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Pentax MX-1 Silver 12MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD Display (OLD MODEL)

4.6 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews
| 19 answered questions

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Silver

DPReview Silver Award
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 74%
See review summary and sample images
What is DPReview and its awards?
DPReview

Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.


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  • 1/1.7-Inch 12 mega pixel back -illuminated CMOS sensor for exceptional performance
  • A 4X optical zoom (28-112mm in 35mm format) at f1.8-2.5 for outstanding depth of field control and beautiful bokeh.
  • Large, hi resolution 3 inch 920k pixel LCD screen can be tilted up or down for easy viewing and shooting from difficult angles
  • Dual PENTAX body based sensor shift & pixel track shake reduction stabilization system ensures sharp, blur free images and video, even in dim lighting.
  • Full 1920 x 1080 HD video with h.264 compression with HDMI out port
2 new from $969.95 5 used from $250.00

Technical Details


Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Silver Award July 2013
It's the optical and sensor quality that impresses us most about the Pentax MX-1, making it easy to recommend to anyone looking for a good performer in a solid body.
Barney Britton Barney Britton
74%

Conclusion

Pentax's first entry into the premium pocket camera category is big on image quality but also a bit big for the pocket, which narrows its niche a little more than its competitors. Still, it's a very capable camera with a good set of features, a handsome finish, and an impressive sensor and lens combination.

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent image quality in JPEG and Raw
  • Overall good performance in low light
  • Fast autofocus
  • 1cm Macro mode allows extreme closeups

Things to consider

  • Too large for most pockets
  • No hot shoe or accessory port
  • Tungsten lighting sometimes left quite yellow by AWB
  • Lacks second dial for control of aperture and shutter in Manual

Suggested for

Those looking for a high quality camera with a great sensor and sharp lens, who also like a little style and heft for extra stability.

Not suggested for

Enthusiasts looking for more rapid control over exposure and other settings. Anyone looking for a camera that slips easily into a pocket.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Exposure & focus accuracy
Image quality (RAW)
Image quality (JPEG)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Optics
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Color: Silver

This high-end compact camera has a beautifully retro design made to resemble a classic film camera; with its genuine brass covers and metal accents for a refined finish

Product Information

Color:Silver
Product Dimensions 4.8 x 2 x 2.4 inches
Item Weight 13.8 ounces
Shipping Weight 2.2 pounds
ASIN B00B46A1AS
Item model number MX-1 silver
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
Customer Reviews
4.6 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #3,695 in Camera & Photo > Camera & Photo Accessories > Bags & Cases > Camera Cases
Date first available at Amazon.com January 21, 2013

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Color: Silver Verified Purchase
The more time I spend with my MX-1, the more I love it.

I like the image quality, its ISO range (100-12,800), the fast 1.8-2.5 lens, and the DUAL sensor Shake Reduction that allows me to take shots in low light or slow speeds, without blurring. Also remember it has the best ISO performance "for under $500" according to Dxomark ([...]

I've found the tiltable screen to be a great feature for street photography, as I can tilt it and make like I'm reviewing or fiddling with the buttons, and make the shot surreptitiously without disturbing people ;)

The filters included (B&W, Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Extract Color, Fish Eye, Miniature, etc.) are fun to use (up to 20 filters can be combined and applied to the same image according to the user manual).

It also has a RAW development feature but I prefer to do it in my laptop.

HDR has worked very good at night and in landscapes and three modes are available: Standard, Strong 1, and Strong 2.

The 1cm macro is wonderful and I've enjoyed it shooting flowers and insects with very good results.

I take one star off for a few reasons:

1) the MX-1 can't take filters and I would like to use a polarizing, and permanently put an UV to protect the lens.
2) I find it annoying when I turn on the camera when the cap is on and I get a "Please confirm the lens cap is removed" message, and the camera then turns off. Maybe it can be corrected with a new firmware release. UPDATE: I NOTICED THAT THIS FEATURE CAN PREVENT THE LENS FROM ACCIDENTALLY EXTENDING WHEN INSIDE A CASE OR BAG! so it can be a good thing after all...
3) A hot shoe for a flash or external mic would've been a good addition.
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Color: Silver
I've been an amateur photographer for decades. Printed a few times here and there. I think I fit squarely in the pro-sumer category: neither a professional, nor simply a consumer.

I've never had a camera I love THIS much. I've used my share of SLRs and I still use them for specialized tasks, but for everything else, I take this.

I'll start with the most obvious and shallow: it's gorgeous! I love the look of old cameras. I don't care for modern cameras or the neo-retro look. I like OLD. I like rangefinders. I miss using my old Konica C35. Etc. This fits the bill almost perfectly. Aside from the zoom lens up front, it's pretty convincing. Even more so with the lens cap on. It looks thoroughly modern from the rear, but it's a trade-off I will accept for the functionality. The LCD screen is big and clear. I wish the screen tilted both ways or not at all. I can take very low shots because the screen tilts up, but I'd also like to to able to take overhead shots by tilting the screen down. I don't do very much of either, and I've learned to take those kinds of shots blind anyway, so I would have forgone all tilt, to shave a quarter inch off the back. [Great tip from "The Folded Space": Tilt the screen, hold the camera upside down, and you'll be able to take accurate over-head shots. The accelerometer inside will orient the screen correctly. When you check your "roll" later, the image will be right-side up!]

I love the optics. The lenses are fast, clear, bright, and colorful. Coupled with the quick processing and autofocus, I rarely have to think twice about what I'm shooting. I leave the cap on and the camera off between uses. It turns on in a flash and the cap comes off with a sweep of my thumb. The lens starts at its widest zoom.
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Color: Silver
I must admit upfront that I'm a bit of a Pentax fanboy these days, although I am quite aware of the shortcomings in each of their cameras. Nevertheless, I wasn't going to buy the MX-1 originally, as I had a dslr and a megazoom camera (K-5 and X-5). When I saw a guy advertise one for cheap however, (he wanted funds to buy a waterproof camera for his trip in 2 weeks) I couldn't resist and now have an as new MX-1 for only 2/3 the price of a new one.

When I look at the MX-1, I see it being compared to it's direct competitors in the enthusiast compact cameras - eg Canon s110, Olympus ZX2, Sony RX100 etc., and compared within Pentax itself to the Q, Q10, and newly announced Q7- which has the same sensor size as the MX-1. I'll touch on each.

Pros:
-----

- in good light, or in poorer light where you can place it on a stable base and adjust shutter speeds, or aperture, the MX-1 gives images in jpeg which are much closer to the aps-c sensor in my dslr than I expected. I haven't tested the iso limits, but up to 800 it was not bad at all.

- the f1.8-2.5 across it's zoom range really makes a difference. For some cameras like the Canon s110 and Sony RX100, the f stop starts big, but quickly gives an aperture that's no different than any other compact camera. I took the MX-1 to a wedding banquet and the lighting was well down, except on stage and along the central path where the bride and groom walk in. The faster shutter speed from a wider aperture was noticeable, and I'm glad to have a much less fuzzy handheld photo, and even did it twice in hi burst mode too.

- ergonomics. Despite being the largest and heaviest of it's direct competitors, it's easy to grip, and tilting LCD screen gives it a distinct edge in flexibility.
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