Top positive review
The balance is great because of its inner lenses zoom
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2017
I have bought both the Panasonic FZ2500 and the RX10IV Sony and compared both of them side by side. First, the FZ2500 is such a light camera it is a blessing for its light weight compared to the Sony. The function buttons are many to behold and in all the right places. The balance is great because of its inner lenses zoom.
Once the camera is turned on the outer lens is fixed, no movement, only the inner lenses zoom in and out!
It is, without a doubt, a great fixed lens prosumer video camera with one of the best zooms in the video world of camcorders and cameras under 2,000 dollars.
The zoom video part is actually better than the RX10IV Sony IMHO, which is saying a lot!
How many times have you used these bridge cameras and said to yourself, "If I could just slow the darned zoom down, I would not have to jerk the zoom along, If I had not jerked the zoom, it would have looked like a professional video!"
Well, if you are looking for a great slow, smooth, best zooming bridge video camera, stop here, you do not have to look any farther than the Panasonic FZ2500.
It has time lapse, built in filters, and it converts its ultra high definition into 8 mega-pixel stills, and it even has Dolly Zoom where the image stays still as the background can either zoom forward or backward behind the person or object. This all done by the computer inside the camera! First of its kind? I think so. Yes, and the lens is very clear. Is it as clear as the Zeiss lens in the RX10IV? No it is not. But that is IMHO. I looked at one camera each; side by side. Did I buy two dozen cameras each and check each one out? No, I did not.
The FZ2500 has been biased against from the start, from what I read from normal consumer reviews mainly from Amazon and a few from B&H that made me wonder if that old axiom a rolling stone gathers no moss is true. Once that bias gets rolling it is hard to stop and even the professional reviewers who are hard pressed to keep silent on a story that has blossomed and has gained momentum. There is a fear of some reviewers about feeling excluded and being left behind from new news. You have to be quick in the camera new news business because a new camera can become an old camera very, very quick. Reviewers can be left behind, but the Panasonic FZ2500 was about a camera that very well could have ended up being fake news. I know at least two professional reviewers that are regarded at the top of their camera professions, added on to their reviews, later, saying there could be a quality control problem with the Panasonic Leica lens being too soft.
Bottom line. Where there is smoke there is fire. There is that slight chance that there is a quality control problem in the Panasonic factories that make the Panasonic FZ2500, but I doubt it. The reason I doubt it is because the same factories make the FZ200 and the FZ1000 cameras that have very few problems that I can remember reading in the consumer reviews. I own both of those cameras and love each one and feel they are very well built and very well made and have very clear Leica lenses. I can see no differences between the FZ1000 and the FZ2500 camera lens.
Does the RX10IV Sony have time lapse, neutral density filters with built-in control buttons on the camera, and convert its ultra high definition 4k video into frame by frame 8 mega-pixel stills.? Does it have Dolly Zoom? Does it have a fully articulated LCD Screen? No it does not have any of those above options, but I wish it did.
Do you know a camera that does. Yes. I sure do, that would be the Panasonic FZ2500! If you are looking for a prosumer camcorder that weighs heavy on the video part and does a very good side job for stills, look no further. The Panasonic is my pick!
There is a story of Jim Bridger the mountain man sitting around the campfire with other trappers telling this story about wolves that were closing in on him as he ran faster and faster. The wolves gained on him every time his feet hit the ground. What was worse, he said, "there were no trees anywhere," and he was fast running out of wind.
He paused, leaving his spell bound listeners in limbo.
He waited a few more seconds until one of the tenderfoot trappers could not take the silence anymore and bit. He said, "My good man, what did you do? What on earth did you do"?
Jim paused a little longer to gain a little more effect.
Then he said,
"I clumb a tree."
The tenderfoot trapper looked at him in disbelief and said, "Climbed a tree? You just got through saying that there wasn't any trees. Anywhere."
Jim, again paused, took a long draw off his pipe and said,
"There had to be a tree!"
Of course the men around the campfire, howled and burst out laughing. Jim was known for his yard long tales. This story was told by mother's side (Wilson side) of my family.
Jim Bridger was a big imagination mountain man. He told that there was one place out in the West that he came across and he hollered an echo that, later, came back to him six hours later. Six hours before it was time to get up in the morning he would holler,"Time to get up" then six hours later his echoed voice would say, "Time to get up," and this was the way he got up in the morning while he was there. (Wikipedia)
(Think of the speed of sound at 700 miles an hour, and then ask yourself if Jim even had a watch at the time?) Through his wanderings it was later found that he was one of the first white men, if not the first white man, to discover Old Faithful and the, steaming, boiling, unworldly climate of Yellowstone National Park that he often described, but because of his windy tales He never was taken seriously. Years later others followed in his footsteps and described, exactly, what Bridger saw.
The wolf tale is, probably, the closest that Bridger ever came to talking religion. He just didn't know it!
I think this could be this same scenario with the soft lens stories on the FZ 2500. Consumer reviewers wrote in about a possible soft lens that grew into a big story the more it was told. A little lightening in a little cloud turned into a tornado with fire and brimstone.
Judge Judy (on the Judge Judy court TV show) said about some of the false statements made by some of her defendants that it was a "whole lot of who shot John."
She said, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!"
You say, "
"Where there is smoke there is fire."
I say, "Maybe,
but I have the Panasonic FZ200, the FZ1000, and had the FZ2500 for two weeks. All 3 lenses were clear as bells, not as good as Zeiss lenses on the RX10IV Sony, but very good clear lens. All three Panasonic cameras were made in the same factory as far as I can tell.
That's 3 to 0 for me!
I saw no softness in the lens on the Panasonic FZ 2500, but I will admit that I hesitated a bit before I wrote it down and reviewed the camera once again, before writing this down.
All right, which one did I send back... I sent the Panasonic back. But why? Because the RX10IV was the best well rounded camera that I have ever picked up. And Yes, the Zeiss lens was great. It was the clear Zeiss lens, the long 600mm opitcal zoom, 2400mm digital zoom, and the fast speed of the processor that made me take the RX10IV! The 2400mm digital zoom is not that bad in bright light!.
The digital zoom from 600mm to 1200mm Sony calls Clear Digital Zoom, and Sony says it is hard to tell the difference between it and an optical zoom. I was hard pressed to tell any pixel smearing under 900mm and more, but from 900mm to 1200 you will just have to try one out and see for yourself. I do not want to appear as an idiot and undermine my entire review. I just do not want to appear as gushing! I was amazed to say the least!
There are 10 or 12 Canon 1200mm lenses out in the market place that Canon made many years ago. Every once in a while you will see them on e-bay for sale at 50 or 60 thousand dollars. They are a non-zoom lens, and they are about a yard long and the picture I saw looked as if you could make a good dinosaur club out of one of them. I can not imagine the weight of one of those monsters. I think National Geographic has a couple of them. I would love to see compared pictures shot through one of these Canon 1200mm lenses against a RX10IV zoomed out to 1200mm, and while we are comparing them, yes, let us go all the way, get stupid, and put the 1200mm Canon lens on a 2017 full sensor Canon camera to make it really interesting. I am not going to make anymore stupid comments so I will leave it at that.
However, pull out your wallet and shake out those musty, rusty, and crusty, hundred dollar bills that you have been saving back for a rainy day and that have mildew on them and kiss them good-bye because you're going to need them and then some, to buy this sweet little RX10IV Sony camera; around seventeen hundred smackers and before you know it, within a blink of a cow's eye, memory cards, batteries, and such will add up to 2,000 dollars or more real quick! Is it worth it?
Yes it is, for the best all around camera in the world.
Did you notice, I accidentally left out the word "bridge?
I already have the Panasonic FZ 1000 that does the 4-k with the mega-pixel stills. Now, would I have chosen the Sony if I did not have the FZ 1000? I probably would have, but I am not that sure.
If someone is looking for a good long zoom 20X camera leaning heavily on the video side, and wants to spend $700 less than the Sony Mark Four, I would say, "Take the FZ2500, and your saved 700 dollars, and run.
*Note: Camera Decision Review gave the Panasonic FZ 2500 three more points than the Sony RX10IV making it their NO. 1 fixed lens, large sensor, super zoom, point and shoot camera! DP Review gave the RX10IV its Gold Award and gave the Panasonic FZ 2500 its Silver Award; in their reviews of the fixed lens,large sensor super zoom camera picks. The Sony beat it by only three points!
* 1-28-2018 The Panasonic FZ1000 is suppose to have the same lens glass and the 1" sensor as the FZ2500. I just got through taking a picture of a license plate No. at 150 yards away with my FZ1000, then I took the same picture with my RX10IV, the Sony had the much clearer picture by far. I did not notice this until now. I guess I will have to start eating crow about now. However, the FZ1000 has only 16x compared to the 25x Sony.
Happy shooting, Rick