Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1

The Lumix DMC-FT1 is Panasonic’s first rugged point-and-shoot camera and the company claims that it is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. Is it a worthwhile investment?

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  September 2, 2009

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Key Specs

Connectors: miniHDMI, USB
Display: 2.7-inch
Memory type: SD / SDHC
Optical zoom: 4.6x
Price: $435

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The Lumix DMC-FT1 is Panasonic's first rugged point-and-shoot camera and the company claims that it is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. Is it a worthwhile investment?

Over our month long test period we exposed the camera to water, dust and the occasional shock and we're happy to report the FT1 came away completely unscathed. In terms of underwater photography, the camera returns very good photos though licensed divers won't necessarily find this camera to their liking, as the maximum tolerable depth is just 3-metres. The rubber padding, reinforced glass and carbon resins that help make the camera waterproof also give the camera its dustproof features and the Panasonic survived more than a few sandstorms with no ill effects.

Our test sample had a few dents before we begun testing and this immediately showed the testing team the camera was able to take hard knocks. That said the Lumix proved its worth again during our test period as it was test-dropped from a height of 1-metre.

The camera's 12.1-megapixel image sensor and 28mm wide-angle lens work very well together and, as a result, regular photographs look fantastic. Skin tones were accurate when compared to the original test subject while colours appeared vibrant and natural. In low-light the Panasonic didn't fare as well as we noticed a fair amount of visual noise even when using the flash.

In terms of looks and design however the DMC-FT1 scores very well as it's easy to hold and interact with. The onboard interface is quite intuitive while the buttons are placed wisely to boost ease-of-use.

Verdict

A tough point-and-shoot camera that will go the distance when it comes to light outdoor activities.

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