Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4

January 31, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras | Comment |

Panasonic’s new, 12.1-megapixel DMC-FT4 is dustproof, waterproof to 12m, shockproof to 2m and freezeproof to -10 °C. The FT4 also features a folded. 28-128mm equivalent lens comprising 10 elements and a prism unit in 8 groups, including 1 ED and 5 aspherical lens elements with 6 aspherical surfaces; a Hi-Speed CCD sensor that makes it possible for the camera to record Full HD videos; an on-board GPS module; compass; altimeter and barometer. Panasonic has also added three new shooting modes, including Time Lapse Shot, Miniature Effect and Panorama Shot. The FT4 will be available in a choice of black, blue, white or orange. Pricing to be communicated.

Panasonic Press Release

Rugged Design Profile with Advanced GPS for Powerful Outdoor Use

Introducing the LUMIX DMC-FT4

Catering for those looking for a versatile and durable camera that can confidently take shots under pressure, Panasonic is pleased to introduce the new DMC-FT4 to its rugged design FT series especially geared for active outdoor use. Featuring outstanding toughness to be waterproof to 12m, shockproof to 2m, freezeproof to -10 degrees C and dustproof reliability, the DMC-FT4 is equipped with built-in GPS system with over a million place names information, compass, altimeter and barometer for users who enjoy active outdoor adventures.

The DMC-FT4 is a tough camera, but don’t be fooled into thinking that’s all it is. The FT4 does not compromise on picture quality with high picture quality achieved thanks to the LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens in folded optics, 12.1-megapixel Hi-Speed CCD sensor and the advanced image processing LSI Venus Engine. Bold and rugged, yet intricately designed the FT4 is the perfect outdoor, active camera.

Waterproof and Dustproof1
Impressively specified, the DMC-FT4 is waterproof to a depth of 12m and dustproof equivalent to the “IPX8” and “IP6X” standard. Thanks to rubber padding and reinforced glass inside the camera, the DMC-FT4 features an airtight body protected against water immersion, dust and sand. With the minimum apertural area, the DMC-FT4 boasts even higher tightness of sealing to withstand pressure in underwater as deep as 12m. For those deep sea divers or scuba divers, when coupled with the optional DMW-MCFT3 Marine Case, the FT3 is waterproof to 40m – so there’s no limit to your underwater photography!

Drop Proof and Freezeproof2
The DMC-FT4 is drop proof from a height up to 2.0m in accordance with the “MIL-STD 810F Method516.5-Shock” test standard. In addition to reinforcing the exterior of the camera with shock-resistant material, the DMC-FT4 uses folded optics to prevent its lens unit from taking damage when dropped during operation. The lens unit is protected by a supplementary damper to absorb the force from shock impact. All components including the lens unit are reexamined to endure the temperature as low as -10 degrees C to make the DMC-FT4 freezeproof.

With its waterproof, dustproof, drop proof and freezeproof capabilities, the FT4 opens up a realm of photographic opportunities. Where users had previously not been confident to take the camera, such as the beach, the sea, skiing and boating to name but a few – the FT4 can confidently accompany users on their travels and adventures and capture those treasured moments.

Equipped with GPS
With a clever GPS3 function, the DMC-FT4 shows the name of the Country/Region, State/Prov./County, County/Township, City/Town/Village and Landmark using the internal data to give users real-time information of the place when taking photos to add fun of photo shooting during travel. The area information covers 203 countries or regions for global use. Plus, more than 1,000,000 of landmark information covers 82 countries or regions. The photos and videos with the location names are automatically sorted in the virtual folder alphabetically in the camera allowing quick reach. You can also refer to the location names via the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.1 Advanced Edition. It is also easy to sort or search images by the location names. The internal clock of the camera is automatically adjusted to the local time of the place where the camera is, so you do not have to set the clock manually whether you go abroad or come back home.

Panasonic’s FT series are specifically designed for active outdoor use, utilising a compass, altimeter and even barometer to show and record altitude, barometric pressure and orientation data. The barometer also works for indicator for depth underwater. The altitude gains higher accuracy by using GPS data with DMC-FT4. The altimeter log is available which helps users to forecast the climate and the log of barometric trend tells how high he/she was. The rugged design, GPS and the advanced measuring equipments offers a variety of fun in wide-ranging situations. Take out the camera to fishing or camping in the springtime, to diving, snorkelling, surfing in summer, or mountain climbing in autumn and to skiing or snowboarding in winter - the DMC-FT4 is an all-year-round active field player to record stunning memories in beautiful photo and video.

Feature Packed and Technically Specified
The DMC-FT4 incorporates a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4.6x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 28-128mm). The folded optics of shaft guide method is adopted to secure the toughness of the lens unit. Comprising 10 elements and a prism unit in 8 groups, including 1 ED lens and 5 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces passing the Leica’s stringent standards to deliver exceptional optical performance to the edges.

Thanks to the newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom is available with the DMC-FT4 which extends the zoom ratio by approx. 2x maintaining the picture quality even when combining the digital zoom. This means the 4.6x optical can virtually extend to 9.3x equivalent, so you can be sure to zoom in on those action shots.

The 12.1-megapixel CCD with 2-channel signal output structure boasts higher signal transfer speed for the operations that require high performance and speed such as 1920x1080 full-HD video recording and high speed continuous shooting. The picture quality is beyond that of standard rugged design digital compact cameras thanks to the higher sensitivity which is made possible by highly efficient light condensation adoption larger on-chip micro lenses.

For the image processor, the Venus Engine is incorporated that features exceptionally advanced signal processing capabilities featuring its Intelligent Noise Reduction.  Linking smoothly with the Hi-Speed CCD sensor, the Venus Engine processes a large amount of signals at high speed, making it possible to record full-HD video recording and high resolution consecutive shots at 3.7 fps in 12.1-megapixel full resolution and max.10 fps at 3-megapixel recording.

At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine, the Venus Engine realizes a super-fast response time. The Sonic Speed AF and the camera’s quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities – perfect for active adventurers.

Record in 1,920 x 1,080 Full-HD in AVCHD / MP4 Format
Not only can the FT4 capture stunning still photos, and despite its compact profile, the DMC-FT4 is capable of recording full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) videos in AVCHD (MPEG-4 / H.264) format4. The AVCHD format excels in the compatibility with AV equipment like HDTVs or Blu-ray Disc players. A special, separate button on the top lets the user instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make any extra settings. Alternately, user can choose MP4 at 30p(NTSC) / 25p(PAL) for video recording, which has higher compatibility with PCs.

For more effective countermeasure against blur, the Active Mode is newly equipped with DMC-FT4 for an option of image stabilization in video recording. In addition to the POWER O.I.S., the Active Mode encourages active video recording at wide angle such as shooting while walking without deterioration of the image quality. The 4.6x optical zoom is available in video recording. The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in video recording.

Utilising its strong heritage in digital video cameras, Panasonic has equipped the FT4 with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, to offer highly realistic sound to the motion images.

A Host of Functions Expand The Fun of Photography
With its high usability thanks to its tough design, high picture quality, and ability to record full HD video, the FT4 ticks all the boxes for the active user. Continuing to go one step further, Panasonic has included 3 new shooting modes - Time Lapse Shot, Miniature Effect and Panorama Shot - to expand the fun and creativity of photography.

With the Time Lapse Shot, once the start time, the interval and the number of picture to shoot are set, the camera automatically record images. You can leave the camera and get a record of stationary observation for subjects such as flowers coming into bloom, scudding cloud, wild animals in nature. 

The Miniature Effect mode in which the peripherals are defocused while saturation and contrast is emphasized to look the picture like a diorama. The video recorded in this mode is played back in 10x fast-forwarding making it more comical to watch5. Panorama Shot makes it is possible to shoot a maximum 360-degree of horizontal / vertical panoramic image with consequent shots taken by overlaying the previous picture.

Let the Camera Do The Hard Work With iA Mode or Take Control with the Manual Mode
The FT4 features Panasonic’s popular iA (Intelligent Auto) mode which lets users leave everything to the camera to take beautiful photos and videos. Once you enter the iA mode, all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions – MEGA O.I.S., AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Recognition, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure – are automatically activated by just activating the iA mode. For those who wish to set the shutter speed and aperture themselves, the FT4 has added manual operation for more creative freedom. 

However the photos are captured, users can rest assured that thanks to the 2.7inch LCD with AR Coating, images are effortlessly easy to viewback outdoors, so there’s no reason not to check images instantly and re-take if you need to!

With its tough body and rugged design, the FT4 is fully equipped for outdoor adventures in any season – whether it’s diving, snorkelling, surfing, climbing, skiing, snowboarding or camping – the FT4 will deliver and ensure you have a memory to treasure. With superb photo and video recording in an extremely tough body, the FT4 will be available in a choice of black, blue, white or orange.

1. This camera’s waterproof/dustproof rating complies with the “IPX8” and “IP6X” ratings. Provided the care and maintenance guidelines described in this document are strictly followed, this camera can operate underwater, to a depth not exceeding 12 m (40 feet) for a time not exceeding 60 minutes.  This means that the camera can be used underwater for specified time in specified pressure in accordance with the handling method established by Panasonic. This does not guarantee no destruction, no malfunction, or waterproofing in all conditions.
2. This camera also complies with “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock”. The camera has cleared a drop test from a height of 2 m (6.6 feet) onto 3 cm (0.1 feet) thick plywood. In most cases this camera should not sustain any damage if dropped from a height not exceeding 2 m (6.6 feet). *2 “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock” is the test method standard of the U.S. Defense Department, which specifies performing drop tests from a height of 122 cm (4 feet), at 26 orientations (8 corners, 12 ridges, 6 faces) using 5 sets of devices, and passing the 26 orientation drops within 5 devices. (If failure occurs during the test, a new set is used to pass the drop orientation test within a total of 5 devices)
Panasonic’s test method is based on the above “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock”.
However, the drop height was changed from 122 cm (4 feet) to 200 cm (6.6 feet) dropping onto 3 cm (0.1 feet) thick plyboard. This drop test was passed. (Disregarding appearance change such as loss of paint or distortion of the part where drop impact is applied.) This does not guarantee no destruction, no malfunction, or waterproofing in all conditions.
3. GPS may not work in China or in the border regions of countries neighboring China.
·Depending on the locations, it may not be possible to correctly receive the signals from the GPS satellites. In such cases, positioning may not be possible, or significant positioning discrepancy may occur.
·Information measured on this unit is only a rough indication. Do not use it for technical purposes.
·When using this unit for full-scale mountain climbing, trekking, or underwater, use the measured information (bearing, altitude, depth, atmospheric pressure) only as a rough indication, and always carry a map and purpose-built measurement tools.
4. Sensor output is 30p(NTSC) / 25p(PAL).
[For NTSC Areas]
‘- Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds. (excluding when [GS] or [SH] is set)
- Motion pictures in [MP4] can be recorded continuously for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Also, motion picture recorded continuously in [MP4] is up to 4 GB.
[For European PAL Areas]
‘- Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds in European PAL areas. Also, motion picture recorded continuously in [MP4] is up to 4 GB.
5. Sound will not be recorded with [MINIATURE EFFECT] and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long.)

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