We’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating now that, for a company with very little heritage in still cameras, Panasonic has certainly got on top of this category in the digital era. The Lumix compact camera range is studded with stars, including the ruggedised FT series, now in its fifth generation. Along with Olympus, Panasonic has led the way in this sector and while others have since followed, it has to be said, none do it anywhere near as well.

The FT5 is one tough cookie; waterproofed down to 13 metres, shock-proofed to withstand a drop of two metres – which would hurt you more than it would the camera – sealed against dust, insulated to allow operation in temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius and with a reinforced casing that can withstand a force of up to 100 kilograms (which, by the way, would also hurt if you were on the receiving end). You could kick the FT5 around on a muddy football field and it would survive – not that we’re suggesting you do – but the reality is that should this camera come to grief when you’re shooting some extreme action it’s more than likely going to be OK.

Given it can also shoot Full HD 1080p video at 50 fps (and with stereo sound), the FT5 goes up against all the video ‘action cams’, but with the added advantage of proper facilities for shooting stills… including a fully manual exposure control mode. It’s compact and weighs less than 200 grams, so it’s as easy to bolt onto things as a GoPro, but you get a much bigger monitor screen and a zoom lens with a focal range equivalent to 28-128mm. Yes, something wider angle could be handy in these situations, but Panasonic is probably working on it given zooms starting at 24mm already exist in the Lumix range.

Thank-you for looking up our  Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Review. This equipment review is currently available only as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages originally printed in the March / April 2013 issue.

You can download it here: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Review.pdf