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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Digital Camera Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Digital Camera Review - The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 has a 16 megapixel sensor, 4.6x optical zoom and is waterproof to 13m. Daniel Bell reviews.

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Panasonic Lumix FT5 in Compact Cameras

Panasonic Lumix FT5

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.

Panasonic Lumix FT5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Features

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 Stabilisation (OIS).

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.

Panasonic Lumix FT5

Key Features

  • 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
Panasonic Lumix FT5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Handling

The FT5 looks very similar to the FT4 with a few minor differences. The screen is now 3 inch with the FT4 having a 2.7 inch one and also has double the resolution at 460k dots. It is very bright and detail is crisp. There is also a more substantial grip on the front of the camera. The FT5 has a very solid metal body and is quite heavy. The battery and memory card slot has a double locking system to ensure there's no chance any water will get in, the camera is good a reminding you to make sure that it is firmly locked before use.

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 Lumix Dmc Ft5 App Screenshot 1
Panasonic Image App Screenshot 1
Panasonic Lumix Dmc Ft5 App Screenshot 2
Panasonic Image App Screenshot 2
Panasonic Lumix Dmc Ft5 Display Screen
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.

Panasonic Lumix FT5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix FT5 Sample Photos

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

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

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

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 | 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

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 Money

The 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Verdict

The FT5 is a steady improvement on the FT4, we said that an improved screen would be a significant improvement and Panasonic have introduced a 3 inch screen on the new model. You can go deeper underwater to 13m, the GPS appears to activate quicker and the new model also has built-in Wi-Fi. Other than that, much has remained the same, with good image quality in an extremely tough body.

  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 Pros

Extremely tough
Good image quality
Well stitched panoramas
Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
Excellent AWB performance

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Cons

Image quality reduces when using the optical zoom
Portraits have red-eye when shooting with the flash
Slight ghosting when shooting handheld HDR images
Quite expensive


Panasonic Lumix FT5 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent28mm - 128mm
Optical Zoom4.6x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor Size1/2.33
Sensor Size (width)6.16mm
Sensor Size (height)4.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Zoom macro
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1300sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Multi Pattern
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS50p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)370shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsBattery pack, battery charger, AC cable, USB Cable, CD-ROM, Hand strap

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20 Mar 2014 9:34AM
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5/DMC-TS5 video FOCUS TEST in dimly lit room. The sound of AutoFocus in operation that remained on the track can also be checked.

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