Tuesday, January 6, 2015


This summer, Panasonic will begin selling the CM1 smart phone in the US.  It caused a small sensation at the Photokina last fall when it was first shown.  Equipped with a Leica DC Elmarit f/2.8 lens, this phone puts a far greater emphasis on image quality than any other smart phone currently available.

Also referred to as a smart camera, the CM1 combines the photographic quality and operation of a premium compact camera with those of current smartphones and Android OS.



The CM1 comes with a 1 inch MOS sensor with 20 megapixels.  This is times larger than the sensors commonly used in smartphones.  The Leica DC Elmarit f/2.8 lens has a fiull frame equivalent focal length of 28mm.  The Venus Engine processor provides signal processing especially adapted to for photography.  It goes far beyond the normal standard in smartphones.

The camera/smartphone also offers many manual settings.  By rotating the lens ring, it offers direct access to shutter speeds, aperture, ISO settings, white balance, exposure as well as manual and auto focus.  Pictures are taken in JPEG as well as RAW format.

Considering the close relationship between Panasonic and Leica, could it be possible to see a Leica camera smartphone in the future?


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  1. This reminds me of an article on this blog where Ernst Leitz participated in the demonstration of a working telephone several years before Alexander Graham Bell. The question was if there might have been a Leitel (Leitz Telephone). The introduction of this Panasonic phone and the close relationship between Panasonic and Leica seems to have brought us a lot closer to that possibility.

    1. The Panasonic phone definitely brings up the question of a possible Leica version. However, wouldn't a further development of a camera like the Leica T to include smartphone capabilities make more sense? The camera has a touch screen already, as well as a microphone and speaker. The addition of smartphone electronics and software would in no way lessen the superior performance of the camera, including interchangeable lenses, but would also offer smartphone capabilities without the need of carrying a separate device.

  2. Aren't we getting too much into developing devices that can do it all? What's next?

    1. There is also the issue of size. Initially, manufacturers strived to make cell phones ever smaller, and they were very handy because of it. Now they are going into the opposite direction because of the overabundance of multitasking capabilities.