Last year’s Panasonic Lumix CM1 was a sleek-looking phone-camera hybrid that married a high-end, 4K-capable compact camera with an Android phone. Its 4.7-inch Full HD screen, 2.3-GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and Android 4.4 made it a decent phone when it was released, while a 20-megapixel 1-inch image sensor, Leica-designed 28mm f/2.8 prime lens, manual shooting modes, and 4K video made it a strong compact camera. The CM1 gave casual photographers the best of both worlds, but at $1,000, it became a niche product that hasn’t seen much traction.
Regardless, Panasonic announced a follow-up version for the Japanese market, the CM10 (h/t PetaPixel), which ditches the ability to make phone calls, but retains everything else. It makes sense: Panasonic stopped selling phones globally a long time ago, and the CM1 is marketed as a camera first, phone second (which is why you’ll find it at your specialty camera shops, and not a phone carrier). The CM10 is akin to an iPod Touch in concept, as it’s a smart device that runs on Android Lollipop, sports a 2.3-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Based on available specs, the camera is the same as the one on last year’s model, and the form-factor of the overall body is the same.However, the CM10 includes Panasonic’s 4K Photo feature that lets you shoot 4K videos and extract a high-resolution photo from a video frame. Since we assume it’s the same camera as the CM1’s, we have a good guess at what image quality will be like. In our hands-on experience, the CM1 takes really good photos with accurate colors and nice details. Thanks to the large sensor, the CM1 handles well in low light, although the lack of image stabilization created plenty of fuzzy images (see our samples below).
In essence, the CM10 is the CM1 without the capability of making phone calls, yet it offers the connectivity to share images and download apps. Interestingly, the CM10 will still support LTE, which, according to Dpreview, will let you send text messages and access LTE data via a SIM card.
Like the CM1, the CM10 looks to be a niche product, although Panasonic says it plans to produce 500 per month. No pricing has been announced, but Dpreview speculates it will be around $850. The camera will go on sale in Japan on February 25. Click here to read our hands-on of the CM1, which is available for just $580 unlocked from B&H.
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