Com­pe­tent But with Caveats

Pana­sonic Lu­mix DMC-FT5

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test -

in­clu­sion of the Quick Menu but­ton. In­stead of hav­ing to ac­cess the sub-menu and search for var­i­ous set­tings, the Quick Menu but­ton will bring up a list of set­tings that you will most likely ac­cess dur­ing shoot­ing such as ISO val­ues. The FT5 also of­fers the choice to switch be­tween two aper­ture val­ues at any fo­cal length, which isn’t ground-break­ing, but still a handy op­tion to have if you ever need to quickly switch be­tween wide or nar­row aper­tures.

Con­nec­tiv­ity-wise, the FT5 also fea­tures NFC, Wi-Fi and GPS. Bat­tery life will take a hit with all th­ese fea­tures turned on, but when used ju­di­ciously, the FT5 ends up with as one of the best in its class where bat­tery life is con­cerned, tak­ing about 370 shots be­fore go­ing flat. Wi-FI im­ple­men­ta­tion is ex­cel­lent too, with the Pana­sonic Im­age app shar­ing shots to a wide se­lec­tion of ser­vices, in­clud­ing Face­book. The app also al­lows for re­mote con­trol.

Charg­ing the bat­tery is done via an ex­ter­nal charger,in­stead of the in-cam­era charg­ing com­mon on a num­ber of newer cam­eras such as the Sony RX100 Mark II.

Per­for­mance-wise, the FT5 pro­duced im­ages that were gen­er­ally well-ex­posed and vi­brant. The FT5 scored 1800LPH both ver­ti­cally and hor­i­zon­tally in our res­o­lu­tion test, with slight de­tail loss no­tice­ably as early as ISO100, which wasn’t very en­cour­ag­ing. Of course, we felt com­fort­able with over­all im­age qual­ity all the way up to ISO800, af­ter which the de­tail loss be­comes too ob­vi­ous to look past.

Over­all, the FT5 is mixed bag. The mostly-metal con­struc­tion of­fers a rugged and re­as­sur­ing feel, but the pro­tec­tive lens cover at­tracts far too many fin­ger­prints for com­fort. While its rear dis­play is one of the bet­ter ones when viewed un­der bright sun­light, its low res­o­lu­tion and washed-out col­ors don’t do the cam­era jus­tice. The FT5 is a still com­pe­tent cam­era con­sid­er­ing its im­age qual­ity, but the small se­lec­tion of flaws pre­vents it from be­ing one of the bet­ter tough cam­eras around.

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