10 reasons to buy a Panasonic Lumix TZ8

Comfortably making our shortlist for the camera of the year at this year's T3 Gadget Awards, the Panasonic Lumix TZ8 packs in a wealth of features and punches well above its price range. Here are 10 reasons why one of the sharpest snappers around deserves a place in your pocket.

1/The quality

Put simply, the TZ8's photos are excellent. Perhaps not quite so consistent as Canon's S90, but still wonderfully sharp.

2/The lens

With a 12x optical zoom range of 30-300mm, the TZ8 is exceptionally versatile, performing well shooting landscapes or close-ups. It's an ideal compact for travelling.

3/The HD video
Shooting 720p videos at 30fps, the TZ8 makes a more than adequate camcorder. An HDMI port and the superb Dolby stereo mode found on the TZ7and TZ10 would have been cool, but we can live without them.

4/The ease

The four-way controller and light dusting of buttons make it a breeze.

5/The screen

The 3.7-inch LCD is bright, detailed and seldom blighted by reflections or fingerprints. A joy to use.

More on Panasonic cameras:
Panasonic Lumix TZ8 review
Panasonic Lumix FZ7 digital camera review

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6/The speed

Starting up and focusing quickly, we managed to capture around 18 13-meg images in a flash.

7/The iA
Intelligent Auto mode makes it simple for even the most inexperienced photographers to take great shots.

8/The anti-shake
Mega OIS helps to prevent blur so you can shoot at low light and maximum zoom without fear.

9/The manual controls
Finally, Panasonic's included manual control on the TZ range, with aperture and shutter adjustment.

10/The big brother
Panasonic's next camera up, the TZ10, adds built-in GPS and Dolby Digital sound to the TZ8's already lengthy list of features.

Price: £199, panasonic.co.uk/lumix