Face-Off: Cyber-shot RX100 vs Lumix GF5

Sony Cyber-shot RX100
Sony Cyber-shot RX100
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Panasonic Lumix GF5
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Panasonic Lumix GF5
 
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Panasonic Lumix GF5
Photo
Sony Cyber-shot RX100
Overview - Full review
Panasonic Lumix GF5
Overview - Full review
Price
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Overall Scene
Sony Cyber-shot RX100
Panasonic Lumix GF5
Score
5/5
4/5
Handling
4/5 4/5
Speed
4/5 4/5
Image Quality
5/5 4/5
Video
5/5 4/5
User Score
4/5 (15)
4/5 (1)
Specifications
Specifications
Sensor CMOS 20 Mpx, 1" , 17 Mpx/cm
Lens 3.6x 28-100 mm f/1.8 -4.9
Stabilisation Optical
Viewfinder NA
Screen 7.5 cm, not TN, 1230000 dots, 4:3, Not touch-sensitive
Sensitivity (ISO range) 100 - 6400 ISO ext. 78 mm
Video mode 1920 x 1080 pixels, 50 fps , Stereo
Internal memory NC
External memory SDHC SDXC MS
Connections USB HDMI
Power source NP-BX1 (4.5 Wh)
Waterproof no
Shock resistant no
Dimensions/Weight 59 x 103 x 37 mm / 233 g
Specifications
Sensor CMOS 12 Mpx, 4/3" , 10.6 Mpx/cm
Lens NAx 14-42 mm f/3.5 -5.6
Stabilisation Optical
Viewfinder NA
Screen 7.5 mm, not TN, 920000 dots, 3:2, Monopoint
Sensitivity (ISO range) 160 - 6400 ISO ext. 100 mm
Video mode 1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 fps , Stereo
Internal memory NA
External memory SDHC SDXC
Connections USB AV HDMI
Power source BLE9E (6.8 Wh)
Waterproof no
Shock resistant no
Dimensions/Weight 68 x 114 x 38 mm / 267 g
Conclusion
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 takes pictures that are often comparable in quality to an SLR or a mirrorless camera. In fact, depending oh what lens you use, the RX100 can even prove superior. Although there's scope for nit-picking, as far as expert compacts go, only the much bulkier Canon G1 X isn't completely crushed by this new arrival. Sony has raised the stakes for its competitors: from now on, this is the kind of quality we'll expect from expert compacts!
The GF5 is a nice update of Panasonic's GF3. Handling has improved thanks to the reworked interface, and picture quality has been enhanced at high-sensitivity settings. All in all, the Lumix GF5 is a pleasant and consistent camera to use. There are better cameras out there, but they'll no doubt be bulkier and more expensive.
Pros

+

Unrivalled picture quality for a compact camera (sensitivity, sharpness at wide-angle settings)

+

Good build quality and design (lens ring, settings wheel) with plenty of customisable features

+

Good responsiveness once it's running

+

Full HD, 50 fps video with stereo sound

+

Design, handling, ease of use

+

Customisable interface (Quick menu, etc.)

+

Picture quality up to 3200 ISO

+

Nice touchscreen, choice between using touch-controls and physical controls

Cons

-

Lens quality could be a little more consistent at telephoto settings

-

Start-up is a bit on the slow side

-

Battery life (330 photos, compared with 400 for the Panasonic LX5)

-

No way of hooking up an external flash or microphone

-

No swivel or tilt screen