Mirrorless camera makers are forging ahead with innovations, making their cameras smaller and easier to use, in the hope of attracting would-be point-and-shoot camera buyers.

Whilst still a relatively new category, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras offer users the benefits of a large image sensor (for high quality pictures similar to those captured with a base-level Digital SLR camera), the flexibility to use different lenses and a compact camera body.

Panasonic have made their latest Micro Four Thirds camera, the Lumix GF2, smaller and lighter than their existing models in the hope of convincing consumers that mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are the future of consumer-level photography.

"The LUMIX GF2 is key in the Panasonic DSL Micro line-up, as it's the smallest and lightest model we offer, while still offering superb image quality, which our consumers have come to expect from LUMIX. Compared to the GF1, its predecessor, the GF2 has been reduced approximately 19% in size and approximately 7% in weight yet is still retains its signature built-in flash," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

Whilst still slightly larger than the rival NEX-5 Micro 4/3 camera made by Sony, the Lumix GF2 offers a newly designed and easy-to-use interface, a three inch touchsensitive LCD screen, video recording and a range of auto focus modes.

The camera is compatible with existing Micro Four Third's lenses (including the company's brand new 3D interchangeable lens which enables users to capture images in three dimensions) and comes with a built in flash.

"We expect the LUMIX GF2 to be an attractive model for consumers who want to step up to a more powerful camera that is easy to use, and a camera that is 'future-proof' with its 3D capabilities."

In June 2010, CNET Asia put together their selection of the best 5 mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras arguing Panasonic's Lumix DMC-G2, Samsung's NX10, Olympus' E-P2, Sony's Alpha NEX-5 and Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF1 were the best of the bunch.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 will arrive in stores by January 2011. Pricing will be announced in December.