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02-13-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
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MX-1 First Impressions

So while Ole gets to have fun with the 560mm, I've tasked myself with the MX-1 review, and the review sample just came in. I decided to play around with the camera a bit and offer some first impressions.

Overall I'd say the camera is very responsive. If something is completely out of focus and you press the shutter button, the camera focuses on its own and takes the shot, as it should be. You can't even tell that it needed extra time to AF, so that's good (much better than the Q at least). There is also very little shutter lag, and the startup time isn't bad either, though it obviously takes a moment for the lens to deploy (if you leave the lens cap on, the camera will tell you).

In addition, the IQ seems pretty good. Not stellar in macro mode, but stuff in landscapes has a good amount of details even when zoomed all the way out. Again, a little better than the Q and 02 lens, I'd say.

The camera has built-in distortion correction which is very effective. There is otherwise a good amount of barrel distortion at the wide end.

Zooming is a bit slow, but hey, at least it allows for one-handed operation!

The menu is a bit sparse but I think that you'll find everything you need, except for...wait for it...manual focus. I haven't double-checked but there doesn't seem to be an option for this.

Also, the interface in playback mode is a bit confusing. The info button does nothing and you basically need to spam the OK button in order to switch between exif, basic info, and no info.

As is typical with other Pentax cameras, the camera takes a while to save photos, and you'll have to wait about 2 seconds before a file becomes visible in playback mode, even if you're just using the built-in memory (which can store 12 photos).

The only thing that I really dislike so far is the LCD. The tilting mechanism makes the camera seem much thicker, and it totally kills the retro design IMO. It feels like it just doesn't belong. While I'm sure some will enjoy the tilting screen, I think it would have been better if Pentax held off with this and instead equipped one of their DSLRs with a fully articulating screen.

Well, that's it for now! I'm posting from my phone so sorry in advance for any typos. Also, if someone could double check the thing about manual focus, I'd appreciate it. It's hard to believe that MF wouldn't be included as a feature in an enthusiast compact, even if were slow.

Oh and BTW, the box is really ugly. It's the same "eco packaging" that the WG-2 came in (see my WG-2 review on the comepage).


Adam
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02-13-2013, 03:28 PM   #2
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Looking forward to more details as you get to know the camera.
02-13-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Two things:

I found the MF option- it's accessible using the 4-way controller, but not via the info screen or menu. Similar to what other point and shoots do I guess.

Also, in M mode, the camera doesn't give you a true light meter, but rather only tells you how much you're over or under exposed by. This is a bit harder to follow than a scale that's updated in real time, and it also means that there might be up to 1/3 of a stop of error.
02-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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Pentax should provide feedback forms with their cameras. This way we can tell them that manual focusing by button press sucks, and this new light-scale in M mode sucks.

02-13-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
As is typical with other Pentax cameras, the camera takes a while to save photos, and you'll have to wait about 2 seconds before a file becomes visible in playback mode
What about if you disable the lens corrections?
02-13-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
What about if you disable the lens corrections?
Still slow, I had the corrections off.

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02-15-2013, 09:25 AM   #7
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Repeat from another thread:

It is growing on me.

First impressions:

No shutter lag, even in RAW
Fast accurate AF, yeah!!
Really nice Image IQ,
02-15-2013, 09:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The only thing that I really dislike so far is the LCD. The tilting mechanism makes the camera seem much thicker, and it totally kills the retro design IMO. It feels like it just doesn't belong. While I'm sure some will enjoy the tilting screen, I think it would have been better if Pentax held off with this and instead equipped one of their DSLRs with a fully articulating screen.
I haven't used one but that was exactly my thought when I saw the first photos of it. I don't have anything against the tilt screen feature per se, but put it on the right body (unless you've found a crazy engineering solution that makes it not a weird appendage).

02-15-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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Adam, you mention that you dislike the LCD but only because it adds thickness. What about its performance, ie is it bright enough in direct sunlight?

How does it perform in high ISO, 1600+?
Does it have bracketing in RAW?
02-15-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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The LCD is very bright and I, for one, don't mind it. Yes it does take from the retro design but not much. My big question is to how to lug it around: wrist strap. neck strap. Eventually it will find its place in the Pentax pantheon.
02-17-2013, 07:41 AM   #11
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From what I saw at CP+, I had the same impression as Adam. The screen looks a bit strange with the retro design and I would rather they had made the back plate out of metal. They were showing an "aged" black model with the brass showing and the plastic screen housing looked even more incongruous with that. As a feature though, it is definitely something I'd use. They are great when you want to shoot above a crowd, for example. I also felt is was vey responsive and screen was very bright, with a good refresh rate.

I think the box might be a Ricoh thing. They have been packaging their cameras in plain brown boxes for a long time. Basically, Ricoh are not into decorative stuff - either in their products or packaging.
02-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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I would say that the screen itself is fine. You can control the brightness and contrast yourself, too.

I've been seeing the "data being recorded" message quite a bit when using bracketing and continuous shooting. I really don't get why Pentax won't improve on this issue, as all their cameras seem to have it.

For the record I'm using a lexar pro 90mb/s card.

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02-17-2013, 12:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I would say that the screen itself is fine. You can control the brightness and contrast yourself, too.

I've been seeing the "data being recorded" message quite a bit when using bracketing and continuous shooting. I really don't get why Pentax won't improve on this issue, as all their cameras seem to have it.

For the record I'm using a lexar pro 90mb/s card.
I was getting the "data being recorded" message. I turned off the dual stabilization and went to sensor only and the message went awy. Responds much, much faster. But I am not using bracketing or continuous shooting. Just got back from shooting in the very bright Florida sun and with the LCD toqued up and using the tilt, it is agood as an optical VF (which BTW can get washed out also on a sunny day. So I am good with this.
02-18-2013, 08:25 PM   #14
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Not sure if this has already been posted (probably), but Nichols from The Camera Store did a video of first impressions of the MX-1. He pretty much loved it, and it certainly made me want one:

The Camera Store TV - YouTube
02-18-2013, 08:26 PM   #15
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Now of course i see the thread about it... sorry guys.
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