Panasonic Announces Lumix CM1 Android Smartphone Camera With 1″ Sensor

Panasonic Lumix CM1
Panasonic Lumix CM1

Photokina: Smartphone cameras always had small sensors to keep their overall size down. Even the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom and the Lumia 1020 with 41 megapixels have puny sensors. Panasonic has just announced what’s possibly the smart phone camera to end all smart phone cameras – the Lumix CM1.

This Android smartphone is equipped a 4.7″ screen and a 20 megapixel camera featuring a 1″ sensor. The lens is a Leica DC Elmarit lens offering an equivalent of 28mm f/2.8 in 35mm terms. Settings such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO are controlled via the manual lens ring and there’s a dedicated shutter button at the top of the device.

The phone side of the device has pretty standard features – a 4.7″ Full HD screen, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of internal RAM, 16GB of internal memory and a microSD card which supports up to 128GB, as well as a 2,600mAh battery. It runs Android Kitkat out of the box.

All these does not come cheap though. The phone (or camera if you like) will be available in France and Germany only for now, at a cool €900 (US$1165). Don’t think the Leica aficionados are going to spring for this though. Leica has something more “exciting” for them.

YS: Probably US$900 then, Euro pricing and all. Not particularly enticed for some reason. Maybe it’s the price, or the fact that the battery is kinda tiny. After use the Note series I don’t want to go back to a phone with a battery with less than 3,000 mAh.

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Sony Announces QX10 and QX100 Screenless Cameras to Accompany Your Smartphone

Sony QX100 on a Xperia Z

After way too many leaks, Sony has properly announced the QX pair of cameras. The smaller QX10 (pictured after the break in white and gold) comes with a 25-250mm equivalent lens at f/3.3-5.9 and an 18 megapixel 1/2.3″ sensor.

Right. Now, the real exciting one is the QX100, as seen above. It is bigger, but it comes with what is essentially the innards of the RX100: That 20 megapixel 1″ sensor and 28-100mm equivalent f/1.8-4.9 lens. What I liked about the RX100 was its operation speed: It had fast autofocus and very low shutter lag, so I hope it carries over through here as well.

For me, this could be a big thing. Smartphone cameras just aren’t good enough for me, and even with the GH3 I am using now, it is just too much hassle. RAWs cannot be transferred, the camera is not clever enough to generate a JPEG to do that, slow app, slow connection. I once took a nice photo just before arriving at the subway station, and by the time I actually got on the train, I just about got the image transferred to my phone. To camera manufacturers: This is not acceptable workflow, be it in ease of use or speed.

So for the QX cameras, much will depend on how well they link up to the smartphone. If it is the same laggy frustrating experience, this will be dead in the water. If it works, I might have an issue with my personal Sony boycott…

Now, the other bad news is that there is going to be limited manual control, and no RAW mode. As an aperture priority shooter, I can live with the former, but the latter irks me a bit. While for the purpose of being a smartphone companion mean RAW won’t be needed there, I am sure many of us enthusiasts would love to have an option for those really nice shots to be properly post-processed in our favourite software.

The QX10 and QX100 will be shipping in late September for US$250 and US$500 respectively. A bit pricey, but maybe a good discount will make it worthwhile.

CK: I am kind of skeptical about this. If I want to carry to gadgets, I’d get a compact camera and use it in tandem with my smartphone. The older Sony RX100 is a little more than the QX100 and has all the features you need for an advanced compact camera. What would be nice would be for Apple’s camera connection kit or the Lightning to SD Card Reader to work with the iPhone, and someone to come up with an Android equivalent. Sure, it’s a little clunkier than the QX100/QX200 but I think that’d be a better deal. Plus you get to use your existing camera too. And of course, there’s also the EyeFi and other similar devices which lets you transfer files to your smartphone too.

Continue reading Sony Announces QX10 and QX100 Screenless Cameras to Accompany Your Smartphone

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