Back in March of this year designer David Riesenberg put mind to machine and presented his CAD (computer-aided design) mock-up of a Canon compact system camera to the world. Compelling? Definitely. Real? Apparently not.

Although word has been quiet from the Canon camp regarding the possibility of an impending mirrorless release, PhotoRumors seems to think that there’s one just around the corner.

According to the site’s latest information the would-be Canon mirrorless compact system camera will follow in the footsteps of the Canon G1 X by utilising the very same sensor size. That’s long been an assumption since that compact camera’s launch.

What’s bigger news, however, is the expectation of not one, but two mirrorless models: a 14-megapixel version and a higher-resolution 24-megapixel option. Now that’s packing in the pixels if it’s true; in fact that’s higher resolution than any other current Canon DSLR so seems an unlikely move.

Three to five lenses are expected to be launched with the supposed pair, and while the new lens mount won’t be the standard Canon EF mount it is anticipated that EF-lens compatibility will be possibly. After all there’s no mirror to get in the way of the deep-mounted lenses, so it would make best sense to open the mirrorless system up to benefit from all Canon glass.

Canon still isn’t budging when it comes to information, but 2012 has to be the year it releases a mirrorless model to the world. Whether that will be the gorgeous, retro-looking mock-up crafted by Riesling or a wholly different design is yet to be seen. But with every other manufacturer worth its salt in on the action, Canon needs to make not just a move, but a big move if it's to have a significant impact in the category…

Will we see a Canon compact system camera in the next few months? Let us know what you expect from such a system in the comments below...