If you thought the endless round of megapixel-based "mine's bigger than yours" tomfoolery had reached its ultimate conclusion with the current crop of 12-megapixel compact cameras, think again. Sony has just announced a compact digital camera with a 13.6-megapixel sensor.
Featuring a 1/1.7-inch Super HAD CCD sensor, a 3x zoom, f/2.8 - f/5.5 Carl Zeiss lens with a focal length range equivalent to 35-105mm, a 2.7-inch 230k monitor and a stylish scratch resistant Titanium body, the Cyber-shot DSC-W300 is the new flagship of Sony's premium W series of compact cameras, surpassing the W200 launched last summer.
Additional high-tech features include Super SteadyShot optical image stabilisation, Bionz processor with Dynamic Range Optimisation and improved face detection technology with Sony's Smile Shutter feature. Maximum sensitivity is 6400 ISO, but given the performance of some previous ultra-high-resolution compact cameras we'll wait to see how useful that is going to be. Slightly more useful is the HDTV output, although it lack an HDMI socket, opting instead for a multi-purpose HD terminal.
The W300 measures 94.3 x 59 x 26.8mm and despite the light weight of its Titanium body, weighs a not inconsiderable 187g including battery and card. The W300 will be available throughout Europe in early May, although the price has yet to be confirmed.