In a first, Canon has put the headlong race to ever higher megapixel counts into reverse with their latest incarnation of the serious photographers compact, the G series, the new G11 (thanks DPreview).
While there are undoubtedly many fine new features with this camera the single most interesting feature from a whole of market point of view is the fact that the new G11 is a "mere" 10Mp compared to the 14.2 Mp in the G10 it replaces. Not only that there is the constant reference to the new chip being a "high sensitivity" sensor.
What has driven this shift in direction? Well ever since the release of the amazing 12Mp FF D3 the benefits of high ISO shooting have certainly become better known and in many way ISO is the new Mp. Also, the advent of new micro 4/3s cameras like the Olympus E-P1 that offer the small size of the G series compacts with vastly better noise performance must have been a consideration.
But I also wonder if Canon was feeling the heat from other directions as well. Its interesting that in order to improve the noise performance of its G series compacts Canon has felt the need to drop resolution by about 35%. Time will tell how the IQ of this camera will stack up against some of the newest kids on the block, especially the ever popular (and now CMOS equipped) Ricoh's and even more interesting back lit Sony DSC-WX1.