Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Comprehensive Review

Photography is a beautiful art that cuts across all kinds of people. And in our day and time, everyone wants to be able to take the best selfies for the gram or whatever social media platform they favor. That’s why today, our review will focus on two of the best selfie cameras in the market – the Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8.

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

So, if you’re a selfie-lover, vlogger, a youtuber, an enthusiast, a hobbyist, or just a happy, fun person, this review is for no one else but you. Yes, it’s safe to say that we don’t really are for the professionals today. Today is strictly just for fun.

Our aim today is to ensure that we get you the better selfie camera for you judging from the features of each of these cameras vis-à-vis your personality and needs.

We’ve got to admit though that these cameras bring pretty compelling features to this contest. They are super small, especially the GF8 which you can put in your pocket. And they’ve also got selfie-friendly screens as well with a couple of fun modes just to spice up your selfie-taking experience. They are pretty cool features too.

Salivating already? Well, there’s much more to check out but we will go into all of that as we progress in this article. By the way, here is another Sony vs Panasonic comparison, if you’re interested.

Table of Contents

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Comparison Overview

Because of how we like to do our reviews, this article is sure to be a pretty long one. If you can’t spare that much time right now, then we’ve got you covered in the comparison overview.

That said, we always advise that you stay with us till the end of the review for the full scoop. As they say, the devil is in the detail. Completing the review is the surest way to ensure that you end up with buyer’s regret as each feature is explained in detail, with the full details of the good and bad.

Where Both Cameras Get It Right

The first pro you notice when getting the Panasonic GF8 and the Sony a5100 is their size. These are small, compact cameras that are light enough for a convenient travel. Plus, the cameras are also interchangeable lens cameras which is great. Sony lovers who already have Sony E mount glass can use their old glass with a simple, inexpensive adapter.

Another aspect where these cameras get it right is how they cram sensors into such tiny bodies (in both cases, the sensors are much larger the camera bodies).

Besides these two major pros, these cameras also come with wireless connection, NFC and smartphone remote control. The screens of these cameras articulate, although not fully. They just flip up but that’s great for selfies and vlogging.

RAW support, face detection focus, continuous shooting, and AE bracketing are other features.

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Where The Sony a5100 Does It Better

The Son a5100 has a large sensor, an APS-C sensor. It also has the sharper sensor at 24 megapixels with a higher frame rate of up to 60 frames per second. Plus, the camera also records videos in different formats which allows you to choose the low quality format in case you need a fast upload.

This camera also has a number of focus points which is great for shooting stills or videos of moving subjects. Color depth and dynamic range are also better on the Sony a5100 as well. The bitrate is also higher and it is also more affordable than the Panasonic GF8.

Although both cameras suck in the battery department, the Sony a5100 does better. It does about 400 shots for a charge but still, it sucks and you can’t power it externally. So, that’s a small bummer.

Where The Panasonic GF8 Does It Better

The Panasonic GF8 is a great camera that’s even smaller and more compact than the Sony a5100. So it’s better for travel than the Sony a5100 which is great since the camera is selfie camera. Plus, its layout is pretty clean as well.

It also has a lot of fun modes which the Sony a5100 lacks like the jump mode, the buddy mode, and the slimming mode.

The screen of the Panasonic GF8 is a lot sharper than that of the Sony a5100. This means that though the camera lacks a viewfinder, the screen of the GF8 can stand in well as a viewfinder. It’s also great that the screen of the camera is completely touch sensitive which, unlike the Sony a5100, can work both for focusing and for scrolling through the menu.

The camera also allows you take photos even while shooting video. Images are pretty great except for when the subject is moving.

The camera also doesn’t suffer overheating unlike the Sony a5100 which overheats after a short period.

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Where Both Cameras Get It Wrong

These cameras both suck in the battery department. And then again, it’s not like you can power them externally.

There is neither an audio in nor an audio out. So, audio quality for videos isn’t great and you can’t monitor audio either.

No viewfinders here. You’d have to make use of the screen. So, bummer for you if you end up with the Sony a5100.

Next, these cameras do not come with image stabilization. Plus, these guys don’t come with enough options for image optimization lenses.

Lastly, none of these cameras are weather-sealed. It might, therefore, affect durability just a bit.

Our Opinion On The Price/Value Ratio

These cameras sell for under a thousand dollars. And the Sony a5100 even sells for under half that price. So, all things considered, these cameras are not expensive and they deliver real value even at such a small price.

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Comparative Brand Strengths

Sony and Panasonic are two brands with impressive feats in the photography community. Although you could say that one brand is more respected than the other, you’ve also got to admit that these two brands are highly respected either way.

So, let’s start with Sony. Sony has been around for a while, making its first camera in 1988 – the Mavica. It’s been about three decades since then and Sony has been soldiering on, making better and better cameras that photographers have come to depend on.

These days, Sony makes mostly full frame mirrorless cameras. These cameras are typically fantastic and work great for detailed photos and low light. Sony also produces cameras with smaller sensors but these are in the minority.

On the other hand, there’s Panasonic which only launched their line of digital cameras in 2001. So, expectedly, they lack the clout and popularity which the likes of Sony, Canon, and Nikon have. That’s not to say that Panasonic has not been doing a great job with their cameras.

Producing mostly micro four third sensor cameras, this brand has been making pocket-friendly cameras both in size and in cost for loads of customers. And gradually, the brand is beginning to make its statement as the go-to for fantastic video cameras.

That said though, it still feels like Panasonic is feeling its way around the stills taking part of the gig but we believe that that’s getting better. As a point of reference, the GF8 takes great stills. But, in the end, the choice is yours to make. So, we’d leave that to you.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Comparison Table Of Major Specs And Features


Sony a5100

Panasonic GF8

Announcement Date 17th August, 2014 15th February, 2016
Sensor Size APS-C CMOS Sensor Four Thirds CMOS Sensor
Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
Mount Sony E (NEX) Mount Micro Four Thirds Mount
Continuous Shooting 6 Frames Per Second 5.8 Frames Per Second
LCD Screen Resolution 922k dots 1.040k dots
Max Shutter Speeds 1/4000s 1/500s
Focus Points 179 23
Sensor Pixel Area 15.28µm2 14.21µm2
ISO 100 – 25600 200 – 25600
Dynamic Range 12.7 Not Specified
Color Depth 23.8 Not Specified
Low Light ISO 1347 Not Specified
Time Lapse Recording With Downloadable App No
Battery Life 400 shots 230 shots
Dimensions 110 x 63 x 36 millimeters 107 x 65 x 33 millimeters
Weight 283 grams 266 grams
  Get the Sony a5100 here! Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Which Situation Is Each Camera Best Suited For?

Sony a5100

Panasonic GF8

In comparison to the Panasonic GF8, the Sony a5100 is a more serious camera. It’s something that someone looking to go into professional photography can consider. Say you’re looking to make that upgrade from taking photos on your smartphone or on a point and shoot and you now want to make a transition to a proper camera. The Sony a5100 makes a great choice for dipping your feet in the water.  

It’s a pretty small camera, so it’s convenient enough to carry around. Especially when you consider that you’d like to have the camera constantly around you for the sake of practice, you’d see why the size is even more beneficial for you. It won’t weigh you down and you can keep on taking pictures as they fascinate you, at least, until the battery is completely exhausted.  

The Sony a5100 is also great for vloggers as it has that flip up screen. So you get to see yourself while shooting and you can have a more natural conversation with your audience. Just keep in mind though that the screen of this camera is not the sharpest you’ve ever seen.  

We’d say the Sony a5100 does okay in low light. it’s nothing to be mind-blown about but considering the reason for this camera, we’d say this camera has great low light capabilities.  

Now, it’s quite impressive to find that this camera has a high frame rate especially for its price point. You’re looking at a camera that shoots at 60 frames per second. So, this is a camera that can do some pretty serious video work, at least for B-roll or any video where audio isn’t top priority (because there’s no audio in).  

The 60 frames per second frame rate also means that the camera is great for achieving 24p slow motion.   So, in summary, this is a solid beginner camera both for stills and video.
The first thing you should know about the Panasonic GF8 is that it wasn’t made for the American market. Instead, it was made for the European market. So, although it’s available on Amazon, it isn’t targeted at Americans.  

The Panasonic GF8 is quite different from the Sony a5100 in a lot of ways. But the primary difference between these two cameras is in their purpose.  

We’ve seen how the Sony a5100 makes a great beginner camera, something to test the waters with. The Panasonic GF8 is totally different. This is strictly for fun. You don’t have to be considering photography as a career to pick up the Panasonic GF8. It’s obvious that’s not what the GF8 is for from all its features.  

So, who should get the Panasonic GF8? Anyone who loves having fun and taking loads of selfies. The Panasonic GF8 will make you the life of the party, the social media queen or king as the case may be.  

It’s really small, even smaller than the Sony a5100 which, in itself, is a small camera. You can literally put the Panasonic GF8 in your pocket. So, it’s so discrete. There’s no limit to where you can take the camera with you too, from the beach, to a party, a club (? Well maybe).  

So, there are all these fun modes that make taking photos anything but boring. There’s the jump mode, the buddy shutter mode, and even the slimming mode.  

This camera is also great for video, pretty much like the Sony a5100 but its screen is even sharper. So, you’d definitely enjoy video taking much better on here and the video quality is surprisingly great too. You can even take photos while in video mode as well.  

But here’s the thing about the video mode of the Panasonic GF8. It’s best for selfie-like videos – something you intend to share on social media. If you want to do more serious work, then we doubt the Panasonic GF8 would deliver on the job as well as the Sony a5100 would be able too.
Get the Sony a5100 here! Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

And with this ends the comparison overview section of our Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8. If that was enough to help you make a quick decision, then we’re happy to have helped. But for those who want all the cards laid out before deciding on any camera, keep reading with us.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Which Features Do They Have In Common?

As usual, the first step we take in our comparison is to compare these cameras based on their common features. Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 1: Sharp Resolution

The sensor resolution of the sensors of these cameras might not sound high resolution. We’re looking at 24 megapixels for the Sony a5100 and 16 megapixels for the Panasonic GF8. Especially when you consider that Sony has a camera that’s up to 42 megapixels, these don’t seem like much. But don’t forget what we’re considering here.

These are two small-bodied cameras and for their size and purpose, their sensor resolutions are just great. But obviously, the Sony a5100 is the better camera in this category with 24 megapixels, that is, 8 megapixels on the Panasonic GF8.

Of course, in real life, that would translate to a lot of difference in image quality. You should be able to do much more, crop more aggressively, print larger photos from the Sony a5100 than from the Panasonic GF8. But that’s okay because these are different cameras.

The Panasonic GF8 is made for taking selfies and casual photography for hobbyist. So, most probably, people taking photos with the GF8 are not particularly thinking of cropping excessively or printing. It’s most likely for social media, in which case 16 megapixels are more than enough. And even for print, as long as the size, 16 megapixels can do wonders. You can print a perfect 11 by 14. So, you see? Not bad at all.

For clear, sharp images, both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 are great options. Their sensors are plenty sharp for great photos. But, of course, the Sony a5100 is the better choice in this regard.

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 2: High ISO

Although with different minimum ISO values, the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 have a pretty high ISO range which is quite impressive for a camera their size. The Sony a5100 comes with an ISO range of 100 to 25600 stops while the Panasonic GF8 comes with an ISO rang of 200 to 25600 stops.

Of course, not all of that is usable as you may well know. For those who might be somewhat new to photography, ISO typically comes to play when in poor lighting. You’d usually crank your ISO higher so you can get a clearer shot of your subject. And the higher the ISO value, the brighter the shot.

So, it just makes sense to keep cranking up the ISO till the shot is bright enough, right? Well, wrong. Because the truth is that the higher the ISO values, the noisier your photos would get. And trust us, you wouldn’t want that.

So, typically, you want to keep your ISO as low as possible. Don’t ever go higher than you have to.

We want to say that the Sony a5100 does better than the Panasonic GF8 in low light but that wouldn’t exactly be correct. Even though the Sony a5100 is from Sony, makers of some of the best low light cameras and the sensor is larger, the Sony a5100 is just average in low light.

These two cameras perform great at ISOs of 100 (or 200 in the case of the Panasonic GF8) up to ISOs of 1600. The Sony a5100 could actually still work great at an ISO of 3200 stop. But, typically, at 3200, noise slowly begins to creep into your photos. So, you want to keep that in mind.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 3: 3 Inch LCD Flip Screen

Another feature these cameras have in common is the presence of an LCD flip screen. The screen does not fully articulate as you have it on some more advanced camera. Instead, the screen flips upward which is the perfect position for taking selfies or videos of yourself. Now, that’s for positioning. There are two other aspects of the screen we’d talk about as well.

Now, we talk about resolution because that’s important to how you enjoy looking into your screen. First, it’s important to note that neither of these cameras has a viewfinder. This means, therefore, that you’d either have to get one yourself, or you’d have to make do with the screen.

For users of the Panasonic GF8, that might not be a big problem since they are mostly using the camera for selfies and all of that. This is probably one of the reasons the manufacturer didn’t bother with a viewfinder. The camera is so small after all, and that was the plan – to make a small, compact camera users can carry around for selfies.

The Sony a5100 is a different story. Its screen is not as sharp as that of the Panasonic GF8 with only 922k dots of screen resolution. It might, therefore, be a little more difficult working with the screen in the bright sunlight with the reflection bouncing off the screen and all of that. So, you want to keep that in mind.

The last thing we will talk about in this section is touch sensitivity. Well, technically these two cameras come with touch sensitive screens. But that’s not saying the whole truth.

The Panasonic GF8 has a completely touch sensitive screen just like most Panasonic cameras. The screen of the Sony a5100, on the other hand, is only partially touch sensitive. That is, you only get to use it to focus. You can’t use it to interact with the camera, like scroll through the menu options. You’re going to have to use the buttons and that can be quite frustrating for the user especially when on the job.

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 4: Dynamic Range

As much as your camera’s performance in low light is important, so is his performance in bright light. When working outdoors, taking photos in the sunlight can cause you to lose details in the shadows and in the highlights. And this is why dynamic range is important. If it is not wide enough, you’re going to lose some important details.

Usually, a good dynamic range falls between 12 and 14. Some cameras even exceed 14 and ar just a few stops shy of 15. Of course, that’s a huge advantage.

In the case of the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8, the dynamic range of the Sony a5100 looks good. However, we weren’t able to get information on just how what exactly the dynamic range of the Panasonic GF8 is. Apparently, that has not been tested.

From the pictures we saw though, we’d say that the camera does pretty well. Photos in the sun look good, that’s for sure. So, we think the dynamic range is okay. We’re not sure it will be as good as that of the Sony a5100 though being a much smaller sensor and all.

But, anyway, with a dynamic range of about 12, the Sony a5100 is good to go for all your sunny activities.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 5: RAW Support

We know we’ve been saying all day that these are fun cameras. But that’s not to say that you can’t get RAW photos on these cameras. Oh yeah, you definitely can. These two cameras have the ability to shoot both JPEG and RAW.

Let’s start with the Sony a5100. We already mentioned that this camera is a fantastic way to test the waters as a professional photographer. So, yes, it makes sense that it has the ability to shoot RAW. It’s a great way for amateur photographers to learn to take high quality photos and edit them.

Talking about editing, RAW photos are fancied by many photographers because of the creative liberty it affords them. You get to edit the photo to your liking and image quality is far superior to JPEG format which is the format your smartphone takes pictures in.

That said, if this is your first real camera, then to shoot RAW, you’d need a good software application for editing your photos like Lightroom or Photoshop.

What’s surprising to us though, and it’s a pleasant surprise, is that the Panasonic GF8 has RAW support as well. Panasonic might have pushed this camera as a fun, selfie camera. But it has also proved that this is a camera you can also use for some semi-professional stills that you’d be proud of. It’s really looking good for this tiny-bodied camera.

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8
Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 6: Fast Focusing

Still on the Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8 comparison, we now check out their focusing systems. If you look at the numbers strictly, you find that the Sony a5100 has more focus points than the Panasonic GF8. Sure, that affects performance but before we go into all of that, we’re glad to announce that these cameras have fast focusing.

While not the fastest you’d ever see, you’d have to give it to these two cameras, they are pretty fast. And on the Sony a5100, you also get focus peaking as well which is great. We’re also quite happy to see that the Sony a5100 does not have a challenge with focus hunting. This was a problem we saw on one of Sony’s higher end cameras. That is, once it locks on to the object in focus, it remains and doesn’t continue to hover around searching.

As for the Panasonic GF8, we’re also quite impressed with its focus and most of the things we mentioned about the Sony a5100 also apply. But, additionally, we also found that the Panasonic GF8 is still pretty fast even in low light.

Low light focusing is a challenge for many cameras and that’s understandable. It’s like groping in the dark. The Panasonic GF8 focuses fast down to -4EV which is really dark. So, that’s quite impressive for the Panasonic GF8.

As for the number of focus points, the Sony a5100 has way more focus points than the Panasonic GF8. This makes it better suited for taking photos of moving subjects. There are enough focus points to ensure that the moving subject is always in focus.

The Panasonic though, with its fewer focus points, is better for subjects or objects that are stationary. And that’s okay since it’s a selfie camera anyway.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 7: Video Mode

Everything we’ve said so far has affected shooting stills for the most part. But now it’s time to talk about video mode. And we must say that these cameras take great videos. They shoot at the same video resolution – 1920 by 1080 pixels which is full HD. As you’d expect, these cameras do not shoot in 4K. But that’s okay for the type of camera these are.

The Sony a5100 is great at shooting video even though, understandably, it doesn’t quite compet with higher end cameras. The camera can shoot at a high quality XAVCS which is great since it allows you to shoot at a higher bitrate than AVCHD and MP4. And guess what? The Sony a5100 shoots at 50 megabits per second which is really good. Consider this, some high end cameras shoot at 100 megabits per second.

And that’s not the only impressive thing about this camera. The Sony a5100 also shoots at 60 frames per second. So, there’s the option of doing slow motion videos. There are also other frame rate options which include 30 and 24 frames per second.

And even better, you get to shoot both high quality and low quality videos at the same time. The reason this is great is because, in the eventuality that you need to upload a video fast, you can choose to go with the lower quality video instead.

But here’s the challenge, the Sony a5100 overheats a lot. So, oftentimes, you can’t shoot for long before the camera begins to overheat and you need to put it off. It’s a real challenge. At the most, you’d only be able to shoot for 18 minutes in 1080p before the overheating starts – and that’s indoors.

As for the Panasonic GF8, the story is pretty much the same except that its highest frame rate is 30 frames per second. But guess what? You can even take photos while shooting a video, especially if the subject is stationary. To take clear photo of a moving subject, you’d have to increase shutter speed which could end up making the video choppy.

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 8: Continuous Shooting

In this department, both cameras do just okay, maybe even the same. The Sony a5100 has a burst mode of 6 frames per second while the Panasonic GF8 has a burst mode of 5.8 frames per second. As you can see, they are just okay.

For those who intend to shoot sports, action, o wildlife, none of these cameras will be able to do that for you. But that does not make these cameras a total burst. You can choose to use the continuous shooting for other non-action stuff.

For instance, you can use the cameras to shoots portraits or group photos. From photos of the moments, to getting perfect pictures where everyone’s eyes are open for once, you can achieve all of that using the continuous shooting of these cameras.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 9: No Image Stabilization

The lack of an image stabilization can be a small challenge for users especially when they have to shoot handheld. Normally, image stabilization should be able to keep your image straight even when there’s an involuntary shake of the camera.

So, what do you do now that there’s no image stabilization? Well, you have two options. You can either work with a tripod which is probably your best bet. With this method, your images have no chance of shaking.

Your other option is to go for image stabilization lenses. This is the more expensive route and could lead to you carrying quite a heavy baggage. And then again, neither the Sony a5100 nor the Panasonic GF8 has that many options for image stabilization lenses.

The Sony a5100 has only 22 lenses while the Panasonic GF8 has 23 lenses.

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 9: No Weather-Sealing

This is a bummer but it’s also somewhat expected – one of the tradeoffs that comes with buying an inexpensive camera. The lack of weather-sealing ultimately makes the body of the camera less durable. This is because it leaves the body exposed to the elements. This, ultimately makes the camera prone to moisture and dust which can affect camera’s performance.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 10: AE Bracketing

AE bracketing ensures that you’re able to take perfectly exposed shots. It does this by giving you a series of shots with different exposure levels with one click of the shutter release button. That is, you wouldn’t have to take the photos severally while changing the exposure settings after each shot.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 11: Wireless Connection And Near Field Communication (NFC)

This is great for quick and convenient transfer of files, which ultimately translates to snappy upload of photos and videos. So, whether for the Gram or any other social media platform you favor, you can now instantly share your photos or videos with your smartphone without having to touch a cable.

Also, if your phone is NFC enabled, you can even transfer your files to it through contactless NFC.

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 12: Fun Modes

These two cameras have what we’d call the “fun” modes. You might these in professional photographers and those who have no sense of humor might not be amused by them. But we found them interesting and we’d love to share.

The Sony a5100 is the less fun camera in this comparison. It only has two pseudo-fun modes which are the countdown selfie timer and the smile detector. So you can set your camera to countdown and take a photo or you can set it to take a photo once the screen detects a smile.

The Panasonic GF8 is more fun and has several fun modes. Let’s share some of our favorite.

First, there’s the slimming mode. So, some people say you look a little fatter than yourself on camera. Or maybe you just feel like you’ve packed on a few pounds much to your chagrin, the slimming mode can help you get your sexy back on.

Then there’s the buddy mode too. In this mode, the screen detects two human faces and then takes a photo automatically. Really cool, right?

Finally, there’s the mode we love the most – the jump mode. This one requires a syncing with your phone though but it’s pretty simple. Once that’s done, you simply position your camera for the perfect shot and then jump! Your phone’s accelerometer detects your jump, triggers your camera, and “capture!”

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 Common Feature 13: Interchangeable Lens Camera

Lastly, both of these cameras are interchangeable lens cameras. Although different, both mounts can take different kinds of lenses. Of course, this increases your options and, as long as you have an adapter, you can use any lens you want. It’s even better if you already have old glass so you don’t have to get new glass. And Sony is known to make really expensive glass.

Now to the big question, how many glasses do you get with each camera?

So, for the first time, there’s a brand with fewer lenses than Sony. Lol. Nearly every time, Sony always has fewer lens options. But this time, the Sony a5100 has more. It has 102 lenses while the Panasonic GF8 has only 98.

So, really, on either brand, you’re not getting a lot of lens options but its’s still great, anyway. We doubt users of the Panasonic GF8 might even consider having a barrage of lenses but it’s cool, anyway.

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Unique Feature

We’re still comparing the Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8 out here. Having compared the common features, we will now check out each camera’s unique features.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Features Unique To The Sony a5100

APS-C Sensor

So, unlike the Panasonic GF8, the Sony a5100 has an APS-C sensor. This a sensor one size smaller than a full frame. And we really commend Sony on how they were able to fit such a large sensor (relative to the body) in such a small body. It’s really commendable, to say the least.

The choice of a crop sensor is typical with Sony considering that they were trying to make this camera an affordable camera. Sony primarily makes full frame cameras and we haven’t seen the brand ever go below an APS-C. So, it makes sense that they go with a crop sensor for a smaller, more affordable camera.

The APS-C sensor definitely has an advantage over the micro four third sensors thanks to its larger size. Most features are usually better with a larger sensor such as low light performance, dynamic range, and depth of field.

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Features Unique To The Panasonic GF8

Micro Four Thirds Sensor

The Panasonic GF8 is a small, compact camera as we have shown. Plus, Panasonic is known for making micro four thirds sensors. Even its GH4, a powerful video camera, uses a micro four thirds camera.

This small sensor usually puts a camera at a small disadvantage because it’s so small. But on this camera, it works great. Plus, just like the Sony a500, the micro four thirds sensor of the GF8 is actually large for its body. So, yes, we also commend Panasonic for making it work.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Unique Pros

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Pros Unique To The Sony a5100

  • Comes with a larger sensor – APS-C sensor.
  • It also has a sharper sensor as well. The sensor is a 24 megapixel sharp sensor which puts it 8 megapixels ahead of the Panasonic GF8.
  • Higher frame rate than the Panasonic GF8 – up to 60 frames per second.
  • High bitrate of 50 megabits per second.
  • Better dynamic range.
  • More focus points and better focusing.
  • Faster max shutter speed – 1/8000s.
  • Records video in two formats – a high quality one and a low quality one which gives you the option of choosing the lower quality for a faster upload.
  • Has a better battery life than the Panasonic GF8.
  • Larger sensor area than the Panasonic GF8.
  • This is the more affordable camera.
  • Interchangeable lens camera.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Pros Unique To The Panasonic GF8

  • A much smaller and more compact camera great for carrying around in your pocket.
  • Menu layout is much easier to navigate than on the Sony a5100. In fact, there are no controls on the back panel except for one knob. This knob doesn’t feel cheap and is quite easy to use.
  • Screen is completely touch sensitive both for focusing and for scrolling through the menu.
  • You can take photos while shooting your video.
  • Screen is much sharper than the screen on the Panasonic GF8.
  • Flash coverage has a wider reach.

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Unique Cons

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Cons Unique To The Sony a5100

  • There is a major challenge with overheating. This camera would only record for about 18 minutes before it begins to overheat, and yes, we’re talking indoors. It’s probably because the body of the Sony a5100 is so small.
  • The screen is not rally bright and can be quite difficult to use as a viewfinder.
  • The screen is also not completely touch sensitive and can only be used for adjusting focus. Cannot be used to scroll through the menu options.
  • The Sony menu is a little difficult to figure out in comparison to that of the Panasonic GH4 with its simpler layout.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Cons Unique To The Panasonic GF8

  • Sensor is a quite small and not as sharp as that of the Sony a5100.
  • More expensive than the Sony a5100.
  • Battery life is not as good as that of the Sony a5100.
  • Not many focus points.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Common Pros

Sony a5100

Panasonic GF8

Small, black compact camera, great for moving around easily and conveniently. Even smaller and more compact for a more discreet porting.
Great for taking selfies with a flip up screen. Also selfie-friendly.
Wonderful camera choice for vloggers. Also great for vloggers.
Wireless connection for easy transfer of files from camera to computer or smartphone. Also comes with built-in WiFi.
Near Field Communication is great for contactless transfer of files easily and without the clutter. Also NFC-enabled.
The Sony a5100 comes with a built-in flash which is great for times when you don’t want to have to lug around an external flash. Also comes with built-in flash. No need for external flash shoe since users will most likely never have to use an external flash to take a selfie.
Comes with RAW support for the best quality images. Features RAW support as well.
AE bracketing feature present. Same goes for the Panasonic GF8.
Continuous shooting feature is quite good. Also applies here.
Face detection focus helps the camera detect a human face to give the right exposure for a perfect shot. Same with the Panasonic GF8.
You get smartphone remote control. You also get smartphone remote control as well.
A couple of fun, selfie-friendly modes: countdown shutter mode, smile shutter mode. Comes with even more fun modes: buddy mode, slimming mode, and jump mode.
Get the Sony a5100 here!
Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Get the Sony a5100 here!

Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – Common Cons

Sony a5100

Panasonic GF8

This camera lacks image stabilization. Also lacks image stabilization.
No external flash shoe so you won’t be able to use an external flash shoe, if you ever have to. Lacks an external flash shoe as well but might not be such a big deal.
No viewfinder to work with. Users would have to depend on the live screen. Problem is it’s not as bright. Also lacks a viewfinder but the screen is sharper and clearer.
Not weather-sealed, so it’s exposed to the elements which isn’t great news for durability. Also does not come weather-sealed.

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – General Feeling Among Users

Sony a5100

Panasonic GF8

It seemed obvious that everyone understood what they were coming to get when they opted to go for the Sony a5100. You could see that many understood that this wasn’t supposed to take the place of a full frame camera or a DSLR. That understanding seemed to have helped a lot of customers enjoy their camera better and even cope with some of the tradeoffs that came with using the camera.  

So, the price was a definite steal. For under five hundred bucks, it was generally agreed that this is a pretty affordable camera and a nice deal.  

Another thing that really impressed customers was how Sony was able to pack such a large sensor into such a small body. The fact that they didn’t have to sacrifice image quality on the altar of the compactness of the camera was definitely appreciated by many customers.  

It seemed like most who came to purchase the camera were mostly beginners and those seeking a travel-friendly. We also saw that the camera was favored by a number of vloggers looking to step up from a camcorder to something a little more serious yet handy enough for vlogging on the go.  

As for the letdowns, the biggest seemed to be the overheating problem. It would only take a really short period before you had to shut your camera down as a result of overheating.  

Then customers also had a challenge with the lack of a viewfinder as well as an audio in.  

As usual, Sony has not worked on its battery issues – another pain point for customers. But what made it worse was the fact that they found that they couldn’t even run the camera on an external power source.  

But in all, it was obvious that people expected the tradeoffs. And if the staggering number of five star reviews was anything to go by, then most could live with the tradeoffs especially considering the price.   Maybe that’s something you could live with too. No?
There were a number of positive nods for the Panasonic GF8. Most who used the camera appeared to enjoy it.  

The price was sweet and the body of the camera was sweet as well. Customers really appreciated the fact that they could even put the camera into their pockets and be on their way. The discreteness of the camera definitely appealed to a lot of customers.  

Like we said, this camera was made for the selfies and buyers agreed. They had loads of fun taking selfies with the camera too.   You could see how the camera created fun moments for the user with friends, family, and even strangers, especially when using buddy mode.  

Of all the modes though, the jump mode seemed to be the favorite of most users and that’s understandable, right?  

Many users also enjoyed using their camera in low light. Focus was also another sweet point as well. And then there was the layout. Making the screen touch sensitive and putting nearly all controls on there seemed to be a good move on Panasonic’s part. Customers were glad to have just one dial on the back of the camera.  

But there were few complaints. The first was about battery life. There were also complaints about the feel of the camera. Some said the camera felt a little cheap although it wasn’t a sentiment shared by everyone.  

But, altogether did the customers appreciate Panasonic’s move to create a selfie camera? Definitely. It was a loved camera.  

PS: This camera is available in the US. However, it’s made for the international market. So, keep that in mind.
Get the Sony a5100 here!
Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

Sony a5100 Vs Panasonic GF8 – In Summary

In this section, we crown our own winner in the Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8. We’re pretty sure you’ve made your own decision and that’s okay too. You can skip this section and go on and make your purchase. However, if you care for it, here’s our unbiased opinion on this review today.

Our winner is the Sony a5100 and we’ll tell you why. Ideally, we would have crowned them winners in their respective fields. However, it was just one little factor that swayed our decision. And that factor is the fact that the Panasonic GF8 is available in the US but made for the international market (the European market to be precise). Due to this, therefore, you might not be able to make it functional for your needs. For instance, the plug is European not American.

So, that said, the Sony a5100 and Panasonic GF8 are geared towards similar but somewhat different customers. For us, we’d recommend the Sony a5100 for the beginner photographer looking to step up from their smartphone or their point and shoot. It’s a more serious camera than the Panasonic GF8, like a junior full frame mirrorless camera for interns.

The Panasonic GF8, on the other hand, is a better fit for those who love to have fun. You might or might not be considering taking up photography as a career. It’s just there to help you take your best selfies better than a smartphone camera can, and in the most fun way possible, basically.

But even for a “fun camera,” the Panasonic GF8 packs some serious punch! So, don’t totally write it off if you’re a young photographer.

Also, if you need a camera for travel and you really need it to be “pocketable small,” then the camera you might want to consider is the Panasonic GF8.

Get the Sony a5100 here! Get the Panasonic GF8 here!

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