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Just posted: Pentax MX-1 Preview Samples

By dpreview staff on May 3, 2013 at 23:37 GMT

We've just posted a gallery of real-world samples from the MX-1 - Pentax's flagship compact camera. Announced earlier this year the MX-1 offers a 12MP backlit CMOS sensor, and a fast F1.8-2.5 lens which spans an equivalent focal range of 28-112mm. We wrote a detailed hands-on preview back in January and we're working on putting the camera through our usual gamut of studio and real-world testing. For now, we hope you enjoy this small gallery of samples which - if nothing else - proves that the sun does occasionally come out in Seattle. 

Pentax MX-1 Preview Samples - published 3rd May 2013
47
I own it
18
I want it
4
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 55
StevenxBaker
By StevenxBaker (11 months ago)

These photos look stunning. From all reports, this is an excellent camera for the money. Steven Baker - www.observingcameras.com

0 upvotes
John P.
By John P. (11 months ago)

Nice! Very nice indeed!!!

0 upvotes
zapatista
By zapatista (11 months ago)

Brass Olympus

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (11 months ago)

Yeah-yeah. Being 6 month late and explaining it by waiting for sunshine....I'd like a boss like that.

Nobody below commented on the dynamic range. I like it.

Everything is in focus (small sensor thing) -- I don't like it any more (use m43).

2 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (11 months ago)

I do comment on that: that's fantastic.
No blown highlight whatsoever, no whashed-out, underexposed look either.
Even Nikon A samples were far worse regarding exposure/DR.
Maybe it's the photographer, maybe it's the light condiitons, maybe some other thing, but still I like these pictures here very much.

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (11 months ago)

So its a XZ-2 in a pentax body. Im not seeing the big deal here. Oly licensed there lens design to Pentax. I would pay the exra 50 bucks and get the XZ-2 most likely.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

The XZ-2 is $599 in the US. The MX-1 is $499 but if you know where to look you can find it for $430.

The XZ-2 can take the VF2 EVF, and has a touch LCD. What makes the XZ-2 a tough sell is it's priced the same as the E-PL5 kit and $100 more than the E-PM2 kit.

The MX-1 has the Pentax Info menu similar to their DSLRs which makes changing settings extremely fast. I much prefer the styling of the MX-1 but they are both nice cameras. I was quite happy with my XZ-1 when I had it, at least for stills.

4 upvotes
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (11 months ago)

It may be a fine compact camera but surely it's a stupid idea to call it MX.
The original MX had one of the best SLR viewfinders ever made and while I'm quite happy with the recent trend of "retro" designs this one does not deserve its name. If Pentax has no better use for such an illustrious piece of their legacy, they should let it rest in peace...

Olympus is making much better use of their iconic names.

(I am a Pentax user by the way)

8 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

I was in the same boat. But that 3" LCD is about 20 times bigger than MX viewfinder image, and LCD promises great shot each time you press the button, with no need to develop the film first.
MX-1 well deserves its name; it's helluva more camera than the original MX.

2 upvotes
RAH torvav
By RAH torvav (11 months ago)

I just took a look through a MX- viewfinder and compared it to a 3" LCD: I had to bring the LCD as near as 10cm (4") to my eyes - sorry they can't focus this near...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (11 months ago)

You're going to have to hold the MX-1 very close to your eye to make the display fill the same area of your eyes field of view that the MX Viewfinder fills and your cornea will be touching the LCD before it's apparent size reaches 20x that of the MX-viewfinder...
And then there are issues like visibility in sunlight, lag, etc.
It may take less skill to use the MX-1 but that's not the hallmark of a flagship SLR aimed at professionals and skilled amateurs (like the MX or LX were) but that of a point-and-shoot. There is nothing wrong with P&S-cameras but if Pentax is going to invoke the memory of their better days for marketing purposes, they should built cameras that do their namesakes justice.
This new "MX" has nothing in common with it's namesake apart from the brand name...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 53 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
sonnief
By sonnief (11 months ago)

naw I'm confused to choose this or the LX7

0 upvotes
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (11 months ago)

I would go with the LX7. The MX-1 is a fine camera but that Pana-Leica lens on the LX7 is really something else. Both are about the same in terms of ISO performance.

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

Interestingly, Pentax has filled in a patent for 21-84mm equivalent lens for this same type of camera sensor. 21mm is seriously wide for a compact indeed. (LX7 starts at 24mm).
If Pentax makes it, maybe we'll se a truly wide-angle compact coming onto the market soon. Maybe an MX-1 successor or an all new sister camera..

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

Prefer the tilt-able LCD of the MX-1, and the lens seems sharper, and IQ seems a bit better. Note: DxOMark sensor tests have the MX-1 high ISO performance quite a bit better than the LX7.

All that said, I am a former owner of the LX7, and it's a fine camera and this is not an easy decision especially with the discount prices on the LX7 lately.

0 upvotes
fmian
By fmian (11 months ago)

In regards to this cameras handling, I think it feels like a dog made out of bricks.
The camera is weighted horribly towards the opposite side to the grip, seemingly beyond the placement of the lens. While having no protruding grip, there is also an annoying strap lug placed where the fingers would sit, along with a mash of tiny buttons and nothing for my thumb to grip except the back dial.
On top of all that, the outer section of the lens is deceptively designed to make you think that it can be rotated to change settings. But it can't.
The only saving grace seems to be the lens, and the way the camera looks from certain angles. I was also quite unimpressed by the fact that the top flash plate, where it says 'BRASS' actually seems to be made of plastic.
Too little, too late. Pentax, please see Canon & Olympus for how to design a compact camera.

2 upvotes
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (11 months ago)

I begrudgingly have to agree with your assessment.

2 upvotes
Roberts_J
By Roberts_J (11 months ago)

Before you make loud statements, make small research first, otherwise you look stupid.

plates on camera are real brass. Look preview of camera, page 4, last picture with text - http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pentax-mx-1/4

And if we compare designs of compact cameras, then there is question about every persons own taste. But honestly, I would never call canon as an example where to look for good design or for smart and useful functions in compact camera market. Olympus - may be.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

It is brass plated. Scratch it, and you will see. Re stability, each to their own. MX-1 and X2 simply cling to hands, they are very balanced, weight distributed well.
Strap lugs being placed forward is an act of genius, in fact, because camera won't flip forward like all others (if it had side lugs) when the lens is extended, or when the camera is hanging in the air, of next to your body. It stays vertical, balanced, firm. No bumps, no flips.
And, a compact camera means much more than a thing being able to fit it in the pocket; between the vain desire to fit something in the pocket, and actual comfortable use in hands, there is a world of difference in which almost all pocket cameras fail in feeling comfortable to use. But few don't.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (11 months ago)

Epic fail.

0 upvotes
fmian
By fmian (11 months ago)

The top and bottom plates of the camera are cold to the touch.
The top plate of the pop up flash is not cold to the touch. It is a different material to the rest of the plate.
Please hold the camera in your hand before you denounce my statements.
Design wise, it's down to personal taste. Although cameras well designed for the serious user tend to have at least 2 dials for easily changing shutter and aperture.
That is one of the reasons enthusiasts prefer and recommend the D7000 and 60D instead of lower end models.
I wrote 'I think it feels like a dog made out of bricks.'
That's what I THINK.
You are also free to think what you wish.

0 upvotes
Toccata47
By Toccata47 (11 months ago)

Hands on "review" 1/13, samples released 5/13. Comprehensive (and worthwhile) reviews have been available elsewhere since mid 02/13.

Perhaps dpr should consider streamlining their methodologies to find a balance that allows them to continue to add value in the review space within a timeframe that coincides with a product release.

There are occasions when it might be worthwhile to read through all 20+ pages of a dpr review, but I know that I, and I'm sure I'm not alone, skip to the conclusion and samples pages and ignore the rest.

18 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (11 months ago)

Priorities. dpr already has the D7100 review up. It's unlikely the MX-1 will ever see a full review.

The "preview" is the de-facto "short review", but I'd prefer they drop the pretense: just give it the overview treatment and call it a day.

2 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (11 months ago)

I've been following this website for many years and I can't understand why at the beginning they managed to do accurate reviews of both DSLRs and compact cameras (both enthusiast and consumer, and those accurate reviews are what they became famous for) and now that they have expanded and have been acquired by Amazon they can't manage to review almost anything. Lots of interesting products are now skipped just because they aren't DSLRs or EVIL cameras or because they belong to less mainstream brands.

3 upvotes
zakaria
By zakaria (11 months ago)

the colors are awesome!
well done pentax! altough it is a very late step!

11 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (11 months ago)

Really good for such small sensor

4 upvotes
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (11 months ago)

Very nice image quality! The lens seems awesome. It's not a surprise as it seems to share the same lens as the XZ-1 and XZ-2.

1 upvote
SETI
By SETI (11 months ago)

Hmm... everybody praise jpeg, but I can't say it's better than from my old Olympus XZ-1. And yes, it's all about perfect conditions i.e. good weather, sun and colors

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

It has a newer sensor than the XZ-1. (likely the same one that's in the XZ-2) Can't say if it's a better camera because I've only used the XZ-1. From tests I've seen, it has better high ISO ability. In fact it leads all 1/1.7" sensor cameras for high ISO ability if you go by DxOMark.

7 upvotes
KL Matt
By KL Matt (11 months ago)

DPR: Will we receive a pre-production unit of the upcoming Pentax DSLR flagship so we have a scoop that others do not? Pentax Ricoh: Will you finally get around to reviewing our other cameras? ;-)
(Surely complete fantasy...and nice to see Pentax get some attention either way, thanks DPR)

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

Above these comments are ads for Pentax cameras. The MX is higher priced than a K-01 with a kit lens. I leave it to the buyer to determine which will produce the best quality results...

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

A discontinued camera costing less than a current model is nothing new.

But thanks for the warning about the comments with your ad about the K-01.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Rich--

Then buy the K01; it has really good image quality and also is a very different kind of camera system. Though it takes interchangeable lenses that can cost a good deal more than this MX1.

My only complaints about the K-01 are the silly card-door cover and the fact that there's no possibility of an external EVF.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

So any time people like the sample images from a camera their comments are "Ads for that camera"?

Perhaps that tinfoil hat is too tight?

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

I was referring the actual ads on the site that showed up above the comments. What is so hard to grasp? P.S., I'd rather have the Q as well.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

Sorry I always use adblock hence the confusion. But thanks for the story about the Q.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

I actually bought the K-01 and the Q. I like them both.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (11 months ago)

"proves that the sun does occasionally come out in Seattle. "

Ha ha. That was /exactly/ what crossed my mind looking at the thumbnails:

"Hey, those look much nicer than usual ... oh yeah, it's actually decent weather for once!"

1 upvote
alohakid
By alohakid (11 months ago)

... looking at samples online I think the real strength of this camera may be it's b&w output .

2 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (11 months ago)

Watch again...

3 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (11 months ago)

As an owner of a real Pentax MX, I would like to love this camera, but I just can't get interested in anything smaller than APS-C.

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

We all tend to judge cameras by its peers. If the newcomer is somewhat different, we tend to nag about it. However, my experience with the MX-1 was revealing insofar. MX-1 has something cameras in its class have missed for a long time (maybe never had): a great shooting balance. Which I think is due to its retro inspired design, materials and — proportions.
Having it tried side by side with Leica X2 and RX100, I felt both X2 and MX-1 simply cling to your hands. You're not tired of them. RX100 is slippery, like a soap, can't really use with one hand. MX-1 you can operate with one hand, and won't lose balance. It stands firm. It's not heavy as they describe it, but the feeling is that of stability, quality and comfort. Not lens heavy like many P&S cameras, even with the lens fully extended.
Anyway, I suggest anyone to go and try, and never ever judge a camera based on paper specs alone; you'll be sacrificing something specs cannot tell.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
radissimo
By radissimo (11 months ago)

Yes, RX100 needs a grip, after attaching one, I am holding the camera in one hand and walking no problems (with a wrist strap)

0 upvotes
foto guy
By foto guy (11 months ago)

I prefer my photos sharp and thus always shoot with two hands.

0 upvotes
CAClark
By CAClark (11 months ago)

Photoguy, shooting with two hands is fine, but do you hold the camera with two hands between shots? You'd agree that you'd like a camera to feel like it will stay in your grip at all times, even when walking without keeping a hold being a second by second battle?

It's easy to forget it seems sometimes that the camera has to be designed to be carried as well as operated.

2 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (11 months ago)

I want to be cool like foto guy when I grow up

1 upvote
sfa1966
By sfa1966 (11 months ago)

Maybe the sunshine, the blue skies and some nicer-than-usual compositions are playing their part, but these are the best samples from a compact I've seen on this site in a good while.

7 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

The photographers of this gallery know what they are doing and it's great weather in a beautiful part of the country. But it's also a very good camera with really solid JPEGs. These are the kind of JPEGs I was hoping the X20 would have - excellent detail and low NR.

2 upvotes
bzanchet
By bzanchet (11 months ago)

Wow I really liked it! Nice colors, cris and low noise, much better than some samples from others web sites, maybe the photographer is better lol...

I already have the RX-100, I think that for me it is not worth to have the MX-1 as a second camera or to replace mine...

I believe that a larger sensor would fit as the camera is chunkier than the RX-100, although I dont think that they could keep such a fast lens...

Nevertheless this camera offers a lot for the price, although a $350 price would really help Pentax to speed it sales against LX7, G15 and XZ-2!

1 upvote
tommy leong
By tommy leong (11 months ago)

i wonder how is the LCD in bright light. that is my frustration with my current Fuji F11.

now hunting for a compact with optical viewfinder.

0 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (11 months ago)

Good Pictures. Crisp and Clear.

1 upvote
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (11 months ago)

It looks ok. Even at ISO 100, though, there are signs of noise reduction that give images an artificial look. It's better than most compacts I've seen, but compacts still have a long way to go.

Perhaps raw files and careful conversion would make things look better.

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (11 months ago)

It's much larger than the RX100 and with a much smaller sensor but the saving grace is a much smaller price.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

My fault, I thought this was thread was about the images, not some competition between a $700 camera in this one.

I'll tell you what, if I'm shooting the kids at full telephoto, I'd rather have the MX-1 with the larger aperture lens.

8 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

Beautiful samples, I never get bored of images from the MX-1. Sharp lens and excellent colors. I see an MX-1 in my future, and these sample may make it happen sooner than I expected. Good job.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 55