If ever a demonstration was needed that 'proofed' cameras were now more feature-laden than ever, then Panasonic's offering, the FT1, is surely it. Not only does the camera feature the standard 3m waterproofing and 1,5m shockproofing, but is also dustproofed for good measure.

The FT1 boasts a Leica lens with a 28-128mm focal range in equivalent terms, as well as featuring optical image stabilisation thanks to Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. stabilisation. The model's star feature that sets it apart from the other cameras in this field is that it offers HD movie capture in AVCHD lite format.

The FT1 fits into the solid and industrial mould made by Olympus's Tough series. Exposed rivets and brushed aluminium appear on the front and rear, while a grooved button takes care of capture.

Focus speed is excellent, as is processing, though the power button on the top of the camera does take a slight amount of force to operate. Image quality is generally impressive, and the HD video is a welcome plus.

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