Panasonic has not been very active in the smartphone space recently but today the Japanese company has announced a new smartphone at Photokina in Cologne that will undoubtedly appeal to many mobile photographers.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 smartphone boasts a 1 inch 20MP sensor, which is likely the same imaging unit we've seen used by other recent high-end compact cameras like Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 III.

The Lumix DMC-CM1 comes with the largest imaging sensor we have seen on a smartphone. Its 1"-type 20MP chip has the same dimensions as the sensors in premium compact cameras such as Sony's RX100 or Nikon's 1 series, and is around seven times larger than the 1/3"-type sensors that are common on more conventional smartphones. The large sensor is coupled with an F2.8 Leica lens that offers an equivalent focal length of 28mm. This is by far the best camera specification on any smartphone and the 20MP resolution should even allow for a good-quality digital zoom. The CM1 is also capable of recording 4K-video and Raw images. Focus, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance can all be adjusted manually, and there's a mechanical click-wheel around the lens ' barrel' on the front of the camera/phone. 

The rest of the specification is in line with current high-end smartphones. Images can be viewed and composed on a 4.7-inch 1080p display and Android 4.4 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 quad-core processor that is clocked at 2.3 GHz. 16GB of internal memory are on board but the device also takes microSD-cards of up to 128GB capacity.

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From a design point of view the CM1 looks like a smartphone on one side and a high-end compact camera from the other. At 21mm the device is considerably thicker than most current high-end smartphones which is no surprise considering the the large image sensor.

With its impressive camera specification the CM1 is the closest thing we have seen to a true hybrid device. We are looking forward to get a test unit in our hands and see how it fares against the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 1/1.5"-type sensor and other high-end models. No firm detail on regional availability have been given yet but we understand that the CM1 will be available for 900 Euros (approximately US$ 1160) from November in some countries. 

Key specifications:

  • 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor
  • F2.8 aperture
  • 28mm equivalent focal length
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 4K-video
  • Raw capture
  • 1.1MP front camera
  • 4.7-inch 1080p display
  • Android 4.4
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • microSD cards up to 128GB
  • 2600mAh batttery