Panasonic Puts a 1-inch Sensor in the CM1 Smartphone!


While the world debates over whether the iPhone 6 and 6+ are iconic or disappointing, the cameraphone battle has seen an unlikely contender racing past – Panasonic, with their groundbreaking phone, the CM1.

The Panasonic CM1 puts in, believe it or not, a 1-inch sensor inside an Android 4.4 powered smartphone. Yes, that’s not a misprint.

Just think about it. In the past few years, the iPhone has ruled the roost when it comes to cameraphones, with a few other contenders from Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Sony taking turns to excite. In terms of sheer sensor size, we never went past the Nokia 808 PureView, a phone with a huge 1/1.2 inch sensor, released two years ago… it still gives better image quality than the best smartphones today. Amongst more ‘modern’ smartphones that run on a good OS, the Lumia 1020 (1/1.5 inch), the Xperia Z2 (1/2.3 inch) and the Galaxy S5 (1/2.6 inch) have led the pack. The iPhone as always remained conservative, at 1/3 inch.

Panasonic’s 1 inch sensor dwarfs most of these cameraphones. After all, this 20MP sensor is probably the same as the one found in the fantastic Sony RX100 camera.

Aside from the sensor, the phone has a Leica 28mm f/2.8 lens, a mechanical shutter and a ring around the lens that enables better focusing. Is this a phone with a great camera or a great camera with a phone? It’s a debatable answer… the phone specifications are relatively standard, with a 4.7-inch 1080p screen, Android 4.4, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB RAM and 4k video.

Its price of 900 Euros (approx. Rs. 71,000) makes this an extremely premium product. Also, considering that Panasonic’s efforts in the mobile world have been a little half hearted in India, one wonders whether they would bring this phone here, and if so, at what price. But that doesn’t change the fact that the CM1 is one of the biggest impacts of photokina 2014, and will probably be the phone that will influence the path of the mobile imaging world in the near future.

Tags: 1-inch sensor, Sony Rx100, panasonic CM1, Leica lens, best cameraphone, apple iphone 6