Some ‘issues’ with the MX-1 concept

Started Jan 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Zvonimir Tosic
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Some ‘issues’ with the MX-1 concept
Jan 19, 2013

From what I see and read about, I like the MX-1 camera a lot, and in many regards it could be a perfect camera for everyday photography.

But I think MX-1 has some 'problems' related not to itself (if we observe it as a standalone product), but to two other issues:

1. It almost competes with its own sister camera Pentax Q (plus 02 zoom lens), and lots of people here already have the Q and a few lenses. In fact, it does compete with it. Q makes sales of other Pentax small sensor cameras more difficult among the Pentax users, especially after Pentax has:

a) .. said some time ago they will reduce the number of compact cameras and focus only on meaningful system cameras. That’s why they’ve made the Q, they said. Remember the talk? So the MX-1 now comes as "what the ..." concept instead. I was scratching my head too.

b) .. lowered price of the Q. Pentax Q can be bought much cheaper right now, and image quality wise, they’d be very similar.

However, if we forget Pentax's own clumsiness when it comes to marketing talk and common sense, then the MX-1 looks fantastic, even better than the Q in some respects (lens, tilting screen).

2. MX-1 doesn't drag along any Pentax's bigger digital camera resemblance mojo to help recognise it better; ie. there is no MX concept digital larger sensor mirrorless camera. Olympus and Fuji have managed that issue much better; XZ2 looks like a small digital Pen camera and that adds to its popularity, X20 matches the appearance of the X100 and X mount cameras (XPro1, etc.) which then help sell the X20 concept better. In fact, they’ve gone so far with it that a two-toned X20 looks almost identical to their X100s camera.

Similarly, if Pentax had introduced an “MX-whatever” APS-C mirrorless camera that looks amazingly good as MX-1, plus all the benefits of the larger sensor concept, the MX-1 would be observed then differently. As people have somewhat expected too considering the MX name designation — after all, an MX was a legendary 35mm film SLR from Pentax. There are some big shoes to fill up. But borrowing a legendary name for a pocket camera with a tiny sensor? Doesn’t add up somehow. But if it did, and we have had another MX digital camera, then the MX-1 would be an absolute hit as well: that large sensor camera would drive the sale of the MX-1 concept.

However, Pentax forums here are no indication about possible popularity of the MX-1 camera. I myself would like to have one, one day. But I also scratch my head because the MX-1 story … somehow sounds incomplete. Or maybe there is a part of me looking at the 35mm MX SLR, with its slim body and big pentaprism, that has set a certain level of expectations and very high standards in following them.


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Zvonimir Tosic
“A portrait is not made in the camera, but on either side of it.”
— Edward Steichen

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Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X100S Fujifilm X20 Pentax MX-1
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