Panasonic has announced a 12.1Mp addition to its Lumix line of compact digital cameras. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS25 will go onsale in April for an RRP of $249.

The DMC0FS25 will have a 5x optical zoom and a 29mm wide-angle Leica lens. Images will be previewed and composed using its 3in 'intelligent' LCD. The 12.1Mp camera will be the top-of-the-line model in Panasonic's FS range of compacts and will be available in silver or black.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS25 12.1Mp camera Panasonic has added an AF (autofocus) tracking feature that sees the camera fixing on a subject and tracking it without the user need to depress the shutter button while composing a shot.

Meanwhile, functions such as the automatic scene selector and exposure selector have been augmented. The result, says Panasonic, is that telling images with shadows and highlights are now more sympathetically exposed. One way this is achieved is via backlight compensation, so if a scene is backlit, the DNC-FS25 will recognise this and make allowances for it.

Also new to the Panasonic Lumix FS range with this model is a hardware button on top of the camera that provides direct access to intelligent scene modes. This means users can temporarily revert to a scene mode with camera-defined presets, without losing their existing settings for other shots they were taking.

The FS25 supports a maximum ISO of 6,400, which means shots can be taken in very little light without needing to trigger the flash.

The Lumix DMC-FS25 can be used to capture video as well as still photos. Scenes can be recorded in standard 4:3 format or 16:9 widescreen at 640x480 pixels and 848x480-pixel resolutions respectively, at up to 30fps (frames per second).

David Briganti, US marketing manager for imaging for Panasonic's consumer electronics line-up said, "By incorporating some advanced features and technologies previously only found on our higher-end models, the DMC-FS25 offers users a stylish, pocket-sized digital camera capable of producing high-quality photos. This new model exemplifies Panasonic's goal of providing photographers at every level with easy-to-use cameras that make photos appear professional grade."

See also, our review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 compact camera.

Click here for our review of the ruggedised Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 camera.