Panasonic Lumix FT4 review

Armoured outdoor compact that won't get lost, thanks to built-in GPS

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Panasonic lumix dmc ft4 review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 certainly looks the part, with its toolbox type exterior and lens lurking behind toughened glass. We also get an integral flash and autofocus (AF)/self-timer lamp.

Plus, along one end of the faceplate is a raised hand grip. A rubber coating to this section would have better facilitated a stronger hold, however.

Panasonic lumix dmc ft4 review

The shutter release button on the Panasonic FT4 is large and obvious. And another practical concern is that the other buttons are too small to be operated with gloves, while the shiny front and back surfaces are slippery with dry fingers, never mind wet ones.

Panasonic lumix dmc ft4 review

This camera may be tough, but Panasonic realises it still has to draw the eye of potential buyers too, and didn't want to go too big and bulky. As it is, the camera surface feels more slippery between the fingers than we'd have liked. Good job then that it can cope with being dropped.

Panasonic lumix dmc ft4 review

Pictures and video are composed via the 2.7-inch LCD display at the back, which offers a standard resolution of 230k dots. While that's so-so, it's not the Panasonic Lumix FT4's main selling point, so the best you can say is that visibility is adequate, although you'll still be cupping a hand around it in strong sunshine.

While there's no shooting mode dial here, there is at least a mode button that summons up a self-explanatory menu of mode icons.

Panasonic lumix dmc ft4 review

Presumably to aid damp digits, there's no lever or rocker switch for operating the 4.6x optical zoom, the equivalent of 28-128mm in 35mm film terms. Instead, we get two separate buttons ranged alongside each other that your thumb hops between to arrive at the framing desired.

Otherwise, a multi-directional command pad is provided for tabbing through menu settings, with a central menu/set button for calling them up and effecting any changes.

Panasonic lumix dmc ft4 review

To avoid having to fiddle around in this manner in the wet or cold, Panasonic has provided its Q.Menu (Quick menu) button, which is now default across the Lumix range, to provide a shortcut to key settings such as resolution and ISO speed.

Handling is overall pretty straightforward, although bigger buttons, or even controls with a roughened non-slip surface, would have gone down a treat.

Panasonic lumix dmc ft4 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyLumix FT
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4.6x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
DurabilityWater Proof, Shock Proof, Freeze Proof, Dust Proof
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Intelligent ISO Mode, Time Lapse Function
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, AVCHD
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)175 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Image Sensor Size1/2.33" (6.13 mm x 4.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height64 mm
Width103.5 mm
Depth26.5 mm
Product SeriesFT
Focal Length4.90 mm to 22.80 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO
Focus ModesAuto
Product ModelDMC-FT4
Product NameLumix DMC-FT4 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCFT4EBD
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The DMC-FT4 is waterproof to 12m (40ft), shockproof to 2.0m (6.6ft), freezeproof to -10 degrees C (14 degree F) and dustproof. It is surely the reliable companion for the recorder of your outdoor adventures either in diving, snorkeling, surfing, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, camping or what so ever.

Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-FT4 Compact Camera
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Charger
  • AC Cable
  • Brush
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year