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Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 'flat design' compact camera announced

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3

Panasonic has revealed a new super-slim compact camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3, with a "flat design" and some advanced software features.

The Lumix DMC-XS3 sports a distinctive design that's as much smartphone (specifically the iPhone) as point and shoot camera.

It features distinctly Apple-esque rounded corners, largely straight edges and - yes - flat surfaces that are just 14mm apart at the camera's thinnest point. It's also got a metallic border running along the top, which again reminds us of the iPhone.

Of course, Steve Jobs himself likened the iPhone 4 design to a "beautiful old Leica," so the camera-phone influence flows both ways.

From the looks of the spec sheet over on the official press release, the Panasonic Lumix XS3's beauty isn't only skin deep. It sports a 1/2.33inch 14.1-megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor and a 24mm wide angle lens with 5x optical zoom.

It can shoot 1080p Full HD video, as you'd expect, and there's a 2.7-inch LCD display around back.

There's some interesting software here, too. Creative Control lets you preview and apply 13 filter effects to your photos and videos whilst shooting, whilst Creative Retouch lets you apply these filters after the photos have been taken. Beauty Retouch lets you spruce up those tired-looking faces.

Panasonic has also included an Intelligent Auto (iA) mode, which fires up a number of the phone's advanced features (such as face detection, scene selection and optical image stabilisation) according to what the photo needs.

There's no news yet on pricing or availability of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3, but we'll keep you posted.

Next, read our round-up of the best cameras of 2013.

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