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05-13-2013, 03:15 PM   #46
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Question: the XZ-2 has been mentioned several times in this thread. Is the MX-1 in fact a reskinned XZ-2? Let's consider the evidence:

From the front:





From the top:



It's the lens that's the real smoking gun here. Both 6-24mm, F1.8 - F2.5, near-identical control rings, identical barrels. What are the odds? It may say "Pentax SMC" on the front, but I'm guessing that literally refers to the coating. The lens itself is a Zuiko, I'd put money on it.

Of the two, I'd pay the bit extra for the Olympus: more attractive design, proper grip, plus hotshoe and accessory port.

Looking at them side-by-side, the MX-1 is, well, a bit of a chimera.

05-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #47
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Well, if it's the same lens as on my XZ-1, that's not bad at all. It is a very sharp, bright lens that gives you the best possible pictures from the small sensor. MX-1 sensor is about the same size, I think. Comparable to the XZ-2, actually... both with articulated screens, both better at ISO 800 than my XZ-1.

Lack of a hotshoe? I don't see that as a problem. These small cameras are highly portable -- perfect for snapshots. You'd really want a K-01 or a DSLR for serious flash photography... where you have to lug a camera bag around anyway, with Pocketwizards, speedlights, umbrellas, all that. Here, the camera weight and size doesn't matter. But for quick street photography, it does. And don't forget -- for indoor flash work, you can always use the MX-1's flash to set off one or two Yong-Nuo 460-IIs or 560-IIs... optical infrared. Won't work outdoors in sunlight, though.

Two key points about the MX-1. First, it has the same TAv mode as my K-01. Something EVERY camera should offer... it is VERY useful. Second, it has a built in ND filter, like the XZ-2. Wish the RX100 had one!

But again, for the money -- why on earth don't you get a K-01? For at least $100 less? With REALLY GOOD image quality! APS-C sensor! Interchangeable lenses! A hotshoe for radio-wireless flash! Auto-Exposure Lock button! Incredible value for the money.
05-15-2013, 12:37 AM - 2 Likes   #48
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This review of the MX-1 was perhaps the harshest and least encouraging I've found on the web. All other reviewers gave it a much better overall score and enticements by emphasising what this camera does much better than the competition and some things that all others don't have. There is also a substantial lack of a real photographer's human perspective about things which matter and which don't, a some kind of underlying common sense if you'd like, which is terribly absent in this review.

Thus I wonder whether the DSLR oriented and opinionated folks who have spent half their lives judging Pentax and waiting for an FF DSLR totally disheartened can write a review of a small Pentax camera that wider audience can actually benefit from?

Last edited by Uluru; 05-15-2013 at 12:45 AM.
05-17-2013, 05:57 AM   #49
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What software comes with the MX-1? Does the MX-1 work with Silkypix?

05-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #50
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It's great and it's awful!

I've had my MX-1 for 3 days now and spent most of today at a market and on a short walk in the forest with it, leaving the K-5 at home.
I don't see the point of comparing it to a K-01 or any interchangeable lens camera (even a Q) because the whole point of it is portability and convenience. I'm trying to avoid a camera bag, changing lenses, lots of weight and I'm not a flash user. I'm also probably in a small minority who really want an articulated screen. I've had them on a Canon G3, Sony R-1 and a Canon 60D and used them a lot for low viewpoints/high viewpoints/tripod work/avoiding glare. It's the only thing I find missing in the K-5. So I bought the MX-1 not because it was a Pentax but because it was just right for me. Well, sort of. In practice I'm still working out how best to carry it.
The image quality has surprised me. For a small sensor the DR is great and the lens is excellent, even wide open. The controls are mostly first rate, even with a single control wheel. Even in manual, pressing 1 button to swap from aperture to shutter is no big deal. It focuses very quickly and accurately for a p&s, even in poor light and I'm really happy with both raws and jpegs. The big annoyance is the write times (waiting times) when shooting raw.
I've read comments about how awful and how good it is to hold! When holding it to shoot with both hands everything is just right. But it's heavy for it's size and wide. And most of the time I want to hold it 1-handed when I'm not shooting. But I can't. To get a grip my front finger is then on the strap lug and my thumb ends up on the control wheel. Even then it takes a strong, tiring grip to hold on. I tried the neck strap and found that the lugs are at the front so it's always tilted up at 45 degrees! Not comfortable, not practical and it looks daft. So I sort of cradle it in my right hand, flash end up. It does fit in my jeans pocket but it looks and feels awful. At least it fits comfortably in a raincoat pocket.
So the end results are great, the controls are great but the "carrying grip" is a problem for me.
And hey Pentax, who's daft idea was it to make the info button NOT cycle through info in shooting OR playback?
05-26-2013, 12:02 PM   #51
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Ok, I finally got my hands on a MX-1 this week that I borrowed from a friend. Thanks Mike. And I now have some informed opinions on it.

It doesn't suck, but I don't really see who this appeals to.

First the good. Handling is not bad and the lens is pretty damn good. The chip logic works fairly well in low light aided by the shake reduction. The ergonomics are probably a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1-10. Not bad, but not excellent. But the styling gets a lot of looks from the trendsters. I don't think the screen spoils the look, but as someone pointed out, the lens spoils the retro look.

The problem I can see with this camera is that it won't please anyone because it doesn't do any one thing well. Lets see.

The Features Crowd: Nope, even my now discontinued Nikon 7100 out features the MX-1. It has a hot shoe and a small viewfinder. Do you NEED either? Well, the hot shoe comes in handy when you need more light, or to hold an accessory like a bubble leveler. I find myself using the viewfinder more often than I thought I would. It's faster (interface between your eye and the scenery is quicker although not as accurate) and in weird lighting, you can actually see the subject.

The Retro Crowd: Nope, the screen and the lens spoil the retro aesthetics.

The Nostalgia Crowd: Nope. They named it the MX-1!!! What were they thinking. The MX was a professional camera. They should have called it the Spotmatic D or ME-D or something like that.

Personally, they should have just gone for the full Retro/Nostalgia Crowd. It would have been easy. Put in a viewfinder, make the lens look more like a traditional rangefinder lens. Put an aperture ring on it and a shutter speed dial on the top. Bingo, call it a day. It would have probably cost the same to do it that way.

But thats just my opinion. I think the entire camera industry is caught in a kind of group think. Maybe they should have put the team in charge of the 645D in charge of the MX.
05-26-2013, 07:07 PM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Archone Quote

...They named it the MX-1!!! What were they thinking. The MX was a professional camera. ...
Have you considered to put things in context?
MX-1 is about 100x more of a camera and effort than an film exposing MX box ever was. It's name is well reserved, and in fact, improved upon by an order of magnitude.
07-05-2013, 11:10 AM   #53
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Is there anyway to know when you look at the EXIF info what lens frame you shot at, like 28 mm or 50 mm for example?

07-18-2013, 05:05 AM   #54
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Hmm, it's weird how so many people are so critical, I guess maybe higher expectations from a home crowd? I'm looking for a nice portable camera to take with me when I go out without needing to lug my K-r around; something with good image quality and a decent amount of control so I can make some use of that photographer brain and I think it'll do that perfectly! Plus I think it looks great =) (though I guess that's subjective)

Don't know about the hate on the no hot-shoe but as some people have noted, it's not like Pentax has an EVF to go with it and as for flash, isn't that what the f1.8 is for? Plus, if the idea is to have a PORTABLE camera, why would you want to take a flash with you anyway? To be honest though, I don't use flash myself so maybe it's a lot more valuable to others...still it makes sense (to me at least) why they didn't include the hotshoe. I'm also excited about the flipout screen, sure it's chunky but it offers so many more options for shooting! And not to mention discreetness . Street photographers talk about shooting from the hip, how much more awesome would it be if you could not only shoot but also COMPOSE from the hip =D. And as for copying the XZ-2, well, it certainly stings not being UNIQUE but at the end of the day, with so much praise being given for XZ-2 and MX-1's sensor and lens, is that such a bad thing? Besides, aren't a good portion of the Sony/Nikon/Canon/what-have-you APS sensors the same as each other anyway?

Anyways, I'm hoping to grab a MX-1 (or the XZ-2...they both fit my needs so nicely!) for myself in the near future and hopefully I can comment more with some hands on experience.
07-18-2013, 06:09 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
Question: the XZ-2 has been mentioned several times in this thread. Is the MX-1 in fact a reskinned XZ-2? Let's consider the evidence:....
Not true.
The camera optics and some internals for XZ- and MX- range were developed by a third party supplier.

Both Olympus and Pentax used same third party supplier to furnish the lower end of their camera offerings, and Pentax (read Ricoh Imaging) will continue doing the same in the future, even further. Why? Because it saves a lot of time and money.

Pentax added value through its software, retro design, brass elements and slightly tweaked optical design of the lens. Then stamped SMC on the lens barrel. Olympus stamped ZUIKO. They both did the same thing, but because Olympus started their XZ range first, it confuses people about the real state of affairs.
07-18-2013, 06:47 PM   #56
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I use a Sony RX100 as a small camera. It is excellent, as was the XZ-1 I used previously, and, I'm sure, the Ricoh GR that I may buy next. All three fit in my shirt pocket. 'The one you have with you.' Past that, I have my beloved K-01 to cart around, with its interchangeable lenses. Can't take a 300mm image with that pocket camera!

As for the MX -- for me, it's neither fish nor fowl. Won't fit in my shirt pocket; nowhere near as elegant as the K-01. Guess I'm not the target market, whatever it may be.

As for the missing hotshoe -- that also bothered me about the RX100. Not so much for flash work, but for attaching an OVF. So I glued one onto it -- easy -- and it works fine with an old Olympus VF-1 ... at the default 28mm-equiv startup setting. See Xara Users • View topic - DIY Optical Viewfinder hotshoe solution for instructions on this workaround... should work for the MX as well. Of course, it's 'dead' ... no working flash contacts ... and that's why I'm looking at the Ricoh GR. Pocketable -- flash plus TAv!
07-28-2013, 06:49 AM   #57
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Well turns out that leaving it to fate gave me the XZ-2 (a camera was offered as a present, and I told them I would prefer the MX-1 but they couldn't find it so the olympus it was), so while not the same I thought I'd give my opinion on these two very similar cameras.

The first thing I'd like to point out is that the tiltable screen is perhaps the most fun/interesting feature that I've seen in a camera, both for the creative possibilities in opening up those different angles and the discreetness you can achieve for some more candid shots..hello street photography . So for those put off by the extra bulk of a tiltable screen, I think it's also important to realise just how much fun you can have with it! The image quality (I'm assuming the same applies to the MX-1) while certainly less than that of my K-r, is still very good and certainly more than enough for the social/impromptu pictures that I plan to take as I lug this little guy around with me.

As for the hot shoe thing...mmm, I still don't know, maybe it'll be important, maybe not, now that I have an XZ-2 I have that option but I can't see myself running out to buy any viewfinders...I guess time will tell. The only real niggle I have with these guys is that they're not truly pocketable but just thinking about my habbits (and probably the habits of many people out there), I often have a small bag/jacket/work bag with me anyway, so isn't that really a moot point? Plus the option of all these control points is a nice bonus and helps brings out a more dSLR type process than a simple point and shoot method.

The last thing I wanted to comment on was the difference between the MX-1 and XZ-2. Risking extreme jealousy, I decided to hunt down an MX-1 to play around with . First things first, it's chunkier, I suspect that if a pocket fits the XZ-2 then it should take the MX-1 too but you never know...it's also heavier. That being said, I loved the feel of it XD It was just GOOD! The weight felt right, it had substance that you felt firmly in your hand and all the controls just fell nicely into place. I'm getting more and more used to the XZ-2 layout but despite playing around with it for 3 days now, it still feels a bit foreign while the MX-1 felt like home . Probably just the Pentax-ness that I'm used to though haha. The XZ-2 is certainly growing on me though and as a present, I can't exactly complain too much. Besides, it serves pretty much the exact function I wanted and more! It's just not the Pentax version of that solution
07-28-2013, 07:27 AM   #58
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If only it had a viewfinder (it's okay if it's a little bit tiny, at least there is a viewfinder, optical or electronic one) + hot shoe = a must buy
07-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #59
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I had an XZ-1, and was going to get an XZ-2, but the added tilt screen means it wouldn't fit in my shirt pocket. Then my son gave me his RX100. Very small, and I glued a metal hotshoe on top of it so I could use an OVF (see Xara Users • View topic - DIY Optical Viewfinder hotshoe solution). These days, am waiting for the Ricoh GR to start turning up at a retail store... it should fit, height and width, though it's a bit longer. A man's work-shirt pocket is my absolute form factor limit for a snapshot camera.

EDIT -- have to say, after gluing the hotshoe on the RX100, that I just don't use it that much. Keep an old Olympus VF-1 finder in my other shirt pocket, but am just not using it as much as I thought I would. Probably because for snapshots, it's an extra step, a delay to getting the picture...

Last edited by jon404; 07-28-2013 at 10:55 AM.
07-28-2013, 10:58 PM   #60
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My MX-1 fits just right in my front pants pocket. What's all the fuss about? It is a joy to use and I will eventually get patina like my old Nikon FE.
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