Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 (labelled Panasonic FZ2000 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2014 and September 2016. Both the RX100 III and the FZ2500 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Sony RX100 III||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-70mm f/1.8-2.8||24-480mm f/2.8-4.5|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (80-25600)||ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1229k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Swivel touchscreen|
|10 shutter flaps per second||12 shutter flaps per second|
|320 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|102 x 58 x 41 mm, 290 g||138 x 102 x 135 mm, 915 g|
Body comparison: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 III and the Panasonic FZ2500. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ2500 is considerably larger (138 percent) than the Sony RX100 III. Moreover, the FZ2500 is substantially heavier (216 percent) than the RX100 III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 III nor the FZ2500 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the RX100 III gets 320 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the FZ2500 can take 350 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack. The power pack in the RX100 III can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Sony RX100 III»||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Panasonic FZ2500«||5.4 in||4.0 in||5.3 in||32.3 oz||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.0 in||16.5 oz||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299||Fujifilm X100F|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II« »||5.4 in||3.8 in||5.2 in||28.6 oz||350||n||Feb 2019||899||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The RX100 III was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the FZ2500, 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 RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 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.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX100 III and the FZ2500 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the FZ2500 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600..
For many 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Sony RX100 III»||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67||Sony RX100 III|
|Panasonic FZ2500«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X100F|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
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, but the FZ2500 provides a better video resolution than the RX100 III. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
Apart from 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 FZ2500 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the RX100 III (2360k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 III and Panasonic FZ2500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX100 III»||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 III|
|Panasonic FZ2500«||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Canon G5 X« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||Y||Y||Canon G7 X|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100F|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||4000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|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 A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||-||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The FZ2500 has a touchscreen, while the RX100 III has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the FZ2500 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Both the RX100 III and the FZ2500 have zoom lenses built in. The RX100 III has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the FZ2500 offers a 24-480mm f/2.8-4.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony and Panasonic provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Panasonic has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 III offers the faster maximum aperture.
The RX100 III writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the FZ2500 uses SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
Connectivity comparison: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony RX100 III»||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Panasonic FZ2500«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Canon G5 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X100F|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
It is notable that the FZ2500 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The RX100 III does not feature such a mic input.
The FZ2500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the RX100 III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 III was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Sony and Panasonic websites.
Review summary: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX100 III and the Panasonic FZ2500? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 138x102mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 625g or 68 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2014).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2360k vs 1440k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.22x).
- 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.
- 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.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the RX100 III launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ2500 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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 before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the RX100 III and the FZ2500 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.
Expert reviews: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Sony RX100 III»||++||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Panasonic FZ2500«||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Canon G5 X« »||++||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||++||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||+||83/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299||Fujifilm X100F|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||-||Feb 2019||899||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||++||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||++||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||++||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||++||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5100« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||++||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100« »||++||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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
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Specifications: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic FZ2500
|Camera Model||Sony RX100 III||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8||24-480mm f/2.8-4.5|
|Launch Date||May 2014||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 1199|
|Sensor Specs||Sony RX100 III||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||125-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-25600 ISO||80-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||Venus|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||67||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.3||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||495||..|
|Screen Specs||Sony RX100 III||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony RX100 III||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony RX100 III||Panasonic FZ2500|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Sony RX100 III||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack||DMW-BLC12 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
138 x 102 x 135 mm
(5.4 x 4.0 x 5.3 in)
|Camera Weight||290 g (10.2 oz)||915 g (32.3 oz)|
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