Panasonic CM1: compact camera or smartphone?

Historically, include a digital camera in a cell phone meant encountering some limitations, mainly because the sensor size and the diameter of the glass that accompanies it. Nokia, HTC, Sony and Samsung, especially, have sought alternatives different than usual to deliver the best possible picture quality (with a high number of megapixels to remedy the lack of optical zoom on the sensor in the first case, a low resolution but high sensitivity sensor in the second, a removable lens on the third, a telephoto lens in the fourth case).

Panasonic CM1

Panasonic chose a fifth alternative, presented at Photokina, a photography fair that is done every two years in Germany: generally take a device the size of a smartphone and the side of the camera to put a 1-inch sensor and 20 megapixel resolution, about 7 times larger than the one with a conventional smartphone and the one that is in a high-end compact camera like a Nikon 1 or a Sony RX100.

To this it added a Leica lens that allows aperture F/2.8 and a focal length of 28 mm; it is capable of recording video in 4K and is logically manual controls for focus, aperture, shutter speed (mechanical), sensitivity, white balance, and so on.

Thus was born the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1, which side of the smartphone has good hardware, but conventional: 4.7 inch Full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal (expandable), 2600 mAh battery, LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and Android 4.4. It is far from the first camera with Android, by the way, although it is not clear if it is a connected camera as the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, or a smartphone with camera.

Include similar sensor and lens involves a penalty, of course: the thickness of 21 mm (when most smartphones is below 10 mm), and weight 204 grams, which leave the device out of many pockets, as is its price: 900 euros in Germany and France, the two countries where Panasonic will test.