Rewind to the early-1990s and the most important question for any aspiring Indie kid was “Blur or Oasis?”. The Gallagher brothers and Oasis went on to become the biggest selling band of the two, though I'd argue that Damon and Blur made the better music.

Back to 2006, and a different kind of blur is making a big impression on the photography industry. Camera manufacturers seem to have united to declare war on the evil phenomenon of blur, blaming it for ruining photos of friends and loved ones and have introduced various ways of banishing it forever.

Now, this may be just a cynical new way to try and differentiate a product in what is already an extremely crowded market-place, but anything that promises to improve overall picture quality can only be a good thing.

Blurry photos are commonly caused by hand-shake, which is in turn caused by not using a fast enough shutter speed for the specific lighting conditions.

This usually occurs indoors, where dim overhead lighting is not powerful enough, or when a long focal length on the lens is used. The manufacturers know that the general consumer probably won't have the faintest idea about shutter speeds, and anyway, you can't actually set the shutter speed yourself on most compact digital cameras.

So they are adding more automatic features to their cameras in an attempt to improve picture quality and appeal to the consumer, as the number of megapixels (thankfully) ceases to be the most important reason for buying a particular camera.

This year's PMA photography show saw most of the major manufacturers announce new cameras with anti-blur technology.

There are two main ways to reduce blur, very fast ISO speeds (1600 or above) or image stabilisation. Fujifilm are the leaders in the ISO field - the new Finepix F30 has an amazingly fast ISO speed of 3200, and based on the performance of the previous F10 model, it should prove to be very usable with minimal visible noise (another common problem that afflicts compact digicams).

The ISO method requires a sophisticated image sensor that doesn't produce too many unwanted artefacts, so most manufacturers have opted for the image stabilisation route instead. With this method, either the camera's lens or image sensor is mechanically balanced, reducing hand-shake at slower shutter speeds and therefore reducing blur.

Ultimately, either of these approaches will produce very similar results, and cameras with either a fast ISO speed or image stabilisation (or maybe even both) will be more effective at producing sharper photos in low-light conditions.

They will almost certainly be more expensive too, so you should take a look back at your photos and see how many of them were actually ruined by blur before parting with that extra cash.

This very recent trend of blur-reducing technology in consumer cameras is definitely “A Good Thing”, just make sure that it's the Oasis you're looking for (sigh…).