Pentax MX-1 - A New Retro-Styled Compact Camera (Part 1)

6/24/2013 5:18:56 PM

The Pentax MX-1 is an "extremely compact" camera with a lens with a 4x f/1.8 optical zoom, a 3-inch tilting screen and slightly larger than the usual backlit CMOS sensors. The MX-1 is characterized by a classic design with a brass plate on the top and bottom with the available color combination of silver and black or entire black.


The design of the Pentax MX-1 is the Pentax MX SLR film camera’s reminiscent model, and features a similar logo design, and a rubber grip around the front of the camera, as well as a ring to attach the strap loop located in the same place.

The Pentax MX-1 is an "extremely compact" camera

The Pentax MX-1 is an "extremely compact" camera

Brassed Off

The upper and lower copper plates are covered with a layer of paint and any collision will reveal the cooper skin beneath.

The lens with a 4x optical zoom is equivalent to 28mm at wide angles and zoom at 112mm for telephoto angles, and has the available aperture of f/1.8-f/2.5, with the similar specifications and design as the lens on the Olympus XZ-2.

The remote sensors are on the front and back, dual axes digital level for horizontal and vertical alignment accuracy, fifteen digital filters, including Miniature and Toy Camera, adding touch sensors to creative photography, a series of image processing tools including creative image stretching mode, small face filter and cut and copy functions. This camera has a RAW image processing mode obtained during the image playback conversion to JPEG format.

The product’s front

The product’s front

Key Features

·         1/1.7-inch 12.1 megapixel backlit sensor

·         Lens with 4x optical zoom, equivalent to f/1.8-f/2.5, 28-112mm

·         SR Shake Reduction - Sensor Shift Image Stabilization

·         3-inch tilting screen, 920k dots

·         Dual axis digital level

·         Exposure compensation dial

·         P/A/S/M Capture, Adobe DNG RAW

·         Full HD Video with stereo sound recording

·         High Speed ​​and Time-Lapse Movie at VGA resolution

·         ISO100 - ISO12800

·         Continuous Shooting 4.5fps

·         Electronic shutter available

·         1cm macro

·         HDR Capture

·         Black or Black and Silver


The product when placed horizontally

The product when placed horizontally


When picking the camera up, the first thing you will notice is the weight; weighing 391g with battery and memory card is a significant figure. The copper plates feature above and below, but the rest of the camera (in addition to the dome lens) is made from plastic and unfortunately, the rest of the body is not metal. It almost seems to be unnecessarily vast because if considered carefully, it is not typical for hot-shoe flash when that is clearly not the space for it right from the start, and in fact, the Panasonic Lumix LX7 is smaller and features a hot-shoe flash.

The process of turning on the camera with the lens cap still generates a message asking you to check the lens cover. Then you have to turn off the camera and turn it on again to start, instead of simply pressing a button to continue as the other cameras with removable lens hood.

The screen of the camera

The screen of the camera


The menus are laid out clearly with 3 pages for photo options, 1 page video option, 4 pages for setup options, followed by two custom option pages, where you can find the WB options when using flash or AWB in tungsten light, and the electronic shutter. By using the INFO button you can quickly set up the options on the screen on the back without having to go into the menu. The middle OK button acts as a "Display" button to adjust how the image is displayed on the screen.


The battery life is rated at 290 shots according to the test Pentax / CIPA results, we can take more than 250 shots before the battery is fully discharged.




We have taken some photos to test the response of the camera, from opening the first photo, turning over each one in turn, focusing speed, etc. We had some photos and then used the average to ensure the accuracy and consistency, which makes it easy to compare with other cameras.

Comparison between the Pentax MX-1 and the Sony RX100

The Pentax MX-1

·         Shutter Response: <0.05

·         Wide - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.2

·         Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response: 0:45 *

·         Switch on Time to Taking a Photo: 2.1

·         Shot to Shot without Flash: 1.3

·         Shot to Shot with Flash: 2.0

·         Continuous Shooting - JPEG

·         (shots before slow down): 4.5fps (10 shots)

·         Continuous Shooting - Flash: N / A

·         Continuous Shooting - RAW: 4.5fps (10 shots)

The Pentax MX-1

The Pentax MX-1

The Sony RX100

·         Shutter Response: 0.0

·         Wide - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.3

·         Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.3

·         Switch on Time to Taking a Photo: 2.2

·         Shot to Shot without Flash: 0.9

·         Shot to Shot with Flash 2.1

·         Continuous Shooting - JPEG

·         (shots before slow down): 7fps (speed priority mode, 15 shots)

·         Continuous Shooting - Flash: 1.6s

·         Continuous Shooting - RAW: 4fps (13 shots)

The Sony RX100

The Sony RX100

The shutter responds excellently with the quick focus on the wide-angle lens. It shoots continuously very fast, although the recording time is quite slow with the camera giving a message repeatedly showing that "the data is being processed" before you can continue shooting. It will not focus a number of times, but it handles this process with speed 0:45 seconds. This seems to be a problem with the test object bring used as the outdoor shooting process.

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