Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 Review

4.0
January 25, 2010 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

Images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 are sharp for the most part, displaying good, even exposure and an impressive degree of detail. They're realistically coloured too, with the choice of opting for our favoured setting of vivid if dull weather conditions at the time occasionally render results a little flat and drab.

To pick holes in the FT1's performance, at maximum (28mm) wideangle setting we did notice some softening of detail towards the edges of the frame when examining images at 100% on a desktop, and slight barrel distortion as evidenced in our white wall test shots, though again this is only noticeable if really looking for it. Lens flare is likewise an occasional problem if shooting in bright sunlight, as is pixel fringing, but this isn't anything we hadn't expected.

In terms of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1's low light performance, grain is starting to intrude into shadow areas at ISO 400, which is slightly disappointing, though overall detail doesn't begin to soften until ISO 800. At top ISO 1600 setting however fuzzy results resemble those from a storm-battered TV aerial, so ideally, anything above ISO 400 is best avoided. And, even with pretty much everything else automatic, you can limit the camera to operate within such parameters if so desired.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% Crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately you can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (128mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (128mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Starry Sky Mode scene mode (there are also 15 and 30 second options) and 8 seconds in the Night Scene mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/13th second at ISO 800. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, wide-angle, 12 megapixel, lumix, panasonic, 28mm, waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, 28mm lens, 4.6x zoom, dmc ft1, ft1, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 Review, dmc-ft1

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