Sony RX10 III versus Panasonic FZ330
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 (labelled Panasonic FZ300 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2016 and July 2015. Both the RX10 III and the FZ330 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (RX10 III) and a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 III and the Panasonic FZ330. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size 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 – the RX10 III – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ330 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Sony RX10 III. Moreover, the FZ330 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.
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 comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Sony RX10 III (⇒ rgt)||133 mm||94 mm||127 mm||1051 g||420||YES||2016||1,499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ330 (⇒ lft)||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||YES||2015||599||latest||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark III (⇒ lft | rgt)||115 mm||78 mm||51 mm||399 g||200||YES||2017||1,299||latest||check|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||YES||2015||999||latest||check|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||no||2014||549||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||no||2014||599||latest||check|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||YES||2016||1,999||latest||check|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||no||2014||899||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||no||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||94 mm||145 mm||1095 g||400||YES||2017||1,699||latest||check|
|Sony A6300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||YES||2016||999||discont.||check|
|Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||YES||2016||1,399||latest||check|
|Sony RX100 V (⇒ lft | rgt)||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||no||2016||999||latest||check|
|Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||YES||2015||1,299||discont.||check|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||no||2015||999||discont.||check|
|Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||420||YES||2013||1,299||discont.||check|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FZ330 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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. 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony RX10 III features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic FZ330 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ330 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 FZ330 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 20MP, the RX10 III offers a higher resolution than the FZ330 (12MP), but the RX10 III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ330) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the FZ330, 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 FZ330 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 RX10 III provides substantially higher image quality than the FZ330, 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.
|Sony RX10 III (⇒ rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|Panasonic FZ330 (⇒ lft)||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||19.3||11.0||97||38|
|Canon G1 X Mark III (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.0||14.0||1324||83|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.1||10.8||114||37|
|Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony A6300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85|
|Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85|
|Sony RX100 V (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69|
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).
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 RX10 III offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ330 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX10 III and Panasonic FZ330 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Sony RX10 III (⇒ rgt)||2359||YES||3.0||1229||tilting||no||2000||14.0||10.8||YES|
|Panasonic FZ330 (⇒ lft)||1440||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||12.0||8.8||YES|
|Canon G1 X Mark III (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||2000||9.0||9||YES|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.2||1620||tilting||YES||2000||5.9||6.8||YES|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||922||no||3.0||922||swivel||no||2000||6.4||5.5||YES|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||12.0||7||..|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.2||2359||tilting||YES||8000||10.0||no||no|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||921||swivel||no||4000||12.0||13.5||YES|
|Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1312||no||3.0||460||swivel||no||4000||12.0||13.5||YES|
|Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||YES||3.0||1440||tilting||YES||2000||24.0||10.8||YES|
|Sony A6300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2300||no||3.0||922||tilting||no||4000||11.0||6||no|
|Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2300||no||3.0||922||tilting||YES||4000||11.0||6||YES|
|Sony RX100 V (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||1229||tilting||no||2000||24.0||10.2||YES|
|Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||YES||3.0||1229||tilting||no||3200||14.0||10.2||YES|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||1228||tilting||no||2000||16.0||10.2||YES|
|Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||YES||3.0||1229||tilting||no||3200||10.0||10.2||YES|
Both the RX10 III and the FZ330 have zoom lenses build in. The RX10 III has a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 optic and the FZ330 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 FZ330 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX10 III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX10 III was succeeded by the Sony RX10 IV.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX10 III and the Sony RX10 III? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer 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).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1440k dots).
- Easier setting verification: Has 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.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 8 months after the FZ330).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330:
- 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 count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX10 III is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 7 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX10 III or the FZ330. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Sony RX10 III (⇒ rgt)||Rec||84/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2016||1,499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ330 (⇒ lft)||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||599||latest||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark III (⇒ lft | rgt)||..||79/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||2017||1,299||latest||check|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||2015||999||latest||check|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||2014||549||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||599||latest||check|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||91/100 Gold||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||2016||1,999||latest||check|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||82/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2014||899||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||80/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Sony RX10 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||84/100 Gold||4.5/5||..||5/5||2017||1,699||latest||check|
|Sony A6300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||85/100 Gold||5/5||5/5||5/5||2016||999||discont.||check|
|Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||85/100 Silver||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2016||1,399||latest||check|
|Sony RX100 V (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||83/100 Silver||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2016||999||latest||check|
|Sony RX10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||82/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||2015||1,299||discont.||check|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||85/100 Gold||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||999||discont.||check|
|Sony RX10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||80/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||1,299||discont.||check|
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.
If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.
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