Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony A68
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 (called Panasonic TZ90 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha SLT-A68 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2017 and November 2015. The ZS70 is a fixed lens compact, while the A68 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (ZS70) and an APS-C (A68) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 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-A68? 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 A68. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The ZS70 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A68 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 A68 is considerably larger (98 percent) than the Panasonic ZS70. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the ZS70 nor the A68 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 A68 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 A68 can take 540 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|2.||Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|8.||Panasonic ZS80||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|9.||Panasonic TS7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|10.||Panasonic FZ80||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|12.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|13.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749|
|14.||Sony A77 II||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||647 g||480||Y||May 2014||1,199|
|15.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|16.||Sony A58||129 mm||95 mm||78 mm||492 g||690||n||Feb 2013||599|
|17.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|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 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 A68, despite having a lens built in. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 A68 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A68 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 A68 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the A68 offers a higher resolution than the ZS70 (20.2MP), but the A68 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.18μm for the ZS70) due to its larger sensor. However, the ZS70 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the A68, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 resolution advantage of the Sony A68 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A68 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic ZS70 are 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
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-A68 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 A68 offers substantially better image quality than the ZS70 (overall score 43 points higher). The advantage is based on 5 bits higher color depth, 2.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|14.||Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the ZS70 provides a higher video resolution than the A68. 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 A68 offers a higher resolution than the one in the ZS70 (1440k vs 1166k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic ZS70 and Sony A68 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic ZS70||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||202||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic ZS80||2330||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic TS7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic FZ80||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|13.||Pentax K-S1||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||5.4||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|16.||Sony A58||1440||n||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0 / 921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The ZS70 has a touchscreen, while the A68 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 A68 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 A68 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 DC-ZS70 and Sony Alpha SLT-A68 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 A68||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||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.||Panasonic ZS80||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Panasonic TS7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic FZ80||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic LX5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Pentax K-S1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony A77 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A58||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony A77||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the ZS70 offers wifi support, while the A68 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the ZS70 and the A68 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The ZS70 was replaced by the Panasonic ZS80, while the A68 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic ZS70 better than the Sony A68 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer 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 8 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 A68 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x67mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A68).
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 5 months after the A68).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A68:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (43 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (5 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.7 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).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- 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 (540 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 on the market for longer (launched in November 2015).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (15 points each). 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. 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 ZS70 and the Sony A68 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the ZS70 and the A68 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews 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 ZS70||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|2.||Sony A68||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Nov 2015||699|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|8.||Panasonic ZS80||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|9.||Panasonic TS7||..||+||..||..||..||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|10.||Panasonic FZ80||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|12.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|13.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749|
|14.||Sony A77 II||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||1,199|
|15.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|16.||Sony A58||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599|
|17.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||..||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated 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 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 60D vs Panasonic ZS70
- Canon G9 X Mark II vs Sony A68
- Canon XC10 vs Panasonic ZS70
- Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Sony A68
- Nikon D2H vs Panasonic ZS70
- Olympus E-450 vs Sony A68
- Panasonic FZ150 vs Sony A68
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony A68
- Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic ZS70
- Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony HX99
- Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony RX100
- Sigma fp vs Sony A68
Specifications: Panasonic ZS70 vs Sony A68
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 A68|
|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||November 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A68|
|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||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||6.55 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 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||36||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.1||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.6||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||106||701|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A68|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|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 A68|
|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||8 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|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A68|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic ZS70||Sony A68|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||540 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)
143 x 104 x 81 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||322 g (11.4 oz)||610 g (21.5 oz)|
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