Canon APS-Sized Point & Shoot Foreshadowed by Chuck Westfall

In Chuck Westfall’s July 2009 Tech Tips, he answers a Canon user’s question about the amount of megapixels and overall image quality concerns in cameras today.  One specific point the user makes is that the number of megapixels in point and shoot cameras results in poor noise control at higher ISOs.  So why can Canon just use fewer megapixels to clean up the noise?

Chuck Westfall responds to the concern basically saying that the 5D Mark II does just fine with noise and the increased megapixels is a great addition.  As for the notion that maybe Canon should make a point and shoot camera with fewer megapixels, Chuck semi-dismisses this suggestion and foreshadows the future of image quality concerns:

In the realm of compact digital cameras, there is no question that the high end of the market is looking for better image quality than current cameras provide, especially at high ISOs. But I’ll bet that the eventual solution to that request is going to be larger image sensors with high resolution rather than small sensors with reduced resolution. Time will tell!

Not that such a development is unexpected; however, I suppose the question is just how close in time is such a Canon point and shoot camera from realization?