Panasonic’s DMC-FT5GN-D is a ruggedised camera that’s made for outdoor use. It’s waterproof to 13 metres and can withstand drops from up to two metres. Combined with its inbuilt GPS sensor, it makes a compelling case for being in your luggage when you next travel. Unlike most cameras in this price range and specification, the DMC-FT5GN-D doesn’t have an extendable lens. The Leica glass delivers an optical zoom of 4.6x. Although that’s not huge by modern standards, it’s enough for casual shooting. The flash is built into the body of the camera, further reducing the number of entry points for water. Unlike most point and shoot cameras we tested, the zoom control is not built into the shooting button. Shifting between wide and telephoto shots requires moving your finger away from the shooting button to a toggle switch on the back of the camera. This is something we found annoying while shooting. While the geotagging features work well, the GPS sensor took quite some time before it could correctly register our location. We were ready to shoot some images but it took several minutes for the GPS to ‘find’ us. On the upside, our location was displayed on the 7.5cm LCD in meaningful terms. Rather than displaying coordinates, it showed our locale in plain English. Image quality was very good. The Leica glass is very well- regarded and the photos were promptly stored to the SD card. Bottom line.
If you’re looking for a camera that will handle some bumps and serious action, the Panasonic Lumix DMC- FT5GN-D will tick a lot of boxes.
Just be aware that the GPS can be slow to get a fix and that the USB connection requires a proprietary cable.