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Sony A7 III versus Panasonic FZ300

The Sony Alpha A7 III and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (labelled Panasonic FZ330 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2018 and July 2015. The A7 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the FZ300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (A7 III) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 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 A7 III vs Panasonic FZ300

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A7 III and the Panasonic FZ300 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 A7 III – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony A7 III vs Panasonic FZ300
Compare A7 III versus FZ300 top
Compare A7 III and FZ300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7 III and the Panasonic FZ300are of equal size. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ300 has a lens build in, whereas the A7 III 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 A7 III and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the A7 III gets 610 shots out of its NP-FZ100 battery, while the FZ300 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 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)
Camera
Model
Sony A7 III» 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Panasonic FZ300« 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549 i i Canon SX60
Fujifilm X-H1« » 5.5 in 3.8 in 3.4 in 23.7 oz 310 Y Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
Panasonic G9« » 5.4 in 3.8 in 3.6 in 23.2 oz 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic LX5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A77« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,999- i Sony A77
Sony A850« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 FZ300 was launched at a lower price than the A7 III, despite having a lens build 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony A7 III vs Panasonic FZ300

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 A7 III features a full frame sensor and the Panasonic FZ300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ300 is 97 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 5.6. The sensor in the A7 III has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Sony A7 III and Panasonic FZ300 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A7 III offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the A7 III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A7 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the FZ300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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.

A7 III versus FZ300 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the A7 III provides substantially higher image quality than the FZ300, with an overall score that is 58 points higher. This advantage is based on 5.7 bits higher color depth, 3.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 5.3 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Sony A7 III» Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
Panasonic FZ300« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738Panasonic FZ300
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Fujifilm X-H1« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-H1
Panasonic G9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241Panasonic LX5
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
Sony A77« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178Sony A77
Sony A850« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.812.2141579Sony A850

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony A7 III vs Panasonic FZ300

Apart from 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 A7 III offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ300 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7 III, the Panasonic FZ300, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
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
Camera
Model
Sony A7 III»2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
Panasonic FZ300«1440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ300
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
Fujifilm X-H1« »3690 Y 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 8000 14.0 n Y Fujifilm X-H1
Panasonic G9« »3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 20.0 n Y Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y Panasonic LX5
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y Sony A9
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n Sony A7
Sony A77« »2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y Sony A77
Sony A850« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 3.0 n Y Sony A850

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the FZ300 features an electronic shutter, which makes silent shooting and higher burst speeds possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the A7 III and the FZ300 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The FZ300 replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ200, while the A7 III followed on from the Sony A7 II.

Review summary: Sony A7 III vs Panasonic FZ300

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A7 III and the Panasonic FZ300? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7 III:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12MP) with a 44% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (58 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (5.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (3.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (5.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1440k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (610 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the FZ300 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A7 III necessitates an extra lens.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7 III emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 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.

A7 III 10:08 FZ300

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A7 III or the FZ300 handle or 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony A7 III»HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Panasonic FZ300«HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i i Canon SX60
Fujifilm X-H1« »Rec86/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
Panasonic G9« »HiRec85/1005/5-5/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic FZ200« »HiRec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic FZ150« »HiRec76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic LX5« »Rec73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony A7S II« »Rec-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A77« »91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,999- i Sony A77
Sony A850« »-75/100-4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

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. 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. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, 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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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