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on 28 April 2010
OK, just a quick one.... I change cameras all the time as I like to try things out and have never found one I've been happy with until now...

I bought this for my upcoming honeymoon, we bought 3 different cameras before this one (Samsung ST500, Sony W380 and Canon Ixus 100). We found all cameras to have serious issues with noise, shutter speed and video quality.... So I wasn't really expecting much from this as I had pretty much given into the fact no compact would be as good as my canon slr....

Woah, how wrong was I, first thing you notice is the shutter speed, very very very fast, pictures are bright and clear, with my last camera (the sony w380) about 1 out of 4 came out blurry and all unless a perfect clear day had excessive noise... This takes perfect shots everytime..

The video quality is also amazing, I really very pleasantly surprised how well it stood up to night time recording too. I have played back onto my sony 52" LCD and the quality is absolutely perfect....

In the box it comes with the wrist strap, battery, seperate charger, additional rubber cover to protect further, manual etc...

Negatives, there's always a couple of things... firstly the manus look dated and clunky, not as slick as the samsung or sony. It's a little bigger and heavier than I hoped for but now that I have got used to it it's fine. The initial procedure is a bit of a chew on, you have to wet the seals etc to make waterproof, I tohught they'd have come up with some bionic rubber or something by now to prevent this... and finally the batteries, the legnth of power is good but my FT1 spare battery won't work, when buying compatible batteries make sure it has the 'E' at the end for it to work... so get the BCF10E not the BCF10... It's the same battery but with different code... Panasonic are being silly here, as if manufacturers aren't just going to release a new version so annoying my FT1 battery I bought doesn't work...

Overall aside for the little niggles... this takes outstanding quality pictures, better than the top of the range competitor standard cameras never mind waterproof.... and the Video qualtiy beats them all, it's as good as my Sanyo Xacti HD which is a dedicated HD camera...

A little tip....I am using Samsung Plus Waterproof 16gb memory cards, I figured if the camera leaked then spending an extra 20% on waterproof memory was a wise investment....

I just got my first image printed onto canvas and it's come out AMAZING, perfect colours and detail, I would highly recomend this camera.

Am getting married in two days and then taking this on my honeymoon so will update this when I get back (spending a month in asia, singapore, hong kong, thailand, bali, dubai etc, will make for some intersting shots)
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on 13 June 2010
I usually use a Nikon D700 with 12 mp and fullframe sensor. I bought this camera to have a smaller rugged snapshot camera. I do a lot of offroad stuff and go hunting so the camera has to withstand the elements like drops, water and dust. I've tried it all and it is tough. Battery life is good. It is easy to make good settings in the cameras programs and the video is superb if you think of the size of the camera - I've been a TV News cameraman for 17 years working with big Sony XD cameras - so I have something to compare with. Summary: Just great - not a fullframe Nikon D700 - but superb as an extra camera in the pocket.
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on 2 September 2010
Quite simply, this really does do what it says on the tin, and produces great pictures in pretty much all conditions.

I'm a committed Canon fan, and use a DSLR for 'proper' pictures, plus an Ixus compact for casual shots; the Ixus needed replacing and I was about to go on a hot Red Sea holiday where I'd be snorkelling and hopefully seeing lots of sea life. My first thought was another Ixus at about £200, plus a full waterproof casing at another £200. The reviews suggested this Panasonic would be worth a go, and I have to say I've been delighted with it. I probably prefer the way that the menus work on my Canons, but that's just a personal preference thing, so I can't criticise the camera for that.

I admit I was initially sceptical about the 'internal' lens design, but the pictures are very good indeed, with precious little distortion from such a small camera; the lens is also fast enough compared to other compacts. In comparison to the waterproof Sony TX5 that I also tried, the pictures are much much better, as the Sony suffers from horrible levels of distortion near the edges.

As an alternative to a 'normal' compact camera with a separate full waterproof housing, this is not only much cheaper, plus it can be used in any weathers and it's very rugged too (so for me I can take it when I'm out on my mountain bike / walking etc without fear of it being damaged). OK, it's a little bit bigger and heavier than the smallest compacts, but not by much.

The spec is good, but it's the attention to detail that impresses on this camera, which clearly shows that it was designed from the word go as a pucka rugged underwater camera - the battery, card and connector doors are not only very well sealed, but the opening mechanisms have simple security catches, so you can't accidentally flip the doors open underwater - again, much better compared to say the Sony TX5, which has normal catches on the doors, that I think could quite easily be flipped open by accident when you're negotiating your way through a coral reef. I guess it's this sort of attention to detail that means it's waterproof to 10m (30ft) instead of only 3m (10ft), as the majority of 'waterproof' compacts are.

As a final note, I'd strongly recommend ignoring Amazon's recommendation for the ex-pro orange case (which everyone says is a bad fit) - I found that the Acme Made Chevron is absolutely spot on.
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on 26 November 2010
We've bought this camera before we go to Sharm El-Sheikh and we knew that is not possible to use it when we do the scuba diving, but while we're snorkeling around, if the angle is good and the light is enough, we were able to get quite good photos.
If you're used to DSLRs, it's autofocus is quite slow and you need to be careful about that since when you're in the water, you really cannot see the picture clearly if it was a good shot or not.
It's much better on the still objects like reefs, but if you press the shutter button half and wait a second or two to make sure it's focused, you can get quite good pictures.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 June 2010
In brief: if Batman had a camera, this would be it!

I was looking for a camera I could take with me to the beach or rafting without ever worrying about it. I wanted something I could drop in a backpack, leave it on the sand and take it in the sea without giving it a second thought. By now I am a satisfied PANASONIC/LUMIX customer, ever since my favorite FZ28 (the most convenient creativity camera) and my trusted TZ8 (the perfect city-tourist camera).
So, when, after all the research it came between this camera and the Olympus Mju Tough 8000, I showed some brand-name loyalty and went with the LUMIX. And the important thing is that I never regretted it.

This camera comes with a very bright wide-angle 28mm Leica lens which is optically stabilized, capturing on a 14.1MP sensor and an adequate 4.6x zoom (128mm). Typical for a LUMIX, it has a working intelligent Auto (iA) setting that gives you a piece of mind: perfect photos every time, without having to fidget with the settings.
Departing from the auto settings, the camera offers almost 20 shooting modes, 5 color modes, 6 focus modes and decent aperture range (f/3.3 to f/10) and shutter speeds (8 to 1/1300).

The camera is Waterproof up to 10m/33ft (which means you can safely take it splashing and snorkeling but not diving without an extra casing). So far, neither condensation nor sand have slipped through the seals.
It is also advertised to be Shockproof to drops up to 2m/6.6ft and Freeze-proof -10C (claims I have yet to test - no, I am not putting it in the freezer, it will have to wait 6 months for the slopes to open!).

For such a small lens (and such a dense sensor - will the MegaPixel-war ever cease?) there is surprisingly little noise. Given enough light the pictures are flawless. When indoors or with limited light the ISO will increase and so will the noise. I can understand such things to be important to photography enthusiasts but for the purposes I bought it, this is an excellent camera.

I don't usually use my photo camera for videos but it is nice to know the option is there. The video (up to 1280x720) can be captured either in AVCHD Lite format or AVI (make sure to have a large enough memory card if saving in AVI). As an added bonus, you can zoom while shooting a video and (almost) no whirring noise registers.

My only gripes are that the position of the lens is something I had to get used to (unless I wanted to both include my left hand in the shot and leave smudges on the lens) and that there is no viewfinder. Understandable for a compact camera but having the sun behind you will test the anti-glare capability of the 2.7' LCD.

The camera comes in 4 colors: inox-gray, royal-blue, metallic-yellow and safety-orange. I opted for the later out of vanity (it... matches the orange details of my summer watch) - but as an added bonus it is really easy to find even if it has slipped to the bottom of your backpack.

An excellent (made in Japan) action camera.

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on 17 August 2010
Bought this for a sailing / Windsurfing holiday in Cornwall, and not only did it not disappoint, it was by far the best camera I've had.

I've always been a fan of cameras that have an internal lens. I used to love my Samsung i6 until I destroyed it in the rain in Sydney, then I destroyed a Samsung NV9 in Dahab when windsurfing - using an aquapac for waterproofing.

So I'd been analysing the latest generation of tough cameras. The panasonic FT1 looked good but slightly unreliable, so with the more extreme FT2 being launched this year, I thought it well worth a try.

It's certainly nerve racking taking it into the water for the first time, but I was impressed with the performance in the murky Cornish waters. I took it sailing and windsurfing no problem - probably a bit too risky that one, and fortunately I didn't fall in when going at 24.4 knots as that would be beyond its performance spec.

Only thing that I think would improve it would be a lens cover, but maybe panasonic decided this can actually cause more damage - certainly in the past I'd frequently get sand in the mechanisms of my old cameras and these would jam - but when throwing it in a pocket with sand, money and keys etc., it seems like protection could be good. Saying that, no scratches on the lens so far after 2 weeks of harsh use.
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on 4 September 2011
This camera takes good pictures and exceptional hd footage.

I've found the focus to be a bit crap at times. I've mainly used at concerts so this could be a result of the smoke machines and lights. If i have it on autofocus then the slightest movement makes it adjust itself again. if i have it on autofocus off then i set it before starting a video, but cant hold the picture button to adjust it again at will without having to stop and start another recording.

There is a message on startup that tells you to read the waterproofing instructions. This should stop showing after the first time, but i got it on every startup until i realised there was a slideshow i had to watch before the screen was disabled. select yes to see the precautions but then dont press anything and you should start getting the slides after a few seconds.

The video is AVCHD. it runs on windows media player and ps3, but some players will have problems. Editing may also be a pain on the pc (but the camera itself allows you to trim, and you can also trim and join video on the ps3). The video files are massive, so only use hd if you need to and have an 8gb or more card to hand (a fast one). Video is awesome quality in good light (dark conditions are poor, but so are all camera recorders), but sound can be hit and miss, dont expect good sound from live concerts.

The waterproofing does work, but i have only tested it once. You just need to make sure any debris is removed from the rubber parts first, and in some cases allow it to adjust to the water temperature.

The unit feels rugged. Menus could be better. The charger is handy as it charges the battery in a cradle. This means removing the battery from the camera, but means that you can buy a spare battery and thus charge one while using the other.

UPDATE: after owning for a while i wish i didnt bother with getting a rugged camera like this simply because its fairly big compared to some other cameras on the market. it wont fit in jean pockets easily, whereas a thinner camera can be carried in lots more pockets and holders. on holiday i had to keep wearing cargo shorts so i could have a belt as the weight was brining swimming shorts down.
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on 29 June 2011
My camera broke and i needed a replacement so i did my research and this Lumix FT2 was my final choice. I use my camera mainly when i'm out cycling and so i thought having a camera that was waterproof, shockproof, etc would make sense. Reading the reviews, most of these type of cameras produce average quality images, but the FT2 was supposed to be much better. But after using this camera for a month now, these are my thoughts.

1) It is encased in rugged alluminium (which is attractive) but this also makes it a bit chunky and also a little heavy.

2) The lens rattles inside when you switch the camera off and also when you switch to viewing mode. Apparantly this is normal, the handbook says so, but it's a little disconcerting when you spend £[].

3) It doesnt have a viewfinder (very few compact digital cameras do these days) but that is a major problem when trying to photograph things in bright sunlight.

4) The image quality is okay, not exceptional but fine for my general use.

5)The start-up time when you switch the camera on is very fast, you can take pictures almost straight away. And shutter delay is above average.

6) I'm glad i didnt go with a touch screen camera as greasy finger marks on this cameras screen are annoying enough as it is and hard to wipe off.

Overall, given the chance again, i would buy a cheaper panasonic camera with a better (conventional) lens, there are some good ones for around £100. I just dont think this camera is worth the extra money.
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on 10 September 2010
At present I use a Leica C-Lux2, a 7MP joy to use, not too fancy, but takes excellent stills and not bad video. As I'm going on holiday, I fancied upgrading, a Superzoom compact beckoned. I read lots of reviews, and ordered a Canon SX 210IS. I packed it back to Amazon within 2 minutes of trying it out, due to the annoying pop-up flash sitting exactly where my left forefinger would be when taking a pic. I then sent for the Casio Exilim EX-H15, which I reviewed previously - I would have been miserable with this camera. I used it at a wedding, and the quality of the shots was fuzzy (even on auto) and the video was poor. I thought, to hang with superzooms, what looks funky & takes a decent picture? So I ordered the FT2, hoping third time lucky. It's different, it's solid. It's more gold than yellow, the orange would have been my first choice but it wouldn't be here by the time I go away. The pictures I've took are sharp and colourful. The AVCHD Lite HD video is excellent, and as a Mac user, you just have to download a free programme called 'VLC' and the vids play no prob, but will also play fine from the camera straight to any HD TV. As the Panasonic brand are using Leica lenses, this would explain the very good sharpness of the shots. I considered the Lumix TZ10, but it just looked too ordinary, and I've got a DSLR, so just wanted something I can take a good photo / video with. I'm not keen on the silicone wrapper included, but it's good to know it's there if you need to bounce it off the ground!
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on 13 March 2011
Bought this camera recently to take on holiday to Taba, Egypt. Had no problem with taking it underwater. Still shots were tricky snorkelling as bobbing up and down on the swell makes accurate focusing difficult. Probably easier when "Scuba" diving. Underwater video was more sucsessful.
Good results as a normal stills camera. Exposure v. good on intelligent auto. Have uploaded a couple of images from Petra.
review image review image
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