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Sony RX100 V versus Panasonic LX15

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (labelled Panasonic LX10 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2016 and September 2016. Both the RX100 V and the LX15 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 RX100 V vs Panasonic LX15

The physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 V and the Panasonic LX15 are illustrated 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 use the toggle button 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 the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic LX15
Compare RX100 V versus LX15 top
Compare RX100 V and LX15 rear

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 V. Moreover, the LX15 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the RX100 V. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 V nor the LX15 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the RX100 V gets 220 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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 RX100 V» 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Panasonic LX15« 106 mm 60 mm 42 mm 310 g 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« » 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G3 X« » 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Leica Q Typ 116« » 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D5500« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
Panasonic TZ200« » 111 mm 65 mm 45 mm 340 g 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« » 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic TZ100« » 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
Panasonic LX7« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 VI« » 102 mm 58 mm 43 mm 301 g 240 n Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

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 LX15 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 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 LX15

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Sony RX100 V and Panasonic LX15 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 RX100 V and the LX15 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.

RX100 V versus LX15 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. 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 RX100 V» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
Panasonic LX15« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic LX15
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
Panasonic TZ200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic TZ100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970Panasonic TZ100
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 VI« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. 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 LX15

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 V has an electronic viewfinder (2359k 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 V and Panasonic LX15 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. 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 RX100 V»2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
Panasonic LX15«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic LX15
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
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 LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 VI« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature 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 RX100 V and the LX15 have zoom lenses build in. The RX100 V 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.

Both the RX100 V and the LX15 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The LX15 replaced the earlier Panasonic LX7, while the RX100 V followed on from the Sony RX100 IV.

Review summary: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic LX15

So what is the bottom line? Is the Sony RX100 V better than the Panasonic LX15 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V:

  • 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).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (260 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX15 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 3 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.

RX100 V 03:06 LX15

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX100 V and the LX15 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed 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 RX100 V»HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Panasonic LX15«HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Nikon D5500« »Rec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
Panasonic TZ200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic TZ90« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic TZ100« »HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Panasonic TZ100
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 VI« »-83/1004/5-4.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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 the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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