Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic LX15
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (labelled Panasonic LX10 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2014 and September 2016. Both the RX100 III and the LX15 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 LX15|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-70mm f/1.8-2.8||24-72mm f/1.4-2.8|
|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)||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 1229k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Tilting touchscreen|
|10 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|320 shots per battery charge||260 shots per battery charge|
|102 x 58 x 41 mm, 290 g||106 x 60 x 42 mm, 310 g|
Body comparison: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic LX15
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 III and the Panasonic LX15. 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 measures 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 LX15 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Sony RX100 III. Moreover, the LX15 is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the RX100 III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 III nor the LX15 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the RX100 III gets 320 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the LX15 can take 260 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLH7 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 LX15«||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||10.9 oz||260||n||Sep 2016||699||Panasonic LX15|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||11.3 oz||265||n||Feb 2016||699||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jan 2016||699||-||Panasonic TZ100|
|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 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The LX15 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the RX100 III, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 RX100 III vs Panasonic LX15
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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. The LX15 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
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 LX15 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the LX15 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-LX15 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 LX15«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic LX15|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||559||70||Panasonic TZ100|
|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 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 are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the LX15 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 LX15
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX100 III and Panasonic LX15 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Sony RX100 III»||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 III|
|Panasonic LX15«||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LX15|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||8.0||Y||Y||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ100|
|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 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 LX15 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 LX15 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 LX15 have zoom lenses built in. The RX100 III has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the LX15 offers a 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 (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 LX15 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The RX100 III writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the LX15 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic LX15
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-LX15 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 LX15«||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic LX15|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ100|
|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 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|
The LX15 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.
Review summary: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic LX15
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX100 III or the Panasonic LX15 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (320 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- 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 disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/1.8).
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the RX100 III launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX15 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 5 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX100 III and the LX15 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 LX15
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.
|Sony RX100 III»||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Panasonic LX15«||HiRec||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||Panasonic LX15|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||HiRec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||449||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||-||Panasonic TZ100|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||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« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5100« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100« »||HiRec||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Sony RX100 III vs Panasonic LX15
|Camera Model||Sony RX100 III||Panasonic LX15|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8||24-72mm f/1.4-2.8|
|Launch Date||May 2014||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 699|
|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||..|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||n/a|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots||n/a|
|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||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|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|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack||DMW-BLH7 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
106 x 60 x 42 mm
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||290 g (10.2 oz)||310 g (10.9 oz)|
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