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Panasonic TZ100 versus Sony RX100 IV

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (called Panasonic ZS100 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and June 2015. Both the TZ100 and the RX100 IV 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 IV

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic TZ100 and the Sony RX100 IV is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage 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).

Snapsort Panasonic TZ100 vs Sony RX100 IV
Compare TZ100 versus RX100 IV top
Compare TZ100 and RX100 IV rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 IV is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Panasonic TZ100. Moreover, the RX100 IV is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the TZ100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TZ100 nor the RX100 IV are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the TZ100 gets 300 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the RX100 IV can take 280 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)
Panasonic TZ100» 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699- i
Sony RX100 IV« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic TZ200« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic LX15« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i

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 markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the RX100 IV, which puts it into a different 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: Panasonic TZ100 vs Sony RX100 IV

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 Sony RX100 IV 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 IV 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 6 months) than the RX100 IV, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

TZ100 versus RX100 IV 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 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic TZ100» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
Sony RX100 IV« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Panasonic TZ200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic LX15« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

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: Panasonic TZ100 vs Sony RX100 IV

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the RX100 IV offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the TZ100 (2359k vs 1166k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic TZ100 and Sony RX100 IV 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 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
Panasonic TZ100»1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV«2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Panasonic TZ200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX15« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the TZ100 and the RX100 IV have zoom lenses build in. The TZ100 has a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 optic and the RX100 IV 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 IV offers the faster maximum aperture.

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

Review summary: Panasonic TZ100 vs Sony RX100 IV

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic TZ100 and the Sony RX100 IV? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100:

  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the RX100 IV).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1166k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1228k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 IV is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 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 04:08 RX100 IV

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the TZ100 and the RX100 IV 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic TZ100»HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Sony RX100 IV«HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic TZ200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic LX15« »HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« »Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i

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 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 the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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