Panasonic Lumix FT1 review

Panasonic's FT1 offers HD recording, but is it tough enough?

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Our Verdict

A great shooter in many ways, but as a rugged camera it plays second fiddle to the Olympus Tough 8000. HD recording shouldn't be overlooked, though...


  • Water, shock and freezeproof
  • HD movie recording
  • Wide-angle zoom


  • Controls fiddly for use in water or cold

At first sight, Panasonic's FT1 looks the nearest rival to Olympus' mighty Mju 8000. It's a similar size, weight and shape and is also waterproof, shockproof and operable down to -10 degrees.

The buttons are small and close together and the markings don't stand out well. The Shutter and Zoom buttons are right next to each other on the top of the camera. It's far too easy to take a picture when you simply meant to zoom in or out.

The FT1 worked fine after freezing, though the battery level indicator dropped considerably. It had no problems shooting underwater and survived a drop test onto a hard floor unscathed.

The Panasonic's 1,280x720 HD Movie mode is a bonus, but for ultimate toughness it has to play second fiddle to the Olympus.

Panasonic lumix ft1

TOUGH ENOUGH: Panasonic's FT1 will stand up to most punishment

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Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyLumix FT
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4.6x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
DurabilityDust Proof, Water Proof, Shock Resistant
FeaturesFace Detection
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)162.5 g
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height63.1 mm
Width98.3 mm
Depth23 mm
Product SeriesFT
Focal Length4.90 mm to 22.80 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
Product ModelDMC-FT1
Product NameLumix DMC-FT1 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCFT1EBS
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Designed for active use, the FT1 is 3.0 meters waterproof, 1.5 meters shockproof and dust-proof. It is the ideal camera for shooting beautiful pictures and movies in the pool or ocean. Swim along with tropical fish and capture shots of a beautiful coral reef, or get action footage of a friend snorkeling. Protected against sand, you can take it to the beach with no worries. FT1's fortified outer body casing and intermediate resin chassis protects it from short falls, making it perfect for work and hiking trips.

Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-FT1 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Case
  • AV Cable
  • USB Connection Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap (with Stopper)
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year