Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 Review

4.0
February 5, 2010 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 produced images of good quality during the review period. Noise is the main problem, being obvious at the relatively slow speed of ISO 400 and then becoming progressively worse at the faster settings of 800 and 1600.

Chromatic aberrations were well controlled, with some limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The 14 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop.

Macro performance is quite good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cms away from the subject. 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. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure.

Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the FT2 in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the 4.6x zoom range. The maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds easily allows the camera to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2. 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)

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2's 4.6x zoom lens offers a fairly versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

28mm

128mm

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)

   

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

14M Fine (5.70Mb) (100% Crop) 14M Normal (3.40Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 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 examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 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-FT2 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-FT2'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)

Anti Shake

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/4th / 28mm
0.7 sec / 128mm

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 720p, 2.7 inch LCD, 14 megapixel, lumix, panasonic, waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, freezeproof, 4.6x zoom, dmc-ft2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 Review, dmc ft2, ft2

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