Panasonic cam goes thin and wide

Following hot on the heels of Samsung and Olympus with a raft of new releases, Panasonic's charged up its latest line of Lumix digital cams with eight

Following hot on the heels of Samsung and Olympus with a raft of new releases, Panasonic's charged up its latest line of Lumix digital cams with eight new snappers.Catching our eye the most, despite its exiguous frame, is the thinly built but capably wide-angled 7MP FX30 (pictured). With a group-friendly lens that goes as wide as 28mm, there's no need to back up quite so much to fit everybody in. A 3.6x zoom means there's no loss at the telephoto end either. Combine it with a body thickness of just 22mm and you have the world's slimmest wide-angler.Not quite as waif-like but equally wide-angled are the 6MP TZ2 and 7.2MP TZ3. Their porkier 37mm girths are excused by the whopping 10x zooms, held steady by Panny's excellent Mega O.I.S system, which finds its way onto all eight models.Four of the others wheeled out today are the FX10 and FX12 and budget LZ6 and LZ7 zoomers. Which just leaves the replacement for last year's FZ7, the suitably named FZ8. It keeps the 12x zoom lens but ups the resolution to a respectable 7.2MP, has an improved image processor and chucks in super high quality RAW mode for the pros.All will be available from March apart from the fashionably late TZ2 and TZ3, which trail behind in May.

Essentials

Panasonic Lumix LZ6, LZ7, TZ2, TZ3, FX10, FX12, FX30, FZ8 Price: £TBA On sale: March - May Contact: Panasonic Related stories: Olympus declares: ‘it's raining Mju’