The best camera is arguably the one you carry with you, since you won’t use the $3000 DSLR and interchangeable lens system you leave in your house to shoot spontaneous photos while you’re out and about. Most smartphones have built-in cameras, which is why so many of the photos you see posted to Facebook and Instagram these days are snapped with a phone.

But while smartphone makers have gotten better and squeezing halfway decent image technology into their cameras, most phone cameras still lack features like optical zoom, manual controls, or premium image sensors.

The Panasonic Lumix CM1 has all of those things. It’s an Android smartphone with a premium camera. In fact, Panasonic is positioning the Lumix CM1 as a camera that happens to be a phone, rather than the other way around.

panasonic lumix cm1

Features include a 20 mexapixel 1 inch sensor — Panasonic says the Lumix CM1 is the first smartphone with a 1 inch image sensor. There’s also an f/2.8 Leica DC lens, a mechanical shutter, and a control ring that lets you adjust settings without touching the phone’s touchscreen.

As for phone features, the Lumix CM1 seems to have the specs of a recent high-end phone including a 4.7 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, a 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a microSDXC card reader.

Despite the high quality camera, the phone’s still reasonably thin, at about 0.6 inches.

Don’t expect the Panasonic Lumix CM1 to be cheap. It has the same image sensor as the Sony RX100 camera which sells for about $500. And that camera doesn’t include phone functionality.

Panasonic isn’t the only company working to make smartphone cameras better. The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is a smartphone with a 21MP camera and a zoom lens, while Sony offers a line of high-quality lenses that you can connect to most recent Android phones using WiFi.

via Gizmodo, The Verge, and Expert Reviews

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6 replies on “Panasonic Lumix CM1 camera is also a smartphone”

  1. You left out the Nokia Lumia 1020, still the best camera in a smartphone today

      1. But the 41 Megapixel sensor in Nokia Lumia 1020
        is used for its incredible digital zoom.
        Nokia Lumia 1020 is using 5 Megapixel photos
        and rest to the digital zoom.
        I have a Nokia Lumia 1020 and I have taken long distance photos because of the digital zoom.

        1. Once you zoom with a 41Mpx chip 10x, your picture will have resolution only 0,4Mpx. Digital zoom is not a solution. You can use zoom up to 3x with about 4Mpx still left. But not more.

  2. I still wonder if there is a market for these phone/camera hybrids. I have and use a Nikon DSLR, a Canon point & shoot and a smartphone. While the smartphone does not take great photos they are good enough for social media stuff. Durability is a question. Would most people treat their camera and roughly as they treat their phones? lens/sensor alignment has got to suffer, to say nothing of dirt and dust.

    1. True enough, though there will likely be a durable case offered for it soon after its release…

      While they are getting better options to make phones durable these days, like water proof spray on coatings and better shock absorbing materials… So, another generation or two can make these pretty practical… and hopefully cheaper :p

      But by then the average phone camera may improve enough to make the point moot, unless they go the route of docks and have the option later to turn a phone into a DSL… Sony’s add on camera possibly being an early example of that trend, albeit it’ll be awhile before that is practical for most people and we’re still very much in the early adopter stage…

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