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03-16-2016, 04:02 PM   #1
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Q7 vs. MX-1 Image quality?

I was reading the Conclusion page on the Q7 review, and was thinking of this bit:

QuoteQuote:
But what's the point of all this, one might ask? After all, there exist similarly-priced fixed-lens compacts with better image quality (i.e. the Sony RX100, Ricoh GR, or even the Pentax MX-1)

Read more at: Pentax Q7 Review - Conclusion | PentaxForums.com Reviews
What was the reviewer comparing to the MX-1 here? Kit zoom?

I'm wondering if that comment applies to all native Q lenses or just the kit zoom and toy lenses. Is the MX-1 lens THAT much better than all the Q lenses? Or is there something inherent to the body or sensor that makes the MX-1 better.

I've only had the chance to shoot with my Q7 a few times, so I can't compare using my own experience yet.

I'd be curious to hear how the image from a Q7 or Q-S1 with the 01 Prime lens compares to the MX-1 at the same focal length.

03-16-2016, 04:09 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The MX-1 lens was really quite good from an optical perspective. So for everyday snapshots, that type of camera would probably be better, as per the review. However, the advantage of the Q is that it's a system camera, so you have a lot more flexibility with lens choice.

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03-16-2016, 04:58 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I had a MX-1 for a time and failed to bond with it for a number of reasons. The image quality I got from it didn't really impress me, though it was hard to pin down exactly why. Maybe if I had persevered with it and improved my RAW post-processing skills, I could have been happier with it. Also, it may be worth noting that LR does not have a lens correction profile for the MX-1. There were other factors unrelated to image quality that pushed me away from the MX-1 anyhow.

I think our official review of the Q7 here on PentaxForums is actually kind of hard on it, and at least partially fails to "get" the real strength and appeal of the Q system. For example, dinging the Q7 for its lack of "pocketability" while comparing it with compact cameras seems off-base to me. I don't think it was ever meant to compete with those. (It also begs comparison with the clunky MX-1 which is a "pocket camera" that fits in very few pockets!) I actually got a Fujifilm XF1 for pocket carry, which is an excellent adjunct to the Q7 as they both accept the same batteries.

I have the Q7 Premium Kit which fits the Q7 body, 01 lens, 02 lens, 03 lens (added by me), 06 lens, 08 lens, lens hoods, spare battery, polarizer, and close-up lens (added by me) into a very small bag that is easy to grab and take anywhere. I never have to think about which lenses to pack -- I just grab the bag! In addition to all that, I have the AF201FG flash and the K-to-Q lens adaptor. This is a completely different realm from the MX-1, which didn't even have a flash shoe.

I know the 02 lens doesn't get a lot of respect. I myself have no big problem with it. . . although I find that I don't really use it a lot either. The 01, 06 and 08 are my mainstays.
03-16-2016, 06:10 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smaug Quote
Is the MX-1 lens THAT much better than all the Q lenses?
It clearly cannot compete with the 08 zoom at its wider settings, or the 06 zoom at its longer ones.
Or the fisheye. Or longer adapted lenses.

The key thing you have to appreciate about the Q cameras is that they are part of a system.

03-16-2016, 08:10 PM   #5
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Got to play with with an MX1 once. Didn't shoot it. Was nicely built. To me it was just a nicely built P&S camera. It is big and heavy for what it is. Wouldn't trade my Q any day of the week. If the MX1 was so great there would have been improved models coming out. Nada. A Q system is an investment. As electronic improvements come they will end up in new bodies. The lenses aren't thrown away. The Q is the Swiss Army Knife of cameras.
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03-16-2016, 09:38 PM   #6
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I have both MX1 and Q7 + 01. I usually shoot jpeg on those two. I can only say, for some reason, I typically like the images from Q7 a bit better. I haven't really sat down to do real comparisons however. It could just be the software processing is different as oppose to any mechanical advantages.
03-17-2016, 10:34 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I don’t believe I have ever read a review that found a clear difference between the MX-1 and the Q7. I believe it was Pentax’s attempt to develop products and compete in two different markets.The MX-1 seemed to be a poor competitor to the popular retro looking Fuji X100 series and the similar offerings from Olympus and Panasonic. Unfortunately the size of the MX-1 made it unsuitable for pocket carrying and the image quality was not up to that achieved by many other cameras it was designed to compete with. Except for Blunty I don’t know that anyone really had much good to say about it when comparing it to other similar cameras. Personally I never purchase a camera with a built in lens for the reasons I have mentioned in other threads. The Q7 is much more versatile.
03-17-2016, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #8
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MX-1 wasn't a direct competition to Fuji X100 series. The price difference alone put them in different categories. It was a premium P&S (before RX100 came along) and cheaper alternative to Olympus' XZ-2 with Pentax touch.

03-17-2016, 01:06 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWRailman Quote
I don’t believe I have ever read a review that found a clear difference between the MX-1 and the Q7.
I own the original Q, Q7 and the MX-1.

It may not matter as much now but you have to remember, the MX-1 was released 6 months before the Q7 was announced so no one yet knew that a future Q would have a larger sensor. So initially it had that going for it. The optic, at least in my copy, is excellent. By far the sharpest point and shoot camera I have ever owned. When considering aperture, it is faster than every lens in the Q system except for the 01 Standard lens, which it matches exactly at the same focal length. It has a nice macro mode (the Q has the nice 04 wide "toy" lens, which I like but the MX-1 is a bit less distorted.) Nice brass top and bottom plates... I know it is not indestructible but it has a nice feel to it (as the metal original Q did too.) The fact that it is not interchangeable can be a plus (sensor is not constantly exposed to outside elements, less to carry around.)

As mentioned, when compared to the Q7 it is a bit bigger and the interchangeable lenses can make the Q wider (including fish-eye) and more telephoto than possible with the MX-1. You can ultimately be more creative given all the adaptations you can do with the Q system.

Keeping in mind the sensor is the same either way: If you just want a camera you can throw in the car and not worry about lenses, the MX-1 is at the top of the Pentax point and shoot pile, even three years on. If you like to tinker and have the most options for your creativity, it would be hard not to be happy with the Q system.

Understand I am not arguing for or against... just giving my personal observations. I plan on holding on to both at this point and while I wouldn't be against an MX-2, I don't believe it will happen.

On the other hand, I'd really like to see Pentax put some R&D behind the Q and I'd love to see what could be done with it. Most of us that like the Q system understand it's not just about sensor size... it is what you get from the whole package. Some people will always write off the Q no matter what, but I can personally think of a number of reasonable improvements (ie existing technology that wouldn't be hard to implement) that could make the next Q a really awesome camera. I really hope Ricoh/Pentax stick with it.

Thanks for indulging me in this longish post.

Last edited by sunny16; 03-17-2016 at 01:31 PM.
03-17-2016, 01:42 PM   #10
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BTW... I fancied up my MX-1 a bit. The adapter allows filters to be mounted so it is not just a "looks" thing. Certainly makes it even less of a pocket camera but also adds a bit more protection to the lens (and still fits into a small camera case.)
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03-17-2016, 04:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sunny16 Quote
Keeping in mind the sensor is the same either way: If you just want a camera you can throw in the car and not worry about lenses, the MX-1 is at the top of the Pentax point and shoot pile, even three years on. If you like to tinker and have the most options for your creativity, it would be hard not to be happy with the Q system.

Understand I am not arguing for or against... just giving my personal observations. I plan on holding on to both at this point and while I wouldn't be against an MX-2, I don't believe it will happen.

On the other hand, I'd really like to see Pentax put some R&D behind the Q and I'd love to see what could be done with it. Most of us that like the Q system understand it's not just about sensor size... it is what you get from the whole package. Some people will always write off the Q no matter what, but I can personally think of a number of reasonable improvements (ie existing technology that wouldn't be hard to implement) that could make the next Q a really awesome camera. I really hope Ricoh/Pentax stick with it.
This whole thread makes me wonder what Pentax is thinking. As a genuine "enthusiast" who has owned cameras without a hot-shoe, I would never do that again, so they had eliminated the MX-1 from my consideration during the design phase. I'm not a lens designer, but I'm guessing they had done the hard part by the time the MX-1 was done, so they could have easily increased attractiveness of the Q family if they had developed a Q-mount variant of the MX-1 lens. In some sense, they developed two partially-attractive cameras ... but you can't combine them to get one completely attractive camera.

Last edited by reh321; 03-18-2016 at 11:35 AM.
03-25-2016, 08:12 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
This whole thread makes me wonder what Pentax is thinking. As a genuine "enthusiast" who has owned cameras without a hot-shoe, I would never do that again, so they had eliminated the MX-1 from my consideration during the design phase. I'm not a lens designer, but I'm guessing they had done the hard part by the time the MX-1 was done, so they could have easily increased attractiveness of the Q family if they had developed a Q-mount variant of the MX-1 lens. In some sense, they developed two partially-attractive cameras ... but you can't combine them to get one completely attractive camera.
A couple points in reply:

1) Pentax didn't develop the MX-1 lens, Olympus did. It came right from the XZ-1 and -2. By the time it is adapted for mechanical zoom, it would be quite big on a Q body. I agree though, if they could make it happen, a 28-112 f/1.8-2.5 would be an AWESOME lens for the Q. It would totally replace the 02 Standard Zoom on my Q...

2) If you want an MX-1, but with a hot shoe, get an Olympus XZ-2. Yeah, you'll have to give up the MX styling and materials, but Olympus build quality is very good too.

3) +1 on the hot shoe. It is quite a useful feature. In fact, I think the industry is ready for a miniaturized hot shoe for compact cameras. It is often the size of the camera body that precludes a hot shoe. Just like Apple has miniaturized their connector, it is time for this to happen to camera hot shoes as well.

---------- Post added 03-25-16 at 10:14 AM ----------

Sunny16, that was a great post, but you didn't really answer the question.

If you compare the output from a Q7 or Q-S1 to that of an MX-1 at several focal lengths, for example 28mm, 50mm, and 80mm, how do they compare? Maybe even add 110mm (with the Q having the 06 tele zoom).
04-11-2016, 02:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smaug Quote
---------- Post added 03-25-16 at 10:14 AM ----------

[/COLOR]Sunny16, that was a great post, but you didn't really answer the question.

If you compare the output from a Q7 or Q-S1 to that of an MX-1 at several focal lengths, for example 28mm, 50mm, and 80mm, how do they compare? Maybe even add 110mm (with the Q having the 06 tele zoom).
At the moment I don't have side-by-side photos I can post, but in my opinion I have always liked the images from the MX-1 better. I like the Q because of all that you can do with it but given it is the same sensor, I think the Olympus glass in front of it is overall a smidge better. At the end of the day the differences are marginal and probably only obvious under much scrutiny.

Again, it doesn't mean as a not-so-compact point and shoot it would automatically be better in every situation or for every person, but from the "testing" I did way back when they both came out, that was my takeaway. Both are a lot of fun and both are pretty inexpensive these days so you can't really go wrong.
04-12-2016, 02:02 AM - 3 Likes   #14
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The official Pentax Forums review is the type that makes me wonder it this is a Pentax enthusiast site.

A Pentax Forum should really be enthusiastic about the possibilities of the system rather than just handing the camera to someone who may actually hate/can't comprehend the concept of a small sensor camera just to churn out a review.
For those, there are plenty of DPReviews out there that does that sort of bland job.

So, not asking for a white washed review.
But I think this site can do better by exploring the possibilities more than what other bland reviews sites are willing to do.
04-26-2016, 03:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
I know the 02 lens doesn't get a lot of respect.
I don't have my 08 yet, but the big problem I have with the 02 is it's mediocrity. It's good to have something to cover that zoom range, and I have made a ton of great shots with it, but every other AF lens in the system blows me away and the 02 just doesn't.
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