If there is such thing as a cliché "look" in photos and images, bokeh must be in the running. The Japanese term used to refer to photos with artfully composed out of focus areas is all over the place, from movies shot with DSLRs, to Flickr groups and the new DirextX11 video for Crysis 2.
Whether you think it looks dramatic or overused, Sony thinks it's a good thing, dropping the term into the press release today for its new NEX-C3 camera. According to the release, NEX-C3 users will be snapping off "pro quality…background defocus effects".
Sony has a good point. There's a lot more cameras than there used to be in the middle ground between cheap compacts and DSLRs, and a real mix of cameras that have small sensors, and some that have large sensors (either Four Thirds, or APS-C).
The Lumix LX5 we spotted at the camera expo in Sydney recently is a $749 camera (well, the RRP is anyway), but has a 1/1.63" sensor. This isn't a relatively big sensor, as are the sensor in many DSLR-like power zoom cameras.
By contrast, Sony's NEX-C3 has an APS-C type sensor and costs $849 with a single lens. You can also pickup Panasonic's compact GF3 for $899 with a single lens and Four Thirds sensor.
The sensor size will contribute to your ability to shoot the type of shots you see in the image at the top of this article.
When you're spending upwards of $900 or more on a camera, it's something to keep in mind.