If you record internally with your camera, then you should also factor in the CODEC you are using. The XAVC CODEC is very efficient at packing detail into a smaller file compared to something like the Apple ProRes CODEC.
Also some cameras have better implementations of a CODEC, so 100 Mbps MP4 on one camera might be better than 100 Mbps MP4 on another camera.
I own 4 Tota lights and 6 Lowel Pro lights that I've owned for almost ten years now. They are great little lights, but like all tungsten lights they have three main drawbacks...
1- They get really hot, to the point where they can burn through cine-gels if the gel gets too close to the bulb.
2- They are tungsten light balance, and converting them to daylight balance will eat up almost 2 F-stops of light.
3- They change their color temperature when you dim them, so you have to either use scrims or ND gels, or live with the change in color temperature.
I mostly shoot with daylight balanced LED lights because they don't get hot, they don't change color when dimmed and they are already balanced to match window light, but I still keep the Lowel lights for shoots at night or indoors when there is no daylight. ( some hotels are still completely lit with tungsten lights, so adding a few Lowel lights is a perfect color match )
>>>The Panasonic FZ2500 seems expensive for a fixed lens camera and 1" sensor.
What's a cheaper camera with 20x parfocal zoom lens that starts at the equivalent of a 24mm Full Frame lens ?
You can buy a Lumix 14-140mm 10x zoom lens that starts at the equivalent of a 28mm lens but that eats up $550 of your budget. ( I also don't think you can manually zoom as smoothly as the FZ2500 does with it's new motorized internal zoom feature, which is very smooth and very quiet )
>>>Both cameras have bad dynamic range and look bad.
I'm not keen on the Canon XC10 camera, but the FZ2500 gives you a sharp 4K image with 10 F-stops of dynamic range in Cine-D mode, and you can purchase Panasonic's V-Log L profile to increase this to 11+ F-stops. You can also add an external recorder to capture 10-bit 4:2:2 footage from the FZ2500, which will give you more range when grading your footage in post.
At this price point the only other camera I would consider is the Sony RX-10 III which has a longer zoom range, and comes with a S-Log profile that should give you 12+ F-stops of dynamic range. ( I would be sure to compare the smoothness of the zoom between the Panasonic FZ2500 and the Sony RX-10 III cameras, as Pansonic made a huge improvement when they changed to an internal zoom which does not change size and makes virtually no noise when operating )
Here's some FZ2500 1080p footage that gives you some idea of what you can get out of this camera, though I wish this had been shot in 4K : https://vimeo.com/191961649
I've been shooting with eight Nikon AI-S prime lenses on my GH4 for the past 2 years, and they produce a gorgeous image with the right settings.
The best adapter for Nikon lenses is the $140 Metabones Nikon G adapter : https://goo.gl/WjiO3Z
This adapter gives you seamless aperture control, so you can smoothly transition from one aperture to another. It's also very solid, so using it with heavier lenses is not a big deal. ( with really big lenses the lens should have a tripod-mount to support itself and the camera ) Also, this adapter will work with almost any F mount or G mount Nikon lens, including the brand new ones.
You can also buy the more expensive Metabones Speedbooster adapters that reduce the image crop quite a bit and give you one extra F-stop in lens speed. ( so a f/2.0 lens becomes a f/1.4 lens, or a f/1.4 lens becomes a f/1.0 lens ) : https://goo.gl/SFmCdJ
>>> I plan on doing restaurant reviews, travel and location stories and for fun, create and shoot shorts. I think any low light situations will be lit with supplemental light. No sports or fast action.
I think your choice of the Panasonic FZ2500 is a good one given what you want to shoot. I've shot a fair bit with the older FZ1000 camera and have been very happy with the 4K image from that camera. The FZ2500 is a big upgrade, that gets rid of the wobbly zoom lens and most of the camera's audio noise. It's a very compact system with a long zoom, so for travel work and interviews I think you would be very happy with it.
I haven't shot with the Canon XC10, but so far I've never been impressed with the image it captures, it produces a very soft looking 4K given the high bit-rate it shoots at. The "Camera Store TV" YouTube channel voted the Canon XC10 the WORST camera of 2015 ( https://goo.gl/h6LIOB ), so I would ONLY consider the XC10 camera if you test drive and make sure you are happy with the results it produces. It's $800 more than the FZ2500, which could be spent on other gear like compact lighting, so make sure it's worth it to you.
What type of subjects do you want to shoot ? Any low-light shooting ? Any fast action shooting ? Is audio quality important to you ?
Every camera is usually great at something, so it's good to know what you want to shoot to match this up with the right camera.