The Canon Powershot SX50 HS
- and similar "ultrazoom" cameras from FujiFilm and Panasonic - could be the start of an interesting development. None of them are yet perfect (and probably never will be), but there is certainly room for sensor improvement (maybe going from 1/2.3" to 1/1.7") and lens speed improvement (Panasonic have a 24-600 zoom with a constant f2.8 aperture). Frame rates could be higher and buffers larger and the available shutter speeds/ISO settings could be more flexible. The SX50 could also stand to have an EVF with better optics and higher resolution.
Of course all these things would add to the cost, so there's a tradeoff fhe manufacturers. There's probably a price point at which sales would drop even if performance was better. You may be able to sell a lot of cameras for under $400, but a "DeLuxe" version costing $800-$1000 might be a tough sell in the mass consumer market, which is where profits are made.
It will be interesting to see what the SX60 brings to the table when it arrives, but that probably won't be for another year or so.