Sony and Panasonic have been real pioneers in the market over the last few years. Both have been churning cameras out at a remarkable rate and improvements are being made at the blink of an eye. They’re both shoving the market forward and turning heads for newbies in photography and pros alike. But when it comes down to these three cameras, a comparison is quite tricky. Each one has features that out-do the other two, so what to consider when comparing them?
When it comes to image quality, let’s start with the Panasonic G85. In this lineup, it has the least megapixels of the three, at 16, but comes with the Micro Four Thirds sensor. The Sony A6500 comes in with the most megapixels, at 24, and largest sensor with APS-C. The RX10 has 20 MP but it is on a 1 BSI sensor which is the smallest of the three. To choose between these is a real test of whether or not you want image quality or low light performance. The A6500 is predicted to win out here with the highest number of megapixels and the largest sensor.
The A6500 also appears to take the biscuit in terms of ISO range, with the range ending at 25600 and expanding to 51200. The G85 also has a range from 100-25600, but it is not expandable beyond this. The RX10 IV is much more limiting from 125-12800, however with the smallest sensor it is likely to not perform as well in low-light and therefore this limit in ISO may not be a particularly large issue.
Where the RX10 IV blasts the other two models out of the park is with continuous shooting. It can shoot at up to 24 fps, almost three times faster than the G85 at 9 fps. This will be extremely appealing for sport or wildlife photographers
All three have almost identical specifications when it comes to their EVF, however it would have to be seen how these perform in real time to make a true comparison. Sony have, however, made improvements to the RX10 IV EVF, following complaints about lag during the burst mode of the mark III.
In terms of size, the Sony RX10 Mk IV is the beast here. It’s around double the weight of the other two models, and it’s also larger. Although it doesn’t hit the size and weight of a mid to high range DSLR, it’s still notable in comparison to the other two models. Another note here is that the Sony RX10 Mk IV is a super-zoom with a fixed lens with a focal length of 24-600mm, which accounts for the far greater weight due to there being no body only weight. If you are looking for a camera without interchangeable lenses, this should give you plenty of versatility, but it is worth considering if you particularly want a camera that allows you to change lenses.
Extras and verdict
All three cameras offer 4K video, as would be expected at this price range, as well as headphone ports. They all also offer wifi, weatherproofing and touchscreens – in terms of the added extras they are up to the spec you’d expect from models of this calibre.
Finally that brings us to price. These three models pip each other to the post on a number of issues, yet there is a great difference in price. The most expensive – by far – is the Sony RX10 Mk IV which (correct at time of writing) breaks the $2,000 mark. It’s a whopping $1375 more expensive than the Panasonic G85. The A6500 sits in the middle ground of this group at $1396. However, you do also have to consider lens price with the Sony A6500 and G85. The RX10 Mk IV comes with a lens, so you don’t have to factor additional cost.
To choose between these three models, you will have to think carefully about what you wish to prioritise in your camera. Do you want frames per second, or sensor size, or versatility. Do you want a fixed lens, or interchangeable lenses? The consideration of lens price is likely to also come into play here too. It’s a real head-scratcher between these three models, as they are strong in different areas.
|Sony RX10 Mk IV||Sony A6500||Panasonic G85|
|Price||$ 1,709.00||$ 959.00||$ 729.00|
|Sensor||20MP – 1 BSI-CMOS Sensor||24MP – APS-C CMOS Sensor||16MP – Four Thirds CMOS Sensor|
|ISO Range||ISO 125 – 12800||ISO 100 – 25600 ( expands to 51200)||ISO 100 – 25600 ( expands to 100-25600)|
|Mount||24-600 mm F2.4-4.0 Fixed Zoom Lens||Sony E Mount||Micro Four Thirds Mount|
|Image stabilisation||Optical Image Stabilization||Sensor-shift Image Stabilization||Sensor-shift Image Stabilization|
|Continuous shooting||24 fps||11.0 fps||9.0 fps|
|Screen||3″ Tilting Screen||3″ Tilting Screen||3″ Fully Articulated Screen|
|EVF||2359k dot||2359k dot||2360k dot|
|Weight and size||1095g. 133 x 94 x 145 mm||453g. 120 x 67 x 53 mm||505g. 128 x 89 x 74 mm|