The Good Tougher than Jason Bourne; GPS, compass, altimeter and barometer built-in; 1,080p video capture.
The Bad Expensive if you're not going to make use of its extra features; some visible grain, even in well-lit situations; mono-only audio recording.
The Bottom Line For most users, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3 will probably prove unnecessary. But, if you're the outdoors type, you'll find this rugged compact camera more than meets your needs.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3
From the company that brought us the Toughbook comes the Lumix FT3, Panasonic’s rugged go-anywhere camera. It’s waterproof to 12m (so long as you remember to lock the battery door) and shock-proof when dropped from 2m. You can even freeze it to −10C. But how does this £329 snapper perform in less demanding situations?
Front and back, the FT3 is a slab of tough metal, with plastic detailing top and bottom. The lens, which protrudes from the fattest point by just 1mm, is protected by a window to keep out any damp, yet Panasonic warns that it can still develop condensation when moved from cold to warm environments (think slopes to apres-ski, where you’ll probably want to take bar shots) or if it's used under water shortly after being hot (so, at the beach).
The lens is mounted in the upper-right corner, which is awkward if you’re holding the camera with both hands -- particularly when panning a video shot, where we found our fingers occasionally straying into the frame.
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