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Sony RX100 IV versus Panasonic FZ2500

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 (labelled Panasonic FZ2000 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2015 and September 2016. Both the RX100 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 RX100 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 IV and the Panasonic FZ2500. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the RX100 IV – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony RX100 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500
Compare RX100 IV versus FZ2500 top
Compare RX100 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 considerably larger (138 percent) than the Sony RX100 IV. Moreover, the FZ2500 is substantially heavier (207 percent) than the RX100 IV. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 IV nor the FZ2500 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the RX100 IV gets 280 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the FZ2500 can take 350 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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)
Sony RX100 IV» 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Panasonic FZ2500« 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Fujifilm X100F« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.0 in 16.5 oz 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Panasonic ZS100« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 VI« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.7 in 10.6 oz 240 n Jun 2018 1,199 i i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX10 II« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The RX100 IV was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the FZ2500, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX100 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.

Sony RX100 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 RX100 IV and the FZ2500 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the FZ2500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the RX100 IV, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

RX100 IV versus FZ2500 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony RX100 IV» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Panasonic FZ2500« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Panasonic ZS100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony RX100 VI« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

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 RX100 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 RX100 IV (2360k vs 2359k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony RX100 IV, the Panasonic FZ2500, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Sony RX100 IV»2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ2500«2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n
Panasonic ZS100« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 VI« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 4000 3.5 Y n
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the RX100 IV and the FZ2500 have zoom lenses build in. The RX100 IV has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 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 more tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 IV offers the faster maximum aperture.

The FZ2500 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX100 IV has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 IV was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV.

Review summary: Sony RX100 IV vs Panasonic FZ2500

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX100 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-RX100 IV:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1228k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 12 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 138x102mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 617g or 67 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500:

  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 IV comes out slightly ahead of the FZ2500 (7 : 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.

RX100 IV 07:06 FZ2500

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the RX100 IV or the FZ2500 handle or perform in practice. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony RX100 IV»HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Panasonic FZ2500«Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Panasonic ZS100« »HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 VI« »-83/100--- Jun 2018 1,199 i i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony A6000« »Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« »Rec-4.5/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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