Panasonic has introduced a new LUMIX model to it range of digital cameras that will follow on from the DMC-FX7. Titled the rather catchy DMC-FX8, the camera will offer users 5 megapixels, a 3x optical zoom and like the FX7 an Optical Image Stabilizer.

Panasonic are also promising an improved battery life over two times as long as that of the previous FX7, by increasing the included lithium-ion battery capacity by 162 per cent and allowing the user to roughly take 300 shots.

The compact camera will come with a 3x Leica DC lens (equivalent to 35mm to 105mm on a 35mm film camera) and a 2.5in LCD display, which with the Power LCD mode offers 140% brighter backlighting to assure clear view even when sunny outdoors.

The MEGA O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilizer) will detect every slight hand-shake movement with the sampling frequency at 4,000 times per second and will be compensated to render clear, sharp images.

MEGA O.I.S. is equipped with 2 selectable modes. In “Mode 1”, the O.I.S. lens continuously compensates for vibration and in “Mode 2”, the O.I.S. lens suppresses hand-shake only at the moment the shutter button is pressed.

Panasonic is also hoping users will use the movie mode function on the camera and has made it possible to record full-size movie in VGA size at 30 fps.

An AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation: 5-point, 3-point high-speed, 1 point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed and Spot. Although screen-freeze in high-speed AF is now minimized, if you take the picture of subject with fast movement, you can select 1-point normal-speed AF which does not have any screen-freeze while focusing.

In addition, AF assist lamp is equipped for expanding the AF ability even at night or under the low-light conditions.

LUMIX FX series has a mode dial that shortcuts the selection of the scene mode that best matches the situation quickly and easily. DMC-FX8 contains three new modes added over the FX7. “Soft Skin” detects only skin tones and softens detail to produce smoother and more detailed skin. “Food” catches the natural colour of food regardless of the light condition in macro closeup. “Baby” allows easy growth record in which the baby's time of age according to preset birthday would be automatically recorded onto the image, as well as maximizing the baby's purity by giving a shade of soft focus on the subject.