Land & Wave Gear Review - Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Waterproof Camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 is a tough, waterproof camera that’s perfect for throwing around in the great outdoors, we’ve been using them for 3 years. They go out with our instructors daily to take awesome photos and shoot brilliant videos of our clients and trainees having adventures.
We’ve paid full price for all our Panasonic Cameras, we have several of them. Our oldest FT5 has been with us for 3 years, our newest has been with us for 18 months.
All of the cameras look a little battered, this is unsurprising, each of them has been out for at least 200 days of adventure; rammed into buoyancy aids, dangling from wetsuit clad wrists, dropped, thrown, caught, submerged - they’ve seen some life…
The Technical Stuff
The DMC-FT5 is waterproof to depths of 13m/43ft and dustproof equivalent to the “IPX8” and “IP6X” standard. It is also shock-proof and droppable from a height up to 2.0m/6.6ft, freeze-proof to temperatures as low as -10˚C, with pressure resistance of 100kgf/220lbf.
It has an anti-fog glass to prevent misting, according to Panasonic “The DMC-FT5 is an all-year-round active field player to record stunning memories”.
The 16.1-megapixel MOS sensor used in the FT5 Supports Full HD video, high-speed burst shooting and a 3D mode. The High-sensitivity sensor delivers excellent picture quality from the compact LEICA DC-VARIO ELMAR 28mm - Wide-angle Lens and the clever ‘folded optics’ design enables a 4.6x optical zoom, non-protruding lens with Anti-fog glass, to be contained within the body of the camera (not having a protruding lens is brilliant!)
What We’ve Used the Lumix DMC-FT5 for…
We needed a camera that could capture images at least good enough to be used for marketing and shoot HD video.
We needed a camera that would survive at least a year of use and abuse by our, oafish, instructors. Our cameras do not get looked after, they don’t get rinsed every time they’ve been in the sea, they get dropped often and they (literally) get thrown about.
Our cameras are out all day everyday they go coasteering, kayaking, climbing and come back with great images most of the time.
The Lumix FT5 doesn’t float, a wrist float costs less than £10 and gives us piece of mind when we’re using it in the sea.
WiFi Connectivity is bloomin brilliant, it’s allowed us to upload high quality images through smartphones in weird and wonderful places.
How does the Lumix DMC-FT5 Perform?
The Lumix takes really, really good pictures. We’re a tiny bit in love with these little cameras, we’re still occasionally surprised at just how well they perform.
Our outdoor instructors are not photographers, the best we can hope for is that they have set the camera to intelligent auto and, more or less, take a picture of what they’re meant to be taking a picture of.
The Lumix is capable 10 Frames per Second High Speed Burst Shooting, perfect for grabbing images of people hurling themselves into the sea from great heights.
We’ve taken thousands of photos with the FT5 and we’ve captured some cracking shots that would have been impossible with a DSLR. The 16.1-megapixel MOS sensor is great, we’ve had some images blown up to 4 sqm and they look superb.
Is it worth filming with the Lumix DMC-FT5
The Lumix gives us 1080 HD and 50 frames per second and it can go where no DLSR dares to go!
We normally film with Nikon DSLRs backed up with Go Pros in the water but the FT5 allows us to take one, compact, device that takes a great photo and also shoots really usable video.
We wouldn’t rely on the FT5 to shoot all of our videos but it’s more than capable of filming marketing quality footage if we need it to.
The built-in stereo microphone is fit for purpose and gives Dolby encoded stereo sound when using movie mode.
We really, really like this camera
We have loads of tools, gadgets and gizmos to help us take photos and shoot video. If we were only allowed to keep one of them we’d keep the Lumix DMC-FT5.
We are AMAZED that our FT5’s are still going strong, we thought we’d killed them loads of times - they always survive and come back fighting.
This Lumix is now four years old, many waterproof cameras have come and gone in that time. We’ve yet to find anything as good as this camera, and we’ve been looking really hard.
Go out and buy one. Do it now. You will not regret it.
Adventure for good!