Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8 – Comprehensive Review

Photography is a beautiful art that cuts across all kinds of people. 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.

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 are not really for the professionals today. Today is strictly just for fun.

Our aim today is to ensure that we get you the better selfie camera judging from the features of each of these cameras viz-à-viz 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 for outdoor photography experiences.

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 going 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. Completing the review is the surest way to ensure that you don’t 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 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 than the camera bodies).

Besides these two major pros, these cameras also come with a wireless connection, NFC and smartphone remote control. The screens of these cameras are articulate. Although not fully articulate but they are good enough for selfies and vlogging.

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

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

Where The Sony a5100 Does It Better

The Sony 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.

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 shoots 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 a 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 to 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.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

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 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 hence it affects durability just a bit.

Price Value Ratio – Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8

Which is more expensive: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

The Sony a5100 is more expensive than the Panasonic GF8 although both cameras sell cost less than a thousand dollars. All things considered, these cameras are not expensive and they deliver real value even at such a small price.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

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 its 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.

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 photography 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!
Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8 – Circumstances They Are 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 a top priority (because there’s no audio in).  

The 60 frames per second frame rate also mean 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 of 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.

Common Features Of The Sony a5100 And The Panasonic GF8

The following features are common to both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8:

1. Sharp Resolution

2. High ISO

3. 3 Inch LCD

4. Flip Screen

5. Dynamic Range

6. RAW Support

7. Fast Focusing

8. Video Mode

9. Continuous Shooting

10. No Image Stabilization

11. Weather-Sealing

12. AE Bracketing

13. Wireless Connection And Near Field Communication (NFC)

14. Fun Modes

15. Interchangeable Lens Camera

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?

Sharp Resolution

What is the sensor resolution of the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8?

The sensor resolution of the Sony a5100 is 24 megapixels while the resolution of the Panasonic GF8 is 16 megapixels. These resolutions are commendable as they give users a good picture quality.

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 hobbyists. 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.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon

Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

High ISO

What is the ISO of the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8?

The Sony a5100 comes with an ISO range of 100 to 25600 stops while the Panasonic GF8 comes with an ISO range of 200 to 25600 stops.
ISO typically comes to play when in poor lighting as you’d usually crank your ISO higher so you can get a clearer shot of your subject. This explains the concept that 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.

3-Inch LCD Flip Screen

Which has a 3-inch LCD flip screen: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 have a 3-inch LCD flip screen. The LCD screen does not fully articulate as you have it on some more advanced cameras.

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 is 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 that 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 is, 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.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

Dynamic Range

As much as your camera’s performance in low light is important, so is its 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 are 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 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.

RAW Support

Which has the RAW support feature: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 have the RAW support feature.
These two cameras basically have the ability to shoot both JPEG and RAW.
Talking about editing, RAW photos are fancied by many photographers because of the creative liberty they afford 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.

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.

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 obviously 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.

Fast Focusing

Which has a fast focusing system: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 have a fast focusing system. 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 GF8 regardless of its fewer focus points, is better for subjects or objects that are stationary and that’s okay since it’s a selfie camera anyway.

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. 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.

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 compete with high-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 a clear photo of a moving subject, you’d have to increase shutter speed which could end up making the video choppy.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

Continuous Shooting

What is the continuous shooting mode of the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8?

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.

Image Stabilization

Which has an image stabilization feature: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 lack the image stabilization feature. The lack of this feature 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 as there’s no image stabilization? Well, you have two options. You can either work with a tripod which is probably your best bet or you go for image stabilization lenses . When you work with a tripod, your images have no chance of shaking.

Using image stabilization lenses is also a good option although many users see it as a more expensive route and could lead to you carrying quite a heavy baggage.

Moreso, 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.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon


Which has weather-sealing: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 do not have a weather-sealed body. This is a bummer but it’s also somewhat expected – one of the tradeoffs that come 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 the camera’s performance.

AE Bracketing

Which has an AE Bracketing feature: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 have the AE bracketing that allows users to take perfectly exposed shots. This feature performs this function 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 change the exposure settings after each shot.

Wireless Connection And Near Field Communication (NFC)

Which has the wireless and Near field communication features: Sony a5100 or Panasonic GF8?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 have the wireless and Near field communication features. 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.

Fun Modes

These two cameras have what we’d call the “fun” modes. You will not see these in professional photographers and those who have no sense of humor are likely 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 favorites.

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!”

Interchangeable Lens Camera

Which is an interchangeable lens camera: Sony a5100 or Panasonic?

Both the Sony a5100 and the Panasonic GF8 are interchangeable lens cameras. Additionally, the mounts of both cameras can take different kinds of lenses and 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 a 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 it’s still great, anyway. We doubt users of the Panasonic GF8 will even consider having a barrage of lenses but it’s cool, anyway.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

Check out these other detailed articles

Sony a5000 Vs HX90V – Detailed Comparison

Sony a5000 Vs Olympus E-PL6 – Detailed Comparison

Sony a6000 vs Fujifilm x100t – Which Should You Go For?

Sony a6000 Vs Fuji X-E2 – Which Should You Go For?

Sony Alpha a6000 Vs Nikon D5200 – Detailed Comparison

Sony Alpha a6000 Vs Panasonic Lumix-G7 – Detailed Comparison

Sony a5100 – What Are The Unique Features?

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.

Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

Panasonic GF8 – What Are The Unique Features?

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 – What Are The Unique Pros?

The following are the unique pros of the Sony a5100:

1. Comes with a larger sensor – APS-C sensor.

2. 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.

3. Higher frame rate than the Panasonic GF8 – up to 60 frames per second.

4. High bitrate of 50 megabits per second.

5. Better dynamic range.

6. More focus points and better focusing.

7. Faster max shutter speed – 1/8000s.

8. 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.

9. Has a better battery life than the Panasonic GF8.

10. Larger sensor area than the Panasonic GF8.

11. This is the more affordable camera.

12. Interchangeable lens camera.

Panasonic GF8 – What Are The Unique Pros?

The following are the unique pros of the Panasonic GF8:

1. A much smaller and more compact camera great for carrying around in your pocket.

2. The menu layout is much easier to navigate than on 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.

3. The screen is completely touch-sensitive both for focusing and for scrolling through the menu.

4. You can take photos while shooting your video.

5. Screen is much sharper than the screen on the Panasonic GF8.

6. Flash coverage has a wider reach.

Sony a5100 – What Are The Unique Cons?

  • 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 really 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.

Panasonic GF8 – What Are The Unique Cons?

  • 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.

Common Pros Of The Sony a5100 And The Panasonic GF8

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 the 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.
The 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 a smartphone remote control. You also get a 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!
Buy this Sony a5100 Camera on Amazon
Buy this Panasonic LUMIX GF8 Camera on Amazon

Common Cons Of The Sony a5100 And The Panasonic GF8

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 – What Do People Think About Both?

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 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. The 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 – Conclusion

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!

Sony a5100 vs Panasonic GF8 – Related FAQs

Is Panasonic GF8 Good for Video?

The Panasonic GF8 is good for video as the basic photographic performance of the camera is best described as excellent. The Panasonic GF8 features a full HD 1920 x 1080, 60p (60Hz) / 50p (50Hz) high quality video recording in AVCHD progressive and MP4 with stereo sound. 

The tracking AF and the full-time AF are also available in video recording in the Panasonic GF8. The presence of this feature has prompted many users to dub the camera a hybrid video capture machine.

What lenses are compatible with Panasonic GF8?

The following standard lenses are compatible with the Panasonic gf8:

ModelFocal LengthMax Aperture
Olympus ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.618-36mmF4.0 – F5.6
Panasonic 7-14mm F4 ASPH14-28mmF4.0
Olympus ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO14-28mmF2.8
Panasonic 8-18mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH16-36mmF2.8-22

Olympus ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ


F3.5 – F6.3

The Panasonic gf8 is highly selective in terms of lenses and users are advised to check compatibility before final purchase and fixing is made. Using the user manual will also be helpful.

Does Panasonic GF8 have RAW support?

The Panasonic gf8 has RAW support. The camera features a 16.00 megapixel and a large MOS sensor which makes a higher sensitivity and resolution image possible. With the RAW feature, users of Panasonic GF8 can shoot images in RAW format and convert later using image processors.

When images are not in RAW format, they take the JPEG format. The JPEG format is a lower image format and occupies less space than the RAW format. Nonetheless, some photographers still stick with the JPEG format.

Is the Sony a5100 Good for Beginners?

The Sony a5100 is good for beginners. It has a user-friendly interface, so it is a suitable camera for beginner photographers. Combined with a touch-sensitive LCD screen, using the Sony a5100 camera is as intuitive as using a smartphone.

And despite its ease of use and accessibility, the a5100 still delivers great photos and videos.

Additionally, the Sony a5100 comes at a good price which is quite an important feature for an entry-level camera. So, with this camera, you can start a career in photography.

Is the Sony a5100 Full frame?

The Sony a5100 is not a full frame camera. The camera comes with an APS-C CMOS sensor with a maximum sensor resolution of 24 megapixels. You will get a full screen photo with a full frame sensor but with the APS-C sensor your photo will have a cropping effect.

However, the effects of this crop are not always bad. While it does not give the best results if the subject is too close, it would be great if they were far away.

Is the Sony a5100 Good for Photography?

The Sony A5100 is a good camera for photography. The camera is a 24-megapixel APS-C camera with built-in Wi-Fi, 179 focus points, near field communications, an articulating screen, and other features.

The A5100 is as easy to use as you’d expect from an entry-level camera. It’s fun to use too. It has an attractive remote-control function, a touch screen and an in-camera panorama function.

With the user-friendly interface, the camera is a good fit for both beginners and professional photographers.