The Panasonic LUMIX CM1 is a strange beast: it's an Android phone with a huge focus on photography, a la the Galaxy S4 Zoom. But unlike that rather mid-range device (both in terms of Android hardware and photography prowess), the CM1 features a massive 1-inch, 20-megapixel camera sensor with a Leica 28mm F/2.8 lens and... dramatic pause... a manual focus ring. When it was announced at the Photokina trade show last year, Panasonic made it very clear that the LUMIX Smart Camera DSC-CM1 was only for the European market.

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According to Gizmodo, that's changing this year. The technology blog says that the CM1 will be headed stateside in an unlocked GSM form "sometime this summer" for $1000 USD. That's good news for shutterbugs, since the mix of sensor and glass in the CM1 approaches the quality of some high-end mirrorless cameras (albeit without the swappable lenses), at least on paper. A physical shutter button and manual controls for exposure, ISO, and aperture should appeal to dedicated photographers. The phone portion of the CM1 is no slouch, either: it uses a 4.7-inch 1080p screen, 2GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 800 processor, currently running KitKat.

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Advanced optics are becoming a running theme at CES: earlier today ASUS revealed the ZenFone Zoom with an internal 3x optical zoom. We can't independently confirm Gizmodo's post on the LUMIX CM-1, and it would be the first high-end phone that Panasonic has ever brought to the United States market, so consider this one tentative for the time being.

Source: Gizmodo