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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1

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The Good Waterproof and shockproof; 4.6x wideangle zoom; AVCHD Lite movie mode.

The Bad Lower depth rating than some rivals; cramped controls; shutter and zoom button are easily confused.

The Bottom Line The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 is very well specified for a ruggedised camera, which makes it a great all-round snapper and camcorder too. It can be awkward to use, though, and, if outright toughness is more important to you than versatility, it might not go far enough

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8.3 Overall

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The Lumix DMC-FT1 is Panasonic's answer to the Olympus mju Tough-8000. The FT1 is a waterproof, shockproof and coldproof snapper that's still smart enough to dangle from your wrist at a cocktail party. It's well-specced, too, with a 4.6x wideangle zoom and a 1,280x720-pixel resolution high-definition movie mode, although, for around £280, you're entitled to expect some decent features.

The FT1 doesn't have the dainty, precise feel of Panasonic's other metal-bodied compact cameras, but it's still pretty smart. It certainly feels tough, and, while you wouldn't want to drop it on purpose, it's comforting to know it will probably survive if you do.

This test shot shows good colours, good exposure accuracy and not much distortion. Chromatic aberration is practically non-existent (click image to enlarge)

The 3m depth rating is pretty handy, too, even if it isn't quite in the same league as the 10m-rated Tough-8000 or Canon's new PowerShot D10. You might want to choose one of these two for any serious diving, but, if you're just having a swim, the FT1's fine.

It's good in the cold, too, and will keep going right down to a teeth-chattering -10°C, so it's just as good on Alpine slopes as it is under tropical seas.

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