Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500

Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 front
Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 front

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 Key Specs

Panasonic F5
(Full Review)
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-140mm (F3.2-6.5) lens
  • 121g - 97 x 58 x 22mm
  • Released January 2013
Sony A500
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Display
  • ISO 200 - 12800
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • No Video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 630g - 137 x 104 x 84mm
  • Launched August 2009
  • Refreshed by Sony A560
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Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 Overview

Lets examine more in depth at the Panasonic F5 versus Sony A500, former is a Small Sensor Compact while the other is a Entry-Level DSLR by competitors Panasonic and Sony. The sensor resolution of the F5 (14MP) and the A500 (12MP) is fairly close but the F5 (1/2.3") and A500 (APS-C) enjoy totally different sensor measurements.

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The F5 was revealed 3 years after the A500 which is a fairly big difference as far as camera tech is concerned. Both of the cameras offer different body type with the Panasonic F5 being a Compact camera and the Sony A500 being a Compact SLR camera.

Before getting in to a thorough comparison, below is a simple synopsis of how the F5 scores versus the A500 with regards to portability, imaging, features and an overall score.

Photography Glossary

Reasons to pick Panasonic F5 over the Sony A500

 F5 A500 
LaunchedJanuary 2013August 2009More modern by 41 months

Reasons to pick Sony A500 over the Panasonic F5

 A500 F5 
Manually focus More exact focus
Display typeTiltingFixed Tilting display
Display sizing3"2.7"Larger display (+0.3")

Common features in the Panasonic F5 and Sony A500

 F5 A500 
Display resolution230k230kExact same display resolution
Selfie screen Lacking selfie screen
Touch display Lacking Touch display

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 Physical Comparison

When you are going to carry around your camera often, you are going to need to factor in its weight and dimensions. The Panasonic F5 comes with outside dimensions of 97mm x 58mm x 22mm (3.8" x 2.3" x 0.9") along with a weight of 121 grams (0.27 lbs) while the Sony A500 has dimensions of 137mm x 104mm x 84mm (5.4" x 4.1" x 3.3") with a weight of 630 grams (1.39 lbs).

Contrast the Panasonic F5 versus Sony A500 in our brand new Camera & Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Remember, the weight of an ILC will vary depending on the lens you have chosen at that time. Following is the front view scale comparison of the F5 vs the A500.

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 size comparison

Taking into account size and weight, the portability score of the F5 and A500 is 96 and 63 respectively.

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 top view buttons comparison

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 Sensor Comparison

In many cases, its difficult to envision the gap in sensor sizes only by viewing specifications. The image underneath will offer you a stronger sense of the sensor sizes in the F5 and A500.

To sum up, both of these cameras offer different megapixels and different sensor sizes. The F5 using its smaller sensor will make getting shallower depth of field more challenging and the Panasonic F5 will provide you with more detail because of its extra 2MP. Greater resolution will also let you crop photos a little more aggressively. The more modern F5 will have an advantage in sensor technology.

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 sensor size comparison

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 Screen and ViewFinder

Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Panasonic F5 Portrait photography information
Sony A500 Portrait photography information
decent megapixels (14MP)
no manual focus
no manual exposure
cannot use external flash
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
no RAW files
has manual focus
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
supports face detect focusing
delivers RAW formats
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
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Street Comparison

Panasonic F5 as a Street photography camera
Sony A500 as a Street photography camera
lighter than others (121 grams)
no moving screen
does not have image stabilization
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
no RAW files
tilting screen
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
delivers RAW formats
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Sports Comparison

Sports photography with Panasonic F5
Sports photography with Sony A500
decent megapixels (14MP)
supports tracking autofocus
painfully slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames/s)
lack of shutter priority mode
does not have image stabilization
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
no phase detect AF
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
has phase detect AF
painfully slow continuous shooting (5.0 fps)
sensor resolution low (12MP)
bad battery life (520 CIPA)
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Travel Comparison

Panasonic F5 Travel photography information
Sony A500 Travel photography information
lighter than others (121 grams)
decent megapixels (14 megapixels)
built-in flash
really wide (28mm)
missing Time Lapse mode
doesn't feature selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.2)
flash built-in
missing Timelapse function
bad battery life (520 CIPA)
sensor resolution low (12MP)
display is not selfie friendly
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Landscape Comparison

Landscape photography with Panasonic F5
Landscape photography with Sony A500
really wide (28mm)
decent megapixels (14 megapixels)
no manual focus
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.2)
tiny screen (2.7 inches)
no manual exposure
does not have image stabilization
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
no RAW files
missing Time Lapse mode
has manual focus
switch lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
screen size is good (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
delivers RAW formats
sensor resolution low (12MP)
bad battery life (520 shots)
missing Timelapse function
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Vlogging Comparison

Panasonic F5 Vlogging information
Sony A500 Vlogging information
really wide (28mm)
lighter than others (121g)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.2)
doesn't feature selfie friendly screen
does not have image stabilization
low res video (1280 x 720 resolution)
missing external mic port
can't shoot video
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Panasonic F5 vs Sony A500 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Panasonic F5 and Sony A500
 Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5Sony Alpha DSLR-A500
General Information
Brand Panasonic Sony
Model type Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Sony Alpha DSLR-A500
Category Small Sensor Compact Entry-Level DSLR
Released 2013-01-07 2009-08-27
Body design Compact Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Processor Chip - Bionz
Sensor type CCD CMOS
Sensor size 1/2.3" APS-C
Sensor measurements 6.08 x 4.56mm 23.5 x 15.6mm
Sensor area 27.7mm² 366.6mm²
Sensor resolution 14 megapixel 12 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio - 3:2 and 16:9
Max resolution 4320 x 3240 4272 x 2848
Max native ISO 6400 12800
Lowest native ISO 100 200
RAW pictures
Manual focusing
Touch to focus
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Total focus points - 9
Cross type focus points - -
Lens mount type fixed lens Sony/Minolta Alpha
Lens zoom range 28-140mm (5.0x) -
Max aperture f/3.2-6.5 -
Macro focusing distance 5cm -
Total lenses - 143
Focal length multiplier 5.9 1.5
Display type Fixed Type Tilting
Display diagonal 2.7 inch 3 inch
Resolution of display 230k dot 230k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Display tech TFT LCD -
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type None Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage - 95 percent
Viewfinder magnification - 0.53x
Minimum shutter speed 8 secs 30 secs
Fastest shutter speed 1/2000 secs 1/4000 secs
Continuous shutter speed 1.0 frames per second 5.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation - Yes
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance 5.70 m 12.00 m
Flash options Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Syncro Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Fastest flash sync - 1/160 secs
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps) -
Max video resolution 1280x720 None
Video data format Motion JPEG -
Microphone input
Headphone input
Wireless None None
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None None
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 121 gr (0.27 pounds) 630 gr (1.39 pounds)
Dimensions 97 x 58 x 22mm (3.8" x 2.3" x 0.9") 137 x 104 x 84mm (5.4" x 4.1" x 3.3")
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating not tested 64
DXO Color Depth rating not tested 21.8
DXO Dynamic range rating not tested 11.6
DXO Low light rating not tested 772
Battery life 250 photos 520 photos
Style of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery ID - NP-FM500H
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 sec) Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse feature
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal SD/ SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Storage slots One One
Retail price $100 $638