Page 5 - Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2It may sink, but it’ll still work.
Compact cameras have improved dramatically over the last 12 months. We picks the best ones for your snaps and explain what to look for.
The Lumix brand from Panasonic has leapt into prominence in the last couple of years, not least in part due to it’s strong TV ad campaign — “lake skipping” compact anyone?
The Lumix DMC-FT2 is a tough little beast that — like its competitor from Olympus — is shock, freeze and dust-proof. The Lumix also takes hi-def video using the AVCHD format, and as a bonus, is $100 cheaper than the Olympus.
Panasonic says that the stabilisation system has twice the power of “hand shake” correction as a standard system, but that sounds a little like a washing powder ad. However, what can be quantified is the inclusion of Intelligent ISO, Face and Scene Detection with a “snorkelling mode”, Auto Focus/Exposure and a “Happy” mode to optimise saturation and colour saturation. One important feature, if the FT2 is to be used for snorkelling, is the inclusion of an LED light; lighting of coral and fish is almost mandatory to get the colours you see in those Barrier Reef documentaries.
14.1 megapixels can be expected from the Lumix, and the exceptional Leica lens zooms from a wide 28mm to 128mm. The rear of the camera sports a 2.7in LCD to the left with all controls grouped logically to the right-hand side. Most functions are selected with sealed square push buttons, and a rotary dial is used for scene selections etc.
Power is obtained via a Lithium-Ion battery. The review unit was a bright yellow, easy to see if dropped on the ocean floor, but the DMC-FT2 is also available in blue, silver and orange.Available from Panasonic, retailing for $499.APC rating: 9/10