Panasonic's top-end compact camera could be set for an increase in sensor size according to Yoshiyuki Inoue, the company's Senior Engineering Planner.
Speaking to Techradar he said that although the LX3 had been very successful, its replacement the LX5 had not sold as well as Panasonic had hoped. So while the Panasonic LX5 is now getting on a bit, it seems the company has decided not to replace it just yet, but to consider how it can be made more attractive to enthusiast photographers. Though many may have expected a replacement to be announced this month a firmware update was issued instead.
One aspect that is being given serious consideration for the camera that replaces the LX5 is increasing the size of the sensor, Panasonic's Mr Uematsu even joked that it could have a 1in sensor like the new Nikon V1.
Panasonic's Lumix LX5 has 10.1 million effective pixels on a 1/1.63in sensor. Increasing the sensor size while keeping keep pixel count the same would bring a serious improvement in image quality at the higher sensitivity settings, making the LX6, or perhaps the LX7 a much more versatile camera. Current complaints about the LX5 centre around the high levels of (ISO) noise in images taken in low light when high sensitivity settings are required.
It is clear that Panasonic is still at the planning stage for the LX5's replacement and the company's Mr Uematsu has indicated that Photokina 2012 (the Hamburg-based trade show held every two years in September) is going to be an important one for Panasonic cameras.