Raw mode

As we'd expect from a high-end compact digital camera, the Pentax MX-1 offers a Raw-shooting mode, in the open DNG format. Shooting in Raw mode allows you to take a lot of control over your photographs after they're captured. Benefits of shooting Raw include the ability to adjust white balance and brightness, as well as fine-tune noise reduction and sharpening to get the most out of the camera. Here are a couple of examples.

Exposure and sharpening

Scenes like the one below, with large areas of (very) bright white snow are a nightmare for camera's metering systems, and the MX-1 has delivered a somewhat underexposed image.

JPEG
DNG adjusted
100% crop 100% crop

Careful adjustment of the simultaneously-captured raw file (using exposure and highlight protection sliders in Adobe Camera Raw) allowed balancing the exposure without completely 'burning out' the snowy mountain, and a touch of sharpening brought out the details in the subject's face more naturally. The original JPEG is fine, but the final result from the adjusted raw file is better.

When shooting in Raw+JPEG with the MX-1 you're free to experiment with color and other modes, because you know the camera will also save an unmodified Raw image. Some cameras won't save a Raw image when you switch to Black and White mode, for example, but the MX-1 will. Even in HDR mode the camera saves at least one Raw image; though sadly it does not save all the images used to create a shot.

Movies

The Pentax MX-1 shoots 1920x1080p, 30fps video with h.264 compression and stereo audio. 1280x720p mode can capture 60 or 30fps. The camera also offers high speed movie mode for slow motion movies and time-lapse movie mode. Shake reduction, wind suppression, live focus, and optical zoom are also optionally available in movie mode; the latter three are turned off by default. The MX-1's audio system picks up the zoom motor's noise, and the camera tends to seek focus in certain situations, like in low light if optical zoom or live focus are active.

Sample Video 1

This daylight video starts fully zoomed in from an 11-story building, then zooms out to take in the wide-angle view. You can hear the noise of the zoom motor. Exposure automatically adjusts once zooming stops.

1920 x 1280, 30 fps, 30.3MB MOV file. Click here to download the full clip.

Sample Video 2

This theater video is shot handheld. Note that the camera seems to be adjusting focus slightly in the low light, seeking to make sure the image is still in focus.

1920 x 1280, 30 fps, 74.6MB MOV file. Click here to download the full clip.