Panasonic TZ200 / Sony RX100 IV / Canon S5 / Other???


Well-known Member
Hi. Sorry, this may be a bit of a ramble...

As well as my Canon 700D I have a Canon S5 that's about 12 years old. I thought it was getting a bit long in the tooth, and with only 8MP and things like the flash taking aged to "fire up" I thought it would be a good time to upgrade to a new camera. I mainly got the S5 at the time due to the long zoom, and good reviews over standard point an shoot. Though it's not that big (compared to DSLR) I can't say it's pocketable, and with kids in tow I don't take it out as often as maybe I should, so with the main use of this camera being family holidays, trips out with kids etc I thought I would maybe go for something smaller rather then another bridge camera.

I thought that maybe one of the smaller 1" sensor cameras would be a good choice, it would have a larger sensor then my current S5, but the camera would be pocketable. Though there seem lots of small 1" sized cameras, most had a modest zoom, and I still wanted something with a bit of reach, as I often make use of the zoom on the S5 such as zooming in on something when on a scenic walk for example.

I narrowed it down to 2 cameras the Panasonic TZ200 or the Sony RX100 VI, though both had less zoom then the S5 I thought the extra MP would make up for it, and I could always crop a bit. In the end I decided on the TZ200, mainly for 2 reasons, the first being the longer zoom compared to the RX100 VI and second (a major factor), the price.

Upon receiving the camera I thought I would do some test shots to check out the zoom range etc. however upon reviewing the photos though I was happy with the zoom, I was surprised to see that the TZ200 seemed to have a much poorer quality to the S5, it seemed so soft / blurred. After a bit of googling around I came across a forum post saying that the Noise Reduction on the TZ200 (and TZ100) was a bit over the top, and to turn it down, so I did that, and also applied a bit of in camera sharping, and though the photos were a bit better, they still didn't seem as good as the S5.

To cut a bit of a long story short here, I returned the TZ200, and with gritted teeth (due to the price) I ordered the RX100 IV as most reviews seemed to mention how good / sharp the lens was. However, upon receiving it today, and taking a few photos to compare to what I already had, I can say its better then the TZ200, and at wide better than the S5, but zoomed in still not as good as the S5 (though it wasn't as bright today as it was when I took the test shots the other day).

I have attached a montage of some 100% crops from the 3 cameras, they are as below:

1 - S5 wide
2 - TZ200 wide
3 - RX100 VI wide
4 - S5 full zoom
5 - TZ200 full zoom
6 - TZ200 full zoom, NR down (-5), sharping +2 (or +3)
7 - RX100 VI full zoom
8 - S5 full zoom
9 - TZ200 full zoom
10 - TZ200 full zoom, NR down (-5), sharping +2 (or +3)
11 - RX100 VI full zoom

At wide, I think 3 (the RX100 VI) is the best, followed by 1 and then 2.
At full zoom, I think 4 & 8 are the best (S5), followed by 7 & 11 (RX100 VI), then 6 & 10 and 5 & 9 (the TZ200 with NR and sharping adjustments, and then standard).

I think the stand outs are just how defined the window frames and clock hour markers are on 4 compared to 5, 6 & 7. And the bricks, window frames and fence mesh on 8 compared to 9, 10 & 11.

I know some of these were taken a different times (and light), but I am still quite surprised at the quality of the 12 year old 8MP S5 compared to these latest 1" 20MP camers.

Am I expecting too much from these 1" compacts. Was the S5 a "very good camera" for it's time, or even though it has a 1/2.5" sensor, does the fact it has quite a big lens mean it lets in more light / detail.

Not sure what to do now. The RX100 VI is going back (I got it from Amazon, and they sent a "used" one, when it should have been new, but that's another story….. :-( ). Before it does though I'm hoping for a more sunny day, so I can try the longer zoom photos again with similar light to the others, so I can compare.

Do I just accept the quality will be lower then my S5. I have my 700D (though maybe thinking of upgrading that later in the year, maybe to the new Canon RP) for when I specifically go out looking for photos. I could look for another bridge, but that would defeat the fact I wanted this to be the pocketable camera that I could easy carry with me. I do have my iPhone X with I have used a lot recently, but miss the zoom range, so thought one of these compacts with fit the bill nicely.

Any thoughts / suggestions?



  • test2.jpg
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Well-known Member
For comparison, hear are the full size photos for the S5, TZ200 and the RX100 VI (click to see large).

The S5




RX100 VI

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Distinguished Member
The shots you've chosen are going to favour the S5 and its longer zoom plus they don't allow a 1in sensor to show it strengths as the scenes are in daylight and the lighting is relatively flat, that's an easy type of shot for any camera. You've not mentioned if you're using jpeg, if you're going straight out of camera then that's going to hamper the 1in sensor based cameras further.

I haven't used the Panasonic but the Sony 1in sensor has a reasonable amount of recovery in the shadows and highlights when processing the raw files whereas small 1/2.3in sensors have none. The high iso on the 1in sensors is good with high iso usable up to 3200 and even above by using some of the automated handheld modes whereas the likes of the S5's sensor gets very noisy very quickly at much lower isos.

Larger sensors aren't automatically always better as they have their own weaknesses particularly as a compact, ranged solution as a larger sensor means a larger lens which can make it difficult to get the size down. Ultimately it's what suits you and if you don't like the RX100 VI output then it may be worth considering a 1/2.3in based device with a better zoom more similar to the S5 but more compact.


Active Member
What about a zoom lens for your phone? Did you use a tripod for your trial shots? If you did, did you switch off stabilisation / vibration reduction? If you didn't use a tripod, I don't think any camera would look perfect.


Well-known Member
Thanks for the replies, I assume that I really need to see the bigger picture (no pun intended!!!) re the advantages of a compact with 1" sensor, especially the low light vs ISO noise.

I did take some more test photos today while out and about, so will ponder over them. For these crops I was looking at the JPEGS out of camera, so as you say the RAWs may be better (I did have a quick play with a couple from the TZ200, but they didn't seem a vast improvement). I have got a few RAWs from the Sony now, but need to find a programme to view / edit them. However for it's intended use, I don't really want to have to have to process all the RAW files.

I took these hand held, with IS on, so suppose the vibration could have added to the softness, however the S5 has the longed zoom, and that's the one that looks the "best". I know there are zoom lenses for the iPhone, never looked into them, just thought they were maybe just a bit of a gimmick, and not really any good.

Anyway, I have a bit of time to think about it, I did want the new camera for a holiday this week, but with the Sony going back due to it being used, I now have more time to research.



Distinguished Member
I wouldn't spend the time with the raw files while testing the camera if it's not something you do anyway, I mostly use my RX100 with jpegs but find the raws handy when I went to get more out of the files.


Well-known Member
What model of RX100 do you have? Though I understand the lens is different in the VI to the earlier models. If I got another one then would probably be the same, most of the photo would be jpeg with some raw editing being done when needed for a specific reason.


Distinguished Member
It's the mkIV I have (and an RX10mk2 with the same sensor), the mk6 lens is a bit dimmer to give it more range but the IQ is much the same.


In Memoriam
Looking at them, the TZ200 shot doesn't look sharp anywhere. The shutter speed should be high enough to avoid it, but it does look like a slight bit of motion blur
The RX100 though could be explained by depth of field. Your old camera at f/3.5 would be the equivalent of f/8 on the Sony, but the Sony was set at f/4.5 and seems to be in focus on the cars, but out of focus in front and behind due to the shallower depth of field.


Well-known Member
I took a couple more photos today before boxing up the RX100 to return to Amazon. I took one with the RX100 at full zoom, and 2 with the S5, one at about 200mm and the other at about 320mm.

Comparing the RX100 to the S5 - 200mm one at "fit to screen" they covered about the same area, and the RX100 seemed sharper and to have more detail, selecting "Show actual size" and (as expected due to more pixels) the RX100 gave a closer view and was better on the fence and brickwork.

Comparing the RX100 to the S5 - 320mm one at "fit to screen" the RX100 (as expected) was a wider view but it did look sharper. Selecting "Show actual size" and both showed about the same view and the RX100 was again better on the fence and brickwork.

So (again a very limited test, in specific conditions), but on this, the RX100 does look better. Maybe the fact that in my first tests the S5 was zoomed all the way into 432mm meant that it picked up much more detail / sharpness then the RX100 (and TZ200) at shorter zoom range, and comparting at about the same zoom shows the RX100 to be better. Though do still think the TZ200 had a very soft / blurred look to it.

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