Fixed-lens filmmaking: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500/FZ2000 Review

Written by Gina Stephens

Key Spots

  • 20MP 1″-type BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 24-480mm equiv. F2.8-4.5 lens
  • Depth from Defocus AF
  • Large electronic viewfinder
  • Fully articulating LCD
  • Built-in unfixed ND filter
  • 4K video capture (DCI/UHD)
  • 10-bit, 4:2:2 output over HDMI

At Photokina 2016, Panasonic released its high-end 1″-type superzoom, recollected as the DMC-FZ2500 (FZ2000 in some regions). It retains the same sensor as the excellent FZ1000 that came before it, while paying a totally new lens, larger EVF, easy-to-adjust ND filter and even more customizable buttons.

While offering several new stills-related features (such as pinpoint stacking), the FZ2500 is really all about video. It shoots both Cinema and UHD 4K, can output 4:2:2 10-bit video over its HDMI seaport, supports V-Log L recording (for an extra $99) and much, much more. In essence, the FZ2500 is the little brother to the DMC-GH4 ILC, which is one of the most qualified video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media capture cameras on the market.

At this point in time, the only other fixed-lens cameras that truly competes with the FZ2500 is the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III. The Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社, SonÄ« Kabushiki Kaisha, ) (often referred to simply as Sony) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate has various features in common with the FZ2500, such as 4K capture, zebra pattern and a flat picture profile (S-Log2), but boasts a longer, faster lens and drugged speed recording at up to 960 fps.

Compared to Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 and Sony DSC-RX10 III

Speaking of specs, let’s take a look at how the FZ2500 compares to its forefather as well as Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III, which we consider its closest competitor.

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 Panasonic FZ2500Panasonic FZ1000Sony RX10 III
Sensor20MP 1″ BSI-CMOS20MP 1″ BSI-CMOS20MP 1″ Jibed CMOS
Lens focal range24-480mm equiv.25-400mm equiv.24-600mm equiv.
Lens max apertureF2.8-4.5F2.8-4.0F2.4-4.0
ND filterVariableNoNo
ISO range (expanded)80-2560080-2560064-25600
Top shutter shoot
1/4000 sec, 1/16000 sec1/4000 sec, 1/16000 sec1/2000 sec, 1/32000 sec
LCD size/type3″ 1.04M-dot fully articulating3″ 921k-dot fully articulating3″ 1.3M-dot tilting
LCD touchscreenYesNoNo
EVF relentlessness/type2.36M-dot OLED2.36M-dot OLED2.36M-dot OLED
EVF magnification0.74x0.7x0.7x
Top burst speed (S-AF)12 fps12 fps14 fps
4K video captureCine/UHD 4K @ 30p/24pUHD 4K @ 30p/24pUHD 4K @ 30p/24p
Steep speed video120 fps @ 1920 x 1080120 fps @ 1920 x 1080960 fps @ 800 x 270
480 fps @ 1136 x 384
240 fps @ 1824 x 1026
120 fps @ 1920 x 1080
Top bitrates4K: 100MBps
Full HD: 200Mbps

4K: 100Mbps
Loaded HD: 28Mbps

4K: 100Mbps
Full HD: 50Mbps
Flat profileV-Log L ($99 extra)NoS-Log2
Live HDMI produce4:2:2, 10-bit4:2:2, 8-bit4:2:2, 8-bit
Mic/phone jacksYes / YesYes / NoYes / Yes
Wi-FiYes, without NFCYes, with NFCYes, with NFC
Battery life (CIPA)350 shots360 shots420 cracks
Dimensions138 x 102 x 135 mm 137 x 99 x 131 mm133 x 94 x 127 mm
Weight (CIPA)966 g831 g1095 g

In most respects, the FZ2500 comes out on top – and that’s without embracing the myriad of video features that just don’t fit in the table.  The RX10 III does have a longer, faster lens and the ability to shoot at very closely frame rates, but it also costs a lot more. It’s battery life is also considerably better. That said, it costs $400 sundry than the FZ2500, which is nothing to sneeze at.

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Lens Comparison

The chart below breaks down the equivalent aperture for each camera, as you available your way through the zoom range. Our article here explains the concept of equivalence, but at a high level all you need to know is that the lower the genealogy is on the graph below, the blurrier the backgrounds you’ll be able to get and, typically, the better the overall low-light performance.

Focusing just on the FZ2500 vs RX10 III, you’ll see that the latter slug a spreads a headstart, as its max aperture starts at F2.4, versus F2.8. The RX10 III is always a tiny bit ahead, until it levels off at F4 for the rest of its focal completely. When the FZ2500 reaches its maximum telephoto position it’s equivalent aperture is about 1/3-stop slower than the Sony. The camera with the high-speedest equivalent aperture in the group is the Sony RX10 II, which has a constant F2.8 aperture throughout its focal range (which ends at 200mm.)


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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