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(Pocket-lint) - You know how it is, companies are always boasting about their latest and greatest products, sometimes detracting from the kit further down the ranks.

It's much the same for the just announced Panasonic Lumix TZ57. Akin to a stripped-back Lumix TZ70 in some respects, it trims back on the feature set, culling the presence of a viewfinder, cutting back on optical zoom and ditching the lens control ring.


But what you're left with is a pocketable model with 20x optical zoom, delivering a 24-480mm equivalent, paired with a 16-megapixel sensor, reflecting the best aspects of the earlier TZ40 model.

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Perhaps more importantly, though, is that the price tag tumbles to a respectable £230, making it an affordable offering with plenty to shout about.

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Ahead of its announcement, Pocket-lint got to handle a pre-production product sample and can confirm that the "Sonic Speed autofocus" lives up to its name, snapping subjects into focus as speedily as ever, while the 3-inch, 1,040k-dot rear LCD monitor not only looks sharp, it can tilt by 180-degrees upwards for forward-facing selfies too. If that's your thing.

Build quality at this price isn't a solid slice of metal, but the plastic chassis felt solid in use and we think it looks rather fetching finished in black. The lens also collapses right back into the body to make for a genuinely pocketable product in-between uses.

Whether a point-and-shoot beginner or someone looking for more advanced controls, the TZ57 offers the full spectrum of controls via its dedicated top dial. Wi-Fi comes as standard for sharing your pics.

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Under the hood the 16-megapixel sensor is more pixel-packed than that in the TZ70, and while we don't expect images to be best in class, from what we've captured in a crisp mid-December it's a camera more than up to the task.

It might not have the biggest zoom or all the bells and whistles of some top-spec models out there, but as a balanced travel zoom we think the Panasonic Lumix TZ57 gets a lot right. If only there was a touchscreen to seal the deal when the camera arrives in March.

Writing by Mike Lowe.