I've always used SLRs for photos but needed a good quality compact for times and places demanded something less obtrusive. This little gem hits the spot completely. A Leica lens produces brilliant sharp images, as you'd expect, enhanced with an optical image stabiliser. The x10 optical zoom is a dream, but of course at full zoom, the better the light the better the image. The HD video is excellent quality and is surprisingly easy to hand-hold and get really good images. And as a real bonus for a HD compact, it allows you to zoom in and out whilst recording. That wasn't the case on our last Sony Compact. Battery life is tops and so is the large, bright 3" LCD screen.
The camera has a range if settings from automatic to a range of pre-settings. Many are as you'd expect (sports, night scene, soft-focus portrait etc) but there's some interesting new or newish options - auto-settings for photos of food (!), photos through glass (which may just be a way of switching off the flash - haven't checked that out and two baby settings. Using these the camera will recognise up to two individual faces (and one for a pet!) Enter their date of birth and if you wish the photos can show the age of the child in question every time a photo is taken! Oh, and a panorama setting which makes taking panorama photos as easy as pie.
I bought mine in Bangkok last week and paid about the same as Amazon are now quoting (£166) but had a leather belt purse (Panasonic DMW-PSS13KK Leather Case) and 4GB card in that price. The 4GB card allows you to take about 650 - 800 photos at 6-6.5MB each, but double that number for 2-3MB photos. And for the record, it worked well in 40 C temperatures.
So lots of plusses, but the HD video tops the bill for me.