Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500

20.1MP 1" MOS sensor | 24-480mm equiv. F2.8-4.5 lens | DCI & UHD 4K video

What we like:

  • Built like a tank
  • 4K capture with extensive controls
  • Strong autofocus performance
  • Large EVF

What we don't:

  • Soft lens
  • Strong JPEG noise reduction
  • 1.4x crop when recording 4K
  • Bulky when lens is extended

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 (known as the FZ2000 in some regions) is a superzoom camera that takes what made the FZ1000 great and adds a longer lens, variable ND filter and a ton of video capture options.

The FZ2500 is a beefy camera and generally feels very solid. Its lens is unusual in that its zoom mechanism is internal, which allows for more precise adjustments than on 'traditional' lenses. Along with Panasonic's image stabilization system there's also a ND filter with three options plus auto mode - something normally found on dedicated video cameras. The camera features a fully articulating 3" touchscreen (great for rack focusing) as well as a larger-than-average OLED viewfinder - a necessity when shooting outdoors.

The FZ2500 is really all about video.

Like other recent Panasonic models, the FZ2500 uses the company's Depth from Defocus AF system. Focus performance is excellent in terms of both depth and subject tracking, and responsiveness in general. The FZ can shoot at 12 fps with AF-lock and 7 fps with continuous AF. Battery life is rated at a middle-of-the-road 350 shots per charge.

The FZ2500's potential for great image quality that is ultimately limited by its soft lens. JPEGs are generally pleasant, though skin tones can have a green tint, and noise reduction can smudge away fine detail. Noise levels are very low at low ISOs and competitive at higher sensitivities.

The FZ2500 is really all about video. It captures 4K video at both DCI and UHD sizes at 100Mbps. At the 1080p resolution (with both 60p and 120p options,) the max bit rates rise to 200Mbps. The camera offers numerous controls for things like time code, luminance levels, zebra pattern and even color bars. It can output 10-bit 4:2:2 video over its HDMI port and also has jacks for a microphone and headphones. Support for Panasonic's V-Log L flat gamma curve is also available for an additional $99. Both 4K and 1080p video quality is very good, though not best-in-class. There's also a substantial 1.4x crop when capturing 4K.

While the Panasonic FZ2500/FZ2000 has an amazing spec sheet, great build quality and a host of features, it's let down by a soft lens, 1.4x crop when recording 4K and issues with color and noise reduction in JPEGs. For video-shooters it's very impressive, but if stills are your thing it's probably worth buying something a bit cheaper.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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