Panasonic has launched the new 12.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-FS15. The latest addition to the FS series offers a 29mm wide angle Leica DC lens with 5x optical zoom and Intelligent Auto mode.

In "Intelligent Auto" mode the camera activates AF tracking, intelligent exposure, face detection with digital red-eye correction, intelligent scene selector, optical image stabilisation, and intelligent ISO control.

The FS15 offers Panasonic's Venus Engine IV that is said to feature advanced signal processing technology for rendering high quality images with a super-fast response time and is capable of shooting 5.5. shots per second.

The DMC-FS15 incorporates a 2.7-inch 230,000-dot high-resolution LCD that manages its own brightness levels according to the conditions and offers a "High Angle" mode that means the LCD screen is easy to view when the camera is held high, such as when shooting over a crowd.

The FS15 offers slideshows complete with music as part of its playback options and can record WVGA (848 x 480) motion pictures at 30 frames per second in 16:9 format.

Finally, the minimum shooting distance has been shortened to 3cm in the FS15 so is said to be great for macro shots.

The FS15 comes bundled with PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 software and will be available from February in a choice of silver, black and blue. Pricing to be confirmed.