Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony A58
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 (called Panasonic TZ90 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2017 and February 2013. The ZS70 is a fixed lens compact, while the A58 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (ZS70) and an APS-C (A58) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 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-ZS70 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A58? 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 ZS70 and the Sony A58. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The ZS70 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A58 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 Sony A58 is considerably larger (63 percent) than the Panasonic ZS70. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the ZS70 nor the A58 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the ZS70 has a lens built in, whereas the A58 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the ZS70 gets 380 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the A58 can take 690 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack. The power pack in the ZS70 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony A58||129 mm||95 mm||78 mm||492 g||690||n||Feb 2013||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499||ebay.com|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon D3200||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic ZS80||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449||amazon.com|
|11.||Panasonic FZ80||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399||amazon.com|
|12.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A77 II||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||647 g||480||Y||May 2014||1,199||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599||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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 ZS70 was launched at a lower price than the A58, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic ZS70 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony A58 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A58 is 1211 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the ZS70 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A58 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic ZS70 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the Sony A58. 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 1.18μm versus 4.31μm for the A58). However, it should be noted that the ZS70 is much more recent (by 4 years and 1 month) than the A58, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the ZS70 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
In terms of underlying technology, the ZS70 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the A58 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A58 offers substantially better image quality than the ZS70 (overall score 38 points higher). The advantage is based on 4.2 bits higher color depth, 1.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|15.||Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.4||13.4||1013||82|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 ZS70 provides a higher video resolution than the A58. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from 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 A58 offers a higher resolution than the one in the ZS70 (1440k vs 1166k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic ZS70 and Sony A58 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Panasonic ZS70||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony A58||1440||n||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||202||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Nikon D3200||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic ZS80||2330||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic FZ80||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|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 ZS70 has a touchscreen, while the A58 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The ZS70 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A58 does not have a selfie-screen.
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 ZS70 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 ZS70 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A58 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The ZS70 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A58 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-ZS70 and Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic ZS70||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony A58||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Nikon D3200||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic ZS80||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic FZ80||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony A68||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony A77 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the ZS70 offers wifi support, while the A58 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the ZS70 and the A58 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The A58 was replaced by the Sony A68, while the ZS70 was followed by the Panasonic ZS80. Further information on the features and operation of the ZS70 and A58 can be found, respectively, in the Panasonic ZS70 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A58 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic ZS70 better than the Sony A58 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 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 A58 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x67mm vs 129x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A58).
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 1 month of technical progress since the A58 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha SLT-A58:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (38 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (4.2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 1166k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.46x).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s 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 (690 versus 380) 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 February 2013).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZS70 emerges as the winner of the contest (16 : 13 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. 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 ZS70 and the Sony A58 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the ZS70 or the A58 perform in practice. 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 ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 ZS70||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony A58||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499||ebay.com|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2016||499||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon D3200||5/5||+ +||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic ZS80||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||..||+||..||..||..||3.5/5||May 2018||449||amazon.com|
|11.||Panasonic FZ80||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399||amazon.com|
|12.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A68||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Nov 2015||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A77 II||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||1,199||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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- Nikon D5200 vs Sony A58
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Specifications: Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony A58
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 ZS70||Sony A58|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.3-6.4||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2017||February 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A58|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||19.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||5456 x 3632 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||5.41 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 16,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||36||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.1||23.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.6||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||106||753|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A58|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A58|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A58|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A58|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||690 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
112 x 67 x 41 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)
129 x 95 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||322 g (11.4 oz)||492 g (17.4 oz)|
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