Panasonic Lumix LZ40: Budget bridge camera brings the zoom

Want a significant zoom in a compact without breaking the bank? The Panasonic Lumix LZ40 might well be the perfect answer.

This 42x optical zoom compact has a wide-angle 22mm lens that extends all the way through to a 928mm equivalent. Whether you want to capture expansive scenes or zoom right in to make even far-away subjects seem large in the frame - this is how its done. 

Even if you know little to nothing about photography that's not a problem either. The LZ40 is designed to make point and shoot photography exactly that - point, preview what you're shooting on the 3-inch, 460k-dot LCD screen, press the shutter button and revel in the resulting 20-megapixel images. Perfect for hobbyists, bird watchers and the like who don't want to get bogged down in the photo geekery.

But for all that zoom the price isn't huge - the Lumix LZ40 will retail for £229 when it's launched in March this year. Is it worth it? We've already been playing with a pre-production model. To see what we made of it, check out the link below.

READ: Panasonic Lumix LZ40 pictures and hands-on

New to the LZ series is the inclusion of a li-ion rechargeable battery in the box. Gone are the days of needing to have charged AA batteries ready to go. And with a quoted 320 shots per charge we suspect there's a whole day's worth of shooting to be achieved without fear of the battery cutting out.

The LZ40 might not come with all the bells and whistles features - there's no viewfinder, no touch-sensitive screen, no Wi-Fi, no vari-angle screen, and so forth - but it ticks the boxes when it comes to big zoom on a budget.