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Sony RX100 V versus Panasonic FZ330

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 (labelled Panasonic FZ300 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2016 and July 2015. Both the RX100 V and the FZ330 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (RX100 V) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ330) 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 RX100 V vs Panasonic FZ330

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 V and the Panasonic FZ330 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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. 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 RX100 V – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic FZ330
Compare RX100 V versus FZ330 top
Compare RX100 V and FZ330 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ330 is considerably larger (105 percent) than the Sony RX100 V. Moreover, the FZ330 is substantially heavier (131 percent) than the RX100 V. It is noteworthy in this context that the FZ330 is splash and dust-proof, while the RX100 V does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the RX100 V gets 220 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the FZ330 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

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 camera comparisons 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)
Sony RX100 V» 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Panasonic FZ330« 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549 i i
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899- i
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i
Panasonic LX5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i
Sony RX100 VI« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.7 in 10.6 oz 240 n Jun 2018 1,199 i i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i

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 FZ330 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the RX100 V, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic FZ330

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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony RX100 V 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 RX100 V has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ330 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Sony RX100 V and Panasonic FZ330 sensor measures

With 20MP, the RX100 V offers a higher resolution than the FZ330 (12MP), but the RX100 V nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ330) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX100 V is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 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.

RX100 V versus FZ330 MP

For most 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the RX100 V provides substantially higher image quality than the FZ330, with an overall score that is 32 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.5 bits higher color depth, 1.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony RX100 V» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Panasonic FZ330« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
Sony RX100 VI« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic FZ330

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 RX100 V offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ330 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 V and Panasonic FZ330 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Sony RX100 V»2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ330«1440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y
Sony RX100 VI« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the RX100 V and the FZ330 have zoom lenses build in. The RX100 V has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 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, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 V offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the RX100 V and the FZ330 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The FZ330 replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ200, while the RX100 V followed on from the Sony RX100 IV.

Review summary: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic FZ330

So what is the bottom line? Is the Sony RX100 V better than the Panasonic FZ330 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V:

  • 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 (3.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1440k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 12 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 132x92mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 392g or 57 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the FZ330).

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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.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 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 RX100 V is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 9 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.

RX100 V 14:09 FZ330

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX100 V or the FZ330. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony RX100 V»HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Panasonic FZ330«HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i i
Nikon D5500« »Rec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i
Panasonic FZ200« »HiRec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic FZ150« »HiRec76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i
Panasonic LX5« »Rec73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i
Sony RX100 VI« »-83/100--- Jun 2018 1,199 i i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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 you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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