The Catching up Act – Panasonic FZ2500


dthecatching3Performance
The FZ2500’s autofocus was fast and precise even under low-light conditions. Image Stabilisation performed very well and provided over four stops of shutter speed advantage. All metering modes performed as expected. We observed slight pincushion distortion at the telephoto end, which should not worry anyone.

The lens did not produce any darkening of corners even at the wide-angle end with the lens wide open. The lens controlled flare and chromatic aberration very well. We did not observe any flare or fringing even at the wide-angle end with wideopen aperture. Images were sharp out of the box, especially at the centre. Sharpness decreased from centre to the peripheries. At the telephoto end, however, the images were unsharp.

The FZ2500 produces images with native print size of 12.16 x 18.24 inches at 300 ppi. At 25 percent screen size, images were noise-free up to ISO 3200, and were perfectly usable up to ISO 6400. Enlarged to 50 percent, the images remained free of noise up to ISO 1600 and were usable up to ISO 3200. Viewed at 100 percent, the images were practically noise-free up to ISO 200 and were usable up to ISO 1600. Auto White Balance reproduced images without any cast, especially under natural light. Any cast under artificial light sources could be easily removed in post processing. Videos were smooth and seamless.

On the negative side, the FZ2500’s touch screen is active even when the LCD is off. So if you use Flexible Spot option for autofocus and you use the EVF, AF point can change if your skin accidentally gets in touch with the LCD. This is a great inconvenience.

Value for Money
Panasonic India has not officially conveyed the MRP of the FZ2500. Going by the international price, the FZ2000 (as the FZ2500 is known in the U.K) retails at an MRP of GBP 1099.99, which is approximately equivalent to Rs.92,500. While the price by itself looks competitive, the sharpness of images at the telephoto end leaves much to be desired. |SP

dthecatching1

FINAL SCORE                                          81%

Design and Build Quality                13/15
Key Features                                          12/15
Ergonomics                                           13/15
Performance
Autofocus                                                     4.5/5
Metering                                                         4/5
Noise Control                                                4/5
Sharpness                                                      3/5
Darkening of Corners                                 5/5
Flare and CA                                                4/5
Distortion                                                     4/5
LCD/EVF                                                     4/5
Auto WB                                                  3.5/5
Sub-Total                                           36/45
Value for Money                             7/10

PLUS
• PSolid build quality
• Internal zoom and focussing
• Max aperture of f/2.8
• 5-axis O.I.S.
• Raw format

MINUS
• Unsharp images at Telephoto end
• Touch control active even if LCD is off

VERDICT
The FZ2500 is a premium super zoom compact featuring a 1-inch sensor and fast lens. A 24-480mm, the zoom is a little short for countering the appeal of Sony RX10 III. Also, at the telephoto end, the sharpness suffers a lot, which again makes the useful zoom length considerably low.

Sujith Gopinath