Pitched at family snappers and travellers looking for a lot of power in a compact body, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 is the follow-up to the popular DMC-TZ6.

The svelte Lumix DMC-TZ8 offers a 12.1 megapixel sensor with a proper 12x optical zoom, along with the clever widgets we've come to expect from Panasonic.

As well as the latest iteration of Panasonic's image stabilisation technology, the Lumix DMC-TZ8 has intelligent exposure and AF modes, along with a flexible 25-300mm lens and HD movie mode.

At the same time, the Lumix DMC-TZ8 enables you to tweak exposure via a PASM dial on the top, but as we'll see later, this is not always as straightforward as it sounds.

tz8 review

Now priced at around £250, the Lumix DMC-TZ8 sits at the higher end of the compact range, and is going up against superzoom compacts such as the Canon SX20 IS (£300), the stylish Sony DSC-TX1 and the Nikon Coolpix S8000 – the latter also offering a quality wide-angle lens and 720p HD movie mode.

tz8 review

It's a fiercely fought-over end of the market, so the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 will need to offer something special to stand out from the herd.