Panasonic gf3

Panasonic Lumix GF7/GF8/GFPro

We don't know exactly what it will be called just yet, but we do know an advanced GF series camera is coming – and it could even be this year.

Panasonic recognises that many GF1 users were disappointed by the 'dumming down' of the interface for the GF2 and it aims to correct. The company plans to split the GF series into two, with the simple to use GF3 being for novice users and the new GF7/GF8/GFPro targeting enthusiast users.

We don't know much about the likely specification of the GF7/GF8/GFPro yet, but perhaps Panasonic will use the same 16Mp micro four thirds sensor that is in GH2?

Panasonic LX6 release date rumours

Panasonic lx5 and gf3

Above: Panasonic's LX5 (left) and GF3 (right)

If the longevity of the Panasonic LX5's well-respected predecessors is anything to go by, we're not expecting a Panasonic LX6 release date in the next few months. However, like the Canon G12 and the Nikon P7000, the Panasonic LX5's resolution of 10 megapixels is starting to look a little dated.

The other major limitation of the Panasonic LX5 is its relatively restricted zoom range, which covers a useful - but not spectacular - 24-90mm (equivalent). Panasonic won't change anything unless its designers are sure that image quality won't be compromised, but if and when a Panasonic LX6 replaces the LX5, we'd expect modest improvements in both areas.

Perhaps the Panasonic LX6 specs will feature a 12MP sensor and a 24-105mm (equivalent) zoom range, and almost certainly touch-screen controls, like the Micro Four Thirds Panasonic GF3, G2 and GH2.

2011 Panasonic LX6 release date probability: 5% this year - but we'd put our money on a Panasonic LX6 release by early 2012 at the latest.