(Illustration by Stuart Goldenberg for The New York Times) A slew of new cameras with features that would make Rube Goldberg proud have been introduced into the marketplace in the last few weeks. I've even covered some of them, like panorama sweep in our blog. But, one must ask in the flurry of events if many of these improvements are just unnecessary hype that would not improve the picture making qualities of these cameras. In today's New York Times, David Pogue speaks of a feature that WOULD be useful in the picture taking abilities of point & shoot cameras: the reconfiguration of the pixels themselves to better retain detail in lower light: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/technology/personaltech/20pogue.html?_r=1&hpw Better pictures in very low light would be a welcome feature, and the Exmor R technology in the new Sony Cybershot WX1 & Tx1 shows promise (we'll see when they arrive in a month or so) and would improve those photos you take of your kid's first recital or evening party outdoors. We'll let you know if this technology is hype or reality! In the meanwhile, Sony also came out with "the Party-shot™ personal photographer (model IPT-DS1)—an innovative camera dock that pans 360 degrees and tilts 24 degrees, automatically detects faces, zooms & takes photos for you! The Party-shot camera accessory uses the camera's BIONZ™ image processor with its Face Detection and Smile Shutter™ features to take photos without the user needing to snap the shutter button. This device makes it easy to capture more natural expressions and fun, candid moments of you, your family and friends without having to hire a photographer"! Hype or Progress? You be the judge! (Also available next month, if you wish!) Speaking of point & shoots, it's Thursday, so that means P&S Mini Class tonight! We start at 7 PM at the store!