Capturing your images and videos is a 1", 20.1-Megapixel 4K High Sensitivity MOS imaging sensor with an extended ISO of 25,600. Combining that with Panasonic's Venus Engine gives the camera some outstanding still image and video capabilities, as well as some great noise reduction at higher ISO settings. Add in the 20x (24-480mm) optical zoom with large aperture and 5-axis image stabilization and you have a camera that is ready for any shooting situation.
For assistance with your low-light situations; a compact, pop-up flash unit has been built into the camera. With a range of up to 13.2m (approx. 40ft.) at ISO Auto when shooting at full wide angle, it's more than powerful enough for close range and as a fill light. Using the massive 20x zoom will greatly reduce the capability of the flash. A hot shoe on top of the camera allows for the addition of an external flash unit, and the camera even features wireless capabilities with certain external flash units when more illumination is required.
Giving you the feel of a DSLR, the FZ2500's Electronic Viewfinder is of an incredibly high resolution, sporting over 2.3-million dots. It features a full 100% field-of-view, and your exposure changes show in real-time, so you always know exactly how your images will come out. Above the actual EVF is the eye-level sensor that allows the camera to switch automatically between the EVF and LCD when the camera is raised and lowered from your eye.
Your second option for composing and viewing your images is the 3.0-inch, 1.04-Million dot Vari-Angle touch LCD screen. This screen offers an outstanding option for shooting in tough situations, as well as offering an accurate option for framing your selfies. The touch screen allows you to make selections from the menu with ease, touch to focus and capture images, as well as adding several additional Fn menus for extra customization.
On top of the camera you will find the shooting mode and burst/self timer dials, two command dials and the shutter release coupled by the zoom lever. There is also a Fn button (number 4) and the dedicated video recording button as well. While this sounds like a lot, it is actually pretty simple.
On the left side of the camera, you will find some well-placed controls on the lens. Panasonic has put the Fn 1-3 buttons and the ND control here at your fingertips, letting you make changes easily with the camera up to you eye. You also have the manual zoom and manual focus rings on the lens housing.
The back of the camera is slightly more complicated, providing plenty of control for more advanced features than most point-n-shoot cameras offer. At the top you have a switch for controlling the AF/MF features coupled around the AE/AF lock button. Next are the Fn5 (Q.Menu) Playback and DISP buttons. The 4-way controller allows for easy menu navigation and setting selection. Finally at the bottom is the Fn6 (Delete/Back) button.
On the left side of the camera are the input/ouput (I/O) ports. From top to bottom you have the MIC input, audio output, HDMI output, and the High Speed USB port. These are great for video recording, letting you record higher quality audio, hear your audio via headphones and view your images and movies on a HDTV/4KTV or portable monitor. The USB allows you to charge the camera as well as transfer images to a computer or printer.
While shooting with the FZ2500, your images and videos are stored on a SD/SDHC/SDXC style memory card. With the ability to capture high-speed stills and 4K UHD video, you will want to use the fastest cards you can get your hands on for proper performance. The camera is shown here with the Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC memory card that was used to test the camera.
Powering the FZ2500 is a 7.2V, 1200mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery is capable of providing the camera with up to 350 images when shooting with the LCD screen or 270 images when using the EVF. While this sounds odd, the super high resolution, super bright EVF actually takes more power to run than the LCD screen. The camera also comes with a portable charger, allowing you to keep your battery and a spare or two charged and ready to go.
Panasonic has also included with the camera, a lens hood that has been designed to work with the huge zoom range of the lens.