All 4Ks are not created equal -- and the Panasonic FZ2500 sports a true cinema quality 4K video mode.
4K is technically 4,000 pixels, but most manufacturers will classify 3800 as 4K. While Panasonic’s bump up to 4096 pixels is a less noticeable step up than switching from HD to 4K, there’s still a slight quality improvement. That resolution is also paired with a 24 fps frame rate.
The FZ2500 looks to be versatile though with a 20 megapixel one inch sensor for shooting stills. The 4K capability introduces a few different still photo modes, including a new focus stacking feature as well as the post focus Panasonic unveiled last year.
But another key feature of the FZ2500 is the lens. With a 20x zoom and 3 cm macro mode, it covers a versatile range that’s tough to find in an advanced compact. The Leica lens is also fairly bright considering the zoom range, with a f/2.8-4.5. The lens is also designed with video in mind — Panasonic says the iris helps catch up with sudden changes in brightness quickly.
Speed looks to be on track as well with a 7 fps burst, 12 with the focus locked on the first frame. Panasonic also improved the autofocus speed over earlier models.
While the FZ2500 is a fixed lens camera, the design more closely resembles a DSLR or super zoom than a compact. Perhaps because it’s a bit larger, the camera features several controls, including a few on the lens barrel like the adjustment for the built-in neutral density filter. The camera also has an HDMI port and mic and headphone jacks.
While the Panasonic FZ2500 looks to be a flexible, powerful camera, it comes at a price — $1,199. Paying four figures for a fixed lens camera is a tough justification to make for many, but for what it’s worth, the FZ2500 is still $300 less than the very similar Sony RX10 Mark III. And with a few extra video features like the built-in neutral density filters, the FZ2500 could be a very versatile tool for both photos and video.