Nikon D300s vs. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

Comparison

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D300s image
vs
Lumix DMC-FZ200 image
Nikon D300s Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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Megapixels
12.30
12.10
Max. image resolution
4288 x 2848
4000 x 3000

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
23.6 x 15.8 mm
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Sensor resolution
4281 x 2873
4011 x 3016
Diagonal
28.40 mm
7.70 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
13.1 : 1
(ratio)
Nikon D300s Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
Surface area:
372.88 mm² vs 28.46 mm²
Difference: 344.42 mm² (1210%)
D300s sensor is approx. 13.1x bigger than FZ200 sensor.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 3 year gap between Nikon D300s (2009) and Panasonic FZ200 (2012). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
5.51 µm
1.54 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 3.97 µm (258%)
Pixel pitch of D300s is approx. 258% higher than pixel pitch of FZ200.
Pixel area
30.36 µm²
2.37 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 27.99 µm² (1181%)
A pixel on Nikon D300s sensor is approx. 1181% bigger than a pixel on Panasonic FZ200.
Pixel density
3.29 MP/cm²
42.4 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 39.11 µm (1189%)
Panasonic FZ200 has approx. 1189% higher pixel density than Nikon D300s.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Specs

Nikon D300s
Panasonic FZ200
Crop factor
1.52
5.62
Total megapixels
13.10
12.80
Effective megapixels
12.30
12.10
Optical zoom
24x
Digital zoom
No
Yes
ISO sensitivity
200 - 3200 in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (100 - 6400 with boost)
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, (6400 with boost)
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
30 cm
Macro focus range
1 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
25 - 600 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
f2.8
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
n/a
f15.7
Metering
3D Matrix metering II, Centre weighted, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
±3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
30 sec
60 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/8000 sec
1/4000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Optical (pentaprism)
Electronic
White balance presets
12
5
Screen size
3"
3"
Screen resolution
920,000 dots
460,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
1920x1080 (60p/60i/30p)
Storage types
CompactFlash type I, CompactFlash type II, Microdrive, SDHC Secure Digital
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e rechargeable battery
Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Weight
938 g
588 g
Dimensions
147 x 114 x 74 mm
125 x 87 x 110 mm
Year
2009
2012



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Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Nikon D300s diagonal

w = 23.60 mm
h = 15.80 mm
Diagonal =  23.60² + 15.80²   = 28.40 mm

Panasonic FZ200 diagonal

The diagonal of FZ200 sensor is not 1/2.3 or 0.43" (11 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 7.7 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

D300s sensor area

Width = 23.60 mm
Height = 15.80 mm

Surface area = 23.60 × 15.80 = 372.88 mm²

FZ200 sensor area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

D300s pixel pitch

Sensor width = 23.60 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4281 pixels
Pixel pitch =   23.60  × 1000  = 5.51 µm
4281

FZ200 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4011 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.54 µm
4011


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

D300s pixel area

Pixel pitch = 5.51 µm

Pixel area = 5.51² = 30.36 µm²

FZ200 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.54 µm

Pixel area = 1.54² = 2.37 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

D300s pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4281 pixels
Sensor width = 2.36 cm

Pixel density = (4281 / 2.36)² / 1000000 = 3.29 MP/cm²

FZ200 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4011 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4011 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 42.4 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

D300s sensor resolution

Sensor width = 23.60 mm
Sensor height = 15.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 12.30
r = 23.60/15.80 = 1.49
X =  12.30 × 1000000  = 2873
1.49
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 2873 × 1.49 = 4281
Resolution vertical: X = 2873

Sensor resolution = 4281 x 2873

FZ200 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 12.10
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  12.10 × 1000000  = 3016
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3016 × 1.33 = 4011
Resolution vertical: X = 3016

Sensor resolution = 4011 x 3016


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


D300s crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 28.40 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.52
28.40

FZ200 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62
7.70

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

D300s equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Nikon D300s, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Nikon D300s is 1.52

FZ200 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f2.8

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.8) × 5.62 = f15.7

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