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Panasonic Lumix FT1 review

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

Panasonic Lumix FT1
The Panasonic FT1's solid metal shell certainly looks the part of a tough camera

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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