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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 and TZ10: Manual control and GPS take us places

With their manual exposure and GPS, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 and DMC-TZ10 have got us more excited than a frolic in Frolic. Frolic, Northumberland, that is

We like a bit of travel here at Crave, so today's latest camera announcement has us more excited than a coach trip to Little Snoring, Norfolk. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 and DMC-TZ10 are successors to the ever-popular TZ range and our most highly rated camera ever, the DMC-TZ6. One of the few criticisms we could level at the TZ6 was its lack of manual exposure control, and lo and behold the TZ8 gives you just that. But that's not the half of it: the TZ10, also announced today, includes manual control and built-in GPS.

The GPS module tags photos with location data, so you can add them to maps and see where you've been. The camera comes with a built-in database of 500,000 landmarks in 73 countries. We hope it includes the Piddle river in Dorset.

Both cameras boast 12x optical zoom with 25mm wide angle, equivalent to a 35mm camera. The TZ8 packs 12.1 megapixels, to the TZ10's 14 megapixels. The TZ8, pictured below, will be available in a choice of black or silver, while the TZ10 comes in silver, black, red and blue. We're itching to try them out -- even more than we're itching from that embarrassing encounter in Beaver Creek, Minnesota.


Both shoot 720p high-definition video at 30 frames per second. Software upscales screen grabs to 1080p stills, and photos and video can be played back on the 76mm (3-inch) screen or your Panasonic Viera TV. Panasonic is still using AVCHD Lite, however, a video format we find more of a pain in the backside than that time we fell off Big Bone Lick in Kentucky.

Features on both cameras include intelligent resolution, which looks for and enhances outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas, and a souped-up image-stabilisation system called Power OIS. They record to SD, SDHC and new SDXC cards.

No pricing information just yet. The Panasonic TZ8 and TZ10 arrive in mid-March 2010, just in time for our day out in Sally's Bottom, Cornwall.