Is the Smartphone the Future of Photography?

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

I’m certainly not the first one to think or write about this topic. Like everybody else who has bought or upgraded his or her smartphone I always think the camera is going to finally be able to replace my full size camera. As long as I don’t want to zoom, shoot in low light, make large prints or shoot anything quickly it probably could replace my regular camera.

CM1 out rain window

CM1 Normally I use an iPhone 6, which works great for snapshots, selfies and other quick snaps that I want to post online. Don’t get me wrong the image quality is amazing, but it still lacks a lot of features that as a photographer I want in a camera, plus they have small sensors that ultimately limit image quality.

Recently on a trip to Alaska I had a chance to try a new cell phone camera from Panasonic, the Lumix CM1. The CM1 is an Android phone with a 20 megapixel, one-inch sensor camera. It also has a 28mm Leica lens. This is the same sensor as one of my favorite cameras, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.


CM1 flowers

The same limitation still applies about no zoom capability but the camera works well in low light because of the larger sensor and the images can easily be printed up to 16×20 inches. The phone’s camera function is also fast to start and you’re able shoot that first photo due to its dedicated camera controls.

CM1 out rain window

Keep in mind that I work for Panasonic so I’m not going to do anything resembling a review of the phone. In the few days that I had to use the CM1 I really enjoyed having a small, high quality camera that fit in my pocket as easily as my iPhone 6. As you can see the images are pretty amazing for a smartphone. They needed a little sharpening in Lightroom, but you can judge the quality for yourself. The cell phone still won’t replace my camera but we just go a whole lot closer.