Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 vs. Nikon Coolpix L820

Comparison

Lumix DMC-LZ3 image
vs.
Coolpix L820 image

Comparison

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 Nikon Coolpix L820
Megapixels
5.00 16.00
Max. resolution
2560 x 1920 4608 x 3456
Price
Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.5" (~ 5.75 x 4.32 mm) 1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Sensor resolution
2579 x 1939  4612 x 3468 
Diagonal
7.19 mm  7.70 mm 
Surface area
24.84 mm²  28.46 mm² 
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 sizes:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3
vs.
Nikon Coolpix L820
 
Surface area:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3
Nikon Coolpix L820
Difference: 3.62 mm² (15%)
Nikon Coolpix L820 has approx. 15% more surface area than Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3.
Note: You are comparing sensors of very different generations. There is a gap of 7 years between Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 (2006) and Nikon Coolpix L820 (2013). Seven years is a lot of time in terms of technology, meaning newer sensors are overall much more efficient than the older ones.
Pixel pitch
2.23 µm  1.34 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.
Pixel pitch
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3
Nikon Coolpix L820
Difference: 0.89 µm (66%)
Pixel pitch of Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 is approx. 66% higher than pixel pitch of Nikon Coolpix L820.
Pixel area
4.97 µm²  1.8 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:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3
vs.
Nikon Coolpix L820
Pixel area difference: 3.17 µm² (176%)
A pixel on Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 sensor is approx. 176% bigger than a pixel on Nikon Coolpix L820.
Pixel density
20.12 MP/cm²  56.06 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.
Pixel density
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3
Nikon Coolpix L820
Difference: 35.94 MP/cm² (179%)
Nikon Coolpix L820 has approx. 179% higher pixel density than Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Other specifications

Crop factor
6.02  5.62 
Total megapixels
5.40 16.79
Effective megapixels
5.00 16.00
Optical zoom
6x 30x
Digital zoom
Yes Yes
Iso
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400 Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Auto focus
Yes Yes
Manual focus
No n/a
Normal focus range
50 cm 50 cm
Macro focus range
5 cm 1 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
37 - 222 mm 22.5 - 675 mm
Aperture priority
No No
Aperture
f2.8 - f4.5 f3 - f5.8
Aperture (35mm equiv.)
f16.9 - f27.1  f16.9 - f32.6 
Metering
Multi-segment Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
-2EV - +2EV with 1/3EV steps ± 2 EV in steps of 1/3
Shutter priority
No No
Min. shutter speed
60 sec 4 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/2000 sec 1/4000 sec
Flash modes
Anti red-eye, Auto, Fill in, Off, Slow flash n/a
Built-in flash
Yes Yes
External flash
No No
Viewfinder
None None
White balance presets
6 6
LCD display
Yes Yes
LCD size
2" 3"
LCD resolution
85,000 921,000
Min. image resolution
640 x 480 640 x 480
Selftimer
Yes Yes
Storage types
MultiMedia, Secure Digital SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB
USB 1.0 (1.5 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Batteries
AA (2) batteries (NiMH recommended) 4 x AA Alkaline, NiMH, or Lithium batteries
Weight
183g 470 g
Dimensions
100x62x45 mm 111.0 x 76.3 x 84.5 mm
Year
2006 2013



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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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 diagonal

The diagonal of Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 image sensor is not 1/2.5 inch as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 5.75 mm
h = 4.32 mm
Diagonal =  5.75² + 4.32²   = 7.19 mm

Nikon Coolpix L820 diagonal

The diagonal of Nikon Coolpix L820 image sensor is not 1/2.3 inch as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value. 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 surface area

Width = 5.75 mm
Height = 4.32 mm

Surface area = 5.75 × 4.32 = 24.84 mm²

Nikon Coolpix L820 surface 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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 5.75 mm
Sensor resolution width = 2579 pixels
Pixel pitch =   5.75  × 1000  = 2.23 µm
2579

Nikon Coolpix L820 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4612 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.34 µm
4612


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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 2.23 µm

Pixel area = 2.23² = 4.97 µm²

Nikon Coolpix L820 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.34 µm

Pixel area = 1.34² = 1.8 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

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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 2579 pixels
Sensor width = 0.575 cm

Pixel density = (2579 / 0.575)² / 1000000 = 20.12 MP/cm²

Nikon Coolpix L820 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4612 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4612 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 56.06 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. 22.8 × 15.5 sensor for example has a ratio of 1.47.

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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 5.75 mm
Sensor height = 4.32 mm
Effective megapixels = 5.00
r = 5.75/4.32 = 1.33
X =  5.00 × 1000000  = 1939
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1939 × 1.33 = 2579
Resolution vertical: X = 1939

Sensor resolution = 2579 x 1939

Nikon Coolpix L820 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 16.00
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  16.00 × 1000000  = 3468
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3468 × 1.33 = 4612
Resolution vertical: X = 3468

Sensor resolution = 4612 x 3468


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


Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.19 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 6.02
7.19

Nikon Coolpix L820 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).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 6.02
Aperture = f2.8 - f4.5

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.8 - f4.5) × 6.02 = f16.9 - f27.1

Nikon Coolpix L820 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3 - f5.8

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3 - f5.8) × 5.62 = f16.9 - f32.6

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