Nikon D700 vs. Lumix LX100

You’re going to compare which cameras? That’s crazy!

Well, not that crazy as it turns out…
nikond700review_top2For years I had been using a Lumix LX3 and then LX5 camera as my everyday carry, street shooter and travel camera while my big Nikon D700 mostly stayed home. Since my LX5 was stolen during a recent trip to India, I started looking at replacing it with the new LX100 which has a m4/3 sensor. While looking at its specs and image quality, it occurred to me that it is actually quite comparable to my 8 year old D700 with 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom. Please bear with me…

panasonic-lx100-600In order to try and compare image quality I went to the DPReview image comparator but unfortunately it doesn’t have images from the D700. The closest camera to the D700 that’s in the comparator is the 16 Mpixel D4, so I used that one. Of course, the D4 shows more detail and less noise from ISO 800 and up, but not nearly as much as you would think.  So I think the LX100 cannot be that far off of the D700. If I get my hands on an LX100 I’ll be sure to do an actual comparison!

Now lets compare some specs, this is rather eye opening!

Cameras:          Lumix LX100        vs      Nikon D700
Lens:             Leica 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8    Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
Weight:           13.86 oz                   4.35 lbs (including lens) 5x more!
Megapixels:       12.8 Megapixels            12 Megapixels
Native ISO:       200-25,600                 200-6,400
Img Stabilization:   Yes                        No
Face Detection AF:   Yes                        No
Min Focus Range:     3cm                       38cm
Focus Points:        49                         51
Viewfinder:       100%, 1.39x(0.7x)          95%, .72x
Shutter Speeds:   1/16,000 to 60secs.        1/8,000 to 30secs. 
Max Frame Rate:   11.0 fps                   8.0 fps
Ev Compensation:  +- 3 EV                    +- 5 EV
Video:            4K + 1080/60P                None
WiFi support:        Yes                       None
Weather sealed:      No                        Yes
Shots per battery:   300                       1000

So as you can see, the Nikon with lens is 5x the weight and about 10 times the size of the little LX100 yet the Lumix is a more capable camera in almost every way. Sure the Nikon is more solidly built, is weather sealed, can go much longer on a battery and it might still deliver slightly cleaner images (this remains to be seen), but the Lumix outperforms it in almost every way and yet is 1/3rd the price and 1/5th the size and weight of the Nikkor 24-70mm lens alone.

Yes the Nikon is 8 years old, but when it came out it was a breakthrough camera that stunned the marketplace and wasn’t replaced by Nikon for a full 4 years. Many still call it one of the best cameras Nikon has ever produced. Back in 2008 this kit cost $4500!

But the point of this whole exercise is not to show that the LX100 camera is better, but rather to show how far digital camera technology has come in 8 years. This supports my point that m4/3 and APS-C cameras are now good enough for 95%+ of people.

I know, from personal experience, that I would carry the LX100 with me everyday, just need to slip it in my laptop bag or a coat pocket. The giant DSLR though, that’s another story. As has been said many times before: the best camera is the one you have with you!

If you are interested in the awesome Panasonic Lumix LX100:
Lumix DMC-LX100 Digital Camera (Black)
Lumix DMC-LX100 Digital Camera (Silver)