The new Fujis are much better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_CCD
What you want is one with the Super CCD SR or SR Pro(SR II) - not the original Super CCD HR. The SR gives you the fantastic contrast capability. The HR, which the F20 has/had makes for slightly less moires and jaggies, much like how Mitsubishi's Diamondtron technology tweaked the pixel kayout on old CRTs to get cleaner images(diamond shaped vs triangular) Sony's Trinitron was a similar "tweak" but neither is equal to the new OLED technology. Comparing monitors, the SR is worlds better than a typical CCD - at least in the size that you get in these cameras.
The SR is the new technology. IMO, it produces results that have the look and feel of a MF digital back - just scaled-down at 6MP/35mm size.
It's nice to see a couple of attempts at better quality by tweaking the layout and design since the pixel-race can't possibly be "won" - 16mp is sufficient to replace the best 35mm film.(raw, mathematically/technically as good as - most people won't see any difference between 12 and 16, though, just like how they can't see the difference between ISO 50 film and ISO 100 short of huge prints and close examination.
I mention this as a pocket camera at 12MP is getting dangerously close to making 35mm film useless, even for the entry-level/consumer models.
The SR2 gives you high resolution AND high dynamic range together. But the F5 is the only model with it currently. The original SR (F30) is a blended only approach but it's fine, really, since the results are much cleaner, IMO. I'd take 4 or 6 MP and clean over 20mp and dirty at least for trips and casual photos, any day.
Plus, Fuji obliterates the Sigma P&S in terms of ease of use. Fuji is a bit like Fujitsu in laptops. Not *quite* as standard as Sony and Toshiba, but close enough to easily adapt.
***Fuji is about to introduce new models - the S5 has been discontinued this last week or so***
I'd wait a bit if you're looking for a DSLR. Note - the S5s are selling for stupidly cheap this week, so get one asap if you're on a tight budget. (under $1000) For a P&S, any of the newest models with image stabilization will be fine.http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Fuji-Sup...CD-SR--HR-FAQ-1
A nice simple faq. http://www.dpreview.com/articles/compactcamerahighiso/
(good read/primer, actually)
That dpreview link has an interesting chart of sensor sizes. The tiny two ones are pocket size sensors. If that reminds you of that crummy Kodak "disc" film, you're not alone... that's VERY small. Big, fat sensors usually win unless you do tricks like Fuji has. It effectively makes a tiny fingernail sized sensor as good as a typical full frame sensor, or close to it. Note - it still won't crush a $3000 Canon by any stretch of the imagination, but for a small pocket sized camera... nice.
Page three of that review is the most telling. The Canon 30D and the Fuji look nearly identical at ISO800. The rest look like rubbish. That the Fuji's tiny sensor comes even *close* to a 30D... Kind of a no-brainer.