Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic ZS100
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (labelled Panasonic TZ100 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2016 and January 2016. Both the RX100 V and the ZS100 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 V||Panasonic ZS100|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-70mm f/1.8-2.8||25-250mm f/2.8-5.9|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)||ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1229k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed touchscreen|
|24 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|220 shots per battery charge||300 shots per battery charge|
|102 x 58 x 41 mm, 299 g||111 x 65 x 44 mm, 312 g|
Body comparison: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic ZS100
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 V and the Panasonic ZS100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the RX100 V – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic ZS100 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Sony RX100 V. Moreover, the ZS100 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the RX100 V. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 V nor the ZS100 are weather-sealed.
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 V»||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Panasonic ZS100«||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jan 2016||699||-||Panasonic ZS100|
|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 G3 X« »||4.8 in||3.0 in||4.1 in||25.9 oz||300||Y||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Leica C-LUX« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic ZS200« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||5.4 in||4.0 in||5.3 in||32.3 oz||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic LX10« »||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||10.9 oz||260||n||Sep 2016||699||Panasonic LX10|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.7 in||10.6 oz||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX10 III« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.0 in||37.1 oz||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX100 III« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
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 ZS100 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 ZS100
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.
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 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 V and the ZS100 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the RX100 V is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the ZS100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600.. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX100 V»||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Panasonic ZS100«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||559||70||Panasonic ZS100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G3 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63||Canon G3 X|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G5 X|
|Leica C-LUX« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic ZS200« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic LX10« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic LX10|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX10 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX100 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Feature comparison: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic ZS100
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 ZS100 (2359k vs 1166k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 V and Panasonic ZS100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX100 V»||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Panasonic ZS100«||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||8.0||Y||Y||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|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|
|Leica C-LUX« »||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic ZS200« »||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic LX10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LX10|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||Y||2000||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX10 III« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||14.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 III|
|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|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The ZS100 has a touchscreen, while the RX100 V has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The RX100 V has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the ZS100 does not have a selfie-screen.
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 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 V and the ZS100 have zoom lenses built in. The RX100 V has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the ZS100 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 than the Panasonic, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 V offers the faster maximum aperture.
The RX100 V writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the ZS100 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic ZS100
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 V and Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony RX100 V»||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Panasonic ZS100«||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic ZS100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G3 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G3 X|
|Canon G5 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Leica C-LUX« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic ZS200« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic LX10« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic LX10|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX10 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX100 III« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX100 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
The RX100 V is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the ZS100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the ZS100 was succeeded by the Panasonic ZS200.
Review summary: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic ZS100
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX100 V or the Panasonic ZS100 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V:
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1166k dots).
- 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.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 10 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 111x65mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the ZS100).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100:
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).
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 (10 : 5 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 nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX100 V and the ZS100 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.
Expert reviews: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic ZS100
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
|Sony RX100 V»||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Panasonic ZS100«||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||-||Panasonic ZS100|
|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 G3 X« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Leica C-LUX« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic ZS200« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic LX10« »||HiRec||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||Panasonic LX10|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX10 III« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX100 III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX100 II« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-||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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
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Specifications: Sony RX100 V vs Panasonic ZS100
|Camera Model||Sony RX100 V||Panasonic ZS100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8||25-250mm f/2.8-5.9|
|Launch Date||October 2016||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 999||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|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125-12800 ISO||125-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-25600 ISO||80-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||Venus|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots||1166k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||24 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic 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|
|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-BLG10 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||220 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
111 x 65 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||299 g (10.5 oz)||312 g (11.0 oz)|
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