The Wi-Fi enabled model features an 18.1-million-pixel imaging sensor, a 20x Leica DC f/3.3-6.4 lens (24mm wideangle) and a new Venus Engine.

A Lumix App will allow a smartphone or tablet to be used as a ‘real-time viewfinder’, and to control the camera’s shutter and zoom, explained the company.

Features also include an extended battery, up from 260, to 300 shots, a spokesman told AP in an interview.

The TZ40 incorporates 5-axis image stabilisation to help fight camera shake, plus a claimed AF speed on 0.1sec.

Meanwhile, continuous shooting is possible at up to 10 frames per second, according to Panasonic.

Also on board is a 3in, 920,000-dot LCD touch screen and a revamped GPS function that includes a ‘compass and levels meter’.

A price and UK launch date have yet to be announced.

Panasonic has also announced plans to launch the DMC-TZ35, similar in spec to the TZ40 but without Wi-Fi, and using a smaller, 16.1MP sensor.

• Meanwhile, Panasonic will next month introduce the Lumix DMC-XS1 (pictured), the first in a new category of ‘slim’-style compacts (pictured). The XS1 carries a 16.1MP sensor and measures ’14mm thick’ (17.6mm including the lens). Its 5x zoom features a 24mm wide-angle. On-board features also include a 2.7in LCD screen. The camera will compatible with Micro SD memory cards.