The Panasonic Lumix FT20 (aka TS20) is an entry level waterproof camera from Panasonic, and features a wide angle 4x optical zoom lens, 16.1 megapixel sensor, 2.7inch screen, and is also drop proof and freezeproof.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Features
The Panasonic Lumix FT20 features a bright, colourful metal body, shown here in orange, but it's also available in red, blue and black. It features the latest features introduced to this year's range of Panasonic cameras, including auto panoramic mode and miniature effect. It's also one of the cheapest waterproof cameras available that works up to 5 metres under water with most other entry level cameras waterproof to 3 metres.
16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
4x optical zoom lens equivalent to 25mm - 100mm
Optical image stabilisation
2.7inch 230k dots screen
ISO100 to ISO6400
Miniature effect / panoramic shot
Available in a number of colours: Orange, Red, Black and Blue
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Handling
Handling - The camera features a metal body, on/off button with rear mode and playback buttons making it easy to switch the camera on and change between modes. There is a dedicated video button on top making it easy to start recording videos. There is some grip on the front of the camera thanks to the raised bar and just an area of raised dots on the back. As the camera is waterproof, a wrist strap is highly recommended, especially if using the camera underwater. The camera feels solidly built, as you'd expect for a camera that is water, dust and shock proof with the memory card and battery compartment featuring a locking mechanism to ensure it stays shut.
Menus – The Panasonic menus are very easy to use with the camera providing clear text and built in help showing what each option does. Where there are a number of icons, such as the scene modes, each one is explained clearly when highlighted. The number of options available in the menus changes depending which mode you are currently in, making it very easy to use even for the beginner. To get quick access to common settings you simply press the Q.Menu button on the back, and this will overlay the options on screen.
Battery life - Panasonic do not state the CIPA life of the camera, however we were able to take over 270 shots before the battery went flat which is pretty good for such a small battery.
Panasonic Lumix FT20 In Water
Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting (JPEG)
10fps (4 shots)
Continuous AF Shooting (JPEG) Continuous 3 megapixels
Continuous 2.5 megapixels
5fps (5 shots)
40fps (40 shots)
60fps (30 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash)
2fps (5 shots, 3m)
Focus speed is good, as is shutter response. Shot to shot is a little sluggish and continuous shooting is a little slow, unless you switch to a lower resolution, where it can shoot at 6fps at 3 megapixels.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Colour reproduction is good with bright saturated colours and decent flesh tones. The camera performs particularly well outdoors on bright clear days. Unfortunately red-eye is high in the portrait shot with flash.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Lens test images
Lens test images - Images are sharpest in the centre with the corners becoming slightly softer. Noise is visible in some of the sky in the corners, even at ISO100. Distortion is low with very little purple fringing visible. Exposure is generally very good, with the camera produces reliable results. Macro performance is reasonable allowing the subject to be roughly 5cm from front of lens at the wide-angle setting.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - ISO100 and 200 provide reasonable results and it's not till ISO400 that you start to notice noise in the image. At ISO800 noise increases to become more dominant in the image and there is a slightly drop in colour. ISO1600 is best avoided as noise increases reducing detail and colour saturation. ISO3200 produces a resized photo and the image is very soft and therefore best avoided if possible.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance performs quite well under Tungsten light with the Tungsten preset doing little to improve the image, instead giving it a slight orange cast. Auto White Balance performs very well under fluorescent lighting.
Panoramic | 1/500 sec | f/9.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 800
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Digital filters
Digital Filters - The camera has a miniature mode, but little else in the way of digital filters, instead it has a few colour modes: Standard, Vivid, B&W, Sepia, as well an auto retouch option in playback. A panoramic scene mode is included. The panoramic mode automatically stitches the photos together as your pan the camera around.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Other sample images
Video - Video is recorded at 720p, and it is possible to use optical zoom while recording video, an example can be viewed on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel. The camera also does a decent job recording video under water.
Value For Money
Available for around £149, this camera is good value for money as an ultra-compact waterproof camera and is one of the cheapest available rated up to 5 meters.
The Panasonic Lumix FT20 offers excellent value for money as one of the cheapest waterproof cameras available rated at depths up to 5 metres. This combined with bright colourful images and an easy to use camera make it a good option. Some of the features are a little slow such as the miniature mode and the camera only has 720p video, but for the price these features are quite reasonable. The camera also offers some useful features such as AF tracking and automatic panoramic stitching and is available in a number of colours.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Pros
Good value for money
Rated up to 5 metres waterproof
Tough metal body
Automatic panoramic stitching
Easy to use
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Cons
FT20 / TS20 - Different names, same camera
Miniature mode takes 11 seconds to record
Average noise performance