Some ‘issues’ with the MX-1 concept

Started Jan 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
GXRuser Contributing Member • Posts: 656
Re: Some ‘issues’ with the MX-1 concept

marike6 wrote:

GXRuser wrote:

Zvonimir Tosic wrote:

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

to me the MX1 is a failure. It is an example of Pentax bringing a camera to market without listening to their customers.

It's not a failure until it fails to either provide great IQ or fails to sell.

The specs of the MX1 read similar to the Olympus XZ1 and XZ2. Some have suggested that the MX-1 is a version of the two Olympus cameras and has the same lens.

It's a bit of a stretch to say the MX-1 is "a version of the XZ-1" since the only similarities are they both use 1/1.7" sensors, similar or same lens, and both the MX-1 and XZ-2 have tilt-able LCD. But even if they are similar, what could possibly be wrong with that since the XZ-1 is one of the best high end compacts that we've seen in a while.

There have been many who have criticized Pentax for the design of the K-01 and the Q for not having an EVF. It is difficult to use these cameras outside in bright light. It is difficult to use both hand held with manual lenses since there is no EVF. This is less of an issue on a tripod. Canon is receiving similar critique with the EOS-M.

The MX-1 is now the second camera release (the other being the Q10) that does not have either an integrated EVF or a port for an EVF. If the MX-1 really is a version of the Olympus XZ2, then the lack of an EVF port is a deliberate omission.

While I agree that an MX-1 with a VF would have made the camera significantly better, Pentax doesn't make an EVF. So including a port means now Pentax has to either license the Olympus or Panasonic external EVF, similar to what Leica did with the X-2, or they have to build one from scratch. That would have likely made the MX-1 more like $599, a price that Olympus chose for the XZ-2, and one that they are having a hard time selling the XZ-2 at since it is really close to, and sometimes exceeds, the price of the Olympus PEN cameras.

Ricoh has two different EVFs in it's catalog. One for the GX100 and GX200 and one for the GXR. They use different accessory ports. The only cost is the inclusion of the interface port mechanically and electronically.

If the MX-1 is a licensed version of the XZ-2, then the EVF interface was deleted. This is the lost opportunity. It could have had the port and then the customer could have purchased an Olympus VF-2 or VF-3 if they chose to. I would have.

Ricoh/Pentax could have used the current GXR accessory port on the MX-1. If the bandwidth is too limited, Ricoh/Pentax can develop (or license) a higher quality EVF and interface and use it on updates to the GXR body, Q, K-01, and MX-1. The key is to have a common EVF to be used across their camera lines. It is an accessory so only those who need it has the extra expense.

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