Panasonic announces Lumix CM1 cameraphone

Panasonic has made the headlines with the announcement of its new cameraphone, the Lumix CM1 running on Android. The new Panasonic smartphone focuses on its smartphone features as much as it does on the camera features, placing a 1 inch camera sensor on the back of the Lumix CM1.

Lately, many OEMs have been focusing more and more on the cameras they are placing on flagships and even mid-range phones, like the whopping 20.7 MP camera on the Spny Xperia Z3, 16 MP Galaxy Note 4, 20 MP Meizu MX4, Lumia 1020’s whopping 41 MP sensor and more. The selfie-phone has also become a pretty widespread trend among OEMs, with HTC announcing an upcoming HTC Eye selfie-centered smartphone and an HTC One M8 Eye version as well, alongside Sony’s Xperia C3 selfie-phone, Nokia Lumia 730, OPPO N1 and N1 Mini and Lenovo Vibe Z2,

Panasonic has seen the opportunity to implement its own quality cameras into a smartphone and launch its own camera-centered smartphone. The idea has materialized in the form of the Lumix CM1, with a 20 MP sensor,  paired with an f/2.8 Leica lens, a mechanical shutter, and a manual control ring. The lens extends out of the body with adjustments for focusing purposes. It would have been nice to see zooming features on the lens as well, though. 

The Lumix CM1 from Panasonic comes after a pretty long absence from the smartphone market. Even though the camera on the Lumix CM1 is designed to compete against flagships launched this Summer and Fall, the specs of the smartphone are not exceptional, but they’re enough to provide for a fair competition. The Panasonic Lumix CM1 has a 4.7 inch 1080p screen, quad-core Snapdragon clocked at 2.3 GHz backed by 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage expandable via microSD card up to 128 GB, 4K video and Android 4.4 KitKat.

Panasonic sees the phone rather as a camera with connectivity and phone functions than a smartphone with a camera, and thus the company didn’t put much emphasis on hiding the massive camera in the build. The phone weighs 201 grams and is a whopping 21 mm thick, which would indeed make it more of a camera than a smartphone. A 2600 mAH battery is providing the juice for the newest Panasonic cameraphone, which is a bit small considering the dimensions of the phone.

Nonetheless, Panasonic says that the Lumix CM1 will be on sale for roughly $1250 in France and Germany, starting in November. That is one hefty price to ask for the gadget, but the cameraphone does offer excellent features to use with the camera and the camera application itself is high-quality, offering tons of tools to use when shooting. Panasonic declared that Germany and France will be the testing ground for the Lumix CM1, and depending on customer feedback, Panasonic will decide whether to continue manufacturing the cameraphone or not.

Photos courtesy of The Verge.