Panasonic TZ200 vs Pentax K-500
The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200 (called Panasonic ZS200 in some regions) and the Pentax K-500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2018 and June 2013. The TZ200 is a fixed lens compact, while the K-500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (TZ200) and an APS-C (K-500) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 16.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200 and the Pentax K-500? 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 TZ200 and the Pentax K-500 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.
The TZ200 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the K-500 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 Pentax K-500 is considerably larger (75 percent) than the Panasonic TZ200. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TZ200 nor the K-500 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the TZ200 has a lens built in, whereas the K-500 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the TZ200 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|2.||Pentax K-500||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||646 g||710||n||Jun 2013||549|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899|
|4.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||810 g||350||n||Feb 2019||899|
|5.||Panasonic TZ95||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|6.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||124 mm||72 mm||47 mm||407 g||260||n||Feb 2018||849|
|8.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699|
|11.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|12.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749|
|13.||Pentax K-50||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||Jun 2013||599|
|14.||Pentax K-30||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||May 2012||849|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|16.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|17.||Ricoh GR III||109 mm||62 mm||33 mm||257 g||200||n||Feb 2019||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic TZ200 features an one-inch sensor and the Pentax K-500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the K-500 is 216 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic TZ200 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the Pentax K-500. 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 2.41μm versus 4.77μm for the K-500). However, it should be noted that the TZ200 is much more recent (by 4 years and 8 months) than the K-500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic TZ200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TZ200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax K-500 are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-500 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.8||14.1||1235||82|
|17.||Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the TZ200 provides a higher video resolution than the K-500. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the TZ200 has an electronic viewfinder (2330k dots), while the K-500 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the K-500 has a higher magnification than the one of the TZ200 (0.61x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic TZ200 and Pentax K-500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|4.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TZ200 has a touchscreen, while the K-500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the TZ200 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Panasonic TZ200 and the Pentax K-500 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TZ200 and the K-500 write their files to SDXC cards. The TZ200 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the K-500 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 DC-TZ200 and Pentax K-500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
It is notable that the TZ200 offers wifi support, while the K-500 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The TZ200 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the K-500 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the K-500 from Pentax. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Pentax websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic TZ200 better than the Pentax K-500 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 16.1MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 921k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the K-500 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 130x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the K-500).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 8 months of technical progress since the K-500 launch.
Advantages of the Pentax K-500:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.61x vs 0.53x).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (710 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2013).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TZ200 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 TZ200 and the Pentax K-500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the TZ200 and the K-500 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|2.||Pentax K-500||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||549|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899|
|4.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||..||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|5.||Panasonic TZ95||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|6.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||4/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||849|
|8.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Panasonic LX15||..||+ +||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|11.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|12.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749|
|13.||Pentax K-50||5/5||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||599|
|14.||Pentax K-30||4/5||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||849|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|16.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|17.||Ricoh GR III||4/5||..||81/100||4/5||..||Feb 2019||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Panasonic TZ200 vs Pentax K-500
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 TZ200||Pentax K-500|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-360mm f/3.3-6.4||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2018||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic TZ200||Pentax K-500|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||4.77 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus||PRIME M|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1087|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic TZ200||Pentax K-500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2330k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1240k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic TZ200||Pentax K-500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic TZ200||Pentax K-500|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Panasonic TZ200||Pentax K-500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||710 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
111 x 65 x 45 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
130 x 97 x 71 mm
(5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||340 g (12.0 oz)||646 g (22.8 oz)|
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