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Sony RX10 IV versus Panasonic FZ2500

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 (labelled Panasonic FZ2000 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2017 and September 2016. Both the RX10 IV and the FZ2500 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony RX10 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 IV and the Panasonic FZ2500 is provided 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the RX10 IV – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony RX10 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500
Compare RX10 IV versus FZ2500 top
Compare RX10 IV and FZ2500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ2500 is notably larger (13 percent) than the Sony RX10 IV. However, the FZ2500 is markedly lighter (16 percent) than the RX10 IV. It is worth mentioning in this context that the RX10 IV is splash and dust resistant, while the FZ2500 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the RX10 IV gets 400 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the FZ2500 can take 350 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony RX10 IV» 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Panasonic FZ2500« 138 mm 102 mm 135 mm 915 g 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
Canon G1 X Mark III« » 115 mm 78 mm 51 mm 399 g 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Fujifilm X100F« » 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » 141 mm 83 mm 46 mm 495 g 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X-T2« » 133 mm 92 mm 49 mm 507 g 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599 i i Fujifilm X-T2
Nikon D500« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony A6300« » 120 mm 67 mm 49 mm 404 g 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
Sony A6500« » 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« » 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i Sony RX10 III
Sony RX100 V« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX10 II« » 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony A7« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The FZ2500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 29 percent) than the RX10 IV, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX10 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.

Sony RX10 IV and Panasonic FZ2500 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX10 IV and the FZ2500 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the RX10 IV is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the FZ2500, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

RX10 IV versus FZ2500 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Sony RX10 IV» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
Panasonic FZ2500« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic FZ2500
Canon G1 X Mark III« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon G1 X Mark III
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X-T2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-T2
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785Sony A6300
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270Sony RX10 III
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX10 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review 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 RX10 IV (2360k vs 2359k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX10 IV and Panasonic FZ2500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Sony RX10 IV»2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
Panasonic FZ2500«2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ2500
Canon G1 X Mark III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 9.0 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark III
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X-T2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 8000 14.0 n n Fujifilm X-T2
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n Nikon D500
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n Sony A7

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the FZ2500 features an electronic shutter, which makes silent shooting and higher burst speeds possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the RX10 IV and the FZ2500 have zoom lenses build in. The RX10 IV has a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 optic and the FZ2500 offers a 24-480mm f/2.8-4.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony and Panasonic provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Panasonic has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX10 IV offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the RX10 IV and the FZ2500 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The FZ2500 replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ1000, while the RX10 IV followed on from the Sony RX10 III.

Review summary: Sony RX10 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX10 IV and the Panasonic FZ2500? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV:

  • Easier setting verification: Has an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 12 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.4 vs f/2.8).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x94mm vs 138x102mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the FZ2500).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500:

  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 180g or 16 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 IV emerges as the winner of the contest (9 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

RX10 IV 09:06 FZ2500

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX10 IV or the FZ2500. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony RX10 IV»Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Panasonic FZ2500«Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Rec79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X-T2« »HiRec86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599 i i Fujifilm X-T2
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i Sony RX10 III
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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