Panasonic has announced the forthcoming FT2, the successor to the popular FT1 and the latest ‘lifeproof’ camera in the Lumix range.
The FT2 offers a full conventional compact specification. A LEICA DC VARIO ELMAR 4.6x optical zoom features, boasting a 28mm wide angle, while a 14.1MP sensor also features. The FT2, as with the FT1 previously, sports AVCHD Lite HD video capture.
The standout feature of the FT2, however, is the models lifeproof capabilities. The FT2 is waterproof to a depth of 10m, shockproof to 2m and freezeproof to -10 degrees C, as well as being dustproof.
The FT2 will be available in mid-March, in a range of colours including stunning yellow and cool blue.
Panasonic’s DMC-FT2 – Unique Hybrid Tough Model
Perfect for Capturing the Action
Panasonic is pleased to introduce the new Lumix DMC-FT2, a successor to Lumix’s first camera geared for active outdoor use, the DMC-FT1. Featuring AVCHD Lite HD movie recording capability, the new 14.1-megapixel FT2 further strengthens its toughness to be waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 2m, freezeproof to -10 degrees C and dustproof. The camera is also empowered internally by the newly developed Venus Engine HD II integrating “Intelligent Resolution” technology.
The FT2 features a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO ELMAR 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4.6x optical zoom . A folded optics shaft guide method is adopted to secure the toughness of the lens unit. Comprising 10 elements and a prism unit in 8 groups, including 1 ED lens and 5 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces passing the Leica’s stringent standards to deliver exceptional optical performance to the edge. Thanks to the newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom is available with the FT2 which extends the zoom ratio by approx.1.3x maintaining the picture quality even combining the digital zoom. This means the 4.6x optical can virtually extend to 6x equivalent. Furthermore, the Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom power to 9.8x (at 3-megapixel resolution) by using the center part of the 14.1-megapixel high resolution CCD to bring subjects even closer.
Take Me Swimming
Thanks to rubber padding, reinforced glass and carbon resins inside the camera, the FT1 features an airtight body that lets users operate the FT2 underwater to a depth of up to 10 meters. The FT2 can even be used in seawater, so users can take images of friends snorkelling or tropical fish darting in and out of coral reefs. Since additional housing is unnecessary for underwater operation, the FT2 is an extremely versatile camera that you can take with you wherever the action calls. The FT2 can be used at a beach, ski resort, hiking trips, festivals and in a host of other active, outdoor situations where no-one would dare use a conventional camera.
Designed with users in mind, the FT2’s cover panel of the LCD is thickened by 1.3x compared to the predecessor FT1 to withstand pressure underwater as deep as 10 meters.
Feel Free to Drop Me
It’s true – the FT2 is drop proof from a height of up to 2 meters . In addition to reinforcing the exterior of the camera with shock-resistant material, the FT2 uses folded optics to prevent its lens unit from taking damage when dropped during operation. The lens unit is protected by a supplementary damper to absorb the force from shock impact. Combined with its dustproof, waterproof and freezeproof performance, this makes it the ideal camera for anytime use outdoors, in active situations, and for casual everyday shooting.
Dust Proof Too
A dust proof design shuts out airborne dust particles that can lead to malfunction – enabling worry free shooting in places like the beach, or any place with lots of dust.
Expanding your photographic opportunities, the new FT model is now freezeproof up to -10degrees C – perfect for active winter travellers, skiers, and snowboarders for example. Don’t be fooled by the durability of this camera – the FT2 still looks good too! Sporting a folded optics design, the FT2 is sleek and sophisticated.
Film me in High Definition
In addition to Motion JPEG images , the DMC-FT2 can record high-definition motion picture in AVCHD Lite. It features almost doubling the recording time in HD quality compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format. The picture quality is greatly enhanced thanks to the newly added Intelligent Resolution technology. The FT2 also features Dolby Digital Creator to record high quality audio, so you can match the beautiful motion images with outstanding sound.
Now on the FT2, the popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in motion image recording. Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using zoom or shooting in low lit situations. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion on it so it always turns out beautiful. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. And Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality.
The 4.6x optical zoom is also available in movie recording. With the newly added Video Divide function, users can divide the video into two sections to shorten or to delete the unwanted half on the spot in the camera. You can cutout a still image from a movie in the camera. Intelligent Resolution makes it possible to produce 1920×1080 still images from 1280×720 HD movies even recorded in AVCHD Lite. A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind.
Still or motion images recorded in AVCHD Lite on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV . Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SD Memory Card slot) on VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player to playback your contents. Alternatively, you can use an optional mini HDMI cable to output the still and motion images you took from the FT2 directly to the TV for VIERA Link. You can take maximum advantage of Lumix camera’s playback functions including the slideshow in which both still and motion images are integrated in the timeline, category playback according to the scene mode you used or calendar display and so on. All control is possible using only the TV’s remote control.
In addition, with the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition, it is easy to view and edit your recorded contents. You may also choose to upload your videos to YouTube or burn them to a DVD disc for archiving.
Intelligent Resolution Technology Assures High Picture Quality for Both Photo and Movie
The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD has been re-engineered to compile the new image processing technology “Intelligent Resolution”. It enables the recording of beautiful photos and high-definition movies with higher quality signal processing.
With the Intelligent Resolution technology, 3 areas -outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas are automatically detected. The outline parts are enhanced effectively to give edges more clearness while giving a moderate accentuation to the texture areas to look more finely detailed. To the soft gradation part, superior noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it smoother. Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way for it. As a result, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and movie recording.
The Intelligent Resolution technology also facilitates Intelligent Zoom, which virtually extends the optical zoom ratio to its 1.3x equivalent maintaining the picture quality even combining the digital zoom. Details of an image in high sensitivity recording tend to be lost in the noise reduction process, however, the Intelligent Resolution works to keep them.
At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine HD II supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx. 0.005 seconds and the camera’s quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities together with the Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus) that lets you lock on the subject minimum in approx. 0.24(wide-end) / 0.28(tele-end) seconds and the short startup time of approx. 1.1 seconds. The high performance Venus Engine HD II is also energy efficient compared with the conventional Venus Engine HD, extending the battery life up to 360 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.
iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode Further Evolved with POWER O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer)
Panasonic incorporated the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of misshots. In the iA mode the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments. Just press, aim and shoot. This mode is now further advanced with the inclusion of a greater advanced image stabilization – system POWER O.I.S. and Intelligent Resolution technology for DMC-FT2.
Taking advantage of Panasonic’s accumulated optical technologies, MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) has been incorporated into LUMIX cameras from the early stage of digital camera development. MEGA O.I.S. has evolved into the POWER O.I.S. on the DMC-FT2, with a great performance improvement – twice the shake suppression capability of the predecessor FT1.
The hand-shake component, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed, is recognized as a low-frequency vibration, for which the new POWER O.I.S. is particularly effective. This greatly improves the quality of shots taken at night or indoors where a flash cannot be used, or where the photographer doesn’t want to use a flash because it would spoil the mood. It captures beautiful photos in situations that previously resulted in blurring.
The DMC-FT2 features Face Recognition, a function that was made popular in the previous FT1, but with several upgrades. Three face images can be registered for each person, to raise the detection accuracy. And when the angle of view is changed horizontally, the name display also rotates for easier reading. The Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene Modes – Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and newly added Sunset — that best suits the shooting situation.
In addition, newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology is always activated in iA mode which results in the clearer and higher picture quality in every photo and movie with extended zoom range equivalent to 6x optical zoom.
Once you enter the iA mode, these functions happen automatically together with other powerful shooting-assist functions – AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure – so you can shoot without the bother of adjusting settings every time conditions change. You can enjoy easy, trouble-free shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear, beautiful images.
The new Happy Mode, a colour mode option in the iA mode, optimizes colour, saturation and brightness to make both photos and movies more vivid and true to the colour of the scenes you memorized.
Other Versatile Functions Adding to the Photographic Enjoyment
The FT2 is equipped with a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with wide viewing angle and AR(Anti-Reflection) coating. The screen brightness automatically adjusts in 11 steps as the surrounding brightness level changes, ensuring easy visibility at all times. The big screen reflects fine details, making it easy to check the focus before shooting. It also serves as a small photo and video viewer, allowing the user and friends to enjoy viewing the still and motion images together.
Scene modes, which are optimized for a variety of still-image shooting situations, are now available for motion images as well. The most commonly used scene modes for outdoor photography including Sports, Snow, and Beach & Surf can be accessed directly via the mode dial.
A High Dynamic mode is newly added to the existing Scene modes. This mode helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene contains both bright and dark areas together. The user can select either of three options, Standard, Art, or B/W, depending on the desired effect and personal taste to make the photo look natural to artistic.
The built-in LED light greatly supports shooting in dark situations and the included silicon jacket protects the camera by softening the shocks of dropping while preventing from scratching.
The optional marine case (DMW-MCFT2) is available for underwater photography even to 40m.
In addition to the conventional SD/SDHC Memory Card, the DMC-FT2 accepts the next-generation SD format SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity), that features high potential in both capacity and data transfer speed. The DMC-FT2 is compatible with Windows 7.
With an improvement of operational ease, an abundant of functions for both photo and movie recording
Enjoy stunning photos and HD videos with tremendous ease on land and under sea – the FT1 is the ideal partner for your outdoor adventures. The FT2 will be available in the UK from mid March in a choice of striking orange, cool blue or stunning yellow.