Best Panasonic FZ2500 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Offer 2020
If you’re generally a videographer, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 ($1,199.99) can be an appealing camera in writing. It packs virtually all the energy of the Panasonic GH4, a darling of the pro video world, and puts it right into a 1-inch bridge camera with a 20x contact lens. Add support for an external microphone and variable in-lens neutral density, 4K capture, and incredibly fast autofocus, and you ought to have a camera that pleases videographers but still photographers alike. But its lens performance is inconsistent, and image quality suffers noticeably when zoomed in, rendering it a tough sell as of this price. For reduced bridge camera, both still and video shooters are better off with this Editors’ Choice, the Sony RX10 III, a far more expensive, however in many ways more capable, option.
The FZ2500 appears like a beefed up version of Panasonic’s other 1-inch superzoom, the FZ1000. Its lens does not have that a lot longer of a reach-the FZ2500 covers a 24-480mm range as the FZ1000 covers a 25-400mm field of view-but at 4.0 by 5.4 by 5.3 inches and 2.1 pounds, the FZ2500 is heftier than its sibling (3.9 by 5.4 by 5.1 inches, 1.8 pounds).
The added weight is mainly in the lens, that includes a design that’s more technical. When you power the camera onto it does extend, nonetheless it doesn’t change position when adjusting focal length, so it is technically a collapsible internal zoom design. Construction is comparable to the FZ1000, with a polycarbonate body no weather sealing. The Sony RX10 III is sturdier-its chassis is magnesium in fact it is sealed to help you make utilization of it in inclement conditions.
The lens is a 25-400mm (full-frame equivalent) f/2.8-4.5 design. It includes a tiny bit more reach compared to the FZ1000, however, not up to is made available from the Canon G3 X (24-600mm f/2.8-5.6) or Sony RX10 III (24-600mm f/2.4-4). Still, it’s fairly ample for some purposes-I just wish the lens delivered more regular sharpness. More on that later.
On-body controls are ample. There are three programmable Fn buttons on the left side of the lens, plus a switch to create the in-camera ND filter (Off, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64, and Auto settings can be found). The drive mode is manipulated via a dial at the top, left of the pop-up flash and hot shoe, as the standard Mode dial and On/Off switch sit to the proper of the most notable hump.
The very best of the handgrip is flat and houses two control dials, Fn4, Record, and the zoom rocker/shutter release. The grip itself feels very good because of a rubberized finish and an indentation to rest your middle finger.
Rear buttons commence to the left of the eyecup with Fn7, which toggles between your EVF, rear LCD, and eye sensor functions by default. To the proper you will discover AF/AE Lock, surrounded by a toggle switch that changes the focus mode (AFS/AFF, AFC, and MF can be found). Fn5 (Q.Menu) and Fn6 (Trash) will be the rear programmable buttons, joined by fixed Play and Display controls. Finally, there’s a four-way joypad (ISO, White Balance, Macro AF, Focus Area) with a center Menu/Set.
The physical controls are supplemented by the on-screen Q.Menu. It offers you usage of the Picture Mode, Flash control, video and image quality settings, autofocus settings, metering pattern, exposure control, and White Balance by default. If you need a different bank of controls you can go in to the menu and customize it.
In general, it’s a good control scheme, consistent with what we’ve seen with other recent Panasonic cameras, rather than far off from everything you get with models from other brands. The hybrid physical/touch interface is effective, particularly when you understand that you can tap on the screen to go the focus point. That is even possible with all the EVF to frame shots-dragging your finger over the screen moves the active point of focus.
There are numerous degrees of focus selection available, including Face Detection, subject tracking, 49-area (which evaluates the entirety of the frame), Custom Multi (your collection of focus boxes from the 49-area setting), Center, and Pinpoint. You’ll lose the latter for the most precise focus-a single tap on the screen introduces a magnified view, where you can drag a crosshair to create the complete point of focus.
The trunk LCD is a vari-angle design, which signifies that it swings out aside of your body and pivots through a variety that allows it to handle all way the forward through virtually all just how down. It’s 3 inches in proportions, typical for a camera of the type, and incredibly sharp at 1,040k dots. The touch functions are well integrated when shooting, and you will also swipe and pinch-zoom images when reviewing them.
The EVF can be top-notch for a camera of the type. It’s large and crisp, built around OLED technology with a 2.36 million dot resolution. There’s a good amount of contrast, colors are saturated, and the refresh rate is solid, even though shooting under typical indoor lighting.
Wi-Fi is built-in. You can transfer JPG images to a smartphone (Raw transfer isn’t supported) and use your Android or iOS device as a camera remote with the free Panasonic Image App. It’s a robust remote which allows you to modify the focal length, tap to create a focus point, and dial in manual controls.
Ports add a connection for a wired handy remote control, 3.5mm for headphone and microphone, micro HDMI, and micro USB. An external battery charger is roofed as USB charging isn’t supported. CIPA rates the FZ2500 for 350 shots using the LCD or 270 using the EVF. It didn’t get quite that far in my own field testing, which also included an excellent little bit of video recording, image review, and Wi-Fi use. In the event that you expect to make make use of it heavily, buy a supplementary battery or two.
Performance and Image Quality
The FZ2500 is quite speedy. It starts, focuses, and fires in about 1.3 seconds, that is a fine mark considering that its big lens must extend if it is powered on. Autofocus is nearly instant in ample light. If you are zoomed completely in focus confirmation is instant aswell, but the lens may take about 0.2-second to operate a vehicle to lock focus if your subject is blurred. Low-light slows the focus system a bit, nonetheless it still locks on within 0.5-second generally in most situations. It’s certainly a breath of oxygen weighed against Canon’s 1-inch superzoom, the G3 X, which requires about 0.4-second to verify and fire a graphic that’s already mostly in focus at its telephoto extreme.
Burst shooting can be a solid point. The FZ2500 shoots at 11.3fps when capturing JPGs and about 10.6fps in Raw format with fixed focus. The buffer is ample-you will get 32 Raw+JPG, 35 Raw, or 100 JPG shots at that pace prior to the camera slows down. In the event that you choose continuous focus the shooting rate drops to 7.1fps, with a solid hit rate.
Unless you mind fixed focus and less resolution (8MP) JPG output, you can employ Panasonic’s 4K Photo mode for high-speed image capture. It could rattle off shots at up to 30fps, ensuring you capture the ideal moment, and in addition supports focus bracketing (which Panasonic calls Post Focus) in order to shoot a burst of images, each focused at a different point. Both are accessible via the Drive Mode dial.
I used Imatest to check on the caliber of the FZ2500’s lens and found it to be an underwhelming performer. At 24mm f/2.8 it can pass our 1,800-line threshold of sharpness, but just barely (1,857 lines). That is clearly a center-weighted figure, even though the guts third of the frame is quite crisp, the mid parts and outer edges lack, showing about 1,600 lines. Thus giving them a slightly soft look, however, not one I’d call blurry.