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Sony A6000 versus Panasonic LX100

The Sony Alpha A6000 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and September 2014. The A6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the LX100 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A6000) and a Four Thirds (LX100) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic 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: Sony A6000 vs Panasonic LX100

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A6000 and the Panasonic LX100 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. 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 – the A6000 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony A6000 vs Panasonic LX100
Compare A6000 versus LX100 top
Compare A6000 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 smaller (6 percent) than the Sony A6000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A6000 nor the LX100 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX100 has a lens build in, whereas the A6000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A6000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the A6000 gets 360 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the LX100 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack.

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)
Sony A6000» 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Panasonic LX100« 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i
Sony A3000« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i
Sony NEX-5T« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 97.9 oz 330 n Aug 2013 699- i
Sony NEX-6« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 12.2 oz 360 n Sep 2012 999- i
Sony NEX-F3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.1 oz 470 n May 2012 599- i
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i
Sony NEX-3« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i

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. 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: Sony A6000 vs Panasonic LX100

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A6000 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic LX100 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the LX100 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the A6000 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the LX100 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Sony A6000 and Panasonic LX100 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A6000 offers a higher resolution than the LX100 (12.7MP), but the A6000 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.21μm for the LX100). Moreover, the LX100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the A6000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

A6000 versus LX100 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 review, the A6000 provides substantially higher image quality than the LX100, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.8 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony A6000» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Panasonic LX100« Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
Sony NEX-5T« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60p23.613.0101578
Sony NEX-6« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878
Sony NEX-F3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.712.3111473
Sony NEX-7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681
Sony NEX-3« » APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068

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 LX100 provides a better video resolution than the A6000. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony A6000 vs Panasonic LX100

Beyond 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 LX100 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A6000 (2764k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A6000 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 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
Sony A6000»1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Panasonic LX100«2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 4000 3.5 Y n
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 4000 4.0 Y n
Sony NEX-5T« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n
Sony NEX-6« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y n
Sony NEX-F3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.5 Y n
Sony NEX-7« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y n
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 7.0 n n

The LX100 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the A6000 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A6000 was succeeded by the Sony A6300.

Review summary: Sony A6000 vs Panasonic LX100

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony A6000 better than the Panasonic LX100 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6000:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12.7MP) with a 40% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.8 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2764k vs 1440k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A6000 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A6000 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 5 points). 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.

A6000 10:05 LX100

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A6000 or the LX100. 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony A6000»Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Panasonic LX100«HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« »Rec-4.5/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i
Sony A3000« »Rec-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i
Sony NEX-5T« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2013 699- i
Sony NEX-6« »HiRec78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i
Sony NEX-F3« »-74/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 May 2012 599- i
Sony NEX-7« »HiRec81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i
Sony NEX-3« »-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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