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Panasonic DMC-CM1 smartphone/camera hybrid is heading to the UK

Tom Morgan
24 Nov 2014
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The world's first smartphone with a 1in camera sensor just got revealed on stage at Photokina

Panasonic surprised the gathered press at this year's Photokina press conference by revealing the Lumix DMC-CM1; a smartphone/camera hybrid that is the first in the world to use a 1in sensor. Seemingly a direct competitor to Samsung's Galaxy K Zoom, the CM1 has everything you'd expect from a flagship handset as well as top level camera features.

It might not be stick thin, but at 15.2mm thick the CM1 is hardly chunky. The extra girth makes room for a 20-megapixel, 1in sensor, f/2.8 Leica DC lens and the same Venus image processing engine found in the newly announced GM5. The manual ring around the lens assembly gives you greater control over your images, while a "ready to shoot" camera switch jumps straight into the camera interface so you don't have to miss any important moments.

Finished in the same retro-inspired silver metal and black textured grip as the GX7, the CM1 fits right in with the rest of Panasonic's camera range, but still looks sleek as a smartphone too.

Panasonic was keen to point out that CM1 is a camera first, which also happens to double as a smartphone, but the compact dimensions and high-end specifications wouldn't look out of place alongside the likes of Samsung, HTC and LG. A 4.7in, Full HD LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor running at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM and LTE 4G support should make it a very quick smartphone, although it remains to be seen if Panasonic will bog down Android 4.4 KitKat with its own custom user interface.

With either 16GB or 32GB of storage depending on the model, you shouldn't run out of space for photos in a hurry, but just in case Panasonic has added a microSD card slot with support for up to 128GB cards.

Originally expected to lonly launch in France and Germany, Panasonic changed its mind and confirmed the DMC-CM1 would be coming to the UK in early December, albeit in "limited numbers". It will be available online directly through Panasonic, as well as selected retailers around the country to make sure as many people get the opportunity to pick one up as possible. So far, the list includes Jessops on Oxford Street, Dixons in Harrods, and Dixons Travel in Heathrow Terminal 5, London, Liverpool's Wilkinson cameras, Park Cameras in Burgess Hill and the Panasonic Store in Plymouth. 

Because the numbers will be so small, Panasonic is asking customers to fill out a short questionnaire before purchase, and it will only be available on a first come, first served basis. You'll also have to drop £799.99 on the device itself, which won't be available on a mobile network subsidy, but if you're desperate for a high quality camera/smartphone hybrid, you'll have to head on down to one of the stores listed on the 1st of December.