Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 is a desirable rival to the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom (UPDATE: It has a UK release date!)

Callum Tennent
November 26, 2014

This article was originally published on 16th September 2014

Not so long ago we reviewed the Samsung Galaxy K zoom. Almost exactly half digital camera, half smartphone it combined two things we really like to created something we really didn’t. It was too bulky and ugly, and it just didn’t work.

But what’s this? A rival to the K zoom? A smartphone/camera hybrid which doesn’t look completely awful? With powerful internal specs to match its outrageous lens? Now we’re interested.

And who would have ever thought that the company to bring it to us would be Panasonic? The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 is the name of the device, and it’s got us intrigued.

Panasonic - Lumix DMC-CM1 front on

As you would expect from a company that built its name on photography, the main draw of the Lumix DMC-CM1 is its camera. It’s got an enormous one-inch sensor with an f/2.8 Leica DC Elmarit lens – it’s essentially the equivalent of a 28mm zoom lens on a standard SLR. Its sensor is 20MP so it should perform closely to, if not better than, the similarly-specced K zoom and Nokia Lumia 1020.

There’s also a ready to shoot switch and manual controls around the rear lens, too,  for a more authentic feel that experienced photographers will no doubt enjoy.

None of this would matter if it weren’t all attached to a decent smartphone though, and in this regard Panasonic has outdone itself. Heck, it’s even outdone Samsung – the DMC-CM1 is a surprisingly advanced device.

What’s most noticeable is its Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at 2.3GHz. Backed by 2GB of RAM, the DMC-CM1 should provide a super-smooth Android 4.4 Kit Kat experience. Oh, and its 4.7-inch display is 1080p full-HD so you can see your shots in all their glory the moment you take them.

Panasonic - Lumix DMC-CM1 top down

Internal storage is limited to 16GB but the microSD card allows for up to 128GB of expansion which should be enough for even the trigger-happiest of snappers.

If we were to be concerned about any aspect of the DMC-CM1 it would be its battery. At 2,600 mAh it may not hold up so well under heavy use, particularly if you’re out on a long day at the museum or on a hike going crazy with the camera.

The interior is impressive – as is the exterior. We chastised the K zoom for having the form factor of a bar of soap, and it didn’t really seem like Samsung had tried with the aesthetics. The DMC-CM1 on the other hand looks great. It’s all cracked black leather and matte silver, very reminiscent of the compact cameras of the 1960’s. At its thinnest point it’s 15.2mm and 21mm at its thickest – that’s around 1mm thinner at all points than the K zoom.

The bad news is that Panasonic only plans to release the device in France and Germany this Christmas, but with a bit of luck more countries should follow.

UPDATE: Panasonic has announced a UK release date! Just as we were beginning to think we’d never see the Lumix DMC-CM1 in the flesh, we’re informed that it’ll be hitting UK shelves on December 1st.

That’s very soon, and we couldn’t be happier. What’s more, Panasonic has even clarified things for us by listing the individual stores it’ll be sold at. You’ll be able to find it at:

  • Jessops, Oxford St, London.
  • Dixons, Harrods, London
  • Wilkinson Cameras, Liverpool
  • Park Cameras, Burgess Hill
  • Panasonic Store, Plymouth
  • John Lewis, Edinburgh (subject to confirmation)
  • Dixons Travel, Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport

There’s no official price listed yet, but we know that it won’t be cheap. Expect a figure around the £750 mark (after all, you are getting a top-quality digital camera and a flagship smartphone all rolled into one).

About the Author

Callum Tennent

International playboy/tech journalist.

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