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Panasonic TZ100 versus Sony RX100 III

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (called Panasonic ZS100 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and May 2014. Both the TZ100 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 TZ100 vs Sony RX100 III

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic TZ100 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 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 use the toggle button 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).

Compare Panasonic TZ100 vs Sony RX100 III
Compare TZ100 versus RX100 III top
Compare TZ100 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 (18 percent) than the Panasonic TZ100. Moreover, the RX100 III is markedly lighter (7 percent) than the TZ100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TZ100 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the TZ100 gets 300 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 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. 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.

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 TZ100» 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
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 M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
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 GX80« » 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic LX15« » 106 mm 60 mm 42 mm 310 g 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
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

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The TZ100 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 TZ100 vs Sony RX100 III

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 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 TZ100 and the RX100 III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the TZ100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

TZ100 versus RX100 III MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. 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 TZ100» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970Panasonic TZ100
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 M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
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 GX80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX80
Panasonic LX15« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic LX15
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
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 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 TZ100 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 TZ100 vs Sony RX100 III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the RX100 III offers a higher resolution than the one in the TZ100 (1440k vs 1166k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic TZ100 and Sony RX100 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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 TZ100»1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ100
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 M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
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 GX80« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX80
Panasonic LX15« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic LX15
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
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 TZ100 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 TZ100 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 TZ100 and the RX100 III have zoom lenses build in. The TZ100 has a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 optic and the RX100 III offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Panasonic, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 III offers the faster maximum aperture.

The TZ100 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 TZ100»-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ100
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« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
Canon M3« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Panasonic TZ200« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic GX80« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX80
Panasonic LX15« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic LX15
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
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

Both the TZ100 and the RX100 III have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 III was replaced by the Sony RX100 IV, while the TZ100 was followed by the Panasonic TZ200.

Review summary: Panasonic TZ100 vs Sony RX100 III

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic TZ100 better than the Sony RX100 III or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100:

  • 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.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • 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: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the RX100 III).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 1166k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 111x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 III emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

TZ100 06:08 RX100 III

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the TZ100 or the RX100 III. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 TZ100»HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
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 M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
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 GX80« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic LX15« »HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
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

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. 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 use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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