Canon is aiming to take on Panasonic and Olympus in the merging Micro Four Thirds market without adopting the format, with the launch of the Canon G11 camera, the successor to its popular G10 model.

"It [is] the ideal choice for professional photographers to use where an SLR is impractical or obtrusive," the company said in a statement trying to bridge the gap between the compact and the SLR even further.

The new model, dubbed the G11, will come with a 10 megapixel sensor and a number of technologies to help photographers achieve as near to SLR photography as possible.

Rather than opt for the Micro Four Thirds format, the camera will feature Canon's DIGIC 4 image processing technology and promises to decrease noise levels by up to 2 stops compared to PowerShot G10 as well as including i-Contrast technology, which prevents high-light blowout whilst retaining low-light detail - ideal for difficult lighting situations.

The digital compact includes the ability to shoot in RAW format

On the hardware side, users will get a 5x wide angle (28mm) zoom with optical Image Stabilizer (IS), and a 2.8-inch vari-angle PureColor II VA LCD.

Back on the inside and Canon says the G11 is equipped to deal with any light condition. Low Light mode enables photographers to shoot up to ISO 12800 in reduced 2.5MP resolution at 2.4fps, whilst a built-in Neutral Density (ND) filter decreases light levels by 3 stops allowing creative control in bright conditions.

The camera's highest flash synchro speed has been increased to 1/2000th seconds, reducing the possibility of overexposed bright scenes. A real time histogram displays brightness levels on the PureColor II VA LCD screen, so photographers can easily view conditions and change settings when shooting.

A Quick Shot mode takes images almost instantly after pressing the shutter, so fast moving objects are always captured, whilst Servo AF/ AE continuously adjusts focus and exposure to optimise settings when photographing moving subjects.

The PowerShot G11 is available from early October 2009 priced at £569.00 in the UK and 659 Euros in Europe.