Fixed-lens filmmaking: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500/FZ2000 Review
- 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|
|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|
|ISO range (expanded)||80-25600||80-25600||64-25600|
|Top shutter speed
|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|
|EVF resolution/type||2.36M-dot OLED||2.36M-dot OLED||2.36M-dot OLED|
|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
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.
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.)
Apr 18, 2016
Mar 23, 2016
Dec 14, 2015
May 16, 2017
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.
Riding a mountain bike downhill is dangerous enough in daylight, but potentially lethal at night. Which is where drones come in.
Rumors abound that Canon (and maybe Nikon) may produce a mirrorless camera based using their existing DSLR mount. Does this guarantee immediate great lens choice or a perpetually second-rate experience? Read more
According to rumors, the next camera from Nest will be able to capture 4K video, though that resolution will be only used for 'virtual' pan and tilt functions.
Boundary's Prima 'fully modular' backpack is expandable to 30L and has a removable camera case and tablet sleeve. Early Kickstarter backers can get one for $189.
Stanley Greene captured 'brutally honest' photographs in the war zones of the Middle East, Chechnya and Georgia. He was also one of the few African-American photographers working internationally.
Owners of Leica M cameras that suffer from peeling CCDs will be able to claim a free repair in the future so long as the camera was purchased within five years of the fault becoming apparent, the company has announced. Read more
The Carl Zeiss Jena BIOTAR 75mm F1.5 Red T lens is very rare and priced accordingly. It can be yours today for the low, low price of $15,000.
The MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a drone that does not require any human control for recording tracking shots. Read more
In this terrifying video, Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely narrowly misses a sniper's bullet, which takes out his chest-mounted GoPro. Warning: strong language. Watch the video
A new report expects action camera growth to increase about 15% by 2021, with Ultra HD cameras driving demand. Read more
Profiles for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom have been released for Irix's ultra-wide 11mm and 15mm primes. Like all profiles, these correct for distortion and vignetting.
An upcoming firmware update from DJI will cripple its drones unless they are 'activated' on the company's website. Live streaming will be turned off and flight radius/altitude will be limited.
Brent from ShareGrid rounds up the 10 most common products filmmakers are renting from one another for productions; chances are good you own one or more of them.
DaVinci Resolve is making strong moves to compete with Premiere and Final Cut Pro, including affordable control panels for colorists. According to Premium Beat, they're really good.
If you are not planning to fly your drone commercially you are not required to register it with the FAA anymore. This decision was handed down by a federal court in Washington, D.C.
Whether you're syncing a flash, wondering why banding is appearing in your image or getting strange images from your camera's silent shutter mode, the way your shutter works has a role to play. Here's what happens when you press the shutter button. Read more