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Panasonic DMC-FT4 compact camera

Small enclosure, big disappointment.
In winter 2012, we were looking for a rugged, pocket-size camera with good enough image quality for shooting on MTB trails. We considered several alternatives (original article here) that we found most interesting. We finally deciding to go for Panasonic DMC-FT4.

Over the past 12 months, we have been using DMC-FT4 on domestic trails and several biking trips in conditions ranging from hot to cold and wet. While DMC-FT4 has met our expectations in terms of its ruggedness, its most important feature, the picture quality, has been a big disappointment. Even taking into account quite modest expectations that we had on this kind of snapshot camera, we are disappointed with its performance.

On a positive side, DMC-FT4 is compact, rugged but stylish and very responsive with a fast start-up time and a minimal shutter lag. However, it produces soft, often seriously over exposed images. With the camera regularly and seriously clipping the highlights, it is difficult to reach acceptable results even after post-processing.

In sum, we regard DMC-FT4’s image quality as sub-par and too low even for a casual travel reports for publishing on the website. As a result, we are now looking into other alternatives.

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