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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 Review
The Lumix DMC-FT20 is the newest waterproof, shockproof and dustproof digital camera from Panasonic. It offers a wide range of impressive features and sports a sturdy built, making it one of the best digital cameras in the market.
The camera is available in four colors: black, blue, red and orange. It features a 2.7-inch, 230k dot resolution LCD in the absence of an optical viewfinder. With its chunky look and solid feel, it has a brushed metal front and back plates, making it appear almost industrialized. The 16 megapixel FT20 offers a 25mm wide-angle 4x optical zoom lens, making it ideal for capturing sweeping landscapes and underlain views down the sides of rock faces. It is a modest and bright lens with f/3.9 aperture at its wide-angle setting.
The camera is drop proof from a height of 1.5m and freeze-proof down to -10 degrees centigrade. It can also be used underwater to a depth of up to 5 meters. It has the ability to record and capture 720p HD quality video with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels in MP4 format. Movie recording is a breeze as the camera features a dedicated record button found next to the main shutter release button. The FT20 has Intelligent ISO Control with manually selectable ISO range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. It can be boosted to ISO 6400 with resolution drop when selecting the familiar High Sensitivity option among the scene modes.
Aside from the Mega O.I.S., AF Tracking, Face Recognition and Intelligent Scene Selector features, the camera is known for its macro shooting up to as close as 5cm from the subject. One downside of the FT20 is the heavily skewed colors seen on the screen when viewed from above or below. The camera should offer better visibility when shooting at awkward angles given that it is ideal for unusual locations shoot. Another drawback is that the noise is highly visible even in brightly lit shots. It is, however, kept and reduced in skin textures, fully avoiding the smeary mess that other 16-megapixel cameras suffer from.
Overall, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 performs particularly well, making it a good compact camera for both budding and professional photographers. Aisde from being waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and freezeproof, it most importantly produces excellent images not only for digital viewing but for print as well.