Sanyo kicks up the number of pixels with the Xacti VPC-CG9. This new pocket camera/camcorder features a 9-megapixel sensor, offering a 150 percent higher pixel count than last year's CG65's 6-megapixel sensor. According to Sanyo, the CG9 can use interpolation to produce 12MP still pictures, much like the CG65 could produce 10MP pictures with its 6MP sensor. This technique can potentially produce larger pictures than the sensor alone would allow, but it can often lead to image artifacts--pixelated blemishes caused by overprocessing. In general, users should stick with the sensor's native resolution, which still presents a solid upgrade over the CG65.
Besides the higher resolution, the CG9 offers a few more improvements from its predecessor. It still uses a 35 to 190mm-equivalent, f/3.5-3.7 5x optical zoom lens, though it's a bit faster in telephoto mode than the CG65's otherwise identical f/3.5-4.9 lens. The CG9 can shoot MPEG-4/h.264 video just like the CG65, though it can now record VGA (640x480) video at 60 frames per second as well as 30. However, it only shoots video at standard definition or lower resolution; users looking for a small high-def camcorder should instead look for one of Sanyo's HD video pocketcams. Besides those upgrades, the CG9 feature a similar flip-out LCD screen, pistol-grip design, and feature set.
The Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG9 ships in April, with a suggested retail price of $280. It will be available in silver and black versions.