Finally someone in the point-and-shoot camera business is fronting up with some better sensor technology, rather than just adding Megapixels.
The FujiFilm FinePix F200EXR has a bunch of the regular point-and-shoot features, but the ones that really gets me going are the Pixel Fusion and Dual Capture modes:
Pixel Fusion Mode (High Sensitivity and Low Noise), which caps two adjacent pixels together to produce six million large photodiodes, which are big enough to absorb light in the darkest of conditions, to produce low-light shots of extraordinary quality with minimal noise and grain; and
Dual Capture (Wide Dynamic Range), which captures different exposures with two sets of six million pixels, which, when combined, gives an excellent level of detail in highlights and low lights that would otherwise be lost.
You see, one of the reasons (among MANY others) that the Canon EOS 5D MkII is so much better in low light than many other cameras, is the sheer size of the pixels on its sensor.
Compare 20 Megapixels on the 5D?s giant 24x36mm full-frame sensor to 14MP on a modern 6×4.5mm point-and-shoot sensor and you don?t have to be a genius to realise that the pixels on a point-and-shoot are just tiny. If you think of the pixels as little buckets that can fill up with light, then it?s pretty obvious that the average point-and-shoot?s pixel cup is always runneth-ing over. Hence noise, grain, and blur when you try to take low-light shots.
Of course we don?t know how well Pixel Fusion Mode will play out in the real world, and a point and shoot will never capture light the way a big aperture DSLR can. But it warms my cockles to finally read that this massive megapixel race might finally be changing.