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Sony RX10 III versus Panasonic FZ300

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 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 March 2016 and July 2015. Both the RX10 III and the FZ300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (RX10 III) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 20 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 RX10 III vs Panasonic FZ300

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 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 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 side – the RX10 III – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony RX10 III vs Panasonic FZ300
Compare RX10 III versus FZ300 top
Compare RX10 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 Panasonic FZ300 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Sony RX10 III. Moreover, the FZ300 is markedly lighter (34 percent) than the RX10 III. 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.

Concerning battery life, the RX10 III gets 420 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the FZ300 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

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.

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 RX10 III» 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III
Panasonic FZ300« 132 mm 92 mm 117 mm 691 g 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
Canon G1 X Mark III« » 115 mm 78 mm 51 mm 399 g 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G3 X« » 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon 7D II« » 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon SX60« » 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Nikon D500« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Panasonic FZ200« » 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic FZ150« » 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic FZ100« » 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
Sony RX10 IV« » 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A6300« » 120 mm 67 mm 49 mm 404 g 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
Sony A6500« » 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
Sony RX10 II« » 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« » 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
Sony RX10« » 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10

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. The FZ300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the RX10 III, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX10 III vs Panasonic FZ300

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony RX10 III features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic FZ300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ300 is 76 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 5.6. The sensor in the RX10 III has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Sony RX10 III and Panasonic FZ300 sensor measures

With 20MP, the RX10 III offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the RX10 III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 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 the FZ300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

RX10 III versus FZ300 MP

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 review, the RX10 III provides substantially higher image quality than the FZ300, with an overall score that is 32 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.8 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.3 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.

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 RX10 III» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270Sony RX10 III
Panasonic FZ300« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738Panasonic FZ300
Canon G1 X Mark III« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
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 FZ100« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Panasonic FZ100
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785Sony A6300
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585Sony A6500
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V
Sony RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX10 III vs Panasonic FZ300

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 RX10 III offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ300 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX10 III and Panasonic FZ300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or 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 RX10 III»2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III
Panasonic FZ300«1440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ300
Canon G1 X Mark III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 9.0 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n Nikon D500
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 FZ100« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ100
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V
Sony RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10

One feature that is present on the RX10 III, but is missing on the FZ300 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

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

Both the RX10 III and the FZ300 have zoom lenses build in. The RX10 III has a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 optic and the FZ300 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Panasonic and the same tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX10 III offers the faster maximum aperture.

The RX10 III writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the FZ300 uses SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Sony RX10 III»YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 III
Panasonic FZ300«YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Panasonic FZ300
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G1 X Mark III
Canon G3 X« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
Nikon D500« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic FZ100« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ100
Sony RX10 IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
Sony A6300« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6500
Sony RX10 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V
Sony RX10« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10

Both the RX10 III and the FZ300 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The FZ300 replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ200, while the RX10 III followed on from the Sony RX10 II.

Review summary: Sony RX10 III vs Panasonic FZ300

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX10 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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 12MP) with a 32% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (32 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.8 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1440k dots).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 12 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.4 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (420 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 8 months after the FZ300).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 360g or 34 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2015).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 III is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 7 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.

RX10 III 16:07 FZ300

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX10 III or the FZ300. 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 hands-on reviews by experts 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 full reviews are available 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 RX10 III»Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III
Panasonic FZ300«HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Rec79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
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 FZ100« »Rec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
Sony RX10 IV« »Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
Sony RX10« »Rec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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 use the search menu 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 send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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