Easily one of the most exciting announcements at Photokina 2014, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-CM1 is both a 20-million-pixel, 1in MOS sensor camera and a smartphone. Is it the best genuine hybrid smart camera to date? Jon Devo finds out

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Large 1in sensor captures
  • good detail
  • - Shoots raw and has full manual controls
  • - Responsive touchscreen

Cons:

  • - No grip, making it unstable when only using one hand
  • - Could benefit from optical image stabilisation
  • - Some materials used not premium enough

Product:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£799.00

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Verdict

Panasonic has achieved something special with the Lumix DMC-CM1. It represents a new frontier for smartphone technology and the camera marks a clear improvement on what we’ve seen from the leading smartphone manufacturers.

Of course, there have been some compromises in order to keep the size of this device down. Some of those compromises (no optical image stabilisation) are more of an issue than others (lack of grip). But this model is only mark 1, and for the most part, it has been executed extremely well. The integration of smartphone and camera is the most convincing and seamless experience we’ve seen, and it surpassed our expectations.

If Panasonic can successfully deliver full smartphone functionality in a phone-a-like camera such as the CM1, it can’t be much of a leap to enable some of their other premium camera lines with this level of connectivity. It’s an exciting thought.

Wi-Fi and other connectivity options are already becoming standard for digital cameras. Now that Panasonic has demonstrated an effective way of producing a smartphone-enabled camera, I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more sophisticated communication cameras coming to market over the next couple of years. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see sensor size becoming the new megapixel race for smartphone manufacturers.

Can the CM1 replace your smartphone? The answer is yes. Is it capable of taking better pictures than the current best smartphones available? Again, the answer is yes, in some circumstances, it definitely is. For me, however, buying the CM1 comes down to whether or not you can afford it, and whether or not you are lucky enough to actually get your hands on one.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Build and Handling
  3. 3. Camera Interface
  4. 4. Smartphone Performance
  5. 5. Camera performance and image quality
  6. 6. Image Quality Lab Results
  7. 7. Verdict
  8. 8. Hands-on First Look
  9. 9. Page 9
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  • Mick Berry

    How long does the built in battery last before it needs replacing and is that possible?

  • Thomas Latcham

    If a camera in space can see a person on the earth, it must simply be consumer appetite that dictates what we are shown with photography equipment. Imagery is not just about cameras. One day we’ll all be doing it differently!