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Just so you don’t think that Samsung is now the only compact digital camera manufacturer, Panasonic has unveiled the Lumix DMC-LS80 digicam to get itself some attention.

The entry-level DMC-LS80 has an 8.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 3x optical zoom, alongside a high-sensitivity mode that boosts the maximum ISO to 6400. However, shooting at that level means the camera’s number of active megapixels is more than halved.

Lumix DMC-LS80

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LS80 digicam: cheap, but capable

Panasonic claimed that one of the DMC-LS80’s strongest selling points is its Intelligent mode, which combines several automatic image features to help you capture the best quality snap. For example, it'll eliminate any image blurring caused by your shaky hand, while a so-called “intelligent” ISO control system claims to recognise any movement in your image subject and adjust the camera’s ISO sensitivity and shutter speed to compensate.

Intelligent mode's Quick AF system then allows the camera to begin focusing on your subject before you’ve even pressed the shutter button halfway down. This, Panasonic claimed, gives the camera the maximum chance to capture the perfect image because the autofocus time is minimised.

The DMC-LS80’s 2.5in LCD display also has a range of display settings to help ensure you can always see the screen under different conditions, such as bright sunlight.

Panasonic_Lumix_camera_topview

Powered by two AA batteries

Rather than powering itself from a rechargeable battery pack, the camera uses two AA batteries, which should get you about 160 images. The camera also accepts SDHC memory cards.

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-LS80 is expected to be available in the UK by March, in either silver, black or pink. It's set to cost about £80.

For all this week's major photography launches check out Register Hardware's Cameras channel. Our camera reviews can be found here

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