Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 front
Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 front

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 Key Specs

Panasonic GH4
(Full Review)
  • 16MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fully Articulated Screen
  • ISO 200 - 25600
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 4096 x 2160 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 560g - 133 x 93 x 84mm
  • Released February 2014
  • Earlier Model is Panasonic GH3
  • New Model is Panasonic GH5
Panasonic SZ1
(Full Review)
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 25-250mm (F3.1-5.9) lens
  • 131g - 99 x 59 x 21mm
  • Released January 2012
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Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 Overview

Below, we are contrasting the Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1, former being a Pro Mirrorless while the other is a Small Sensor Compact and they are both sold by Panasonic. The image resolution of the GH4 (16MP) and the SZ1 (16MP) is very similar but the GH4 (Four Thirds) and SZ1 (1/2.3") come with totally different sensor sizes.

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The GH4 was revealed 2 years later than the SZ1 and that is quite a big difference as far as technology is concerned. Each of these cameras come with different body type with the Panasonic GH4 being a SLR-style mirrorless camera and the Panasonic SZ1 being a Compact camera.

Before we go in to a in depth comparison, below is a brief highlight of how the GH4 matches up vs the SZ1 with regard to portability, imaging, features and an overall rating.

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Reasons to pick Panasonic GH4 over the Panasonic SZ1

 GH4 SZ1 
ReleasedFebruary 2014January 2012Fresher by 26 months
Manual focus More precise focus
Display typeFully ArticulatedFixed Fully Articulating display
Display resolution1036k230kClearer display (+806k dot)
Selfie screen Easy selfies
Touch friendly display Easily navigate

Reasons to pick Panasonic SZ1 over the Panasonic GH4

 SZ1 GH4 

Common features in the Panasonic GH4 and Panasonic SZ1

 GH4 SZ1 
Display dimension3"3"Identical display dimensions

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 Physical Comparison

When you are looking to carry your camera, you need to take into account its weight and measurements. The Panasonic GH4 features physical measurements of 133mm x 93mm x 84mm (5.2" x 3.7" x 3.3") along with a weight of 560 grams (1.23 lbs) while the Panasonic SZ1 has proportions of 99mm x 59mm x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8") accompanied by a weight of 131 grams (0.29 lbs).

See the Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 in our brand new Camera plus Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Take into consideration, the weight of an ILC will vary based on the lens you are utilising at the time. The following is the front view measurement comparison of the GH4 compared to the SZ1.

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 size comparison

Taking into account dimensions and weight, the portability rating of the GH4 and SZ1 is 66 and 95 respectively.

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 top view buttons comparison

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 Sensor Comparison

More often than not, it is hard to envision the contrast between sensor sizing just by going over specs. The graphic here may give you a clearer sense of the sensor sizing in the GH4 and SZ1.

All in all, both of these cameras have got the exact same megapixel count but not the same sensor sizing. The GH4 contains the larger sensor which should make achieving shallower DOF less difficult. The younger GH4 is going to have a benefit in sensor technology.

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 sensor size comparison

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 Screen and ViewFinder

Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Portrait photography with Panasonic GH4
Portrait photography with Panasonic SZ1
has manual focus
decent megapixels (16MP)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
features face detect focus
delivers RAW formats
decent MP (16 megapixels)
has face detect focusing
no manual focus
no manual mode
no external flash support
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
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Street Comparison

Street photography with Panasonic GH4
Street photography with Panasonic SZ1
screen articulates
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW formats
comes with focus via touch
weather proof
lighter than others in class (560g)
above average high ISO (25,600)
does not have image stabilization
built in image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors (131 grams)
screen is fixed
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
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Sports Comparison

Sports photography with Panasonic GH4
Sports photography with Panasonic SZ1
max shutter speed is good (1/8,000 seconds)
decent megapixels (16 megapixels)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
features tracking focus
weather proof
does not have image stabilization
doesn't have phase detect auto focus
built in image stabilization (Optical)
decent MP (16MP)
has tracking focus
low frames per second (1.0 frames per second)
no shutter priority mode
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect AF
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Travel Comparison

Panasonic GH4 Travel photography highlights
Panasonic SZ1 Travel photography highlights
lighter than others in class (560 grams)
weather proof
comes with focus via touch
decent megapixels (16MP)
built-in flash
selfie friendly screen
lighter than competitors (131 grams)
decent MP (16MP)
flash built-in
really wide (25mm)
great reach (250mm)
missing Timelapse mode
does not contain selfie friendly screen
slow max aperture (f3.1)
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Landscape Comparison

Panasonic GH4 Landscape photography highlights
Panasonic SZ1 Landscape photography highlights
has manual focus
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
decent sized screen (3 inch)
decent megapixels (16MP)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
above average high ISO (25,600)
delivers RAW formats
weather proof
does not have image stabilization
really wide (25mm)
nice screen size (3 inch)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
decent MP (16 megapixels)
no manual focus
can't change lenses (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f3.1)
no manual mode
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
missing Timelapse mode
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Vlogging Comparison

Panasonic GH4 Vlogging advice
Panasonic SZ1 Vlogging advice
selfie friendly screen
touchscreen functionality
features face detect focus
video resolution high (4096 x 2160 pixels)
does have microphone socket
lighter than others in class (560 grams)
does not have image stabilization
really wide (25mm)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
has face detect focusing
lighter than competitors (131g)
slow max aperture (f3.1)
does not contain selfie friendly screen
video quality not great (1280 x 720 resolution)
missing microphone jack
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Panasonic GH4 vs Panasonic SZ1 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Panasonic GH4 and Panasonic SZ1
 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1
General Information
Make Panasonic Panasonic
Model type Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1
Type Pro Mirrorless Small Sensor Compact
Released 2014-02-07 2012-01-09
Body design SLR-style mirrorless Compact
Sensor Information
Processor Chip Venus Engine IX -
Sensor type CMOS CCD
Sensor size Four Thirds 1/2.3"
Sensor measurements 17.3 x 13mm 6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor area 224.9mm² 27.7mm²
Sensor resolution 16MP 16MP
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Max resolution 4608 x 3456 4608 x 3456
Max native ISO 25600 6400
Min native ISO 200 100
RAW pictures
Manual focusing
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Total focus points 49 23
Lens mount type Micro Four Thirds fixed lens
Lens zoom range - 25-250mm (10.0x)
Maximal aperture - f/3.1-5.9
Macro focusing range - 4cm
Total lenses 107 -
Focal length multiplier 2.1 5.9
Range of screen Fully Articulated Fixed Type
Screen diagonal 3 inches 3 inches
Screen resolution 1,036k dot 230k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Screen tech OLED TFT Color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Electronic None
Viewfinder resolution 2,359k dot -
Viewfinder coverage 100 percent -
Viewfinder magnification 0.67x -
Min shutter speed 60 seconds 8 seconds
Max shutter speed 1/8000 seconds 1/1600 seconds
Continuous shutter speed 12.0 frames/s 1.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation Yes -
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance 17.00 m (at ISO 200) 5.60 m
Flash settings Auto, auto/redeye reduction, forced on, forced on/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync/redeye reduction, forced off Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction
External flash
White balance bracketing
Max flash sync 1/250 seconds -
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions 4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 25p, 30p), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, 60p), 1280 x 720 (24p, 25p, 30p), 640 x 480 (25p, 30p) 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution 4096x2160 1280x720
Video file format MPEG-4, AVCHD MPEG-4
Microphone input
Headphone input
Wireless Built-In 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 560 grams (1.23 pounds) 131 grams (0.29 pounds)
Dimensions 133 x 93 x 84mm (5.2" x 3.7" x 3.3") 99 x 59 x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8")
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating 74 not tested
DXO Color Depth rating 23.2 not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating 12.8 not tested
DXO Low light rating 791 not tested
Battery life 500 photographs 250 photographs
Battery format Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery ID DMW-BLF19 -
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 secs (single or three-shot)) Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage slots One One
Launch price $1,500 $179