While in Normal Picture mode you can also set the Picture size (from the maximum 12-megapixel to miniscule 0.3-megapixel), image quality and aspect ratio, and you can switch Intelligent ISO off or manually set the ISO sensitivity (from 80 to 1600)

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ACCURACY: The Panasonic FS15 captures an accurate range of colours and tones

You also have the option to adjust the White Balance (WB) from Auto WB, Sunny, Cloudy, Shade, Artificial light, and manually. What's great about shooting with a compact is, as you adjust the WB, you can instantly see the scene on the rear LCD warm up or cool down accordingly so you'll know which setting is best.

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DEPTH: Even at f/5.9 the FS15 captures a good depth of field

Still more settings. You can activate the Digital Zoom and adjust the Mega OIS Image Stablisation. Switch the FS15's to its highest Burst mode and, in the lower 3-megapixel picture size, it can manage a pretty impressive 5.5 frames per second – helpful if you're shooting fast-moving subjects like motorsports, wildlife or children.

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COLOURS: Generally the FS15 records colours like blue skies well…

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…but sometimes in iA mode it can get colours a big wrong

Shooting in the highest 12-megapixel mode, we found overall the image quality was good and of the standard we've come to expect from digital compact cameras.

The Panasonic FS15 produced colourful and vibrant images and, although in the iA modes the colours could appear a little inaccurate or over saturated, generally our photos captured an accurate representation of how we'd seen the situation or subject.

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FOCUS: The Panasonic FS15 can struggle to focus on the right subject…

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…although with a bit of trial and error it eventually gets it right

In low light settings – such as taking portraits indoors or at night – the Panasonic FS15 gets a bit flash-happy, but at least that means you're getting colourful and sharp shots, at most compacts resort to flash in these situations (and as mentioned earlier, you can always switch off the flash if you want to take photos using the available light instead).

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MACRO: You can focus on objects as close as 3cm away…

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…and to get really close use the Macro Zoom mode

Musical slideshows

When viewing slideshows on the FS15 in Playback mode, you have a choice of background music from Natural, Slow, Swing and Urban. It's all good fun and each slideshow displays your image in time with your chosen music style.

The Panasonic FS15 accepts SecureDigital/SecureDigital HC memory cards – with a 2Gb SDHC card you'll be able to save up to 320 of the highest resolution 12-megapixel-sized JPEGs. And as a final detail, you can screw a tripod or monopod into its based to keep the tiny little camera rock steady – helpful for photographing city scenes at night without flash and shutter speeds will be too slow to shoot handheld.