Enthusiast compact camera roundup (2013)
12MP 1/1.7" BSI CMOS sensor| 28-112mm equiv. F1.8-2.5 lens | Brass top plate
What we like:
- Fast lens
- Strong image quality
- Solid build
What we don't:
- Occasionally awkward interface
- Slow write speeds interrupt shooting
- Rather bulky for its class
The MX-1 is Pentax's first entry into the enthusiast compact space, and it offers a lens and sensor combination remarkably like that of the Olympus XZ-2. This gives it strong image quality and the ability to offer a little background blur for portraits at the long end of the zoom. The retro-styled body (with brass top plate that will age and wear like a classic film camera), is quite large and heavy, compared to its peers.
"The solid body gives a sense of quality and dependability"
The MX-1's image quality is its strongest point, letting it comfortably compete against other enthusiast compacts. The fast lens limits the need for high ISO shooting - an area where it begins to drop behind the best in its class. The solid (maybe even over-engineered) body gives a sense of quality and dependability to shooting with the camera, but it doesn't quite match the ease of access of the best of its peers and interrupts shooting with its slow write speeds.
Overall, the MX-1 is a solid camera, both in terms of feature set and build quality, and one that offers competitive image quality. The size and slightly less-polished user experience count against the MX-1, but it's a very capable camera if the price is right.