Panasonic ZS100 vs Ricoh GR II
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (called Panasonic TZ100 in some regions) and the Ricoh GR II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and June 2015. Both the ZS100 and the GR II are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (ZS100) and an APS-C (GR II) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Ricoh 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 DMC-ZS100 and the Ricoh GR II? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic ZS100 and the Ricoh GR II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The ZS100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the GR II 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 Ricoh GR II is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Panasonic ZS100. However, the GR II is markedly lighter (20 percent) than the ZS100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the ZS100 nor the GR II are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the ZS100 gets 300 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the GR II can take 320 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient 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 ZS100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|2.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic ZS200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic LX10||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749||ebay.com|
|10.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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.
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. 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 Ricoh GR II an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR II is 219 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 ZS100 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the Ricoh GR II. 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 4.79μm for the GR II). However, it should be noted that the ZS100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the GR II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic ZS100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the ZS100 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 Ricoh GR II 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 DMC-ZS100 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 Ricoh GR II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the GR II has a markedly higher DXO score than the ZS100 (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|6.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|9.||Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|13.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the ZS100 provides a higher video resolution than the GR II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the ZS100 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GR II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GR II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic ZS100 and Ricoh GR II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Panasonic ZS100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Panasonic ZS200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic LX10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic GM5||1166||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||n||n|
|10.||Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The ZS100 has a touchscreen, while the GR II 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 ZS100 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 ZS100 and the Ricoh GR II 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.
The ZS100 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the GR II comes with a built-in prime. The ZS100 has a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 optic and the GR II offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Ricoh. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the ZS100 and the GR II write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 DMC-ZS100 and Ricoh GR II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic ZS100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Panasonic ZS200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Panasonic LX10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic GM5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Ricoh GR||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the GR II has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The ZS100 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Both the ZS100 and the GR II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The GR II was replaced by the Ricoh GR III, while the ZS100 was followed by the Panasonic ZS200. Further information on the features and operation of the ZS100 and GR II can be found, respectively, in the Panasonic ZS100 Manual (free pdf) or the online Ricoh GR II Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic ZS100 better than the Ricoh GR II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 16.1MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the GR II).
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR II:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 61g or 20 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- 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 June 2015).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (10 points each). 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 ZS100 and the Ricoh GR II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the ZS100 or the GR II. 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 ZS100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|2.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic ZS200||..||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic LX10||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic GM5||3.5/5||+||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||ebay.com|
|10.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 30D vs Ricoh GR II
- Canon 750D vs Ricoh GR II
- Canon M10 vs Panasonic ZS100
- Canon T7i vs Ricoh GR II
- Fujifilm X-T30 vs Panasonic ZS100
- Leica S Typ 006 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon D3000 vs Panasonic ZS100
- Nikon P950 vs Panasonic ZS100
- Olympus E-5 vs Ricoh GR II
- Panasonic ZS100 vs Panasonic ZS200
- Panasonic ZS100 vs Sony A7S II
- Ricoh GR II vs Sony NEX-7
Specifications: Panasonic ZS100 vs Ricoh GR II
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 ZS100||Ricoh GR II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-250mm f/2.8-5.9||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||January 2016||June 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic ZS100||Ricoh GR II|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus||GR Engine V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||70||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.8||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5||13.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||559||1078|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic ZS100||Ricoh GR II|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic ZS100||Ricoh GR II|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||4 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||no handshake reduction|
|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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic ZS100||Ricoh GR II|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic ZS100||Ricoh GR II|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
111 x 65 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
117 x 63 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||312 g (11.0 oz)||251 g (8.9 oz)|
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