Panasonic Lumix FT4 review

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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4
The rugged camera with GPS is available in orange, blue, silver and black

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Panasonic lumix dmc-ft4 review

In truth, like most outdoor cameras, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4's toughened specifications should be considered as an extra layer of protection for everyday plus occasional beach and poolside snapping, not really as a licence to throw the camera around and dunk it in drinks at parties.

Image quality is also little better than a non-toughened Lumix camera costing half the price.

Plus, you have to actively require the toughened qualities and GPS facilities here to consider them worth paying extra for, because for value and picture quality you'd be better served elsewhere.

Our advice is therefore to shop around and try to find the best deal that shaves some money off the asking price and makes the Panasonic FT4 less of a risk.

That said, and grumbles aside, you might be tempted to take this camera to places you won't even consider taking other electronic gadgets, and therefore get experimental shots that you wouldn't otherwise have even attempted. Which is never a bad thing in our book.

We liked

The Panasonic Lumix FT4's toughened qualities provide a degree of reassurance for those engaged in rough and tumble activities, or likely to place themselves in scenarios where the camera gets wet or particularly cold.

Added to that, if you get lost, the camera's built-in GPS may help you find yourself again.

We disliked

The backplate buttons are too small and fiddly to be accurately operated with wet hands or while wearing ski gloves, image quality is no better than a considerably cheaper non-toughened snapshot.

Final verdict

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 is a creme egg of a camera; unless there's plenty of light around to make the best of the fact that this is basically a snapshot camera in wolf's clothing, image quality is soft in comparison to the rock hard exterior.

Still, there is the potential to have a lot of fun with it and go where lesser snappers fear to tread.

Gavin Stoker

When not wrestling wild bears or leaping tall buildings in a single bound, Gavin Stoker can be found editing British Photographic Industry News, the UK's longest running and only photo trade title. He has over 25 years of camera testing and reviewing under his belt.