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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
The Pentax MX-1 is a 12MP high-end compact camera with a fast 28-112mm equivalent zoom lens - the first camera of its type that Pentax has created. With a rich history in camera design, it seems fair that Pentax would seek to recapture the two-tone camera designs of the last century with its MX-1 enthusiast compact (the MX-1 is also available in an all-black model as well). A metal top and bottom and a leather-like band around the middle provide a gripable surface as well as a classic look. Thanks to the painted brass top and bottom plates, we're told users will enjoy that old tendency toward 'brassing' exhibited in well-used vintage cameras as the MX-1 accumulates wear. We haven't yet bashed the Pentax MX-1 around enough to test this feature, but there's still time.
Following the near extinction of the standard pocket digital camera in the wake of the smartphone juggernaut, camera manufacturers are aiming more squarely at the enthusiast market, and the MX-1 is a clear sign that Pentax considers it an important segment to serve. Dominated largely by cameras like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and Canon Powershot S110, and more recently by the Sony Cyber-Shot RX-100, the enthusiast pocket camera market consists of cameras with larger sensors, premium lenses, raw capture and a bias toward manual controls and modes, in addition to the usual auto and semi-auto modes.
The MX-1 shares a lens (and probably sensor) with the Olympus XZ-2: a 28-112mm equivalent zoom with a relatively bright F1.8-2.5 aperture across the zoom range. Physically though, they're very different cameras. The MX-1 is both wider and thicker, lacks a hot shoe, and surprisingly has only one control dial, skipping the trend toward a customizable control ring around the lens. In the MX1's favor are a slightly larger LCD (thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio), that flips up and down in the same way as the XZ-2, and an EV adjustment dial that hangs over the right rear edge ever so slightly, for quick changes to the auto and semi-auto capture modes; it's also stiff enough that it doesn't turn by accident.
We were a little disappointed to see no hint of Ricoh's influence on the interface (Ricoh purchased Pentax 18 months ago, so we'd expect to see some of the fruits of that deal appearing soon). In particular, some of the GRD and GXR's control features, with customizable access to key menus and simple, smart controls would have been welcome. But several other omissions show that Pentax isn't aiming the MX-1 at quite the same market as some other premium compacts.
Built as much as a premium camera for the casual snapshooter as it is for the photographer craving more control, the Pentax MX-1 makes accessing its high quality optic and potentially good sensor less intimidating. It looks cool, and if it measures up to expectations, particularly from its lens and sensor, it will make a good street camera for semi-auto shooters, and a reasonable substitute for carrying an SLR everywhere.
The Pentax MX-1's 1/1.7" backlit CMOS sensor has a total resolution of 12.76MP, outputting a 12-megapixel image measuring 4,000 x 3,000 pixels. Many of the Pentax's rivals, including the Olympus XZ-2, Nikon P7700 and Samsung EX2F also use 1/1.7" 12MP BSI CMOS sensors. It seems likely that most of them share a single sensor, possibly the one Sony published details of in October.
The diagram below compares the size of the MX-1's 1/1.7" sensor to those in its nearest competitors - in general larger sensors potentially offer better image quality. The MX-1's sensor is equal to most of its direct competitors, like the S110, XZ-2, and LX7.
|The MX-1's sensor is smaller than recent premium pocket leaders, but on par with most premium pocket category competitors.|
The table below compares the MX-1's lens specifications and sensor size against its main competitors and the X20. Along with the familiar 35mm-equivalent focal length, we've also included a 35mm-equivalent aperture range, which gives some idea of the control over depth of field offered by each camera's lens.
|Sensor area, mm2
|Focal length range||Focal length range (equiv.)||Aperture range||Aperture range (equiv)*||Dimensions (mm)|
* Equivalent aperture, in 135 film terms - this gives an idea of the depth of field control offered by the lenses when the sensor size is taken into account.
** Panasonic DMC-LX7 sensor area figures based on 4:3 aspect ratio mode
Photographers tend to be interested in how well a lens can blur backgrounds when shooting portraits at full telephoto, and in this respect the MX-1 is among the best in its class - matching exactly the ability offered by the Olympus XZ-2. This isn't the sort of shallow depth-of-field that a DSLR will offer with a specialized lens, but at the long end of the lens it'll give about the same flexibility as most DSLR kit lenses will offer.
The equivalent apertures also give a rough idea of how the cameras might compare in low light; to a degree they indicate how far a larger sensor should be offset by a faster lens. Obviously this isn't the whole story; the characteristics of the individual sensors matters too, as does the quality of in-camera processing for JPEG shooters. But the story is essentially the same - the MX-1 should do a bit better than most small-sensor cameras, but not as well as the RX100 over most of its lens range.
The MX-1's larger lens and articulating screen means it's a little thicker than most cameras in this category, as well as a little wider. It's also thicker than the XZ-2. The Pentax MX-1 is still small enough to slip into a shorts or jacket pocket, and there's enough space on the back for a few extra buttons and controls. We have a feeling many users are likely to want to take advantage of the camera strap to show off this good-looking camera (though unfortunately we found it doesn't hang as well as we'd like with the strap lugs mounted in the front).
|The Pentax MX-1 is shorter than the XZ-2, and wider, which draws attention to the lens, making it appear somewhat larger than it is. Note the infrared port on the front, right next to the AF-assist lamp.|
|While the XZ-2 tapers in specific places to make it feel slimmer - and ultimately it is slimmer - the Pentax MX-1 embraces the idea of bulk, probably for the sake of a more retro look and feel.|
|Though both cameras have a control dial on the back, the XZ-2 has another dial on the front, customizable to adjust focus and either aperture or shutter speeds, while the MX-1's main 'extra' control is the EV dial. Like its SLRs, Pentax has included the green 're-center' button for quickly jumping back to the default setting regardless of the exposure mode.|
Jul 1, 2013
Jul 1, 2016
May 22, 2013
May 3, 2013
2013 was a busy year for high-end compact cameras, which saw everything from iterative updates to established lines to brand new options from manufacturers entering this market segment. We've used almost all of them, reviewed a few, and in the process we've taken thousands of pictures and formed plenty of opinions. But now it's your turn - what was the best enthusiast compact camera of 2013? Click through for our selection, and a chance to cast your vote.
The holidays are a great time to take pictures — and they're a great time to get a camera for yourself or for a loved one. With more than 50 cameras going through the hands of the DPReview team over the year, we've seen it all (or so we think). Based on our collective knowledge we hope this guide will help you make an informed decision on which camera will fit your needs. In part 3, we look at enthusiast compact cameras.
Just Posted: Our hands-on preview of the Pentax MX-1. The enthusiast sector has become so vibrant that our pre-Christmas roundup included nine cameras. Not wanting to be left out of the action, Pentax-Ricoh has launched its own 12MP camera with a 1/1.7" sensor - the MX-1. As well as a slightly familiar-looking 28-112mm equivalent, F1.8-2.5 zoom lens, the MX-1 takes the unusual step of including brass top- and base-plates - meaning its classic looks should become even more pronounced as it ages. Read on to find out more.
CES 2013: Pentax has announced the MX-1 - its entry into the enthusiast compact camera sector. The MX-1 features classic styling and construction, with brass top- and base-plates. It's based around a stabilized 12MP BSI CMOS sensor and a familiar-sounding 28-112mm equivalent F1.8-2.5 lens. In addition the MX-1 features a flip-out 920k dot rear screen. It includes a top-plate exposure compensation dial and rear thumb wheel to control a UI very much like those in the company's DSLRs. We've borrowed a pre-production version of the camera and have prepared a hands-on preview article.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|Forever Stalled by Domenick Creaco|
from The End of the Road
|Lost, But Not Forever by Domenick Creaco|
from Lost and found
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of its iPhone X in the form of three variants: the 5.8" iPhone XS and 6.5" iPhone XS Max with OLED screens, and the 6.1" iPhone XR with an LCD and single rear camera.
Ahead of the launch of the CamRanger II the company has announced a mini version of its wireless remote control system that it says has a longer range than the original in a body half the size.
Lens manufacturer Sigma has announced a trio of fast cinema lenses for full-frame camera systems, that it says will also be available in the future in the LPL mount for Arri’s large format camera system.
LumaPod is a a new tripod being funded on Kickstarter that takes just four seconds to set up and uses patented tension technology to keep your shots steady in a compact design.
X-Rite ColorChecker Video XL is an oversized color target for wide-angle, long distance, and aerial shooting.
ExperimentalOptics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its second lens design, a 35mm F2.7 lens it claims is the world's 'smallest fastest pancake lens.'
The new XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR and XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR are aimed at enthusiasts and professionals, and add considerable versatility to Fujifilm's growing XF lens lineup. We've been taking a look.
The Getty family is working to regain control of stock photo agency Getty Images, according to multiple reports published late last week.
The Phoneslinger line, a modular bag system for mobile photographers, has been launched on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform.
CamRanger has announced the impending arrival of its CamRanger 2 wireless tethering and trigger system, complete with redesigned apps, updated wireless features, and support for select Sony and Fujifilm systems.
As well as high-resolution stills, the new Nikon Z7 also shoots 4K video and 120p HD video. We recently spent two days with director Chris Hershman, shooting a music video on the Z7 for pop artist Emily Blue.
London’s National Portrait Gallery has released the shortlist for its annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, ahead of the winner being announced in October.