We've got Panasonic Lumix cameras coming out of our ears today. It's time now for the Lumix DMC-ZX1, an enticing combination of style and specs.

The ZX1 isn't slim, although it's not as big-boned or as high-specced as its Lumix stablemates, the DMC-TZ6 and DMC-TZ7. It's a happy medium between a stylish, slim snapper and top-end compact, and is designed to compete with the likes of the Canon Digital IXUS 95 IS and Digital IXUS 100 IS.

Despite not being as souped-up as a TZ, it still includes a respectable 8x optical zoom. Other features include Power OIS to keep the shakes at bay, and autofocus tracking that locks onto a moving subject and keeps it in focus. In fact, Panasonic reckons the autofocus is twice as fast as the TZ7's. Blimey.

The camera's face detection is one feature that impressed us. When the same face is recorded several times, the camera prompts you to register it, and, when that friend appears again, their name is displayed on the screen. Up to six people's faces can be registered, and up to three names can be shown on the screen at the same time. The names even rotate when you turn the camera sideways. We found that the system works well if you register three different angles for each person.

We got our hands on the ZX1 in the Lisbon sunshine. Click through our gallery to see more of this snapper in action, and find out the price.

You can view your images on a 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD screen. We like the easy zoom button, which makes the 8x zoom leap out and back again.
The Leica lens incorporates the world's first 0.3mm, super-thin aspherical lens and the industry's first 0.3mm spherical lens. Cor.
It may be no TZ7, but the ZX1 still has a focal length of 25-200mm on a 35mm film camera.
The mode wheel has the same problem as you find on other Lumix cameras: the wheel doesn't click into place very securely, and, whenever you whip it out of your pocket, it's moved.
The camera includes an HDMI connection, as well as USB.
The ZX1 will be available in September for around £270.

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