 and the LX15 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The TZ100 replaced the earlier Panasonic TZ70, while the LX15 followed on from the Panasonic LX7.

Summary

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic TZ100 better than the Panasonic LX15 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has a higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (106x60mm vs 111x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (8 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX15 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 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 04:06 LX15

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the TZ100 and the LX15 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 why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at 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
Panasonic LX15 (⇒ lft) HiRec 81/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 699 latest 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Other comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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