Sony RX100 vs Panasonic GM5
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2012 and September 2014. The RX100 is a fixed lens compact, while the GM5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (RX100) and a Four Thirds (GM5) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 MP. 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||Panasonic GM5|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|28-100mm f/1.8-4.9||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor||15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-25600)||ISO 200-25600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1229k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|10 shutter flaps per second||5.8 shutter flaps per second|
|330 shots per battery charge||220 shots per battery charge|
|102 x 58 x 36 mm, 240 g||99 x 60 x 36 mm, 211 g|
Body comparison: Sony RX100 vs Panasonic GM5
The physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 and the Panasonic GM5 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. 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 – 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 Sony RX100 and the Panasonic GM5 are of equal size. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 nor the GM5 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 has a lens built in, whereas the GM5 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GM5 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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»||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Panasonic GM5«||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Sep 2014||749||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529||-||Canon G9 X|
|Panasonic GX85« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||15.0 oz||290||n||Apr 2016||799||Panasonic GX85|
|Panasonic G7« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||14.5 oz||350||n||May 2015||649||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic GH4« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||3.3 in||19.8 oz||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GM1« »||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||7.2 oz||230||n||Oct 2013||749||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 III« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.7 oz||330||n||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.5 oz||460||n||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||7.9 oz||400||n||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
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 was launched at a lower price than the GM5, despite having a lens built in. 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 vs Panasonic GM5
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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony RX100 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic GM5 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GM5 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the RX100 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GM5 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Sony RX100 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the Panasonic GM5. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 3.77μm for the GM5). Moreover, it should be noted that the GM5 is much more recent (by 2 years and 3 months) than the RX100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..
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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Sony RX100»||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
|Panasonic GM5«||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66||Panasonic GM5|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63||Canon G9 X|
|Panasonic GX85« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71||Panasonic GX85|
|Panasonic G7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic GH4« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74||Panasonic GH4|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GM1« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||910||78||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.6||12.7||1079||77||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||720/30p||22.7||12.2||1083||73||Sony NEX-C3|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Feature comparison: Sony RX100 vs Panasonic GM5
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GM5 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 and Panasonic GM5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX100»||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
|Panasonic GM5«||1166||n||3.0||921||fixed||Y||500||5.8||n||n||Panasonic GM5|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||6.0||Y||Y||Canon G9 X|
|Panasonic GX85« »||2765||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX85|
|Panasonic G7« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic GH4« »||2359||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH4|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GM1« »||-||n||3.0||1036||fixed||Y||500||5.0||Y||n||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX100 V« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||1440||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||-||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Sony NEX-C3|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The RX100 has one, while the GM5 does not. While the built-in flash of the RX100 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the GM5 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).
The RX100 writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the GM5 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony RX100 vs Panasonic GM5
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 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony RX100»||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
|Panasonic GM5«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G9 X|
|Panasonic GX85« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GX85|
|Panasonic G7« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic GH4« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Panasonic G6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GM1« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX100 V« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 III« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-C3|
It is notable that the GM5 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the RX100 does not offer wifi capability.
Both the RX100 and the GM5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 was replaced by the Sony RX100 II, while the GM5 does not have a direct successor.
Review summary: Sony RX100 vs Panasonic GM5
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX100 or the Panasonic GM5 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 15.8MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (2000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GM5 requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (330 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2012).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the RX100 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 8 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.
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 and the GM5 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 vs Panasonic GM5
This is why expert reviews 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 full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony RX100»||HiRec||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Panasonic GM5«||Rec||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||-||Canon G9 X|
|Panasonic GX85« »||HiRec||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799||Panasonic GX85|
|Panasonic G7« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic GH4« »||HiRec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GM1« »||Rec||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX100 V« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||HiRec||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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.
- Canon 1000D vs Canon 1D Mark II
- Canon 1300D vs Fujifilm X70
- Canon 6D vs Canon R
- Canon M5 vs Canon 70D
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Nikon D800E
- Leica M10 vs Zeiss ZX1
- Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D2X
- Nikon Z6 vs Nikon D1X
- Olympus E-P1 vs Sony A6500
- Olympus E-P3 vs Olympus PEN-F
- Panasonic FZ300 vs Nikon D7000
- Sony A77 II vs Sony RX10 II
Specifications: Sony RX100 vs Panasonic GM5
|Camera Model||Sony RX100||Panasonic GM5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2012||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 649||USD 749|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||17.3 x 8.8 mm|
|MP Resolution||20 Megapixels||15.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||4592 x 3448 pixels|
|Pixel Size||2.41 μm||3.77 μm|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||1166k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/500s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board 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||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack||DMW-BLH7 power pack|
|Battery Life||330 shots per charge||220 shots per charge|
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
99 x 60 x 36 mm
(3.9 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||240 g (8.5 oz)||211 g (7.4 oz)|
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