Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 (called Panasonic TZ95 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2019 and August 2018. Both the ZS80 and the HX99 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic ZS80||Sony HX99|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-720mm f/3.3-6.4||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 80-3200 (80-6400)||ISO 80-3200 (80-6400)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|10 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|380 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|112 x 69 x 42 mm, 327 g||102 x 58 x 36 mm, 242 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99? 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.
Body comparison: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic ZS80 and the Sony HX99 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The ZS80 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the HX99 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 HX99 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Panasonic ZS80. Moreover, the HX99 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the ZS80. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the ZS80 nor the HX99 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the ZS80 gets 380 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the HX99 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Panasonic ZS80»||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||11.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||449||Panasonic ZS80|
|Sony HX99«||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||449||Sony HX99|
|Canon SX740« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||9.8 oz||330||n||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Nikon A1000« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.6 in||11.6 oz||250||n||Jan 2019||429||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon W300« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.1 in||8.1 oz||280||Y||May 2017||389||Nikon W300|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||2.6 in||13.8 oz||300||n||Aug 2018||999||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TS7« »||4.6 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||11.3 oz||300||Y||May 2018||449||Panasonic TS7|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449||-||Panasonic ZS70|
|Sony HX95« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||429||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.2 oz||370||n||Oct 2018||399||Sony WX800|
|Sony HX400V« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.1 in||23.3 oz||300||n||Feb 2014||499||Sony HX400V|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
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. 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.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the ZS80 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 18 MP of the HX99. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the ZS80 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.25μm for the HX99). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the ZS80 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the HX99, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic ZS80 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the ZS80 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inch or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inch or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony HX99 are 24.5 x 18.4 inch or 62.2 x 46.6 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 14.7 inch or 49.7 x 37.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic ZS80»||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic ZS80|
|Sony HX99«||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony HX99|
|Canon SX740« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm XF10|
|Nikon A1000« »||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon W300« »||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Nikon W300|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TS7« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic TS7|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36||Panasonic ZS70|
|Sony HX95« »||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony WX800|
|Sony HX400V« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Sony HX400V|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Feature comparison: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the ZS80 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the HX99 (1166k vs 638k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic ZS80, the Sony HX99, and comparable cameras.
|Panasonic ZS80»||2330||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS80|
|Sony HX99«||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Canon SX740« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm XF10|
|Nikon A1000« »||1166||n||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon W300« »||-||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon W300|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TS7« »||1170||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TS7|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS70|
|Sony HX95« »||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony WX800|
|Sony HX400V« »||210||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX400V|
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 ZS80 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).
Both the ZS80 and the HX99 have zoom lenses built in. The ZS80 has a 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 optic and the HX99 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). The ZS80 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The ZS80 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX99 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The ZS80 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the HX99 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
Connectivity comparison: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
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-ZS80 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Panasonic ZS80»||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic ZS80|
|Sony HX99«||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Canon SX740« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm XF10|
|Nikon A1000« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon W300« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon W300|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TS7« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TS7|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic ZS70|
|Sony HX95« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony WX800|
|Sony HX400V« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX400V|
Both the ZS80 and the HX99 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The ZS80 replaced the earlier Panasonic ZS70, while the HX99 does not have a direct predecessor. 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.
Review summary: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic ZS80 or the Sony HX99 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 18MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1166k vs 638k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.5).
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the HX99).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99:
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 112x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 85g or 26 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- 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 August 2018).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZS80 emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 4 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 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 ZS80 and the Sony HX99 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the ZS80 or the HX99. 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.
Expert reviews: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Panasonic ZS80»||-||-||4.5/5||-||-||Feb 2019||449||Panasonic ZS80|
|Sony HX99«||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449||Sony HX99|
|Canon SX740« »||+||-||4/5||-||4/5||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon SX730« »||+||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Nikon A1000« »||-||-||3.5/5||-||3/5||Jan 2019||429||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon W300« »||+||-||4/5||-||4/5||May 2017||389||Nikon W300|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||+||82/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TS7« »||+||-||-||-||3.5/5||May 2018||449||Panasonic TS7|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||+ +||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||449||-||Panasonic ZS70|
|Sony HX95« »||-||-||-||-||-||Aug 2018||429||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||-||-||-||-||-||Oct 2018||399||Sony WX800|
|Sony HX400V« »||+ +||-||4/5||-||4/5||Feb 2014||499||Sony HX400V|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 750D vs Sony HX99
- Canon RP vs Panasonic ZS80
- Canon T6i vs Sony HX99
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Sony HX99
- Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Sony HX99
- Leica X Typ 113 vs Sony HX99
- Nikon D850 vs Sony HX99
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony HX99
- Panasonic LX10 vs Sony HX99
- Sony HX99 vs Sony NEX-3N
- Sony HX99 vs Sony RX10 II
- Sony HX99 vs Sony RX100 V
Specifications: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX99
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 ZS80||Sony HX99|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.3-6.4||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||February 2019||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic ZS80||Sony HX99|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80-3200 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-6400 ISO||80-6400 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus||BIONZ X|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic ZS80||Sony HX99|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic ZS80||Sony HX99|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic ZS80||Sony HX99|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no 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|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic ZS80||Sony HX99|
|Battery Type||DMW-BLG10 power pack||NP-BX1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
112 x 69 x 42 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||327 g (11.5 oz)||242 g (8.5 oz)|
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