Pre-PMA 2009: Panasonic has launched the DMC TS1 (DMC-FT1 in europe), its first rugged digital compact and the world's first to feature AVCHD lite HD video recording. The TS1 is designed to be dustproof, waterproof up to 3 meters and shockproof up to 1.3 meters. It incorporates AVCHD Lite video compression in 3 quality levels to allow longer HD video recording. A Wind Cut function helps block out background wind noise during video recording. Sporting a 12.1MP sensor, 28-129mm equivalent lens and 2.7" LCD, the camera also includes features such as Intelligent Auto Mode, Optical Image Stabilizer and Face recognition.

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Panasonic’s new DMC-FT1 - The World’s First Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof Camera AVCHD Lite Motion Image Recording

TOUGH Camera for Active Outdoor Photography

27th January 2009: Catering for those looking for a versatile and durable camera that can confidentially take action shots under pressure, Panasonic is pleased to introduce the DMC-FT1. Tested with the same standards used to assess Panasonic’s acclaimed TOUGHBOOK series computers, the FT1 is shockproof, waterproof and dustproof with the capability to record high-definition movie in AVCHD Lite – the FT1 is streets ahead of its competitors.  Featuring a 28mm wide angle lens, 4.6 x optical zoom and iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, this versatile camera lets you capture your special moments on the move. 

Get Me Wet
Thanks to rubber padding, reinforced glass and carbon resins inside the camera, the FT1 features an airtight body that lets users operate the FT1 underwater to a depth of up to 3 meters*2. The FT1 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 FT1 is an extremely versatile camera that you can take with you wherever the action calls. The FT1 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 FT1’s LCD panel is also deliberately thickened for protection against pressure, allowing the display to operate with clear visibility even underwater. 

Dust? Not a problem.
A dustproof design*1 shuts out airborne dust particles that can lead to malfunction. This enables worry-free shooting in places like the beach, or any place with lots of dust.

Drop Me
It’s true - the FT1 is drop proof from a height up to 1.5m*3 . In addition to reinforcing the exterior of the camera with shock-resistant material, the FT1 uses folded optics to prevent its lens unit from taking damage when dropped during operation. The lens unit is further protected by a supplementary damper to absorb the force from shock impact. Combined with its dustproof and waterproof performance, this makes it the ideal camera for anytime use outdoors, in active situations, and for casual everyday shooting.

Shoot HD Video
Not only is the FT1 waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and ultra portable – Panasonic continues to push the boundaries by offering HD motion picture recording.  In addition to Motion JPEG images*4, HD motion-image recording*5 is available in AVCHD Lite allowing longer video recordings with breathtaking HD visual and audio quality, making it a true hybrid. The FT1 is a single model that performs admirably as both a camera and a camcorder while achieving smooth, easy operation in both modes.

The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in motion image recording. Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using high-powered zoom. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion on it so it always turns out beautifully.

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.

Inherently easy to use motion image recording can be started by pressing a dedicated button on the camera's back panel - an extremely quick, convenient way to start motion image recording. Most of the cameras settings will be carried over when switched to motion picture recording. The 4.6x optical zoom is available in movie recording, too.

A Wind Cut function, a feature normally found only in camcorders, is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind. The FT1 also carries over 16 different scene modes from photo scene modes in movie recording. In AVCHD Lite recording, you can select from three levels of motion image quality: SH (17 Mbps), H (13 Mbps) and L (9 Mbps). In dark places such as night camping, the built-in LED light automatically turns on while recording motion images.

Still or motion images recorded in AVCHD Lite on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV*6. Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SDHC/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 FT1 directly to the TV with VIERA Link.

You can take maximum advantage of Lumix camera’s playback functions including the slideshow in which both still and motion images 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 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.

Recognise Me
With the FT1, taking great photos is that easy. Panasonic incorporated Intelligent Auto mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of misshots. This mode is also further advanced with the inclusion of AF tracking and Face Recognition*7 feature – a function that ‘remembers faces’.

When a familiar face is recorded several times, the camera will prompt you to register the face*8. Once complete, if the familiar face appears into your frame again, the camera will display the name you specified for that person and prioritize focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and in sharp focus.

Perfect for group shots for example – this new feature will give auto focus and auto exposure priority to a single person, ensuring their loved ones face will be captured beautifully.

During registration, you can change the icon that indicates when the registered subject is in focus – for example you can attach a love heart to your partner. You can also manually register a persons details and the camera will remember them whenever you take a photo.

To further add to its appeal, you can also specify the age of the registered subject and have both the name and the age of the subject stamped onto your photos. When babies under 3 years-old are registered, the camera will automatically switch to Baby mode if the baby appears into the frame. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using Category Playback – so you can search for all photos of your Aunt Mary, for example - perfect for compiling a surprise birthday collage. 

You can also view image slideshows of only a selected person. Face recognition makes sorting archiving incredibly easy. This advanced face detection system also digitally corrects unwanted red-eye during recording.

With AF Tracking, the DMC-FT1 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves – making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises. Simply aim, lock, and shoot.

In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits other fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include Mega O.I.S., which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken.

The Mega O.I.S. system now has an AUTO mode to select between the conventional Mode 1 and 2 depending on which mode best suits the zoom ratio being used. Intelligent Exposure optimizes the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully.

It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the subject is in backlight. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the five most common shooting situations – Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Macro - and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.

The Quick AF system helps keep focus on the subject while the camera is in recording mode even before pressing the shutter button halfway. This improves the chance of capturing spur of the moment shots as the focus is always near the subject and AF time is minimized. The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting iA mode.

Ultra Wide Angle Lens for the Bigger Picture
The FT1 features a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO ELMAR 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4.6x optical zoom. The folded optics of shaft guide method is adopted to secure the toughness of the lens unit. Comprising 9 elements and a prism unit in 8 groups, including 1 ED lenses and 5 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces, a difficult feat even by today’s standards, this advanced lens unit passes Leica's stringent standards to deliver exceptional optical performance to the edges even adopting the folded optics.

The zoom ratio can be extended up to 9.0x (252mm*9) in 3megapixel resolution mode with minimal deterioration thanks to the Extra Optical Zoom.  By using the central part of the CCD, this powerful zooming function allows you to easily capture and magnify distant subjects

Venus Engine HD Assures High Picture Quality for Both Still and Motion Picture
The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD has been re-engineered to support the recording of beautiful, high-definition motion images in AVCHD Lite. With its twin CPUs, Venus Engine HD boasts approx. 2.4x processing capability, greatly improving the speed of camera operations.

This high performance LSI elevates the artificial intelligence of the camera by introducing new circuitry making it possible to “recognize” human faces individually. It also supports high definition output through HDMI.

In image processing, luminance noise and chromatic noise are reduced separately before and after signal processing. This is further refined by separating noise two-dimensionally into high-frequency and low-frequency noise. The circuits then effectively reduce only the low-frequency noise to minimize the unwanted noise and help produce beautiful, sharp still and motion images.

This multi-task image-processing engine has a super-fast response time. The camera starts up quickly in 1.3 seconds. Shutter release time lag is as short as approx. 0.005 seconds, making it easy to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the FT1 can snap approx. 2.3 shots per second at 12.1-megapixel full resolution*10. In High-Speed Burst shooting mode, it fires off an incredible approx. 10 shots per second*11. Unlimited consecutive shooting is also available to let you shoot until the memory card is full*12.

In addition to its outstanding performance, the high performance engine is also more energy efficient compared with the conventional Venus Engine IV, extending the battery life up to 340 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.

Look at me
The FT1 is equipped with a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with super high resolution and a wide viewing angle. The screen brightness automatically adjusts in 11 steps as the surrounding brightness level changes, ensuring easy visibility at all times.

Menus are now cleaner and easier to navigate, even for seniors, thanks to the new "Display Size" option. Thanks to the Venus Engine HD, smooth image playback at very high speeds is now available approx.17x faster for thumbnail and approx. 4x for single image even the image resolution is as high as 12.1-megapixel.

The Best Just Keeps Getting Better
Lumix functions continue to evolve. Scene modes, which are optimized for a variety of still-image shooting situations, are now available for motion images as well. Thanks to a rich variety of 26 scene modes for still image and 17 for motion image (Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self portrait, Scenery, Low light, Food, Party, Candle light, Sunset, Beach & Surf, Snow, Aerial, Pin hole, Film grain, Underwater and High Sensitivity.), capturing beautiful videos is effortless with the FT1. The most commonly used scene modes for outdoor photography including Sports, Snow, and Beach & Surf can be accessed directly via the mode dial.

The new scene mode for shooting still images includes the Beach & Surf and Panorama Assist mode. Beach & Surf mode is perfect for your beach activities, allowing you to use a single mode with optimized auto white balance both on the beach and in shallow water. Panorama Assist mode allows you to create powerful panoramic images - both vertically and horizontally. Simply align your shots according to a guide which overlaps the frame when you shoot, then use the included PanoramaMaker software to create your panorama images.

The minimum shooting distance has been shortened to 3cm in the FT1 – great for macro shots. Using the extra 3x digital magnification in the Macro Zoom function*13, you can pull subjects even closer than the closest point possible in the wide-angle setting, and capture dramatic close-ups.

Included Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition
The latest version of the exciting bundled software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition allows you to view, edit and archive your captured contents with greater ease and fun.

Still and motion images can be transferred to the PC via a USB cable for viewing and archiving on the PC with the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition installed. Using PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, you can edit and remove unwanted portions of your video clips recorded in AVCHD Lite. Contents recorded in AVCHD Lite*14 can be burned directly onto a DVD disc for viewing on a DIGA Blu-ray Disc playe14. Alternatively, you can use the software to convert your contents to MPEG2 format to burn onto a DVD disc.

The portrait images taken with the camera’s Face Recognition function are organized neatly in the folder of the name registered with the camera. Not only that, the software also features an independent Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture stored in your PC to sort the photos by the face.

You do not have to pick out each photo one by one out of thousand of photos when you only want pictures of a specific person. With PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, the software automatically sorts your images into virtual folders based on the faces you registered. You can also enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library as background music. Motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube*15 using the built-in YouTube uploader.

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 FT1 will be available from March in a choice of sleek silver or cool blue.

*1 As of 27/1/2009
*2This camera is waterproof / dustproof equivalent to “IP58”, and is possible to record at a maximum of 3.0 m depth/60 min. This does not guarantee non-destruction, non-malfunction, and water-proofing in all conditions. Please observe specified precautions and avoid product-use beyond the guaranteed underwater duration, or beyond the guaranteed depth of water.
*3This camera has passed a drop test from 1.5 m in height in accordance with “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock”, but this does not guarantee non-destruction, non-malfunction, and water-proofing in all conditions. Water-proofing is not guaranteed if the unit is subject to an impact as a result of being hit or dropped etc.
*4 Continuous recording exceeding 2GB is not possible when recording motion JPEG. Remaining time for continuous recording is displayed on the screen
*5Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes in some countries.
When you set the picture quality to HD, WVGA or VGA, we recommend using a high-speed card with “10MB/s” or greater displayed on the package.
*6AVCHD Lite motion images recorded onto an SD Memory Card or a DVD disc cannot be played from a device that does not support the AVCHD standard
*7
Depending on background and facial expression, camera may not recognize a registered person. For family members with similar facial features, camera may not correctly identify the intended subject.
*8A maximum of six people can be registered
*9 Equivalent to 35mm film camera.
*10 Max.5 images in standard mode / 3 images in fine mode
*11 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording.(10fps in Speed Priority mode / 6fps in Picture Priority mode)
*12 The consecutive shooting speed varies with the memory card, image size, and image compression mode. The number of shots depends on the memory card size, battery life, image size and image compression mode.
*13 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording.
*14 AVCHD Lite motion images recorded onto an SD Memory Card or a DVD disc cannot be played from a device that does not support the AVCHD standard.
*15YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc

Additional images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 (FT1) specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.33" Type CCD
• 12.7 million pixels total
• 12.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 4:3 Aspect Ratio:4000 x 3000, 3264 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
• 3:2 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 2672, 3264 x 2176, 2560 x 1712, 2048 x 1360
• 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 2248, 3264 x 1840, 2560 x 1440, 1920 x 1080

Movie clips • 4:3: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels @ 30 fps
• 16:9: 848 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps
• Quick Time Motion JPEG
HD Movies

• 1280x720 pixels, 60p - AVCHD Lite (SH: 17Mbps, H: 13Mbps, L: 9Mbps)
• 1280x720 pixels, 30fps - Motion JPEG

File formats • JPEG (DCF / Exif2.21
• AVCHD Lite (Motion picture)
• QuickTime (Motion JPEG)
Lens • 4.6x optical zoom
• 28 - 128mm (35mm equiv.)
• f=4.9-22.8mm
• F3.3 - 5.9
• LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR
• 10 elements in 8 groups (5 Aspherical Lenses / 6 Aspherical surfaces / 1 ED lens)
Image stabilization MEGA O.I.S lens-shift stabilization
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom Yes, up to 4x
Focus

• Normal
• Macro
• Continuous AF
• Pre-AF
• AF Tracking

AF area modes • Face / AF tracking
• 11-point
• 1-point high speed
• 1-point
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: Wide 30cm/ Tele 50cm - infinity
• Macro / Intelligent AUTO : Wide 5 cm / Tele 30 cm - infinity
Metering • Intelligent Multiple
• Center-Weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• High Sensitivity Mode : Auto (1600 - 6400)
Exposure compensation ± 2EV, 1/3EV steps
Exposure bracketing ± 1/3 EV ~ 1EV step, 3 frames
Shutter speed • 8-1/3000 sec
• Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec
Aperture • F3.3 - 4.9 / Iris Diaphragm (F3.3 - 6.3 (W) / F4.9 - 6.3 (T))
Modes

• Intelligent AUTO
• Normal Picture
• Clipboard
• Snow
• Sports
• Beach & Surf
• Scene

Still Piture Scene modes

• Portrait
• Soft Skin
• Transform
• Self-Portrait
• Scenery
• Panorama Assist
• Night Portrait
• Night Scenery
• Food
• Party
• Candle Light
• Sunset
• Baby1
• Baby2
• Pet
• Hi-Speed Burst (Image Priority / Speed Priority)
• Flash Burst
• Starry Sky
• Fireworks
• Aerial
• Pinhole
• Film Grain
• Underwater
• High Sensitivity

Movie Scene modes • Portrait
• Soft Skin
• Transform
• Self-Portrait
• Scenery
• Low Light
• Food
• Party
• Candle Light
• Sunset
• Beach & Surf
• Snow
• Aerial
• Pinhole
• Film Grain
• Underwater
• High Sensitivity
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Halogen
• White Set
White balance fine tune ± 10steps, except for auto set
Self timer 2, 10 sec
Continuous shooting • Full-Resolution Image
2.3 fps Max. 5 images (Standard mode), Max 3 images (Fine Mode)
• High-speed Burst Mode:
Approx. 6 fps (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
Image parameters Standard, Natural, Vivid, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm
Flash • Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
• Range: 0.3 - 5.1m (Wide/ISO Auto),  0.3 - 2.8m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.7" TFT LCD Display
• 230K dots
• Field of View : approx. 100%
• AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode, High angle mode
Connectivity • USB2.0 High speed
• AV Output (NTSC/PAL)
• miniHDMI
• DC Input
Print compliance • PictBridge
• DPOF
Storage • SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard (Still image only)
• 40MB internal memory
Power • Li-ion battery
• Charger included
• AC adaptor (optional)
Weight (no batt) 163 g
Dimensions 98 x 63 x 23 mm
(3.8 x 2.4 x 0.9 in)