Panasonic has increased the megapixel rating of the 8MP DMC-FX33 to come up with the 10-megapixel DMC-FX35. The CCD sensor has increased slightly from 10.1mm to 10.9mm, just to keep pace with the change in resolution.

The most intriguing change is inside the lens, which was previously a wide angle that was the equivalent of a 28mm lens, but Panasonic has pushed the lens even further and made it a 25mm ultra-wide angle. This works impressively well and significantly increases the field of view.

The optical zoom has also been bumped up from 3.6x to 4.0x, so the maximum lens rating on optical zoom is still 100mm.

Confusing layout

Other aspects are less satisfactory, starting with the three ports that live under a cover on the right-hand side.

The middle port can be used with either the USB or composite cables (both supplied), but the two other ports only work with optional cables for power and Component HDTV output that add £60 to
the cost of the camera. It's irritating that the three ports are so similar in size and shape as the less savvy among us will try and fail to plug the USB cable into the wrong port.

The controls use a collection of switches, buttons, a rotary dial and a navigation pad, which might prove intimidating. It's a similar story with the settings, as they are controlled by two separate buttons.

Focusing problems

We found the auto focus and auto flash were both a bit hit and miss. Interior shots were very dark unless we forced the flash, but once they were properly lit the photos were very flat and lacked vibrancy or depth.

Photos taken outside on a bright, sunny day were better, but we still suffered problems with one photo in three being out of focus.

There's no denying the Panasonic DMC-FX35 has its merits, but it also has problems that make it unsuitable for the casual photographer.