Panasonic FT1 (aka TS1) is a tough-cookie digital camera (shockproof, waterproof, dustproof)
Olympus had its chance to dominate this market for years with the SW Tough models, but their stubborn persistence to xD and not-SD/SDHC will likely kill them as more manufacturers enter the "tough cookie cam" market.
And here is where Panasonic makes its entrance with the Lumix FT1, which even looks similar to the Stylus SW Tough models. Details including a PDF file via Focus Numerique.
The camera has a 12mp 1/2.33" sensor, a versatile 28-128mm Leica-branded zoom lens (4.6x ratio), a 2.7" LCD.
The camera can survive dust (dust-proof), drops up to 1.5 meters, and water up to 3 meters. Not bad. And the best thing of all? It takes SD/SDHC memory cards.
It is now (Tuesday noon) available for pre-ordering at Amazon for $400 in three colors, blinding orange, soothing green, and silver-gray.
Meanwhile from Panasonic-Japan, we learn that Panasonic will be producing these at 30,000 units per month, and they are expected to start shipping on March 6, 2009.