Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Review

July 29, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 produced images of good quality during the review period. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 produces noise-free images at ISO 100-400, with limited noise and colour desaturation starting to appear at ISO 800. ISO 1600 exhibits quite visible noise, smearing of fine detail and colour desaturation, and the fastest setting of ISO 3200 is even noisier and best avoided altogether.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 dealt well with chromatic aberrations, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light. Anti-shake is a feature that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range.

Macro performance is good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The Intelligent Resolution feature either makes a standard image look sharper, albeit with some unwanted artefacts appearing, or it digitally increases the 4.6x optical zoom to 9.2x, again with a slight loss in quality. The various Creative Effects and Color Modes allow you to easily add a twist to your images.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5's 4.6x lens has a fairly versatile focal range of 28-128mm, as demonstrated by the examples below.

28mm

128mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple and green fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 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

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 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)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5'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 4 seconds at ISO 100. 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

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Image Stabilisation

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 has an antishake mechanism which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with the stabilizer turned off, the second with it turned on. As you can see, with image stabilisation turned on, the images are sharper than when it's turned off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Image Stabilisation Off (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation On (100% Crop)

1/15th / 28mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
1/6th / 128mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Intelligent Resolution

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5's Intelligent Resolution feature makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually, or it extends the 4.6x zoom to 9.2x.

Off

On

intelligent_resolution_01.jpg intelligent_resolution_02.jpg
   

i.Zoom Off

i.Zoom On

intelligent_resolution_03.jpg intelligent_resolution_04.jpg

Colour Modes

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 has 4 different color mode options.

Standard

Vivid

color_mode_01.jpg color_mode_02.jpg
   

B&W

Sepia

color_mode_03.jpg color_mode_04.jpg

Creative Controls

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 has an extensive range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette in the shooting mode menu, with 14 different options on offer.

Expressive

Retro

creative_control_01.jpg creative_control_02.jpg
   

High Key

Low Key

creative_control_03.jpg creative_control_04.jpg
   

Sepia

Dynamic Monochrome

creative_control_05.jpg creative_control_06.jpg
   

Impressive Art

High Dynamic

creative_control_07.jpg creative_control_08.jpg
   

Cross Process

Toy Effect

creative_control_09.jpg creative_control_10.jpg
   

Miniature Effect

Soft Focus

creative_control_11.jpg creative_control_12.jpg
   

Star Filter

One Point Color

creative_control_13.jpg creative_control_14.jpg

Panorama

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 allows you to take panoramic images very easily by 'sweeping' with the camera. The camera does all the processing and stitching. In addition 12 of the Creative Filter effects can also be applied to panorama shots in the Creative Panorama mode.

Panorama
panorama1.jpg
 
Panorama with the Impressive Art Filter
panorama2.jpg