Panasonic has further extended its Lumix range with the DMC-FX8, a 5MP compact with a 3x optical lens equivalent to 35-105mm in 35mm format. The new digicam is the successor to the DMC-FX7 and features a battery that lasts twice as long as its predecessor, thanks to a 162% increase in the capacity and the new Venus Engine PLUS processor, which consumes less battery power. Incorporated into the camera is a Mega Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), which is designed to compensate for camera shake, enabling slower shutter speeds to be utilised and in darker lighting conditions. At the heart of the camera is a new CCD, capable of capturing 30fps VGA movies thanks to a 9-pixel mixed readout method. The FX8 also includes a new built-in speaker, a 2.5-inch LCD with 140% bright backlighting, and 1-point autofocus speeds halves the time found in the FX8. Novices can take advantage of the Simple Mode and there are 12 scene modes, including three new ones: Soft Skin, Food and Baby. It also includes a range of pre-set white balance settings, ISO levels and colour effects. The DMC-FX8 is available from June priced £299.99; visit www.panasonic.co.uk or call 08705 357357 to find out more.