Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Digital Camera Review (Part 1)

6/24/2013 11:51:34 AM

With the improvement in durability, the Panasonic Lumix FT5 is the updated version of the FT4. This camera also owns a new underwater white balance mode and is capable of water-resistance to 13m, shockproof to 2m and suffers the temperature as low as -10 ºC as well as dustproof. Panasonic Lumix LT5 has orange, black, silver and blue version and costs $599.99.

The FT5 is waterproof to 13m, shockproof to 2m, can endure temperatures as low as -10ºC and is dustproof making it ideally suited to shooting in extreme conditions. It has a 16.1 megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor and 4.6x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 28-128mm. To reduced camera shake, there is Power Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5


The fact that the FT5 is waterproof to 13m, shockproof to 2m can suffer the temperature as low as -10ºC and dustproof makes it an ideal choice for photographing in extreme conditions. It has a 16.1 MP highly sensitive MOS sensor and 4.6x, equivalent to 35mm of 28-128. There is Power Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) feature for reducing camera shake.

There exists the Intelligent Auto (iA) mode that helps making the picture taking easier. This mode can adjust the settings in order to automatically detect the scene. There are also other shooting modes coming with this camera, including the manual exposure where you can adjust the aperture and the shutter speed. There is a creative control mode including some method for you to capture many unique pictures. You can take the panorama and choose some shooting modes including the sport, snow and the innovative underwater mode.

Horizontal shot

Horizontal shot

The FT5 is also the owner of many useful features for travelling photographers. It is Wi-Fi and NFC technology integrated that allows the camera to connect to other smartphones and tablets. Moreover, a Panasonic application for taking pictures from distance and transfer images is also provided. GPS feature is also available for you to tag the geographic location as well as a compass, altimeter and barometer.

Videos are filmed in the full 1080p HD with stereo sound and optical zoom in 50p AVCHD and MP4 25p. If you want to create a time lapse video, the time lapse shots feature is also available.

The product’s screen

The product’s screen

Main features

·         16.1 megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor

·         4.6x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 28-128mm

·         Power Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)

·         3 inch 460k dot LCD screen

·         Waterproof to 13m, shockproof to 2m, freezeproof to -10ºC and dustproof

·         Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi

·         Full 1080p HD video recording

·         ISO 100-3200

·         5cm minimum focusing distance

·         10 fps continuous shooting

·         Panorama mode

·         Available in white, black, blue and orange

The top side of the product

The top side of the product


There are just minor differences between the FT4 and the FT5. The screen is not 3 inches while it is just 2.7 inches in the FT4 and the resolution is also doubled to 469K dots. The images look very bright, detailed and sharp. Moreover, there is substantial grip on the front side of the camera. The body of this camera is made of metal so it is very solid and quite heavy. The battery and memory card slots are protected by a double locking system to make sure that there is no chance that the water can get inside. The camera always reminds you of locking it firmly before use.

A compact camera usually has a typical set of buttons, with an on/off button at the top, beside the shutter release and movie recording button. At the back is zoom adjusting button as well as the playback, modes, Wi-Fi, delete and display buttons. There is also a D-Pad button for navigating in the menu and quickly accessing into the exposure mode, flash light, focus mode and self-timer.

Coming with the FT5 is a layout of menu with detailed explanations for each option. To share your photos or connect to other wireless network, you can create an ad-hoc network via Wi-Fi. Panasonic’s image applications are very easy to use but you better read the instruction thoroughly first. Using the remote features will help take the full advantages of the touch focus, set the zoom and much more. You can also load your photos to smartphones and tablets via applications. GPS can be quickly activated and you can also receive other information by pressing the display button, for example information about longitude and latitude, the direction where you are standing and much more.

The menu interface

The menu interface

The average battery life of the camera is estimated at 370 shots, according to the result of the CIPA tests. We cannot tell exactly the number of shots that we took on one charge because we switched the GPS on, the Wifi function as well during the testing process, all of which contribute a lot in the reduction of battery life.

We took some pictures to test the camera’s reactions, from opening the first pictures, step by step, focusing speed, etc. Then we have some pictures and we decide to take the average in order to have the precise and consistent result for the test, which makes it easier to compare with other cameras.

·         Shutter Response: 0.1 secs

·         Wide - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.3 secs

·         Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.55 secs

·         Switch on Time to Taking a Photo: 2.0 secs

·         Shot to Shot without Flash: 0.79 secs

·         Shot to Shot with Flash: 1.32 secs

·         Continuous Shooting 2 fps AF-Continuous: 1.92 fps

·         Continuous Shooting 5 fps AF-Continuous: 4.68 fps

·         Continuous Shooting 10 fps AF-Single: 8.31 fps

·         Continuous Shooting 40 fps AF-Single: 35.3 fps

·         Continuous Shooting 60 fps AF-Single: 58.8 fps

·         Flash Burst: 1.47 fps

All shots of the consecutive shooting with 2, 5 and 10 fps are recorded at the full 16MP resolution. The 4 fps shots are recorded at 5MP, 60 fps at 2.5 MP and Flash Burst at 3MP.

The camera’s battery

The camera’s battery

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