The Panasonic Lumix LX5 is a refresh of the popular Lumix LX3, a well-regarded power compact that's also caught on as a D-SLR replacement.

Update: See our video review below

The first thing you notice about the Lumix DMC-LX5 is that it feels more compact and pocketable at 110 x 66 x 43cm than the LX3, and the metal body is really sturdy.

Panasonic has junked the joystick controller in favour of a clickable control wheel, and there's also a slider around the lens for changing aspect ratio (a mixed blessing, as we'll see later). A simple movie-record button's been added too, making it very easy to record 720p HD video in AVCHD or Motion JPEG format.

lumix lx5

Onto the more significant improvements of the Lumix LX5 . These include a 10.1 megapixel sensor with an eye-poppingly high ISO range of 80-12,800, and a 24-90mm equivalent lens (f/2 maximum aperture).

In terms of positioning and competition, the LX5 sits below Panasonic's interchangeable-lens hybrid cameras, but lacks the power zoom of the new Lumix FZ45.

lumix lx5

It's currently selling for around £360, so while this isn't a particular cheap D-SLR replacement, it's a very convincing rival to the Canon G11 (also sporting a 10.1 megapixel sensor, high ISO range and 28-140mm lens). Panasonic's clearly going after the G11, so will it win this power compact challenge?