Panasonic Announces An Epic Cameraphone

Meet the Panasonic DMC-CM1 cameraphone. Inside is a massive image sensor on par with top-tier pocket cameras, yet the whole package is still rather svelte. With the DMC-CM1 Panasonic is returning to the smartphone market in an important way.

Two years ago Panasonic pulled the plug on its smartphones following disappointing sales of the Eluga handsets. Quite frankly, those handsets were not novel enough to sell in the crowded smartphone market. The just-announced DMC-CM1 plays nicely to Panasonic’s strengths as a leader in digital photography.

The DMC-CM1 packs a 20MP sensor attached to a f/2.8 Leica DC Elmarit lens that sports a mechanical shutter and a manual control ring. The 1-inch camera sensor dwarfs those found on traditional smartphones and is instead on par with the sensor found in traditional point-and-shoots like the Sony RX100 and Nikon 1 series.

The rest of the phone stacks nicely against top-tier smartphones with a 4.7-inch 1080p screen, 16GB of local memory, 2GB of RAM, 2,600mAh battery and Android 4.4 running on a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon platform. A micro-SD card slot provides more storage space.

Similar in thought to the Samsung Galaxy Camera, the Panasonic DMC-CM1 attempts to address the waning sales of point-and-shoot cameras by offering a fantastic camera platform paired to a smartphone. As long as Panasonic doesn’t count on selling gobs of these units, the DMC-CM1 should be a safe bet for the company.

Panasonic is releasing the DMC-CM1 in France and Germany this year with a general roll-out not yet announced.