Panasonic CM1 comes to the UK

Panasonic CM1
Panasonic's camera-with-a-phone is coming to the UK.

The Panasonic CM1 was originally going to be launched in France and Germany only, but due to unexpected demand, Panasonic is going to launch it in the UK too.

From December 1st you'll be able to buy the Panasonic CM1 in selected Jessops, Wilkinson Cameras, John Lewis and other stores across the UK, and also from Panasonic Direct.

But numbers will be limited – the camera will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Panasonic is clearly testing the waters with its new camera/phone hybrid, and initial buyers may be asked to fill in a questionnaire.

It's a camera with a phone, OK?

Panasonic wants to be very clear about this. The CM1 is not just another smartphone that happens to have a good camera. It's designed as a super-slim pocket-sized high-end compact that has phone connectivity built in.

The specs tell the story. Inside the CM1 is an impressively large 1-inch sensor that's 7 times larger than the average smartphone sensor and the same size as those in high-end compact cameras like the Panasonic FZ1000 bridge camera and Canon G7 X.

Images are stored on a Micro SD card and the CM1's battery charges via USB.

The lens is a fixed focal length 28mm f/2.8 Leica optic – presumably a zoom would make the camera too bulky – and although there are few external controls on the CM1, it's still possible to exercise manual control over the shutter speed, lens aperture and more using a multi-function control ring around the lens.

The Panasonic CM1 can also shoot raw files, so when you combine that with the 1-inch sensor and Leica lens, it's clear that this is a serious camera aimed at quality-conscious enthusiasts.

The CM1 runs Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and features 4G LTE wireless communications – it has a 'Swipe and Share' feature that can upload images to social sites, for example, 'with a single flick'.

More info on prices and availability when we have it.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.