Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 Review

February 16, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 produced images of good quality during the review period. The 1 inch, 20 megapixel MOS sensor used in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 produces noise-free images at ISO 100-800, with limited noise and colour desaturation starting to appear at ISO 1600. ISO 3200 exhibits quite visible noise, smearing of fine detail and colour desaturation, and ISO 6400 is even noisier, although still usable for small prints. The fastest settings of ISO 12800 and 25600 are best avoided altogether.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 suffered from obvious chromatic aberrations, with purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light.

Macro performance is very good, allowing you to focus as close as 3cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The Picture Styles allow you to quickly and easily customise the look of the camera's JPEG images, while Intelligent D-range is an effective feature for capturing more detail in the shadows and highlights, as is the HDR mode.

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can change the in-camera sharpening level via the Picture Adjust menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Fine (8.55Mb) (100% Crop)

Standard (3.98Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg
   

RAW 22.5Mb) (100% Crop)

 
quality_raw.jpg  

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1's fixed lens provides a focal length of 28mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm

focal_range1.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with some obvious purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 3cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 are Auto, Forced On, Always On, and Forced Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1.6 seconds at ISO 200. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Intelligent Dynamic

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1's Intelligent Dynamic setting adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high.

Off

Low

intelligent_dynamic_01.jpg intelligent_dynamic_02.jpg
   

Standard

High

intelligent_dynamic_03.jpg intelligent_dynamic_04.jpg

HDR

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1's HDR setting automatically takes and combines three differently exposed shots to record more detail in the highlights and shadows.

On

Off

hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg

 

Picture Styles

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 has 6 preset Picture Styles, with Standard as the default setting.

Standard

Vivid

picture_styles_01.jpg picture_styles_02.jpg
   

Natural

Momochrome

picture_styles_03.jpg picture_styles_04.jpg
   

Scenery

Portrait

picture_styles_05.jpg picture_styles_06.jpg