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The Panasonic Lumix FT5 is update to the FT4 with improved ruggedness. The camera also features a new underwater white balance mode and is now waterproof to 13m, shockproof to 2m, can endure temperatures as low as -10ºC and is dustproof. The Panasonic Lumix FT5 is available in orange, black, silver, and blue for £399.99.
To make picture taking easy there is Intelligent Auto (iA) mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically for the detected scene. The FT5 is packed with many other shooting modes, including manual exposure where you can adjust the aperture and the shutter speed. There is a creative control mode which includes a number of methods to help you take unique photos. You can record panoramas and select from a number of scene modes, including sports, snow and advanced underwater.
The FT5 also packs a couple of very useful features for the travelling photographer. It has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology which lets the camera connect to smartphones and tablets. There is also a Panasonic Image app for remote shooting and transfer of images. There is GPS which enables you to geotag your images as well as a compass, altimeter and barometer.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound and optical zoom in 50p AVCHD and 25p MP4. You can also record time lapse shots which can be combined to produce a time lapse video.
- 16.1 megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor
- 4.6x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 28-128mm
- Power Optical Image Stabilisation (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
There is a typical set of buttons for a compact camera, with an on / off switch at the top alongside the shutter release and movie record button. On the rear is the zoom rocker as well as playback, mode, Wi-Fi, delete and display buttons. There is also a d-pad which is used for navigating the menus and also gives quick access to exposure compensation, flash, focus mode and self-timer.
The FT5 has a well laid out menu system with explanations for each option. The Wi-Fi allows you to create an ad-hoc network to share your photos or can connect to other wireless networks. The Panasonic Image app is easy to use but it's best you have a read of the instructions first. Using the remote control function it's possible to use touch focus, set the zoom and much more. With the app you're also able to download photos from the camera to your smartphone / tablet. The GPS activates quickly and by pressing the display button you can get various bit of information, such as longitude and latitude, which direction you are facing and much more.
Panasonic Image App Screenshot 1
Panasonic Image App Screenshot 2
Display screen with GPS data
Battery life is rated at 370 shots according to CIPA test results, we can't give a reliable figure on the number of shots we took on one charge as we had the GPS on and gave the Wi-Fi functionality a thorough testing, all of which reduce the battery life much quicker.
We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy 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|
Continuous Shooting 2, 5 and 10 fps all record at full 16 megapixel resolution. 40 fps records at 5 megapixels, 60 fps at 2.5 megapixels and Flash Burst at 3 megapixels.
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Panasonic Lumix FT5 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/5.7 | 17.4 mm | ISO 500
Drive | 1/400 sec | f/3.3 | 4.9 mm | ISO 100
Sport | 1/500 sec | f/5.6 | 15.3 mm | ISO 320
Pet Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/5.7 | 19.2 mm | ISO 400
Low Light | 1 sec | f/5.7 | 18.3 mm | ISO 100
HDR | 1/1000 sec | f/3.7 | 6.0 mm | ISO 200
Underwater | 1/4 sec | f/3.3 | 4.9 mm | ISO 400
Underwater With Flash | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 9.8 mm | ISO 100
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. Portraits have decent skin tones and there is a little red-eye when shooting with the flash. The FT5 shoots HDR images, but there is some slight ghosting in our example shot, for best results, use a tripod.
Panasonic Lumix FT5 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/800 sec | f/3.3 | 4.9 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.9 | 22.8 mm | ISO 100
Intelligent Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.9 | 22.8 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 4.9 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail when shooting wide, but when using the zoom, detail does reduce. This is a common issue with internal lenses, but purple fringing is kept under control. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, but this does allow you to get close enough for an excellent macro shot.
Panasonic Lumix FT5 ISO test images
ISO100 | 1/5 sec | f/5.4 | 12.6 mm
ISO200 | 1/10 sec | f/5.4 | 12.6 mm
ISO400 | 1/20 sec | f/5.4 | 12.6 mm
ISO800 | 1/40 sec | f/5.4 | 12.6 mm
ISO1600 | 1/80 sec | f/5.4 | 12.6 mm
ISO3200 | 1/160 sec | f/5.4 | 12.6 mm
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is kept very low at ISO 100, 200 and 400. At ISO 800 noise becomes significant but images remain sharp. There is a small increase in noise at ISO 1600, enough to make the images a little soft. There is a large amount of noise at ISO 3200, with a large amount of detail lost.
Panasonic Lumix FT5 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/3.9 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/3.9 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.4 sec | f/3.9 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Under our studio lighting, whether it is the incandescent or fluorescent lights, the AWB setting performs excellently. The incandescent preset produces an orange cast under the incandescent lights. There isn't a fluorescent preset available.
Panorama | 1/640 sec | f/3.3 | 4.9 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Panoramas are created using a sweeping method and are stitched in camera. They have a decent amount of detail and the stitching is superb.
Panasonic Lumix FT5 Digital filters
Colour Mode - Standard | 0.4 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode - Vivid | 0.4 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode - Black And White | 0.4 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode - Sepia | 0.4 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 100
Creative Control - Cross Process | 1/10 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Dynamic Monochrome | 1/10 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Expressive | 1/8 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - High Dynamic | 0.3 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - High Key | 1/4 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Impressive Art | 1/6 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Low Key | 1/13 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - One Point Colour | 1/10 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Retro | 1/8 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Sepia | 1/10 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Soft Focus | 1/6 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Star Filter | 1/8 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Toy Effect | 1/4 sec | f/5.8 | 20.3 mm | ISO 400
Miniature | 1/250 sec | f/5.7 | 16.6 mm | ISO 100
Digital Filters - The FT5 has a number of colour modes and a wide range of creative control filters to help you take unique pictures.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good with the stabilisation doing a good job of keeping the video steady. The optical zoom is available during recording, an example can be found on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
Value For MoneyThe Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 is available for £411.20. Recommended waterproof cameras include the Olympus Tough TG-620, available for £157, the Olympus Tough TG-820, available for £179 and the Canon Powershot D20, available for £255. For more waterproof cameras, have a look at the Top 10 Best Waterproof Cameras.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 can go deeper underwater, has decent image quality and the built-in GPS and Wi-Fi is extremely useful.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 ProsExtremely tough
Good image quality
Well stitched panoramas
Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
Excellent AWB performance
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 ConsImage quality reduces when using the optical zoom
Portraits have red-eye when shooting with the flash
Slight ghosting when shooting handheld HDR images
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Panasonic Lumix FT5 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.3 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||28mm - 128mm|
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.16mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.6mm|
|Screen resolution||460k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1300sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 3200|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||Battery pack, battery charger, AC cable, USB Cable, CD-ROM, Hand strap|