CES News: Lumix DMC-CM1 coming to U.S., Asus announcing ZenFone Zoom

Two quick updates from CES in Las Vegas. It appears that Panasonic is now confident enough to bring the Lumix DMC-CM1 to the U.S. Meanwhile Asus has announced the ZenPhone Zoom, "the worlds thinnest 3x optical zoom phone." 

Thanks to a tip by club visitor "1030" I just read on PCMag that Panasonic will bring the Lumix DMC-CM1 to the U.S, be it in the summer of this year. It was part of a few other devices Panasonic today announced at CES.

PCMag writes: "The company is using CES to announce U.S. availability of the Android device, even though it won't be available for sale here until the summer. Panasonic is planning on selling it as an unlocked device in the U.S. with support for T-Mobile and AT&T GSM networks. The only real sticking point is the price—at $999, it carries a premium when compared with competing smartphones and cameras."

Also today, Asus announced the ZenPhone Zoom, The Verge wrote about Asus announcing the ZenFone Zoom. In another update, The Verge writes: "the Zoom's 13MP shooter has a 10-element lens, 3X optical zoom, and optical image stabilization. Design wise, the device definitely recalls the Nokia Lumia 1020 — which isn't a bad thing."
During the announcement - and I have to quote from what Nathan Ingraham of The Verge wrote during their  live coverage of the event with chairman Jonney Shih: "Our ZenFone Zoom can capture every detail with its 3X optical zoom. It's the world's thinnest 3X optical zoom smartphone."

The lens features 10 elements and comes with optical image stabilization. "This feature is even more critical when zoomed in". It uses a laser for autofocus, and has a pretty impressive macro mode here — at least according to the images on stage here. There's a full manual mode here that lets you set ISO, white balance, etc. — far more involved than most camera software". That's all I'm quoting from The Verge.

Setting ISO and White Balance might be more than you can do on your average iPhone or Motorola, I'm quite sure it's not "far more involved" than you'll find on the Lumia 1020, let alone the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1.

Moreover, It might be the thinnest smartphone camera with 3x optical zoom, but of course it's not the first smartphone offering optical zoom - it might be thicker, the Galaxy K Zoom does offer 10x optical zoom - hence, it's thicker :-) Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to test the ZenFone Zoom as soon as it's available. I understand the Zenfone Zoom will be available for $399 in Q2, but I have no information about which countries will get it first.