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Sony RX10 III versus Panasonic TZ100

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (labelled Panasonic ZS100 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2016 and January 2016. Both the RX10 III and the TZ100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. 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 TZ100

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 III and the Panasonic TZ100 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side 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).

Compare Sony RX10 III vs Panasonic TZ100
Compare RX10 III versus TZ100 top
Compare RX10 III and TZ100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic TZ100 is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Sony RX10 III. Moreover, the TZ100 is substantially lighter (70 percent) than the RX10 III. It is worth mentioning in this context that the RX10 III is splash and dust resistant, while the TZ100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the RX10 III gets 420 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the TZ100 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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» 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i Sony RX10 III
Panasonic TZ100« 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
Canon G1 X Mark III« » 4.5 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
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 G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Panasonic TZ200« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic LX15« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
Sony RX10 IV« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
Sony A6500« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX10 II« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX10« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10

Any camera purchase 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 TZ100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 53 percent) than the RX10 III, which puts it into a different 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX10 III vs Panasonic TZ100

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX10 III and Panasonic TZ100 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX10 III and the TZ100 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

RX10 III versus TZ100 MP

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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 TZ100« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970Panasonic TZ100
Canon G1 X Mark III« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
Panasonic TZ200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic LX15« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic LX15
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 RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
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 RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. 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 TZ100

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 TZ100 (2359k vs 1166k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX10 III and Panasonic TZ100 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.

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 TZ100«1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ100
Canon G1 X Mark III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 9.0 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n Nikon D500
Panasonic TZ200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic LX15« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic LX15
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 RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
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 RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the TZ100 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 RX10 III and the TZ100 have zoom lenses build in. The RX10 III has a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 optic and the TZ100 offers a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Panasonic. The RX10 III offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the RX10 III and the TZ100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The TZ100 was replaced by the Panasonic TZ200, while the RX10 III was followed by the Sony RX10 IV.

Review summary: Sony RX10 III vs Panasonic TZ100

So how do things add up? Is the Sony RX10 III better than the Panasonic TZ100 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1166k 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).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 10 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.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (420 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100:

  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 133x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 739g or 70 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (53 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 III is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 5 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.

RX10 III 10:05 TZ100

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX10 III and the TZ100 in practical situations. 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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 Sony RX10 III
Panasonic TZ100«HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Rec79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Panasonic TZ200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic LX15« »HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
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 RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
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 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 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

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 your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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