Last October, Panasonic announced the CM1, a one-of-a-kind 4K smartphone with a large sensor and a high-quality Leica lens.
Although it first appeared that the CM1 would only be available in certain European markets, in the days leading up to this year's CES tradeshow, Panasonic announced that the CM1 would become available to US customers sometime during the summer of 2015.
Just in case you need a refresher on what sets the Panasonic CM1 apart from the multitude of 4K-capable smartphones on the market today, here are some videos along with some specs.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJiJfGY_tLA
- 1-inch 20 Megapixel sensor
- Leica DC Elmarit 10mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent)
- 2.3GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 801 CPU
- 4K Video and Photos
- Full Manual Control during Videos/Photos
- 4.7-inch 1080p Display
- 16GB Internal Storage
- Micro SD card slot
- Android 4.4 OS
- 2600 mAh battery
- Availability: Summer 2015
- Price: About $1,165 (900 Euros)
Although I've railed against camera phones in the past (the hardware limitations usually make them useless for people who care about image quality), there truly is something to be excited for with the Panasonic CM1 because of its photography-centric features. By taking the approach of building an Android phone into a highly-capable and small profile point-and-shoot camera body -- instead of the other way around like other manufacturers tend to do it -- Panasonic has made something legitimately appealing to those who want a higher quality stills camera with them at all times. The CM1 is definitely not something that you would shoot a feature film with (unless you were really determined to do so), but it seemingly bridges the quality gap between smartphone cameras with tiny sensors and plastic lenses and point-and-shoot cameras with much higher quality components.
Like I mentioned before, the Panasonic CM1 is expected to land in the states this summer and should be available through T-Mobile and AT&T for a street price of just above $1100.