Panasonic announces tough DMC-FT1

Panasonic's new DMC-FT1 is described as the world's first waterproof, shockproof and dustproof camera capable of AVCHD Lite high definition video recording.

Aimed at those looking for a durable camera that can "take action shots under pressure", Panasonic says the FT1 is tested with the same standards used for the company's Toughbook laptops.

The spec list is long, but as an overview, the 12.1-megapixel FT1 gets a Leica DC VARIO ELMAR 28mm wide angle lens, 4.6 x optical zoom and Panasonic's automatic-everything "Intelligent Auto" mode that includes the ability to recognise a face and prioritise it in pics as well as create separate filing options for said face.

The toughness comes in with folded optics, rubber padding, reinforced glass, 2.7-inch thickened LCD display and carbon resins inside the camera that will allow the FT1 to go underwater to a depth of up to 3 metres.

Other features include a function that helps block wind noise, built-in LED light for video, tons of different scene modes, ability to shoot 10 shots per second and the claim of up to 340 shots per battery charge.

The FT1 will be available from March in a choice of sleek silver or cool blue - no pricing provided.