Panasonic has unveiled one of the first, if not the first ruggedized compact cameras with a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), the Lumix FT7 (the TS7 outside of North America). It packs a fairly high-resolution 20.4-megapixel back-side illuminated CMOS sensor and a reasonably fast and long f/3.3-5.9, 28-128mm equivalent (4.6X) lens. Most importantly for action fans, it can take a fall from 6.6 feet and is waterproof down to 102 feet.
The EVF is relatively small and low-resolution (0.2-inches and 1.1 million dots, with 0.45 of magnification), but should come in handy in bright sunlight. Shooting speeds are 10 fps with single autofocus and, thanks to the 49-point contrast-detect autofocus, 5 fps with continuous AF enabled. It can shoot 4K video at 24p and 30p, 1080p at 60p and do 120fps slow-motion at 720p.
Other features include a 3-inch display to compose and review images, LED photo light, WiFi connectivity and Panasonic’s 4K Photo feature that lets you extract single images from 30fps video as 8-megapixel photos. Its most immediate competition is Olympus Tough TG-5 and Nikon Cookpix W300, but the FT7 is the only model with both an LCD and EVF. It will arrive early this summer in blue, orange and black for $450 or A?399 in the UK.