You have the creative eye of David Bailey and Annie Leibowitz’s flair for style, and you fancy yourself as a bit of a photographer.  Ready to face the world with your awe-inspiring talent, you pick up a ridiculously expensive digital SLR and immediately put it down again.  It’s terrifying.

How can you exercise your pent-up artistic ability when you’ve got to wade through an instruction manual the thickness of the Yellow Pages or undertake a college course just to be able to use it?   Not to mention the cost (*shudder*) of the camera and some decent lenses!  Your thoughts turn to a nice non-intimidating, easy-to-use digital compact camera...but are they good enough to give you the high quality results you seek?  Enter the gorgeously finished Panasonic Lumix DMC FX37 digital camera, a contender for one of the best compact digital cameras out there.

This lovely little beast is equipped with an ultra-wide angle f/2.8 Leica (yes, Leica!) DC Vario-Elmarit lens, which in conjunction with an impressive x5 optical zoom will produce images of jaw-dropping clarity and panoramic range.  The 10.1 megapixel resolution and Venus Engine IV also mean that your images will be as sharp as a pin and can be blown up to the size of a small child without losing quality.

“That’s all great,” I hear you cry, “but is it simple to use?  I just wanna take epic pictures!”  In a nutshell: yes.  It has an amazing array of features to help you capture those special moments perfectly.  The FX37’s iA (Intelligent Auto) mode consists of several nifty inclusions to help in your endeavour.  Mega O.I.S. detects hand shake and stabilises the image for you, which is great if you haven’t got the steadiest of paws.  Intelligent ISO picks up on and corrects for subject movement - ideal for getting shots of squirming toddlers or a pet that just won’t stay still.

Your mates won’t be able to complain about their mugshots being fuzzy because Face Detection will always make sure that faces are in focus.  The Intelligent Scene Selector is a brilliant function for the roving photographer as it identifies the environmental factors of the area in which you’re shooting and makes adjustments accordingly, while Light Detection compensates for changing brightness levels.

And finally, as if everything mentioned before isn’t enough, the new AF (that’s “Autofocus” to the camera uneducated) Tracking function constantly follows and maintains focus on a moving target.  All of these fantastic features work together to ensure that the picture you take is of the best quality possible, so if you still can’t produce a stunning photo with all this electronic assistance, it’s probably best if you stick to your day job.

Incredible, eh?  I’m sure that by now you’ll be fanning your overheated forehead with the nearest issue of Digital Photographer and thinking “I must have this top-of-the-range Lumix!”  Well, dear reader, there is even more to fawn over.  This hot little biscuit can record video in high definition and also has the luxury of an HD (1080i) output, allowing you to view your photos and movies in glorious HD crispness...although use of these abilities is probably best avoided at venues like a family wedding, when you’re faced with the horrifying possibility of having to digitally immortalise some of your older and more hairy relatives.

Now to the inevitable money moment.  This wonderful yet compact piece of digital photographic wizardry must surely cost the Earth, right?  Wrong.  The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX37 costs a mere £229.99, and while there may be cheaper digital cameras out there, there are none that offer such an expansive feature set.  So what are you waiting for?  Get your mitts on the top notch FX37, go forth and snap away...just as Panasonic's best boffins intended.