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03-03-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
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Pentax MX-1 In-Depth Review

Here's the Pentax Forums in-depth review of the Pentax MX-1:

Pentax MX-1 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com



Overall the MX-1 is a solid camera, but the tilting LCD ruins the elegance of classic design. It delivers great image quality and has lots of built-in features, but nothing about it really says "wow" to push it ahead of the competition apart from the low $499 pricetag.

IMO if you own a Q and don't have the K-mount adapter, then you may want to consider upgrading to the MX-1, as it's better for pointing and shooting and allows for 1-handed operation!


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03-04-2013, 10:38 AM   #2
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Looking at its style, the OM-D looks nicer, sorry.
03-04-2013, 10:40 AM   #3
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Sorry Pentax, but I already have a Canon s100 for my 'pocket camera'.
The s100 has been superceded by a newer model, and was a second hand purchase from Ebay for under £200, yet the s100 still outperforms Pentax in reviews, check out
http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-S100-vs-Pentax-MX-1

(If I want to use something that looks like an original MX I use.....my original MX.......!)

Graham

Last edited by grahamcoad; 03-04-2013 at 10:41 AM. Reason: did the link wrong....
03-04-2013, 11:02 AM   #4
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Not for me

It's just too darn pricey for what it is. I use other cameras for my serious work and a little Panasonic for casual snapshots. Where is the market for this little fellow?

03-04-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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No optical viewfinder, so not for me. Fuji X10 does all this for less money.
03-04-2013, 11:45 AM   #6
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I love the looks of this camera.
Also the f/1.8 is appealing!
Such a pity I bought the Canon S95 last year....
Would have liked this one much better!
03-04-2013, 12:00 PM   #7
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$500? For a little less than that, I just bought a K-01 with two great kit zoom lenses... and a hotshoe... and an APS-C sensor... a classy highstyle industrial design by Marc Newson. Why on earth would anybody want a digital P&S that looks like an shrunken-down old 35mm film camera, I have no idea. Why not just go all the way and put it in a replicated Kodak Brownie Hawkeye shell? Which, like the K-01, was also styled by a talented industrial designer, Arthur H. Crapsey (see Brownie Hawkeye and Flash Model Camera Information | The Brownie Camera Page).

Personal note -- the Hawkeye was my first camera, and I still think it looks great. Pentax, please get with what's left of Kodak and bring back the Hawkeye with a Pentax APS-C digital camera inside!

03-04-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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Just bought the Sony RX100, extremely impressive...sorry but as much as I like my K5 Pentax just don't cut it with compacts !!

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03-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
$500? For a little less than that, I just bought a K-01 with two great kit zoom lenses... and a hotshoe... and an APS-C sensor... a classy highstyle industrial design by Marc Newson. Why on earth would anybody want a digital P&S that looks like an shrunken-down old 35mm film camera, I have no idea. Why not just go all the way and put it in a replicated Kodak Brownie Hawkeye shell? Which, like the K-01, was also styled by a talented industrial designer, Arthur H. Crapsey (see Brownie Hawkeye and Flash Model Camera Information | The Brownie Camera Page).

Personal note -- the Hawkeye was my first camera, and I still think it looks great. Pentax, please get with what's left of Kodak and bring back the Hawkeye with a Pentax APS-C digital camera inside!
Jon, I know it sounds 100 percent crazy, but I would love to see Pentax do something RADICAL with the medium format sensor in the 645D and create a cheap box camera similar to the Brownie with a nice fixed lens with a maximum f/2.8 aperture and slap the 645D's sensor in the back. Then price that camera at no more than an MSRP of $1,200.

It would be something of a niche camera ... but I think quite a few non-professional shooters considering a full frame DSLR in the $2,000 price range would jump on the chance to get medium format digital image quality for $1,200 even if it is wrapped in an old-fashioned box with few additional features.
03-04-2013, 12:33 PM   #10
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I will agree that it's hard to see where the MX-1 fits in, because there are cameras (like the RX100 and LX7) and do everything it can and more. However, just about every comment I see about the MX-1 says something about it not having a viewfinder. Seriously, it this really such a big deal? The MX-1 is a point-and-shoot, and those haven't had viewfinders for the longest time. In the field with the MX-1 I never had a need or desire to use a viewfinder.

To me it seems that this camera is already a failure based on user feedback. I hope, for Pentax's sake, and I'm just getting the wrong impression! The camera is certainly quite capable, as the review suggests, even through it's not perfect.

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03-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #11
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@JJJphoto -- am in TOTAL AGREEMENT with your post. But -- the first sticking point would be sensor cost. Then, you would need a larger medium-format lens to cover that larger sensor... fixed, like you said, but still a cost for anything really sharp from f/4 through f/11. The rest would be easy!

@Simonkit -- there is a fundamental ergonomic difference between cameras you can carry in a shirt pocket, and those you can't. Apples and oranges. Trade-offs. My Olympus XZ-1 has a sharp bright lens, but a small sensor... over ISO 400, watch out in low light! Your RX100 has a somewhat larger sensor, but a poorer lens... so you have a lot of pixels, but the images just aren't that sharp.

On the other hand, K-5 and the K-01 have wonderful sharp image quality, superb for low-light photography -- but -- they can't fit in our shirt pockets. If the best camera is always 'the one you have with you', then -- maybe someday -- Pentax will make an APS-C with a shirt-pocket form factor! (and a hotshoe!)

@Adam -- didn't the MX-1 just come out? I'll bet it will sell just fine to P&S people who want something that looks like a 'real' camera. Though for $500, I would have designed it with a cloisonné coat-of-arms crest as the Limited Edition Prince Rainier of Monaco model, something like that.

Last edited by jon404; 03-04-2013 at 02:08 PM.
03-04-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
@Adam -- didn't the MX just come out? I'll bet it will sell just fine to P&S people who want something that looks like a 'real' camera. Though for $500, I would have designed it with a cloisonne coat-of-arms crest as the Limited Edition Prince Rainier of Monaco model, something like that.
It's been available for almost a month in the US now, and nobody has even posted any pics from it on the forum yet. That's not a good sign IMO!

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03-04-2013, 02:20 PM   #13
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Well, that's three cameras in a row now that Pentax got wrong. It's not so much the screen as the ugly lens that ruins the retro design statement. I have no idea who this is supposed to appeal to.

All Pentax has to do to play to their strengths is release a mirrorless version of the K-30. But they are two years late already. And in the meantime keep wasting R&D on uncompetitive and fugly stuff like this.

Say this had a hotshoe and optional viewfinder. Say it had something close in size to an APS-C sensor. Say it had interchangeable lenses. Then it would still be waaaay behind what Micro Four Thirds offers. Sad.
03-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #14
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@Adam -- Well, I just checked Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples -- large US 'big-box' stores -- and they are not selling it yet, although they are selling the other Pentax cameras. So this may just be another case of inept Japanese marketing -- announce those new products way before they are in the stores! Also, here in San Diego, the few camera stores we have left just don't carry Pentax. So the MX-1 is an internet buy right now, and it might be that 'advanced point 'n shoot users' don't even know it exists yet... or that DPReview exists... or that this forum exists.

Wait til the MX-1 gets into the large stores, then we'll see...

@rparmar -- beauty is in the eye of the beholder though, isn't it? And my K-01 sure went from ugly to gorgeous when the price dropped, and I'm very glad I bought it, because once you actually hold it and use it, it is just great. Think about it like this -- there was this car, when I was a kid, called a Nash. My God, so ugly, we all thought. But time goes along -- and, when i look at one today, I think, "That's sort of neat. I want one!"


Last edited by jon404; 03-04-2013 at 02:31 PM.
03-04-2013, 02:34 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I will agree that it's hard to see where the MX-1 fits in, because there are cameras (like the RX100 and LX7) and do everything it can and more. However, just about every comment I see about the MX-1 says something about it not having a viewfinder. Seriously, it this really such a big deal? The MX-1 is a point-and-shoot, and those haven't had viewfinders for the longest time. In the field with the MX-1 I never had a need or desire to use a viewfinder.
I do think a variant with a viewfinder, maybe sans the tilting LCD, would go over pretty big. Not having to use the LCD all the time also saves battery power, come to think of it, (and one of the things that space the articulated screen takes up could be.. more battery capacity. Which is good for a backup camera because you don't want to be thinking about it. )

I suppose if I were in the market for that sort of camera, I'd be considering those anyway, but I often simply can't see an LCD when it's bright out. I could actually see some use for a pocket camera these days, and having pretty much the same controls and UI as my DSLRs (That's actually kind of big for me: when fatigue is a factor, especially.) would be something I'd want to weigh against, say, the benefits of those little Fuji's finders/accepting lens hoods, not to mention price differences.



(And I like the metal bodies, either way: I'd expect to keep that for years and years and all, and it might actually see more surface wear than my gear usually gets. There's actually a bit of an appeal factor to having that layer of brass under there, in case the black actually wears away. Theoretically it could actually happen. )

From here it looks like this isn't such a bad entry into a field that already has had some of the best compact cameras out there for several generations.


QuoteQuote:
To me it seems that this camera is already a failure based on user feedback. I hope, for Pentax's sake, and I'm just getting the wrong impression! The camera is certainly quite capable, as the review suggests, even through it's not perfect.
I don't know if you can call it a failure right off considering what market it's really entering. I think they ought to consider other variants for the line as it evolves, but it looks like a good platform to start. I wouldn't be too nervous considering this is Ricoh, not Hoya, running this show. They can make nice compact cameras: I bet it'll be more a matter of their design choices and price targets than *ability* to make things to whatever specs suit.
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