To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £149
inc VAT

A keenly priced rugged, waterproof camera that takes respectable photos and videos


1/2.33in 15.9-megapixel sensor, 4.0x zoom (25-100mm equivalent), 142g

Rugged, waterproof cameras aren’t just for water-sports enthusiasts. They’re also well suited to the beach, hikes, ski slopes and even just being casually thrown into a bag, ready to capture a shot at a moment’s notice. Panasonic has a fine history of rugged cameras, but while previous models have cost around £300, the FT20 is considerably more affordable.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20

It’s built to withstand drops from 1.5m, submersion to 5m, temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade and dust. Its blocky shape looks suitably butch, while the orange brushed metal finish adds bit of bling to proceedings. Bright red or blue finishes are available too, along with a more conservative black. The button labels are tricky to see, though, with some engraved onto the metal buttons and others in white against the orange body. You might have to memorise their functions when taking the camera into inhospitable environments.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20

The screen is a bigger disappointment, with heavily skewed colours when viewed from above or below. Considering that this camera is likely to be used in unusual locations, we’d hope for better visibility when shooting at awkward angles.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20

The 4x zoom range is modest but the wide-angle 25mm (equivalent) minimum focal length is ideal for capturing sweeping landscapes and precarious views down the sides of rock faces. It’s not the brightest of lenses, though, with an f/3.9 aperture at its wide-angle setting. That’s about half the light-gathering ability of an f/2.8 lens. The sensor doesn’t inspire much confidence either. Its 16-megapixel rating is needlessly high, and clearly designed to appeal to witless shoppers who are impressed by big numbers; it’s telling that Panasonic fits a 12-megapixel sensor in the more expensive FT4, launched at the same time.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 15.9 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.33in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 4.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 25-100mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,608×3,456
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; MP4 (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 70MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 250 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
HDMI output resolution N/A
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB cable
Weight 142g
Size 59x102x21mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £149

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.9-9 (wide), f/5.7-13 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controls i.Exposure, i.Resolution, Color Mode
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer