It seems like Canon may be planning a product announcement for July 23rd. Word on the street has it that some Canon divisions in Europe have been sending out invitations to an event scheduled for July 23rd, at which some announcement of new products will presumably be made.
What products? Well, given the recent announcement of a number of significant firmware updates and added features for the EOS 7D, it seems pretty unlikely that a successor to the 7D will be announced before those firmware updates have actually been released, or even any time soon afterwards.
We've had the Digital Rebel update with the Canon T4i, so it's not likely we'll be seeing another entry level DSLR.
So what does that leave? Well, the 60D may be in for an update, but if the 7D stays in place Canon would have to be careful not to give a "70D" too much or they could hurt 7D sales.
And we are left with the fabled Canon Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera - or MILC. Everybody else has one. Pentax have a couple, Nikon have two, Olympus have more than you can count, Sony have several, Panasonic have a few and I'm sure I'm leaving someone out. Canon have none. Ergo, it seems quite likely that Canon will join the party a soon as they can - perhaps on July 23rd.
What will the Canon MILC be? Other MILCs range from the Pentax Q with a sensor smaller than is found in some P&S cameras to the Sony NEX series with a full size APS-C sensor. Which end of the scale will Canon choose - or will they try to sit in the middle? My guess is that they will go for the larger end of the range, in fact it would not surprise me one bit if they took the new sensor from the T4i and used that. It's Canon's first and only sensor that has built in phase sensitive AF detection. Not really a full AF phase sensitive system like Nikon use on their 1 series MILCs, but more of a "phase sensitive assist" AF system where the phase sensitive components make the initial focus decision and drive the lens in the right direction followed by a contrast sensitive AF system which optimizes the final focus.
Of course any MILC worth it's saucer will have 1080p HD video along with continuous AF during video shooting. Canon now have this on the T4i, so that technology can also go into their MILCs.
I'd expect a Canon MILC to be able to accept both EF and EF-S series lenses via an adapter, plus have a lens line of its own which minimized size and weight. An adapter for EF and EF-S lenses is easy. It would essentially be an extension tube with pass through electronics. I'd expect Speedlite compatibility too, at least on any more advanced model, maybe even on a basic model.
The touch sensitive screen of the new T4i DSLR would also probably find it's way onto a MILC. A basic MILC would only have an LCD for framing and menu selection, while a more advanced version could also have (or support) and electronic viewfinder (EVF) in the same way that the Olympus PEN series cameras do. A foldout tilt and swivel LCD would be nice, but would add a little to the bulk of the camera. Sony have a tilting screen on some of their NEX models. Maybe a fixed screen on a basic MILC and a foldout screen on a more advanced model?
Price? Well, any basic MILC would probably have to be in the $500-$600 region to compete well. Sony's APS-C NEX-3 sells for around $598 with an 18-55 lens. The Olympus E-PM1 4/3 format MILC is currently selling (after $100 rebate) for $399 with a 14-42 lens. Of course neither can take EF or EF-S series lenses, so for a Canon user with a collection of lenses, a Canon MILC would be worth more to them. A more advanced model would probably need to try to stay below $1000. The T4i could be tough competition at $849. A MILC could be somewhat smaller than the T4i, but it's unlikely it would have more features, so the price would seem to be somewhat constrained.
Of course all of this is just guessing. Canon could just be announcing a new P&S camera or a printer. However they MUST be getting close to announcing their MILC soon and July 23rd seems like as good a date as any! In 12 days we'll know for sure.