Hello, I would like to share a link with you guys: http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/revie ... /7036.html
nevermind if you don't read japanese, just use the sample (full resolution) images provided there (they all have their exif data) to compare the quality of the sensors.
From what I saw, the W200 has not only the best resolution mesured so far in a compact, but also the best low light permformance. To me, it's actually looking better that the fantastic fuji finepix f31fd at high ISO settings, and Sony's has almost twice the megapixels. To be fair, the W200 seems to be a bit less sharpened and has more noticeable chroma noise than fuji's, but it's not that hard to notice than what's actually going on is that the f31 doesn't do much luminance noise reduction but instead does a lot on the chroma side (meaning seudo film-looking grainy and desaturated images). Still, the amount of usable information is clearly higher on the W200, it was just managed in another way (better or worst is a matter of taste, I personaly like the fact that it doesn't destroy much color information). So, this could mean that the DSC-W200 has the best sensor ever attached to a compact camera. Think about it, 12M is one thing: we were all expecting for it to come, but usable 800 ISO is a remarkabe achievement very seldom seen.
If what I'm saying it's true, that it is the best sensor seen on a compact, I must disagree with it not getting a recommendation. The optics and features might be average (or somehow below, like the screen), and the price is high, but the possibilities of low light combined with very high resolution on user's photos is certanly a fantastic novelty, isn't it? And that image stabilization could acutally mean a couple of extra stops, so...
So, here's an open question: Has Sony's DSC-W200 the best sensor on a digital compact? I think i made my opinion clear, but what does everyone else think? Can it be said out loud by a reviewer?, that something is the best seen so far?
By the way, I would sooooo love a dedicated article on finding the best low light performance, just scale up the 6mp models and it's easily seen that some of the outperform 8-12mp modes on that aspect. And I do think that low light capabilities are of the most importance for average users like myself (use your own experience: unless you live in a photo studio, taking a picture of a simple family dinner means 800 ISO).
By the way. Lame lame lame finepix f50fd.