Not content to challenge the leading pocket shooters on their own terms, the Sigma DP1 ($1090) is more of a dSLR in a compact body. It uses the same full-sized, 14 megapixel Foveon X3 image sensor found in Sigma's SD14 dSLR, and for fans of prime lenses, its 16.6mm F4 lens is equivalent to a standard 28mm offering, providing low distortion, high contrast images. Support for RAW, the "TRUE" image processing engine, manual focus, and more make this the ideal pocket cam for old-school photography enthusiasts. [Thanks, Patrick]
If you can get past the "more pixels, the worse the images" theory, the new Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W300 ($350; May 2008) looks to be an excellent compact shooter. The camera features a 13.6-megapixel CCD imager, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lens, a 2.7- inch LCD screen, an eye-level viewfinder, HD output, and a scratch-resistant ultra-hard titanium coating. Shooting options include an "extra high-speed" burst mode that can shoot 3-megapixel photos at five frames per second, and "extra high sensitivity" mode (up to ISO 6400 in this mode only) to help with dimly lit photos.