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Panasonic adds pro-level video features to Lumix FZ2500

Create: 09/25/2016 - 12:51
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500

HIGHLIGHTS

  • One-inch 20.1-MP MOS sensor
  • 20x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 24-480mm full-frame equivalent zoom lens
  • Pro-level video features

On the surface, Panasonic’s latest bridge camera, the Lumix DMC-FZ2500, appears to be a more modest camera than previous models. When you dig a little deeper, then you might find exactly what you need, particularly if you enjoy shooting video and want something more advanced.

The FZ2500 has a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit with a full-frame equivalent 20x range of 24-480mm. By the way, a bridge camera often has SLR-like features and handling but with a non-interchangeable  zoom lens and a smaller set of features.

It is 16 elements in 11 groups and has five aspherical lenses (eight aspherical surfaces), four ED lenses and one UHR lens. The FZ2500 has five-axis image stabilization.

The camera has post focus and focus stacking. Post focus allows the photographer to select a different point of focus after the shot has been taken. Focus stacking merges multiple images to allow for a photo with different points of focus.

It is mated to a one-inch 20.1-MP MOS sensor with an ISO range of 125-12,800 and can extended to 80-25,600.

There are manual and electronic shutters. The manual shutter’s speed range is 60 seconds to 1/4,000 plus B (maximum of two minutes), and the electronic shutter’s range is one second to 1/16,000.

There is an electronic viewfinder as well as a fully articulating 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD for Live View, navigating menus and reviewing photos and movies.

RAW and JPG stills (and movies) are recorded to SD memory cards. The maximum frame rate is 12 frames per second with the manual shutter and 50 frames per second with the electronic shutter. Panasonic doesn’t include a RAW image editor. SILKYPIX Developer Studio is a free download for FZ2500 owners.

The camera has a built-in pop-up flash unit.

VIDEO FEATURES

So far, the FZ2500 seems like your average bridge camera. A look at the movie specifications shows that this camera is much more than average.

The FZ2500 can shoot in all video modes, including 4K and Full HD.

While many cameras can do that, the FZ2500 takes things a step further.

The first is that there is no 29 minutes, 59 seconds limitation of video clips. That restriction has been in place for some time, and it has to do with classifying equipment as either a still or a video camera.

Its advanced video features include:

  • “CINELIKE D” and “CINELIKE V” video
  • An optional Upgrade Software Key, which must be bought separately, enables log video recording (V-Log L) that provides for wider dynamic range for color grading in the post-production process. It boasts a log characteristic with 12 stops, and the same characteristic curve and LUT (Look Up Table) can be used in common.
  • Set the graphical user interface (GUI) to reflect the technical language of video for Shutter Duration/ISO, Angle/ISO, or Shutter Duration/dB.
  • An SMPTE-compliant Time Code in either Rec Run or Free Run count-up method makes it easy to synchronize multiple video footage or sound sources in the post-production workflow. Drop Frame or Non-Drop Frame is also selectable in the 59.94Hz or 23.98Hz setting.
  • Built-in global video formats and bit rates are provided in four recording formats: AVCHD and MP4, or MP4 (LPCM) and MOV for editing ease. Bit rates up to 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB), with no recording duration limit. System frequencies can be set to 59.94 Hz (NTSC), 50.00 Hz (PAL), or 24.00 Hz (CINEMA).
  • Dolly Zoom, which allows for zooming only the background without changing the subject’s size in the frame.
  • Variable Frame Rate (VFR) allows videos to be recorded with slow or quick motion, such as 120 fps/5X in 24p playback, all in Full HD. The slow/quick motion function also lets the camera to switch between 1/2X slow and 2X quick motion in a single video while recording.

The FZ2500 has microphone and headphone inputs. The camera has three buttons on the side of the lens barrel that can be assigned to a function. There also is a built-in neutral density filter with three settings, plus “Auto.” A neutral density filter reduces the amount of light that reaches the sensor, allowing the photographer (or videographer) to shoot at open aperture.

The rechargeable 1,200 mAh lithium-ion battery provides power for 350 still photos using the LCD and 270 using the electronic viewfinder. Panasonic did not indicate how much video can be shot before the battery is exhausted.

With the lens collapsed, the camera is 5.4 x 4.0 x 5.3 inches (137.6 x 101.9 x 134.7mm) and weighs 34 ounces (966 grams).

The Lumix DMC-FZ2500 will begin shipping in November 2016 for US$1,199.99.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.