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Panasonic CM1 Review - the smart-camera-phone

Andrew Reid

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this topic makes me laugh.  It's like a high powered electroneodymium magnet attracting all the loser fanboys of the tech world into one place!  It's almost as powerful as a topic where a load of windows users jump on an apple user after bringing up the subject that windows pc's crash 1000% more regularly than the same apple machine.


Arguing over mobile phones as if they're in some way connected to the company!  The funniest thing is that most of the people who get passionate about mobile phones have no friends to talk to on them.  I'd hazard a guess that the same moaners here have at one point or another camped outside a shop to be the first to own a new piece of tech.  It's the lowest form of existence IMO.  


Personally I was considering getting the CM1 if my provider offers it as a option.  Being a user of a 3yr old Samsung disaster I doubt the lack of features on the phone side will affect me.  This seems like a camera that lets you make calls on it rather than a mini tablet that lets you hide from communicating with real people.  If i could make a call on my A7R I'd probably never take my phone out with me.


I also rather love the physical design - it looks old (in a good way).  Coin toss for me I think

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The funniest thing is that most of the people who get passionate about mobile phones have no friends to talk to on them.  I'd hazard a guess that the same moaners here have at one point or another camped outside a shop to be the first to own a new piece of tech.  It's the lowest form of existence IMO.  


I can't speak for anyone else but I've never understood that personally, there were people camping outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue 2 weeks in advance for the Iphone 6, if you can sleep rough for 2 weeks surely you're capable of having the patience to wait in your nice warm cosy bed for 24 hours after launch day and then you can just stroll on into the store and pick one up without even queuing?

It reminds me of the guy who queued for hours to get GTA 5 and then someone stabbed him and stole it, I don't know what's worse, queuing for hours to get a game or wanting it badly enough to potentially murder someone!

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I'm sorry but too much of that review is dedicated to Apple snobbery for my tastes.

I use both platforms and they both have their strengths and weaknesses, ios is smooth and user friendly but part of that is down to it's simplicity which makes it somewhat restrictive as well. Some people just seem incapable of enjoying different things and have to take sides.

The comment about the android logo just came across as a needless schoolyard insult especially when the Android and Apple logos are so fundamentally similar in their purpose, the beauty of both is surely that you simply have to say what you see and you instantly have the company name. I feel they are both triumphs in logo design and have more similarities than differences.

I also don't understand the bragging about imessages, it's locked to iOS so is incredibly restrictive by nature. Android users just tend to use one of the numerous multi platform apps and talk to everyone instead of being locked to users of the same operating system. If Android used something similar to imessages it would br rightly ridiculed for being a closed party with other OSes left off the guest list.

As for specs, those tend to be incredibly important to iphone users when they are industry leading but the exact moment android devices exceed them then suddenly specs are no longer the important thing? I suppose it's like how big screens weren't important and even a source of mockery from some insecure Apple users until the 6 came out and suddenly those same people I saw in facebook insulting the large screens on Android devices were suddenly talking of how the larger screens on the 6 were "game changers" and that apple were "reinventing the phone again" it seems to me Apple users care a whole lot about specs when the specs are competitive or superior, it's only when they lag behind Android devices that a change of stance is taken.

This particular phone may well be poor but I don't see how that justifies a review that takes the time to insult Android in general and go as far as complaining about the logo used by the operating system, I really can't see how that has any relevance.

Unfortunately Apple users have a reputation for being insecure and acting as if threatened and needlessly biased as if choosing sides is necessary and this review has done little to alleviate that.

I use both systems and enjoy the inherent strengths of both and perhaps that's why I've never indulged in bashing because I don't feel like I have to be loyal to one or the other.


No Apple snobbery here at all.


If you look at a selection of high end Android phones (which by the way are half the price of the Panasonic) they're all outstanding as smartphones by comparison. Better screens, more responsive, better build quality, better music quality, much thinner and above all nicer to feel and to use.


There's some superb Android stuff out there... Samsung S5, OnePlus One, HTC One M8, all half the price and doubly better as smartphones than the CM1!


If you haven't tried the CM1 vs the other high end Android smartphones you're not best placed to comment.


My review would have been the same if you substitute the iPhone for a OnePlus One. It's not 'Apple snobbery' to make clear where one device is superior over another. It's called 'reviewing'.


It just so happens the iPhone 6 Plus is what I use so that's my frame of reference... yours may differ.

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Don't agree.

I should of said that this applies to perfect lighting conditions. The phone is awful when it starts to get dark. But I and a friend were amazed at the terribly fake colours coming out of the rx100 (in portrait mode with settings dialled down) and enormous difference in sharpness when zoomed in.
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It's hard to read this topic because I dislike talking about phones almost as much as I hate talking on them :)


From my photography side, I can't see the CM1 replacing my Ricoh GR, which I bought a few weeks ago (and wish I had bought a long time ago).  In photography, the larger the sensor the better.  I have seen no way around it.  Video benefits from smaller sensors and it seems MFT is the sweet spot compromise.  The video on the GR is full of aliasing/moire (it has no AA filter I believe).  It's barely usable.  The video on my a6000 is very good, but I can't fit the camera in my pocket.  As a photo camera the only GR peer is the Sigma--but that camera makes a huge trade-off in speed for low ISO IQ.


Here's such a snap with the Ricoh GR, barely out of pocket shot




Here's a shot where you can see the benefits of a prime lens matched to a large sensor.  The Sigma would have been better, but it would never have been have to take the shot above.  The CM1 can probably take something that looks good in a small print, but would fall apart when larger.




On the Android versus iOS thing.  I bought an Android phone (The Samsung S3) because I wanted to get software that allowed me to control cameras.  Unfortunately, I feel Google/Android has been a failure.  Theoretically, with Android's open architecture, someone should have been able to create an application that controls 3 GH4s or a7s and an External audio recorder, get them to start at the same time, remember their file names, and then give you the ability to sync all three shots before hitting your NLE.   Obviously, the camera manufacturers have to create APIs and camera-side hooks (Sony has, but doesn't seem to be gaining much traction).  Panasonic seems to have the best Android app...but, I don't think it's any better than the iOS one. 


The good thing about this phone, and the reason I'm happy Andrew is reviewing it, is that is DOES have a lot of promise from the software side.  I remain hopeful.

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Android's architecture is open, but software isn't free. The problem is finding the programmers who're going to do it. For niche programs, either you commission someone, or by chance some programmer is in the same spot as you and will do it for himself as well as the community.


For the latter, this means it comes down to critical mass. I can have third party live view and remote control apps for Nikon and Canon. Panasonic and Sony? Not so much. Sad but that's how it is.

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