Panasonic DMC-FT5 and FT25 Lumix cameras get tougher, we go hands-on

Panasonic has announced the launch of two new tough cameras as part of its FT range at CES in Las Vegas, updating last year's models with new features and better sensors.  

The new models - the Lumix DMC-FT5 and Lumix DMC-FT25 (the TS6 and TS25 in the US) - will be available in the UK shortly, but fear not, Pocket-lint has already grabbed a play with the new tough cameras ahead of the official launch in the US.  

The new Lumix FT5 will follow on from the FT4 previously available and be the company's new flagship tough camera.

The design isn't the same, but very similar, with the usual bevy of locking doors to protect the SD card and connection slots.

The LCD has grown from 2.7-inch to 3.0-inch and has a bigger, longer-lasting battery hidden inside.

To prove its tough credentials, the FT5 will be waterproof up to 12m, freezeproof up to -10C, dustproof, shockproof from a height of 2 metres, able to withstand 100kg pressure, and come with anti-fog glass so you don't get steamed up.

Get past the tough elements of the camera and the new FT5 sports a 16-megapixel sensor, compared to last year's 12-megapixel offering, the same 4.6x optical zoom from the 24mm Ultra Wide Angle Leica DC lens (not protruding), Wi-Fi connection via NFC where available - for quick transfer of pictures to other devices such as the company's range of televisions -1080p, 50p Full HD video recording and a stereo microphone.

Other tech in the camera includes GPS and Glonass support for locating where you're snapping your picture.

Additionally that 16.1-megapixel high-sensitivity sensor is powered by the new Venus engine, giving you 10 frames per second burst shooting,  meaning you should have no excuse not to catch those crazy action-packed moves you've got planned.

But Panasonic hasn't stopped there. Realising that the camera will be used underwater the bods at Pani say they are using the GPS location data gained from the two GPS chips inside the phone to know that you are in the sea and turn on an advanced underwater mode that works to correct the colour red even more than usual - lack of light and so forth.

It's a crazy idea, but if it works one that we like the sound of. Sadly for us Bracknell, where Panasonic is headquartered in the UK, isn't anywhere near the sea so we haven’t been able to try it. Panasonic. if you are reading this, then a trip to the Caribbean to test it out would be more than welcomed.

Time lapse now includes a video-processing feature to make a time lapse clip for you. The time lapse will last for up to a 1,000 shots every 30 minutes, turning on and off each time to save battery, but you'll actually get only 370 shots before the battery is dead. Still that's a week's worth of time lapse without your being there.

For those not so flush with cash, Panasonic has released the Lumix FT-25, that is still tough, just not as tough.

It comes with 7m waterproofing rather than 5m, 1.5m drop capabilities, and the ability to withstand -10C cold.

The FT-25 features a 25mm wide-angle, 4x zoom lens, 16.1-megapixel sensor and MP4 HD video, 1280x720 (25p) video recording. It will feature a 2.7-inch display, but ditch the GPS, Glonass, Wi-Fi and NFC support, making it a much more basic but also more affordable model.

Both the Lumix FT5 and the Lumix FT25 are out in the coming weeks. Panasonic has yet to set prices.