Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony a6000 vs Sony RX100 III Comparison

June 15, 2014

Panasonic FZ1000, Sony RX100 III and Sony a6000 side by side banner

In this article I will compare the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 vs Sony Alpha a6000 and Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III. These are three different types of cameras, the FZ1000 is a large sensor superzoom, a6000 is a compact system camera and the RX100 III is a large sensor compact camera.

The thing is that each camera has its unique appeal and features that differentiate itself in a positive manner from the other cameras. Some people might considered buying a mirrorless camera, but seeing the FZ1000 features might make you think twice before opening your wallet — that’s true for the other cameras as well. So in this article I will give you a good understanding of the cons and pros of each camera, so you can decide which camera it the right for you.

CSC vs Large-sensor Superzoom vs Large-sensor Compact

Before we dive into talking about the cameras and comparing them, let’s first talk about the benefits of each camera type in general. The Panasonic FZ1000  is Panasonic’s latest superzoom camera, and like the RX100, it features a 1 relatively large 1-inch sensor. It’s large if you compare it to a 1/2.3″ sensor that found on many other superzooms. The FZ1000 also boasts a fast lens that all in all, solves one of the problems with superzooms, and that’s their inferior low-light performance and also improves upon image quality.

The RX100 III also has a 1″ sensor and a fast fixed-lens. However, the RX100 III is a pocket camera, and unlike the FZ1000, you can take this camera everywhere you go, without the burden of an extra weight and size and without needing a camera bag. For many people that’s a big advantage, others might prefer the FZ1000 for its longer optical zoom reach, like travelers for example. Furthermore, the RX100 features a smaller optical zoom, which in general, you can expect a better optical performance from such a lens compared to a longer zoom lens.

The Sony a6000 is completely different in its concept. It’s a compact system camera, which means that instead of having a fixed-lens, it has a lens mount which you can use to mount a lens of your choice. Unlike the RX100 and the FZ1000, the a6000 gives photographers new creative freedom, by allowing them to use not just walkaround lenses (like the RX100) or a superzoom lens (like the FZ1000), but also 1:1 macro lens, ultra-wide angle lens, super fast prime lenses, fisheye lens, etc. Those lenses open a new world of artistic capabilities compared to what you can achieve with a fixed lens.

The a6000 CSC also uses an APS-C sensor, which is much larger than the 1″ one found on the FZ1000 and RX100 III. In general, this means a few things: better high ISO performance and the ability to achieve much more shallower depth of field (depends also on the lens used, and Sony has some very fast lenses to take advantage of this) in most part. The downside of the a6000 offering is that you can find an equivalent lens to the FZ1000, which is very versatile in its own write. Second, bigger sensor yield bigger lenses, and although some of the Sony E lenses are very slim and compact in size (e.g. E 20mm F2.8 wide-angle lens, E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Power), their telephoto zoom lenses, and some of their normal zoom lenses are relatively very large. If you are buying a single pancake lens like the E 16mm F2.8, you’ll be carrying a small package no doubt, but most people that buy such a camera will, most probably, buying a second lens, either a telephoto-zoom or normal zoom / walkaround lens.

So in general, you should prefer the RX100 III if you want a compact camera that its easy to carry around and one that take high quality images and videos. You’ll buy the FZ1000 if you want and need the zoom range and don’t like changing lenses, or the camera/lens combination of the FZ1000 is not available, affordable or too big for you to prefer that other bundle. The A6000 should appeal to you if you don’t want to give up on versatility, and there are special lenses that you must use to get the job done.

As you can see, each camera as its own unique cons and pros. There are different cameras for different type of shooting styles. Yet, there is a large audience of those who might still debate between those three types of cameras and don’t have a problem choosing either. They know that they must make a compromise with each one (or if not, now you do), and they want to make sure they are picking the best camera for their specific shooting style and personal preferences.

OK, now that you know in general what each camera type is about, let’s meet the three in more details.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000The Panasonic FZ1000 direct competitor is the Sony Cyber-shot RX10. If you are looking for a large-sensor superzoom camera, should probably also read my FZ1000 vs RX10 comparison review.

The FZ1000 is a camera aimed towards for photographers who prefer having a camera has a large sensor and offers plenty of versatility with great image quality and 4K video capability. For those who are not sure about buying into an interchangeable lens system, but don’t want to give up some of the advanced features that CSC cameras offer.

The camera features a large 1-inch 20.1MP CMOS sensor (not back-illuminated / BSI). If you opt out from buying a superzoom due its inferior high ISO performance and lack of prominent shallow depth of field effect, you might reconsider a superzoom when you look at the FZ1000 specs. With a 1″ sensor and the bright Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 25-400mm (35mm equivalent, 16x optical zoom) F2.8-4.0, you are sure to get  better low-light performance and better control over the depth of field compared to a conventional superzoom camera. The lens is a fixed lens, so unlike the Sony a6000, you won’t be able to mount other type of lenses, like a fisheye or 1:1 macro lens, and you need to be satisfied with what you get. That can be advantage or disadvantage, depends on your personal preferences.

The DMC-FZ1000 is the first compact camera (well, kind of compact) that feature 4K video recording at 30 fps and the ability to easily extract 8MP frame from the 4K video. It can also record 1080p60/30/24 and 1080i60 full HD videos. I really love the 8MP frame capture, because it gives you much more chances to extract unique moments from a 30fps footage that you could easily missed with a one-shot snap or even when shooting with the FZ1000 12fps burst mode. The FZ1000 is also capable of capturing 120 fps slow motion video in Full HD. Furthermore, the FZ1000 features a Hybrid O.I.S. optical image stabilization with 5-axis correction that greatly reduce blurring in videos, but the Hybrid O.I.S is not available in 4K video recording, as the camera needs extra pixels in order to use the digital stabilization. The FZ1000 records video with Dolby® Digital stereo sound using the built-in microphone, and you also have the option to use an external stereo microphone using the 3.5mm mic input.

The camera features a 10-bit Clean HDMI output like the Panasonic GH4, but unfortunately, the FZ1000 lacks a headphone jack for audio monitoring, which is useful for many videographers.

I know that many of you are already very excited with those features already, but this is just the base component, although the most important ones.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 was designed to satisfy experience photographers. You get plenty of physical buttons and dials and 5 Fn buttons (can be customized by the user). At the back you have a 3.0″ 921K-dots fully articulated LCD and a 2359K-dots OELD 0.7x electronic viewfinder. It’s great that Panasonic didn’t skip on the quality of those two features, as they are important for those who leaning to buy this type of camera, and considering that this camera is very video-oriented as well, so the rear LCD plays a significant part for many videographers.

Among it other features are super-fast Lumix DFD focusing technology (same as the GH4) for more accurate autofocusing, integrated Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity, lots of in-camera creative controls (e.g. miniature effect, creative panorama) and 2.5mm remote control connector.

For $900 initial price (as of June 14th ,2014), the FZ1000 beats Sony in its own game. It offers a tremendous amount of features that will certainly make you think twice before jumping into an ILC.  Many photographers can easily live without special lenses, and for many photographers, the FZ1000 is the dream camera they’ve been waiting for a long time. It’s not pocketable, but this is one price you have to pay in order to enjoy this beauty.

What is 4K video recording?

You probably heard the term 4K being mentioned in some mobile phones (LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z2), Handycams (Sony PXW-Z100 Pro, Blackmagic Production Camera 4K), Mirrorless cameras (Panasonic Lumix GH4) and professional video cameras (Canon EOS C500, Red One, Sony NEX-FS700RH). In fact, 4K video recording is with us for quite some time. 4K, also referred to as Ultra High Definition (UHD), defines a digital video format that was proposed by NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories and approved by the ITU.

4K Ultra HD vs Full HD comparison

4K Ultra HD vs Full HD - relative size comparison

4K videos are 2160p (3840 x 2160 pixels, 8.3MP) in resolution, and has four times the pixels than Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels, 2.1MP) and are designed to playback on Ultra HD displays (UHDTV) to benefit the high-resolution visuals.  Some new 4K HDTV displays include the Samsung UE65HU8500 65-inch curved TV, Toshiba 58L9364 58-inch TV, LF 55LA970W 55-inch TV and others. Those HDTVs designs to be mounted in the living room, but there are also 4K computer displays that connect to your PC via HDMI port like the Samsung UD590 28-inch desktop monitor or the Asus PB287Q 28-inch 4K display.

The price of those displays continues to drop, but it’s still cost at least twice the price of a 1080p display (there are some bargains of course).

Even if you are not a hardcore gamer or professional videographer, having a higher resolution display allows you to enjoy much crisper videos. 4K Ultra HD is coming to Blu-ray to improve home entertainment, many movies and TV shows are being filmed in 4K resolution, and 4K streaming is being used by many streaming content providers like Netflix for example.

So having a camera like the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 allows you to record video in this high resolution, and those videos will look super crisp and clear on your 4K display. This also opens a new world for enthusiast videographers who want to show their creativity in its full glory. So yes, 4K is the future, and the FZ1000 has it built-in, so now the only thing that you need is a 4K display.

Check out 4K Ultra HDTV Store to find out more about 4K displays and browser the amazing available displays. OK, let’s continue on…

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

Sony RX100 III selfie tilting display

Sony RX100 III with its selfie-ready tilting display lifted

The Sony RX100 III (also dubbed RX100 M3) is replacing the RX100 II, that was crowned as the best compact camera on the market by many leading camera review websites. The RX100 III brings enhancements and new features that really make it a better camera from its predecessor, and one of the best, if not The best compact camera on the market today.

The RX100 III features the same sensor size as the FZ1000, a 1-inch 20.1MP Exmor R (back-illuminated) sensor, coupled with a high-quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm (equivalent) F1.8-2.8 lens with SteadyShot image stabilization and 5-axis electronic stabilization for videos.

Sony did made a change to the lens though, cutting on the 100mm tele-end, but used improved optical design and adding 3 step ND filter. So we get 2.9x optical zoom instead of 3.6x one, wider angle and fast aperture at both the wide and tele end focal lengths.  Sony probably needed to cut on the zoom to make this type of  lens compact in size and also affordable, as a 24-100mm F1.8-2.8 lens would had been bigger and also more expensive to make.

The RX100 III was designed with simplicity in mind. It doesn’t have lots of controls, but Sony did make the best out of the available space, while maintaining the pop-up flash, and also adding one of the most surprising features, a built-in 144K-dots electronic viewfinder. The best thing about this EVF is that it use a pop-up mechanism instead of being in a fixed place that might added to the overall size of the camera. The camera still maintains the exact same size when the viewfinder is retracted, so it’s not less portable than RX100 / RX100II. The EVF also utilizes Zeiss T* coating that minimize flare and reflections and promote better visibility and viewing experience.

At the back of the camera you have a 3″ multi-angle 1229K-dots Xtra Fine LCD display that can also rotate upwards 180°, allowing you to easily take selfie photos.

The RX100 III is also the first in the series to feature Sony’s XAVC S video format with improved video quality (higher bitrate). The camera also capable of 1080p60/30/24, 1080i60 and 720p120 (slow-motion) video recording. The RX100 II has already proven its excellency in movie recording, and that was just improved with the introduction of the XAVC S video format, so you can expect even better video quality from the RX100M3.

Among its other features: built-in 3 stops ND filter, Sony latest Bionz X processor, Auto HDR, Sweep Panorama, Smile shutter, Wi-Fi + NFC wireless connectivity, 10 fps burst, lots of picture effects, scene modes, 25 point contrast-detect AF system, PlayMemories camera apps and more.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III will appeal to people looking for a high-end compact camera with a large sensor, and for them, the portability plays a significant role in the buying decision. Let’s admit it, it’s better having less versatile camera but one that is there with you most of the time, than an advanced camera that you most likely to leave at home most of the time. Just drop it into your pocket or bag and it’s ready to shoot great photos when a situation invites.

video by TheCameraStoreTV

The RX100 III isn’t cheap, and costs more than an entry-level DSLR with lens or even two, but not everyone wants the burden of carrying a DSLR and lenses. so for those of you who feel solidarity with what I’ve said, the RX100 III might be the perfect camera for you. A great camera for the family, for travelers, street photographers and as a walkaround camera.

Sony Alpha a6000

Sony a6000The Sony a6000 a Compact System Camera, a camera that accepts Sony E interchangeable lenses. It’s positioned in the #1 place in top selling CSC list as of the time of writing. A CSC that has gotten many positive feedback and editor’s choice awards from leading camera review websites and independent reviewers. The combination of a small size, large sensor, EVF, Hybrid AF system — this is just a part of what makes the a6000 appeal to many advanced photographers.

It costs about the same as the RX100 III with the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens, which is equivalent to 24-75mm on a 35mm camera. Of course you don’t have to buy it with the Kit lens. You can but the body and choose a different lens from one of Sony’s E-mount lenses. The ability to change lenses opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities and allowing you to compose your shots, and you’ll be able to come home with unique photos that doesn’t look different than those you get with a normal zoom or telephoto zoom lens. You can use s 1:1 macro lens, a very fast prime lens and get splendid defocused backgrounds or use an ultra-wide angle lens that are great for landscape and interiors.

The Sony A6000 features a 24.3 megapixels (effective resolution) Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor (23.5×15.6mm). APS-C sensor is significantly larger than the 1″-type that comes in the FZ1000 and the RX100 III (see the illustration below).

Sensor size comparison: APS-C, 1-inch and Micro Four Thirds

Sensor size comparison: APS-C, 1-inch and Micro Four Thirds

The a6000 is a great choice for photographers who search for a fast and responsive camera. The camera features a fast Hybrid auto focus system, utilizing 179 phase-detection AF points and 25 contrast-detection AF points that brings super fast AF performance, and especially useful when shooting fast moving subjects. The a6000 uses Sony’s latest Bionz X image processor that was designed with advanced noise-reduction algorithms to deliver better high ISO images than cameras utilizes the older generation processor.

*video by MobileTechReview

At the back of the camera you have a 1.4M dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF and a 3.0″ 921.6K-dots tiltable (up 90 degrees, down 45 degrees) LCD display. The eye-level viewfinder is protruding at the back, unlike the RX100 III viewfinder which is embedded inside the body and popped-out when the user wants to use it.  The good news is that protrusion is very small, not like the FZ1000 one which is much more protrusive.

The camera itself has a large amount of buttons and dials that allow fast access to frequently used camera settings, and well-sized grip with textured rubber coating that gives a secure feel when you hold the camera in your hands.

Among its other features: 1080p60/24 and 1080i60 video recording with stereo sound, PlayMemories camera apps compatibility,  Wi-Fi and NFC wireless connectivity for image sharing and remote controlling your camera, 4K still image output by HDMI or Wi-Fi for viewing on 4K TVs. This is not 4K video recording, but having the option to output images at a 4K resolution that optimized for displaying on 4K TVs.

Will talk about more about the a6000 in more depth in the comparison section below. The Sony alpha a6000 is an excellent and well-tested camera, aimed towards expert photographers looking for one of the most highly-capable yet affordable compact system cameras on the market. One that offer excellent all-around performance and with little negative impact on the features that actually matter for expert photographers. The a6000 should be at the top of your list if you are considering buying a mirrorless camera. This camera is also a good choice for those coming from point-and-shoot and those who have decided to switch from a DSLR to a CSC.

FZ1000 vs a6000 vs RX100 III

I know that some of you are still quite confused when reading about the key features of each camera. I know that it’s hard to decide between those three types. In general terms, I think that you should first ask yourself whether the RX100 III appeals to you due to its compact size. For some people that’s the thing that matter most, portability. Keep in mind that the a6000 is indeed small, but it only be pocketable if uses with a pancake lens (although I didn’t make an actual testing yet), but if you buy the a6000, you should consider the fact that you’ll probably buy a second lens or the Kit lens, and therefore you’ll need to carry the camera in a small camera bag.

If size is not an issue, both the a6000 and the FZ1000 are a very good option and a good alternative to a mirrorless camera.  With the FZ1000 you don’t need to invest in lenses nor burden yourself changing them. You get a very high-quality fast superzoom lens that might cover all your photography needs, and the 4K is FZ1000 exclusive, something to consider as well.

In this section I will compare those three cameras head-to-head and add my side notes when appropriate. It will give you a better understanding of the differences, as well as cons and pros of each camera versus the other. Pay attention to the features that are most important to you. At the end, mark the camera that offer the most to your type of shooting habits, so you can be sure that you made the right choice, and don’t regret it after your purchase the camera.

Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony a6000 vs Sony RX100 III side by side comparison

Panasonic FZ1000Sony a6000Sony RX100 III
AnnouncedJune 12, 2014February 12, 2014Mary 16, 2014
Camera TypeBridge/SuperzoomRangefinder-style mirrorlessLarge-sensor compact
Build QualityMetal, compositeComposite, Magnesium alloy and polycarbonateAluminum
Weather SealingNoNoNo
Sensor &
20.1 megapixels (effective)
1" (13.2x8.8mm)

2.7x crop factor

~2.41 micron pixel size

Has an optical low-pass filter

Venus Engine - redesigned

24.3 megapixels (effective)
APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)

1.5x crop factor

~3.92 micron pixel size

Has an optical low-pass filter

Anti Dust: charge protection coating on optical filter and ultrasonic vibration mechanism.

Bionz X image processor
20.2 megapixels
Exmor CMOS (FSI)
1.0-type (13.2mm x 8.8 mm)

2.7x crop factor

~2.41 micron pixel size

Has an optical low-pass filter

Bionz X image processor

Both the FZ1000 and the RX100M3 feature a 1" sensor and the same effective maximum image resolution.

Both have approximately the same pixel size, bu the RX100 III sensor is back-illuminated (BSI), whether the FZ1000 is front-illuminated (FSI).

On paper, this should give the RX100 III a high ISO advantage, as BSI sensors are around 2x more sensitive to light than FSI, and I am taking into account that both have the same pixel size. We'll analyze the high ISO performance in the next section.

The a6000 should have an image quality advantage than both the FZ1000 and RX100M3 due to its significantly larger pixels.

Some people will prefer the a6000 APS-C sensor because it allows them to achieve shallower depth of field effect using a fast lens, which will be more prominent given the same equivalent focal length / aperture settings.

This is in fact one compromise that people make when buying such camera with a fixed lens and a sensor smaller than other camera models.

If you already had a chance to shoot photos with very shallow depth of field effect, you'll know what I mean, but in most part, all three are capable of achieving shallow depth of field effect in much better degree than what you get with a camera that utilizes a 1/2.3" sensor, which is common in many superzooms and compact cameras, including mobile phone cameras as well.
Image Ratios1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:93:2, 16:91:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
ISO125 - 12800
Extended: 80, 100, 25600
200 - 25600
Extended: 80/100 / 25600
High ISO ComparisonFZ1000 vs RX100 III: At low ISO the Panasonic FZ1000 looks better, it's significantly sharper when examining it at 100% scale, fine details of the textures ar very well defined, whether the RX100 III is a bit on the soft side, but both images are very clean with balanced saturation, with the FZ1000 producing slightly more saturated image.

This is the same at ISO 800. The FZ1000 shows signs of chroma noise patterns, which are not existed on the RX100 III, but the FZ1000 is cleaner overall. That's probably the advantage of the RX100 III BSI sensor, but at ISO 800, you can see the BSI advantage, on the contrary, it's noisier in this specific comparison.

At ISO 1600 both cameras lose data from the fine details. The FZ1000 looks cleaner, and somewhat less chrome noise than before (probably treated by the NR in the image processor). The FZ1000 has around 1-stop advantage over the RX100M3, but overall the image looks good and usable for small prints and even slightly larger prints after NR treatment.

At ISO 3200 a big step down in terms of noise. Both cameras process noise quiet differently. In the RX100 III I like the fact that there isn't any strong false color noise patterns, which is very evident in the FZ1000 image. So until ISO 1600 liked the FZ1000 results, but from ISO 1600 and up I liked the RX100 III results.

I think that the BSI sensor of the RX100 III certainly shows its strength at ISO 1600 and above, and at ISO 6400 the RX100 III looks better, whether the FZ1000 suffers from severe false colors all over the place, which is not evident in the RX100M3 image.

I used imaging resourc comparometer to analyze the high ISO images of both cameras. In my opinion, the FZ1000 lens is significantly sharper and you get the best results at low ISO, whether the RX100 III produces excellent results as well, but its lens is not on par with the FZ1000, but the RX100 III does a better job at ISO 1600 and up, probably due to its BSI sensor.

I personally was expecting better optical performance from the RX100 III for its shorter focal length range, but take into account that imaging resource comparometer tool doesn't compare IQ for a given focal length / aperture, so at different focal length/aperture settings we might get different results, but I think that this comparison does tell the difference in terms of high ISO.

FZ1000 vs a6000: I expect the a6000 to beat the FZ1000 at high ISO, but let's see how it goes..

Take in mind that the image quality might differ with the a6000 depends on the lens used. I assume that a fast prime lens was used, but not 100% sure about that.

Both cameras produce tack sharp image, and the a6000 shows a slight resolution advantage which is expected due to its slightly higher effective resolution.

The FZ1000 JPEG is more saturated, whether the a6000 looks more subtle / natural. Leaving the resolution advantage aside, almost identical IQ, with a6000 seems to have a slightly higher dynamic range, but I have nothing to complain about neither.

The same results goes up to ISO 400. At ISO 800, the a6000 shows its strength, being cleaner than the FZ1000, looks almost like its image was taken at ISO 200, super clean. The FZ1000 has some false colors as I mentioned in the previous comparison vs the RX100M3.

At ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 you can clearly see the a6000 large sensor / large pixel's advantage. ISO 1600 look excellent on the a6000, only tickles it a bit, and only at ISO 3200 you start seeing a more prominent change in terms of image noise, yet, the image still looks relatively very clean / very usable -- whether for the fZ1000 it's probably the end of the road.

Winner: a6000 clearly first, followed by RX100 III and FZ1000. That's in terms of image noise, but as I mentioned, IQ wise, both the a6000 and the FZ1000 perform better than the RX100 III, but keep in mind that the IQ might be different with different E lenses mounted on the a6000.

If you want the best low-light performance, get the a6000, but make sure you also get a fast lens with it, f/2.8 and below for the best low-light performance.


Hybrid O.I.S

5-axis (optical + digitarl) correction for videos

(lens shift image stabilization)

5-axis image stabilization (added electronic compensation) for videos (first in the series) and Sony's frame analysis technology
ND FilterN/AN/A3-stops
The RX100 III is the only camera among the three that features a built-in ND filter.

A ND filter is a neutral grey filter that is used to reduce the amount of light that passes through the lens to the sensor, Photographers use ND filters in order toe be able to use slower shutter speeds or use smaller f-number aperture (larger opening) without overexpose the image.

This for example allows photographers to use a slow shutter speed to give a unique smooth flowing effect when shooting a river water stream in a bright daylight. Without the ND filter, you will reduce the shutter speed but might end up with an overexposed image.

This also works when a photographer wants to achieve a very shallow depth of field effect with the aperture wide open in a bright daylight or when using an external light source, like in macro photography.

You can also use it to reduce the total exposure of the image when shooting with a flash.

A very useful tool for expert photographers wanting to achieve certain image effects without the need to buy and attach an external ND filter.
LensLeica DC Vario-elmarit
25-400 mm (equivalent)
16x optical zoom

16 elements in 11 groups
5 aspherical lenses
8 aspherical surfaces
4 ED lenses

7 circular diaphragm blades

Ring: zoom or manual focus (switch on the lens to alternate)

3cm macro focus range
30cm normal focus range

Power O.I.S. on/off switch on the lens left side

* actual focal length changed based on the aspect ratio and whether the digital IS is active or not
InterchangeableZeiss Vario-Sonnar T*
24-70mm F1.8-2.8 (equivalent)
2.9x optical zoom

10 elements in 9 groups
9 aspherical glass elements, 2 advanced aspherical (AA) elements (cemented together, * world's first)

7 circular diaphragm blades

Ring: reprogrammable (zoom, aperture, focus, etc.)

5cm macro focus range
30cm normal focus range

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
(5-axis in movie recording / active)
We have a big difference here so pay attention. Both the FZ1000 and RX100III have a fixed zoom lens, whether the a6000, as a mirrorless camera, doesn't come with a fixed lens, but rather gives you the option to mount a Sony E-mount compatible lens.

This can be a huge advantage if you plan to shoot with a specific lens of your choice, which can be a special lens, like a fisheye lens, ultra-wide angle, super-fast prime lens, 1:1 macro lens, etc.

This something that you don't get wither neither the RX100 III or the FZ1000. Some people don't like changing lenses or/and are fine with what the fixed lens has to offer.

That in mind, the FZ1000 offers a much more versatile optical zoom range, a slightly less wide at the wide-end and slower slower overall across the overlapping focal length range.

In my observation, the FZ1000 resulted in a sharper image than the RX100 III. The FZ1000 also feature closer macro distance,

There is a price that you pay for having such lens, and that's a larger camera size. If you don't mind that, I think that for those of you in which one of these cameras will be your only camera, the FZ1000 is probably the better pick due to its versatile zoom.

24-70mm of the RX100 III is a great range for a walkaround camera, but you'll find it quite limiting when traveling and at times that you just wish you could get a bit closer to frame the picture better.

With the FZ1000 you also be able to achieve shallower depth of field (defocus background) effect at the tele-end, but the RX100 III lens will give you more prominent effect at the wide-end due to its faster aperture.

It's really up to you which type of lens you prefer, because you are the only one who knows what type of photos you are planning to shoot.

Each lens (or interchangeable as with the a6000) has its cons and pros. I personally prefer shooting with a fast fixed superzoom lens than changing lenses in the field, and don't mind having a small camera, because when I travel I usually carry a small bag. Others might prefer the RX100 III for its portability, while others will prefer the a6000 for its unique lens selection.
AF System49-point AF

DFD (Depth From Defocus)
Fast Hybrid AF (commercial name)

170 points phase-detection AF
25 points contrast-detection AF
25-point AF
The RX100 III uses the same AF system as its predecessor, and that disappointed many photographers who wanted an improved AF performance in the next model and didn't get.

This puts the RX100 III behind the FZ1000, but both cameras only use contrast-detect AF, whether the a6000 features a Hybrid AF, that takes advantage of both contrast-detect AF and phase-detect AF which greatly helps with subject tracking for both stills and videos.

No everyone should care about this feature that much. If you mainly shoot static subjects, you probably shouldn't worried about the AF performance.

If you find yourself shooting many moving subjects like sports, running kids, moving cars, birds, etc -- you should probably be looking at the a6000.
LCD3.0 inch
921K dots
100% FOV

Full articulated (180 degrees horizontal to each side and 270 vertical tilting)

AR coating (improved visibility by reducing reflections)

Not touchscreen
3.0 inch
921.6K dots
100% FOV

Tilting (up 90°/down 45°)

Not touchscreen
3.0 inch
1228.8K dots
100% FOV

Tilting (up approx. 180 degrees , down approx. 45 degrees)

WhiteMagic TFT-LCD

Not touchscreen
The FZ1000 has the most flexible display, which is great when shooting videos, double the importance if you count the 4K video features and planning to shoot lots of videos with it.

The RX100 III comes second with its 180-degree up-tilting for easy selfie shooting, and third i the a6000.
ViewfinderBuilt-in EVF
2359K dots

100% coverage
1.88x (0.7x equivalent) magnification
Eye sensor (Eye sensor AF, auto LCD on/off)
Built-in EVF
1,440K dots

100% coverage
1.07x (0.70x equivalent) magnification

The camera also accepts an external EVF via the MI shoe- but obviously you don't need it.
Built-in EVF
1,440K dots

100% coverage
0.59x magnification (equivalent)

ZEISS® T* coating enhanced clarity

The great news is that all three cameras have a built-in electronic viewfinder. The RX100 III is quite different. It is embedded inside the camera body with pop-up mechanism, so it won't take any vertical or horizontal space while in your pocket. A great little trick that really does help to maintain the RX100 excellent portability.

The FZ1000 and a6000 has the larger viewfinders, but the FZ1000 has a significantly higher resolution. All three are of OLED-type displays.
Shutter Speed60 - 1/16000 sec.

1/16,000 sec (electronic shutter)
1/4000 sec (Mechanical shutter)
30 - 1/4000 sec30 - 1/2000 sec
The FZ1000 features the fastest maximum shutter speed, a6000 second and RX100 III third with the slowest max. shutter speed.
Built-in FlashYesYesYes
External FlashYes (hot-shoe)Yes (multi-interface shoe)No

The RX100 III lacks the MI shoe (exists in the previous model)
If you love shooting with an external flash, you are out of luck with the RX100 III. Having said that, I think that people who buy this camera, really couldn't care less about this feature. The RX100 III was suppose to be carries in the pocket or a small bag and be portable as much as possible.
Continuous Shooting12 fps11 fps10 fps
Exposure Compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3±5±3
Video Recording4K / 2160p30 (Ultra HD, 100Mbps)

High Speed Video (slow-mo) 1080p30 from 120 fps sensor output

MPEG-4,AVCHD (4K in MP4)

Stereo sound

*UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3) SD card when recording 4K/MP4 videos


Stereo sound



Stereo sound

* Supports XAVC S / 50Mbps bit rage. SDXC card with Class 10 or higher is required for XAVC S recording
Mic Inputφ3.5mmNo

But you can use the Sony ECM-W1M wireless microphone for cameras with multi-interface shoe (a6000 among them)
Headphone JackNoNoNo
Clean HDMI OutputYesYesYes (Preview)
The Panasonic FZ1000 is undoubtedly the best video-oriented camera of the three. It features 4K Ultra HD video recording at 30 fps (NTSC) and lots of other frame rate to shoot with. It also has a 3.5 mic input to connect and external microphone, but unfortunately it lacks a headphone port.

The RX100 III features XAVC S video format that offer a less compressed output than AVCHD for Full HD videos.

No doubt that Panasonic played a very strong card here with the FZ1000, and I'm sure that this features will certainly grab the attention of many buyers (it certainly got my attention!)
WirelessWi-Fi / NFCWi-Fi / NFCWi-Fi / NFC
Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots420 shots320 shots
Dimensions137 x 99 x 131 mm (5.39 x 3.9 x 5.16″)120 x 67 x 45 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 1.77″)102 x 58 x 41 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.61″)
No competition to the RX100 III as far as the camera size goes. Want a portable camera, get the RX100 III, end of story.

Don't mind the size, pick one of the other two. The FZ1000 is significantly bigger than the a6000, but the a6000 is not pocketable either, unless you are using a pancake lens, and even so, I personally wouldn't carry it in my pocket, but rather in a small camera bag. So I think you shouldn't break your head about the size when deciding between the FZ1000 and the a6000, just saying.
Time-lapse RecordingYesYes (via PlayMemories app)No
Built-in GPSNoNoNo
HDMI Portmicro-HDMImicro-HDMImicro-HDMI
Remote Control PortYesYesYes
Sweep PanoramaYesYesYes

Let’s take a look at some sample videos taken with each camera..

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 sample video

I’m really amazed, Superb video quality, just wow. Make sure you watch it in 4K on a 4K-compatible monitor/HDTV if possible. What a brilliant footage that really shows the FZ1000 4K superiority.

Sony Alpha a6000 sample video

Sony Cyber-shot RX1000 III sample video


There you have it, three camera that will probably be the most popular, each one in its own category. The decision shouldn’t be so hard in my opinion when you have cameras that are so different from one another. I have no doubt in my mind that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 will be one of the most popular superzooms and it’s certainly one of the most attractive cameras for travelers and casual shooters.  It’s 4K video recording and features, superb low ISO performance and versatile optical zoom, all make this camera a great DSLR/Mirrorless alternative.

If you are debating between the Panasonic FZ1000 and Sony a6000, I personally would pick up the a6000 if you need the versatility of interchangeable lenses, intend to shoot lots of low-light images, need a very fast and accurate autofocus system when shooting fast moving subjects, plan to upgrade to a full frame camera in the future (A7 / A7R), need the fast continuous shooting and good video capabilities with manual exposure control. I think that the best feature of the a6000 is being able to change lenses, and that’s something that can open a whole new world of creative possibilities to both expert and novice photographers alike. I’ve chosen to buy a DSLR a few years ago because I wanted to be able to shoot with an ultra-wide angle lens and also have my 50mm f/1.4 which is one of my most used ones. The a6000 is also around $90 cheaper than the FZ1000 with the 16-50mm lens kit.

The FZ1000 offers several advantages over the a6000, that included a fixed very high quality Lecia superzoom lens. If you have to buy this type of lens for the a6000, it would have cost you a fortune. It’s a superb lens for those who intend to shoot with only one lens, and don’t like or prefer not changing lenses.  The FZ1000 has the most flexible LCD, best EVF in the group, the only one to offer 4K video recording with lots of advanced features, including 3.5mm mic input, lots of frame rate options, slow-motion videos and all in all and it’s the best video camera of the three. The FZ1000K is an all-around performer, and the price is not too high, which is always a plus.  If I had to pick the best Interchangeable lens camera alternative, I would have picked the FZ1000 without hesitations.

The Sony RX100 III shouldn’t make you think too much. It’s main selling point is its pocket size.  Many people who bought one of the RX100 cameras, most probably did it because they prefer a camera which they can take everywhere they go, instead of one that is larger and will mostly spend most of its life on the shelf than outdoors. This is true to all compact cameras, but the RX100 III is better than any conventional point-and-shoot due to its larger sensor, high quality EVF, excellent image and video quality — it just can’t better than that for a compact camera.

I would pick the RX100 III over the FZ1000 if portability is the main concern, because other than that, for me, the FZ1000 is an all-around better camera. It offers 4K video recording, better IQ at low ISO, bigger zoom lens, more advanced AF system, more flexible LCD, higher-res EVF,  much faster shutter speed, fastest burst in the group and 3.5mm mic input — so hard to skip the FZ1000 isn’t it?

Which camera you prefer, have any questions and still confused? — Share your opinions and questions in the comment section below, and don’t forget to share and LIKE if you enjoy reading this comparison. You can LIKE our Facebook page in order to be among the first to be notified when a new article is published. Thanks!


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  • Leif Kndusen

    What a spot-on article. I was waiting waiting waiting for the lx8 to be available after more delays and starting looking around. I narrowed the field to exactly the 3 cameras … those being compared in this article. The article is thus of immense value for me and helped me finally pick my darling.
    I have been a passionate Panasonic lx fan for years but now it’s Sony a6000 time.