By Callum Tennent on 11:16, 16 Sep 2014 inGeneralLatestNewsPhones

Panasonic - Lumix DMC-CM1

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.

TagsDMC-CM1Lumix DMC-CM1PanasonicPanasonic LumixPanasonic Lumix DMC-CM1Samsung Galaxy K-Zoom

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