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Ilse Jurriën : January 27th 2009 - 15:00 CET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1

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PanasonicPanasonic Lumix FT1 digital camera : Panasonic introduces the Lumix DMC-FT1, a new concept camera geared for active outdoor photography. The Panasonic FT1 (in the USA known as Lumix TS1) is shockproof, waterproof and dustproof in design with the capability to record high-definition movie in AVCHD Lite. Featuring a 28mm wide angle lens, 4.6x optical zoom and iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, this versatile digital camera lets you capture your moments no matter the intended shooting terrain. Tested with the same standards used to assess Panasonic’s acclaimed TOUGHBOOK series computers, the Lumix FT1 is waterproof to a depth of 3.0m, shockproof from falls up to 1.5m, and dust-proof - so you take this Panasonic camera to places thought not possible before.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1

Panasonic Lumix FT1 digital camera functions
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 features a new 28mm wide-angle, 4.6x optical zoom Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with 12.1-megapixel resolution. Starting at the 28mm wide angle, and zooming up to a useful 128mm in telephoto, this Panasonic camera gives you the flexibility for virtually all shooting scenes - especially underwater, where movement is often restricted and the angle of view becomes important for composing your shots. HD motion-image recording is available in AVCHD Lite allowing longer video recordings with breathtaking HD visual and audio quality, making it a true hybrid - a single model that performs admirably as both digital camera and digital camcorder while achieving smooth, easy operation in both modes.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 offers Intelligent Auto mode
Panasonic's Intelligent Auto mode - a hallmark of Lumix cameras - is now also available in movie recording. It automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to correct handshake, focus and brightness problems - making iA mode your one-stop solution to capturing beautiful still and motion images. It features Face Recognition, a function that "remembers" faces from previous shots. When a familiar face appears in the frame, the Panasonic FT1 camera will prioritize focus and exposure to capture it beautifully. This clever function makes it easy to get sharp and clear photos of loved ones in a group of people.

Panasonic Lumix FT1

Enjoy images and movies on the 2.7" LCD screen
The adoption of AVCHD Lite lets users enjoy watching not only still images but also HD movies just inserting the SDHC/SD memory card from the camera in the VIERA Image Viewer(Built-in SDHC/SD Memory Card slot) on a VIERA HDTV to start playback. Alternatively, simply connect the digital camera via an optional mini-HDMI cable to a VIERA Link-equipped TV and use the TV's remote control to run slideshows including both still and motion images in the timeline. The Lumix FT1 features a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide viewing angle, improving visibility during recording and playback by automatic brightness control according to the situation. Enjoy stunning photos and HD videos with tremendous ease on land and under sea - the DMC-FT1 is the ideal partner for your outdoor adventures.

Panasonic FT1

Panasonic FT1 a waterproof, shockproof and dustproof camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 is drop proof from a height up to 1.5m in accordance with the “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock” test standard. In addition to reinforcing the exterior of the camera with shock-resistant material, the DMC-FT1 uses folded optics to prevent its lens unit from taking damage when dropped during operation. The lens unit is further protected by a supplementary damper to absorb the force from shock impact. The Panasonic FT1 is waterproof to a depth of 3m and dustproof equivalent to the “IP58” standard. Thanks to rubber padding and reinforced glass and carbon resins inside the camera, the Lumix DMC-FT1 features an airtight body protected against water immersion, dust and sand. Panasonic Lumix FT1’s LCD panel is also deliberately thickened for protection against pressure, allowing the display to operate with clear visibility even underwater. The Panasonic DMC-FT1 is an extremely versatile digital camera that you can take with you wherever the action calls. Swim along with tropical fish and capture shots of a beautiful coral reef, or take recordings of your friend around a camp fire. The Lumix FT1 is an ideal compact camera to bring with you to the beach or on hiking trips.

Panasonic DMC-FT1

Motion picture recording on the Panasonic Lumix FT1
In addition to Motion JPEG images, the Panasonic DMC-FT1 can record high-definition motion picture in AVCHD Lite. It features almost doubling the recording time in HD quality compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format. The Panasonic Lumix FT1 also features Dolby Digital Creator to record high quality audio, so you can match the beautiful motion images with outstanding sound. Now on the Panasonic FT1, the popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in motion image recording. Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using high-powered zoom. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion on it so it always turns out beautifully. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. And Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality.

Available functions in motion image recording mode
Motion image recording can be started by pressing a dedicated button on the camera's back panel - an extremely quick, convenient way to start motion image recording. Most of the camera’s settings will be carried over when switched to motion picture recording. The 4.6x optical zoom is available in movie recording, too. A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 also provides a Color mode and carries over 17 different scene modes from photo scene modes in movie recording. In AVCHD Lite recording, you can select from three levels of motion image quality: SH (17 Mbps), H (13 Mbps) and L (9 Mbps). In dark places such as nigh camping, the built-in LED light automatically turns on while recording motion images.

Lumix DMC-FT1

View Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 photos on a VIERA TV
Still or motion images recorded in AVCHD Lite on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV. Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SDHC/SD Memory Card slot) on VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player to playback your contents. Alternatively, you can use an optional Mini HDMI cable to output the still and motion images you took from the FT1 directly to the TV for VIERA Link. You can take maximum advantage of Lumix camera’s playback functions including the slideshow in which both still and motion images integrated in the timeline, category playback according to the scene mode you used or calendar display and so on. All control is possible using only the TV's remote control. In addition, with the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO HD Edition, it is easy to view and edit your recorded contents. You may also choose to upload your videos to YouTube or burn them to a DVD disc for archiving.


Face Recognition function available in iA mode
With the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1, taking great photos is that easy. Panasonic incorporated the Intelligent Auto mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of misshots. This mode is now further advanced with the inclusion of Face Recognition and AF Tracking features for DMC-FT1. In iA mode the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments. Just press aim, and shoot. The Panasonic FT1 features Face Recognition, a function that "remembers" faces. When a familiar face is recorded several times, the camera will prompt you to register the face. Once complete, if the familiar face appears into your frame again, the camera will display the name you specified for that person and prioritize focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and in sharp focus. During registration, you can change the icon that indicates when the registered subject is in focus. You can also specify the age of the registered subject and have both the name and the age of the subject stamped onto your photos. When babies under 3 years-old are registered, the camera will automatically switch to Baby Scene mode if the baby appears into the frame. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using Category Playback. You can also view image slideshows of only a selected person. Face recognition makes sorting archiving incredibly easy. This advanced face detection system also digitally corrects unwanted red-eye during recording.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 review

Intelligent Auto mode on the Panasonic Lumix FT1
With AF Tracking, the Panasonic Lumix FT1 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves - making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises. Simply aim, lock, and shoot. In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include Mega O.I.S., which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. The Mega O.I.S. now has an AUTO mode to select between the conventional Mode 1 and 2 depending on which mode best suits the zoom ratio being used. Intelligent Exposure optimizes the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the subject is in backlight. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the five most common shooting situations - Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Macro - and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.

Panasonic DMC-FT1 Quick AF system makes focusing easy
The Quick AF system helps keep focus on the subject while the camera is in recording mode even before pressing the shutter button halfway. This improves the result out of a shutter chance because the focus is always near the subject and AF time is minimized. The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting iA mode.


Panasonic FT1 features an ultra wide-angle Leica DC lens
The Panasonic Lumix FT1 features a high-quality Leica DC Vario Elmar 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4.6x optical zoom. The folded optics of shaft guide method is adopted to secure the toughness of the lens unit. Comprising 9 elements and a prism unit in 8 groups, including 1 ED lenses and 5 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces, a difficult feat even by today’s standards, this advanced lens unit passes Leica's stringent standards to deliver exceptional optical performance to the edges even adopting the folded optics. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function provides additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 9.0x (252mm) by using the centre part of the 12.1-megapixel large CCD.

Panasonic Venus Engine HD assures high picture quality
The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD has been re-engineered to support the recording of beautiful, high-definition motion images in AVCHD Lite. With its twin CPUs, Venus Engine HD boasts approx. 2.4x processing capability, greatly improving the speed of camera operations. This high performance LSI elevates the artificial intelligence of the camera by introducing new circuitry making it possible to “recognize” human faces individually. It also supports high definition output through HDMI. In image processing, luminance noise and chromatic noise are reduced separately before and after signal processing. This is further refined by separating noise two-dimensionally into high-frequency and low-frequency noise. The circuits then effectively reduce only the low-frequency noise to minimize the unwanted noise and help produce beautiful, sharp still and motion images.

Lumix FT1

Super-fast image processor incorporated in the Panasonic FT1
This multi-task image-processing engine has a super-fast response time. The camera starts up quickly in 1.3 seconds. Shutter release time lag is as short as approx. 0.005 seconds, making it easy to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the DMC-FT1 can snap approx. 2.3 shots per second at 12.1-megapixel full resolution. In High-Speed Burst shooting mode, it fires off an incredible approx. 10 shots per second. Unlimited consecutive shooting is also available to let you shoot until the memory card is full. Despite its outstanding performance, the high performance engine is also more energy efficient compared with the conventional Venus Engine IV, extending the battery life up to 340 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.

Panasonic Lumix FT1 equipped with 2.7" LCD screen
The Panasonic FT1 is equipped with a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with super high resolution and a wide viewing angle. The screen brightness automatically adjusts in 11 steps as the surrounding brightness level changes, ensuring easy visibility at all times. Menus are now cleaner and easier to navigate, even for seniors, thanks to the new "Display Size" option. Thanks to the Venus Engine HD, smooth image playback at very high speeds is now available approx.17x faster for thumbnail and approx. 4x for single image even the image resolution is as high as 12.1-megapixel.

FT1 Panasonic

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 digital camera features
Panasonic Lumix functions continue to evolve. Scene modes, which are optimized for a variety of still-image shooting situations, are now available for motion images as well. Thanks to a rich variety of 26 scene modes for still image and 17 for motion image (Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self portrait, Scenery, Low light, Food, Party, Candle light, Sunset, Beach & Surf, Snow, Aerial, Pin hole, Film grain, Underwater and High Sensitivity.), capturing beautiful videos is effortless with the Panasonic DMC-FT1. The most commonly used scene modes for outdoor photography including Sports, Snow, and Beach & Surf can be accessed directly via the mode dial. The new scene mode for shooting still images includes the Beach & Surf and Panorama Assist mode. Beach & Surf mode is perfect for your beach activities, allowing you to use a single mode with optimized auto white balance both on the beach and in shallow water. Panorama Assist mode allows you to create powerful panoramic images - both vertically and horizontally. Simply align your shots according to a guide which overlaps the frame when you shoot, then use the included PanoramaMaker software to create your panorama images. The minimum shooting distance has been shortened to 3 cm on the FT1. Using the extra 3x digital magnification in the Macro Zoom function, you can pull subjects even closer than the closest point possible in the wide-angle setting, and capture dramatic close-ups.

Panasonic FT1 review

Panasonic PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition software
The latest version of the exciting bundled software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition allows you to view, edit and archive your captured contents with greater ease and fun. Still and motion images can be transferred to the PC via a USB cable for viewing and archiving on the PC with the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition installed. Using PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, you can edit and remove unwanted portions of your video clips recorded in AVCHD Lite. Contents recorded in AVCHD Lite can be burned directly onto a DVD disc for viewing on a DIGA Blu-ray Disc player. Alternatively, you can use the software to convert your contents to MPEG2 format to burn onto a DVD disc.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 software
The portrait images taken with the camera’s Face Recognition function are organized neatly in the folder of the name registered with the camera. Not only that, the software also features an independent Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture stored in your PC to sort the photos by the face. You do not have to pick out each photo one by one out of thousand of photos when you only want pictures of a specific person. With PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, the software automatically sorts your images into virtual folders based on the faces you registered. You can also enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library as background music. Motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube using the built-in YouTube uploader.

Panasonic Lumix FT1 review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 review
As soon as we receive a Panasonic Lumix FT1 test sample, we will publish a picture gallery with high resolution photos, followed by an extended Panasonic FT1 review.

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