Did you take one look at Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-CM1 and vow to pay whatever it took to get this smartphone/mirrorless camera hybrid in the US? You now have a chance to put your money where your mouth is. Panasonic has started selling an unlocked version of the CM1 in the US, and it’ll set you back an eye-watering $1,000 — suddenly, that 128GB Galaxy S6 seems like a bargain. There’s a good reason for the giant price tag, mind you. While the phone half is no great shakes between its 4.7-inch 1080p screen, Android 4.4 KitKat and a Snapdragon 801 chip, you’re also getting a big 1-inch, 20-megapixel imaging sensor with a bright, high-quality f/2.8 lens. If you already treat your smartphone as a camera that just happens to make calls, this might be your handset of choice.
Panasonic has announced they are bringing the Lumix CM1 camera to the U.S. market through a variety of retailers and their own online store. The Lumix CM1 was originally launched last year in France and Germany. The list price in the U.S. for the hybrid camera will be $999.99.
The Lumix CM1 is a hybrid device combining a point-and-shoot type compact digital camera with a typical smartphone running Android. Unlike most smartphones, Panasonic went ahead and loaded up the device with a camera sporting a 1-inch sensor. This enables it to take some exceptionally high quality images. The camera also supports 4K video recording. To help users take advantage of the 4K capabilities, Panasonic includes a couple apps called 4K Photo and 4K Pre-Burst. The first one can be used to snip out a photo from a 4K video while the second one can be used for fast-action photography.
Along with the camera features, Panasonic included Wi-Fi and 4G LTE chips in the device so it can double as a phone. It is unclear whether the units are shipping with Lollipop, but an upgrade from KitKat is available.
Come comment on this article: Panasonic launches the Lumix CM1 in the U.S. market
Have you been frustratingly waiting for that promising Panasonic Lumix CM1 camera-phone to drop since the announcement back at CES? I’m happy to report that it’s at least one step closer to getting into your pointing and shooting hands.
The CM1 has begun showing up for pre-order at US online retailers, appropriately popular camera electronic stores, B&H and Adorama. We’re looking at a whopping price tag of $999. I hope you were ready to pay a premium for a phone that puts the camera capability front and center.
Panasonic packed this guy with a large protruding 1-inch high-sensitivity MOS sensor, 20 MP f/2.8 Leica DC Elmarit 28mm lens, and a bunch of full manual controls to your heart’s desire. It can shoot 4K video at 15 fps, support for RAW format, and 2X zooming.
The rest of the phone is fairly modest:
- 4.7-inch 1080P TFT LCD display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC (2.3 GHz, quad-core, Adreno 330 GPU)
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of on-board storage, expandable by 128 GB via microSD
- 1.1 MP front camera
- 2,600 mAh battery
- GSM-only network support, LTE capable
- Android 4.4 KitKat, with the promise for 5.0 Lollipop
For folks who welcome the mashup between smartphone and point-and-shooter, does the Panasonic CM1 still strike your interest? Or is it too late, and/or too expensive?
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Earlier in the year, Panasonic unveiled its Lumix CM1 smartphone/camera hybrid and promised that the device would be arriving the US this summer. That time has now arrived, the Lumix CM1 can be pre-ordered in US with a whopping price tag of $1000.
The handset’s big selling point is, of course, its camera specifications. The Lumix CM1 features a large 1-inch sensor with 20 MP resolution, Leica optics with a f/2.8 lens, optical image stabilization, and an LED flash. The larger sensor should result in superior image quality than the smaller sensors found in regular smartphones, although it’s not a replacement for a DSLR.
Panasonic has also included a range of adjustable software options to get the best shots, something which has not started showing up in some flagship smartphones. You can also capture a short 4K video clips and then pick out your favourite frames to use as still images.
On the smartphone side of things, the hardware is decent, if a little bit last-generation. The smartphone features a quad-core, 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC, 2 GB of RAM, 2,600mAh battery and a 4.7-inch 1080p display with a rather decent 469 pixels per inch.
The handset is also fully 4G LTE compatible, comes with Android 4.4 which can be upgraded to Android Lollipop, and it even has a microSD card slot to save all of those high resolution shots. Although smartphone/camera hybrids are not a new idea, but the CM1’s specifications are a cut above Samsung’s most recent offering.
Where the phone is arguably let down is with its modest 16GB of storage. While this may not be a problem in most handsets, for a device which you will presumably be shooting lots of 4K video and taking plenty of high resolution snaps with, this internal memory could fill up very quickly. You’ll probably want to make use of that 128GB microSD card slot.
If you fancy picking on up for yourself, you can pre-order a Lumix VM1 from B&H and Adorama for $1000. Adorama gives an expected shipping date of June 25th. If you would like a closer look at the Panasonic Lumix CM1 before stumping up that amount of cash, be sure to check out our initial hands-on from CES 2015.
To call most in-flight entertainment systems old and crusty would be generous when even the more advanced systems typically pale in comparison to your laptop or tablet. Virgin America might just narrow that gap, though. It’s rolling out a beta version of its Red seatback platform that runs Android on a multi-touch screen, much like many mobile devices. The modern input gives you more sophisticated flight maps and games than you’re used to seeing in mid-air — you can play Pac-Man while you’re waiting for your meal, if you like. The devices also have three times as much storage as before, which will let you watch 720p videos including Netflix staples like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
You’ll have to get lucky to try the new Red tech in the near future. Only three aircraft will have it this month, and 18 will get it by the end of the year. It won’t be until 2016 that you can assume that every Virgin America flight has the upgrade. All of the fleet is getting headphone-based surround sound for certain content (such as the first two episodes of Game of Thrones season five), however, so you’ll still have something to look forward to on your next long-haul trip.
Filed under: Transportation
Source: Virgin America
Panasonic has been a huge proponent of 4K-ready cameras, starting with the Lumix GH4 and LX100. A few days ago, the Lumix G7 joined that group. The recently introduced Micro Four Thirds camera features a 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, an ISO range of up to 25,600 and a quad-core CPU for speedy image processing. But here’s the one thing it does best: 4K. More specifically. I’m talking about Panasonic’s 4K Photo feature, which lets you extract high-resolution pictures from 4K, 30 fps videos and save them at an 8-megapixel equivalent. This is particularly useful when you shoot moving subjects, as you’re able to record a 4K video (roughly up to 30 minutes), choose whatever frame you want from it and save that to the camera’s SD card. Is it cheating? Perhaps, but it works perfectly.
Another aspect that stood out to me was how light the G7 is. To give you an idea, my Canon 70D felt like an oversized monster after using Panasonic’s new shooter. (Yes, I know they’re in different categories.) It’s also made out of plastic, yet doesn’t feel cheaply made — and for a body that costs $800, I wouldn’t expect any less. All in all, though, the Lumix G7 met my expectations for a solid mirrorless camera: It’s compact, fast and takes great, ultra-high-res pictures and video. That’s everything most people could ask from a camera of its kind.
To view full-resolution sample images shot with the Panasonic Lumix G7, click here.
Filed under: Cameras
Well, Fujifilm isn’t the only camera maker with an announcement today. Now it’s Panasonic’s turn. The Lumix series manufacturer is introducing the G7, a Micro Four Thirds body with a 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, ISO range of up to 25,600 and a Venus Engine image chip that packs a quad-core CPU for high-speed signal processing. That said, Panasonic is placing significant emphasis on the mirrorless shooter’s 4K attributes, like its ability to capture video at 24 and 30 fps at 3,840 x 2,160 resolution (QFHD) — there’s the option for 1080p too, naturally. The company is also touting the Lumix G7’s 4K Photo feature, which was revealed last year and is available on the LX100 as well. What this mode lets you do is extract high-resolution photos from 4K, 30 fps videos, with the results being saved at an 8-megapixel equivalent. You’ll be able to pick up a kit in mid-June for $800, and that includes a 14-42mm lens to help you get started.
Into it? Let us know your thoughts.
Filed under: Cameras
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com
If you’ve ever tried to record your kids soccer game or music recital, you’ll know that there are some settings where a smartphone just won’t do the job. For shooting video from a field away, catching clips longer than 30 minutes, or shooting when the lights are low, what you need is a dedicated video camera. And for that, the camcorder we recommend for most people is the $550 Panasonic HC-V770K.
After more than 30 hours of research and testing over the course of two rounds of analysis, we found that it beats out any other camera in its price range: it captures video that has more detail, better color, and better sound than all cameras in a similar priceand even better than those that cost much more. It produced the sharpest footage in bright light, plus it had the best stabilization and the least noise in low light. It also featured the best touchscreen controls of the bunch and, with a long 20x optical zoom, you can capture the action from across a huge spacetry to do that with a smartphone.
How we decided
Front to back: Panasonic HC-V750K, Canon VIXIA HF R500, Sony Handycam HDR-CX330.
Although fewer people are buying dedicated camcorders these days, the video camera market still an array of different priced and featured models. In our research, we discovered that spending above $900 got you a professional or 4K model, which most average people don’t actually need for their kids’ piano recitals or soccer matches. Dipping much below an MSRP of $300 saw a major decline in video qualityespecially in low light. From this range of prices, we were able to skip models that are identical to less expensive versions except for adding features of dubious usefulnesslike internal hard drives, when it’s cheaper just to use a large SD card, or Panasonic’s recent introduction of a second camera that points at your face while you record.
Previously, we’d recommended the Panasonic V750K, but in 2015 Panasonic replaced it with the V770K, a model that’s identical to its predecessor in almost every way. The only changes that we could ascertain are a switch from HDMI mini to HDMI micro and a new HDR video mode. Since the V770K has the same internals as the V750K, we knew that it would have the same test results. Which means the same performance in bright daylight for detail, color, and motion; while walking and zooming to account for stabilization; in dim light indoors, and in the middle of the night. The unchanged exterior meant the same high quality handling and ease of usebecause what good is a camcorder if you can’t figure out how to use the thing?
The Panasonic V770, like the V750 pictured here, has a large, easy to use touchscreen, and well laid out controls and ports.
Hands down, the $550 Panasonic HC-V770K is the best camcorder for most people if you want to spend less than $900. Under bright daylight, it will capture the sharpest detail and deepest, most saturated color, so that recording of your kid’s first football game will capture every blade of grass. The identically specked V750K had the best stabilization system of all those we looked at, so when you’re trying to track the action while zoomed in to a full 20x and shooting across the field, you won’t see too many shudders and shakes.
It also holds up when recording in the dark, like shooting at night, or indoors with lights down low (school plays, anyone?) Compared to the other video cameras we tested it had the cleanest and sharpest footage, even when shooting in the middle of the night. And with an excellent audio system, you’ll actually be able to make out what’s being said onstage, rather than the whispered conversation in the audience in front of you (a common problem with smartphone footage).
The physical control layout and range of ports available on last year’s V750 are virtually identical to this year’s V770.
Add in Wi-Fi, a slow motion recording mode, a two hour battery life (with an optional larger capacity battery for longer shooting), and the ability to squeeze 25 hours of footage on a 64GB SDXC card, and you have the best bet for most people.
The Runner Up
If spending north of $500 seems a bit too rich for a camcorder, the Canon VIXIA HF R600 is often available for around the $250 mark. Compared to the Panasonic, its colors won’t be as bright, the stabilization quite as smooth, and it’ll struggles slightly in low light. But given that you can buy it for a remarkably low price most of the time, it’s an excellent alternative. It’ll still be notably better than your smartphone, and packs a 32x zoom, small size, and easy to use touchscreen.
Use what you’ve got
The V770’s stereo microphone provides excellent separation, and narrows down as you zoom to keep the audio matching the framing of the video.
Do you have an iPhone? A DSLR? A point-and-shoot? All of these have video modes, and might be enough for what you need. The advantage to a camcorder comes with having a long zoom (which smartphones don’t), and the ability to record longer than 30 minutes at a time (which most cameras can’t do). If you don’t need those, try using the camera you already have.
As with TVs and monitors, the next big thing in camcorders is 4K video. But as of right now, they generally cost $900+, require some serious hardware to edit, need a high quality screen to watch, and all told, it isn’t what most people need. Yet. But that might change over the next few years, so keep your eyes peeled.
If you want a camcorder that will record deep, bright colors; capture incredible detail; keep your shaky hands stable; and capture great looking footage even in low light, then the $550 Panasonic HC-V770K is the way to go.
This guide may have been updated. To see the current recommendation please go to TheWirecutter.com
Filed under: Cameras
Panasonic lost some mystique when it stopped making those amazing plasma sets, but its new Firefox OS-powered 4K Smart TVs are showing a return to form. First revealed at CES this year, those sets are now available in Europe and will be rolling out to the US and elsewhere in the coming months. The Smart TV space has become crowded with players including Google’s Android TV platform, Samsung’s Tizen and Roku, to name just a few. However, Mozilla touts several unique advantages to its own platform, like plenty of HTML5 web apps including Netflix and Hulu, along with the ability to share content from any device with a Firefox browser.
New models include the curved 4K Viera 65-inch CR850 and 55-inch CR730, along with various flat 4K models in the CX series (pricing and models will vary by region, but we haven’t seen any in shops yet). Along with the smart features, Panasonic has a new wide color phosphor “4K Studio Master” picture engine it says will deliver professional color accuracy thanks to 3D look-up tables (LUTs) used by film industry color pros. The CR models also sports HDR and 10-bit color capability for more subtle gradations between colors — features that will be de rigeur for the fanciest new sets this year. Early previews are promising so far, but expect pricing to be pretty high — though not 4K OLED high.
For a large group of people, Netflix has become the primary platform for watching TV shows and movies on a big screen TV. Digging into a menu and launching the app every day can be a pain though. The solution? TV remotes that offer a dedicated Netflix button, of course. They’ve been available in the US for years, but finally they’re coming to Europe too. For starters, Netflix is partnering with Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Philips and Vestel to offer the new remotes with several of their smart TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. The company says the move is part of its larger mission to work more closely with hardware manufacturers and optimize its service for subscribers. If that leads to a reduction in the time spent between switching on the TV and watching Bloodline, count us in.
[Image Credit: AP Photo/Neflix Inc.]
Filed under: Home Entertainment