Key Features

  • 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 variable 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, known as the DMC-FZ2500 (FZ2000 in some regions). It retains the same sensor as the excellent FZ1000 that came before it, while gaining 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 focus 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 port, 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 capable video 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 has many 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 high 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 predecessor as well as Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III, which we consider its closest competitor.

  Panasonic FZ2500 Panasonic FZ1000 Sony RX10 III
MSRP $1199 $799 $1599
Sensor 20MP 1" BSI-CMOS 20MP 1" BSI-CMOS 20MP 1" Stacked CMOS
Lens focal range 24-480mm equiv. 25-400mm equiv. 24-600mm equiv.
Lens max aperture F2.8-4.5 F2.8-4.0 F2.4-4.0
ND filter Variable No No
ISO range (expanded) 80-25600 80-25600 64-25600
Top shutter speed
(mech/elec)
1/4000 sec, 1/16000 sec 1/4000 sec, 1/16000 sec 1/2000 sec, 1/32000 sec
LCD size/type 3" 1.04M-dot fully articulating 3" 921k-dot fully articulating 3" 1.3M-dot tilting
LCD touchscreen Yes No No
EVF resolution/type 2.36M-dot OLED 2.36M-dot OLED 2.36M-dot OLED
EVF magnification 0.74x 0.7x 0.7x
Top burst speed (S-AF) 12 fps 12 fps 14 fps
4K video capture Cine/UHD 4K @ 30p/24p UHD 4K @ 30p/24p UHD 4K @ 30p/24p
High speed video 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080 960 fps @ 800 x 270
480 fps @ 1136 x 384
240 fps @ 1824 x 1026
120 fps @ 1920 x 1080
Top bitrates 4K: 100MBps
Full HD: 200Mbps

4K: 100Mbps
Full HD: 28Mbps

4K: 100Mbps
Full HD: 50Mbps
Flat profile V-Log L ($99 extra) No S-Log2
Live HDMI output 4:2:2, 10-bit 4:2:2, 8-bit 4:2:2, 8-bit
Mic/phone jacks Yes / Yes Yes / No Yes / Yes
Wi-Fi Yes, without NFC Yes, with NFC Yes, with NFC
Battery life (CIPA) 350 shots 360 shots 420 shots
Dimensions 138 x 102 x 135 mm  137 x 99 x 131 mm 133 x 94 x 127 mm
Weight (CIPA) 966 g 831 g 1095 g

In most respects, the FZ2500 comes out on top - and that's without including 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 fast frame rates, but it also costs a lot more. It's battery life is also considerably better. That said, it costs $400 more than the FZ2500, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Lens Comparison

The chart below breaks down the equivalent aperture for each camera, as you work 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 line 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 gets 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 length. 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 fastest 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.)