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Panasonic ZS100 versus Panasonic LX100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (called Panasonic TZ100 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and September 2014. Both the ZS100 and the LX100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (ZS100) and a Four Thirds (LX100) sensor. The ZS100 has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the LX100 provides 12.7 MP. 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 ZS100 vs Panasonic LX100

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic ZS100 and the Panasonic LX100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 ZS100 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic ZS100 vs Panasonic LX100
Compare ZS100 versus LX100 top
Compare ZS100 and LX100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX100 is notably larger (5 percent) than the Panasonic ZS100. Moreover, the LX100 is markedly heavier (26 percent) than the ZS100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the ZS100 nor the LX100 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 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 ZS100» 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic LX100« 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
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 G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Panasonic ZS200« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic GX85« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
Panasonic LX10« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 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 ZS100 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 22 percent) than the LX100, 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: Panasonic ZS100 vs Panasonic LX100

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic ZS100 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic LX100 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the LX100 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the ZS100 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the LX100 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Panasonic ZS100 and Panasonic LX100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic ZS100 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 12.7 MP of the Panasonic LX100. This megapixel 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 4.21μm for the LX100). However, it should be noted that the ZS100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the LX100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

ZS100 versus LX100 MP

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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 ZS100» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic LX100« Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X30
Panasonic ZS200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic GX85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX85
Panasonic LX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic LX10
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic ZS100 vs Panasonic LX100

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 LX100 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the ZS100 (2764k vs 1166k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic ZS100 and Panasonic LX100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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 ZS100»1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic LX100«2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X30
Panasonic ZS200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic GX85« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX85
Panasonic LX10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic LX10
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature an electronic shutter, which makes silent shooting and higher burst speeds possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the ZS100 and the LX100 have zoom lenses build in. The ZS100 has a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 optic and the LX100 offers a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the LX100 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the ZS100, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX100 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The LX100 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the ZS100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the ZS100 was succeeded by the Panasonic ZS200.

Review summary: Panasonic ZS100 vs Panasonic LX100

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic ZS100 or the Panasonic LX100 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 12.7MP) with a 28% higher linear resolution.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • 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.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 81g or 21 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (22 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 3 months after the LX100).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2764k vs 1166k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZS100 emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 5 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 when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

ZS100 08:05 LX100

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the ZS100 or the LX100. 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 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 ZS100»HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic ZS100
Panasonic LX100«HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Panasonic ZS200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic ZS200
Panasonic GX85« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
Panasonic LX10« »HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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. 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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