Having an in-camera HDR mode is not a new thing. My Sony DSC-TX7 has something called Backlight Correction HDR. And that camera has been around for two or three years. Backlight Correction HDR works by taking two images with different exposures and merging these together in the camera. Of course this doesn't give anything close to the dynamic range of a traditional HDR, however in some circumstances it is a nice feature.
Here I think it helped the improve the lighting on the corn.
Fairly extreme back-lighting in this image.
Probably without Backlight Correction HDR either the highlights would have been blown out on one side, or the shadows would have been too great on the other side.
The effect of Backlight Correction HDR is more subtle than real HDR usually is. I think it does a pretty good job of giving a bright background and darker foreground a natural looking balance. I don't keep up with trends in digital cameras the way I once did, however I would guess that some kinda in-camera HDR is or will become a common option. And for the most part it appears to be a useful one.