Switch on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 and the first thing that strikes you is the pin-sharp quality of the 3-inch LCD, which couples an uncommonly high resolution of 460k pixels with the ability to adjust brightness automatically to suit ambient lighting conditions.

Getting past the LCD and into the body of the camera, there's plenty of imaging power on tap for both stills and video, thanks to Panasonic's provision of twin-CPUs.

An excellent 12x zoom lens stretches from 25mm to powerful 300mm telephoto focal lengths.

Sharpness is extremely good throughout and, at the telephoto end, this is also a testament to the effectiveness of the excellent optical image stabiliser system.

Our only minor complaint is the placement of the Mode dial, which makes it too easy to switch modes accidentally when reaching for the zoom switch.