3in viewfinder ushers in age of the huge compact camera

There's little out of the ordinary about Olympus' sleek new SP-700. It's got a fairly run-of-the-mill 6MP sensor and a 3x optical zoom. One nice selli

There's little out of the ordinary about Olympus' sleek new SP-700. It's got a fairly run-of-the-mill 6MP sensor and a 3x optical zoom. One nice selling point is its Compare and Shoot function, which allows you to preview multiple photos of the same object to make sure you have the shot you like.

The big story is the massive LCD viewfinder, which Olympus has modestly called the HyperCrystal Sunshine LCD. It has 230,000 pixels and stretches for 3in across the back of a camera only marginally bigger. Very nice. That said, an optical viewfinder would have been a welcome addition.

This naturally begs the question: are we set for all-out war between ever increasing screen and continually decreasing camera dimensions?  Will cameras grow to accomodate larger, yet more vibrant screens? Will they continue to reduce in size, so that  you'll need to pencil sharpen your fingers in order to use them? Do you care?

In any case, the SP-700 looks like a decent compact. No word on pricing yet, but visit Olympus' website for more details.