Panasonic FZ2500 vs GH4
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 (called Panasonic FZ2000 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2016 and February 2014. The FZ2500 is a fixed lens compact, while the GH4 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (FZ2500) and a Four Thirds (GH4) sensor. The FZ2500 has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the GH4 provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic FZ2500||Panasonic GH4|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|24-480mm f/2.8-4.5||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor||15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 125-12,800 (80 - 25,600)||ISO 200-25,600|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 1040k dots||3.0 LCD, 1036k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Swivel touchscreen|
|12 shutter flaps per second||12 shutter flaps per second|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|350 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|138 x 102 x 135 mm, 915 g||133 x 93 x 84 mm, 560 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ2500 and the Panasonic GH4 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH4 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Panasonic FZ2500. It is noteworthy in this context that the GH4 is splash and dust-proof, while the FZ2500 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ2500 has a lens built in, whereas the GH4 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GH4 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Panasonic FZ2500||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic GH4||133 mm||93 mm||84 mm||560 g||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499|
|Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|Leica V-LUX 5||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||812 g||350||n||Jul 2019||1,249|
|Leica V-LUX Typ 114||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||830 g||360||n||Sep 2014||1,349|
|Olympus E-M5 II||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099|
|Olympus E-M1||130 mm||94 mm||63 mm||497 g||350||Y||Sep 2013||1,399|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||810 g||350||n||Feb 2019||899|
|Panasonic GH5||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999|
|Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GH3||133 mm||93 mm||82 mm||550 g||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299|
|Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The FZ2500 was launched at a lower price than the GH4, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic FZ2500 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic GH4 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GH4 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the FZ2500 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GH4 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic FZ2500 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the Panasonic GH4. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 3.76μm for the GH4). However, it should be noted that the FZ2500 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the GH4, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic FZ2500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FZ2500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GH4 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Panasonic GH4||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74|
|Leica V-LUX 5||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX Typ 114||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|Olympus E-M1||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77|
|Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GH3||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71|
|Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the FZ2500 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the GH4 (2360k vs 2359k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic FZ2500 and Panasonic GH4 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Leica V-LUX 5||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX Typ 114||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Panasonic FZ2500 and the Panasonic GH4 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the FZ2500 and the GH4 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica V-LUX 5||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Leica V-LUX Typ 114||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Panasonic GH4 (unlike the FZ2500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The FZ2500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the GH4 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GH4 was succeeded by the Panasonic GH5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic FZ2500 or the Panasonic GH4 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 15.9MP) with a 14% higher linear resolution.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.67x).
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GH4 requires a separate lens.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the GH4 launch.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (133x93mm vs 138x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2014).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH4 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ2500 and the Panasonic GH4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the FZ2500 or the GH4. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Panasonic FZ2500||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic GH4||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499|
|Fujifilm X100F||+||83/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|Kodak AZ901||..||..||3.5/5||..||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|Leica V-LUX 5||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jul 2019||1,249|
|Leica V-LUX Typ 114||..||..||..||..||5/5||Sep 2014||1,349|
|Olympus E-M5 II||+ +||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099|
|Olympus E-M1||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||1,399|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||..||83/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|Panasonic GH5||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999|
|Panasonic ZS70||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ1000||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Panasonic G6||+ +||..||5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GH3||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299|
|Sony RX100 V||+ +||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX10 II||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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- Fujifilm X-T4 vs Panasonic GH4
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Panasonic GH4
- Nikon D300S vs Panasonic GH4
- Nikon D5000 vs Panasonic FZ2500
- Nikon D7100 vs Panasonic GH4
- Nikon Z7 vs Panasonic FZ2500
- Panasonic FZ2500 vs Pentax MX-1
- Panasonic FZ2500 vs Sony A6600
- Panasonic FZ2500 vs Sony A7S II
- Panasonic G90 vs Panasonic GH4
Specifications: Panasonic FZ2500 vs Panasonic GH4
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic FZ2500||Panasonic GH4|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-480mm f/2.8-4.5||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2016||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 1,199||USD 1,499|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic FZ2500||Panasonic GH4|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus||Venus IX|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||791|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic FZ2500||Panasonic GH4|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1036k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic FZ2500||Panasonic GH4|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/8000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic FZ2500||Panasonic GH4|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic FZ2500||Panasonic GH4|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
138 x 102 x 135 mm
(5.4 x 4.0 x 5.3 in)
133 x 93 x 84 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||915 g (32.3 oz)||560 g (19.8 oz)|
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