Panasonic Australia this week introduced the LUMIX DMC-FT1, the world’s first waterproof, shockproof and dustproof digital camera to also feature AVCHD Lite High Definition (HD) video recording capabilities.

The DMC-FT1’s rugged design makes it the ideal choice for active photographers – from outdoor adventurers to families – needing the ultimate hybrid for capturing both still and motion images in any shooting environment.

The LUMIX DMC-FT1 features 12.1 megapixel resolution, a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with a 4.6x optical zoom and Panasonic’s own iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, making it an easy-to-use, yet powerful camera that packs advanced imaging features. Available in a range of metallic colours – blue, olive green, orange and silver – to suit the user’s personal style, the DMC-FT1 is a fun, good-looking, adventurous companion that’s ready for anything.

Toughness

Tested with the same standards used to assess Panasonic’s acclaimed Toughbook notebook computers, the FT1 is waterproof to a depth of 3 metres, shockproof from falls up to 1.5 metres, and dust-proof. Rubber padding, reinforced glass and carbon resins inside the camera ensure the body is airtight and protected from water immersion, dust and sand – the rugged FT1 will go where other digital cameras simply cannot.

Other features

With a zoom range from 28mm wide angle to a useful 128mm telephoto (35mm film camera equivalent, 28-128mm) and optical image stabilisation (MEGA OIS) to ensure blur-free results, this camera offers the flexibility for all shooting scenes.

The FT1 also features a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide viewing angle, improving visibility during recording and playback by automatically adjusting the brightness according to the lighting situation.

High Definition video recording is available in AVCHD Lite allowing almost double the recording time in HD quality compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format.

Intelligent Auto

Also new in 2009, the FT1 features Intelligent Auto (iA) mode for both still images and in Movie Mode. In Movie Mode, iA offers four automatic functions which optimise video images and deliver great results; Optical Image Stabilisation (O.I.S.), Face Detection, Intelligent Exposure and Intelligent Scene Selector. Movie mode also features a Wind Cut function that blocks out most of the noise from background wind. The optical zoom can be used in motion image recording.

When shooting still images, iA includes Face Recognition – a feature that “remembers” faces from previous shots. With Face Recognition, when a familiar face is recorded several times, the camera will prompt you to register the face. Once registered, if the face appears in the frame again, the camera will display the name specified for that person and prioritise focus and exposure to capture it beautifully.

Price and availability

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT1 will be available in April 2009, at an RRP of $699.

Source: Panasonic