The last 6 meg camera made by Fuji still sets a standard for high iso from a compact . They used their brains back then and stayed at 6 meg but made a larger sensor for better light gathering .
Tonight I did some test images at varying iso's which shows why the newer 14 meg compact sensors still can't catch up - they have too many megapixels and the dots are so small they can't gather enough light at high iso's .
Unfortunately "megapixels sell" or rather "A lack of megapixels doesn't sell " so they have to keep making compacts with more megapixels because people think the bigger numbers mean better image quality and the manufacturers exploit this idea to make people think they need to replace their camera because a 'better' model with more megapixels must be better .....
These images are slightly underexposed which exaggerates their noise .
And a few with different lighting