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.


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.


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