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Customer Review

85 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My review of the Pentax MX-1, March 14, 2013
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This review is from: Pentax MX-1 Silver 12MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD Display (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
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.

I really hope Pentax releases a filter adapter (if possible), a good protector case, and more optional accessories for this camera.

P.S. By the way, I don't know why up to date (March 14th 2013), the MX-1 is not mentioned in Pentax's japanese website! maybe Japan is not the target of this camera??? (Update: On April 9th, MX-1 appeared on the mentioned website)

Update March 24th: Saving files when shooting in RAW is slow and a "Data being recorded" message appears in the screen and the camera freezes until the process finishes. I've made some tests with class 6 and class 10 cards and I've found that the fastest the card the better the writing speed -as one can expect- but even with a very fast card (Sandisk Pro 95mb/s), the message still appears. So that makes me think that the camera's algorithm is the culprit.
Also there is a "Deleting" message that appears every time I delete a photo and it takes like a second to disappear from the screen.
I'm sure a firmware update can change this and make the camera faster.

Update April 20th: 1) The MX-1 is really good for street photography! (I've done some more shots in public parks and the camera reacted fast focusing and taking the shot)
2) In bright sunny days photos have a blue cast that I think is because of the UV rays.
3) Some third-party lens adapters have appeared for the MX-1. Also, a few leather half camera cases are available now.

Update May 6th: I video recorded a full rock concert (stopping after each song) and the battery (previously full charged) drained in a approximately 1 1/2 hours. It wasn't an issue as I took a couple of spare batteries with me. The recording was made in full HD, and the image & sound quality turned out very good.

Update July 4th 2015: My MX-1 is still going on making travel, family, rock concerts and everything in between photos and videos! I dropped it once (from a height of 4 to 5 feet) and felt hard over the LCD screen... I was very worried but it survived safe and sound! :)

The Pentax battery (that came with the camera) is now losing charge faster than before, but surprisingly my spare battery: Wasabi battery ( is still doing very good. I bought them both at the same time.

I'm usually getting compliments for the camera, for it's looks and great images, photo & video. The loud rock concerts are recorded very well without annoying saturation and/or distortion from the bass guitar, etc.

UPDATE September 2015: My experience with this little gem's been so good that I jumped into the Pentax wagon and now I own a K3II DSLR with two Pentax lenses (50mm f/1.8, 10-17mm fisheye) and a Tamron lens (18-200mm).
And by the way, my MX-1 is still producing great images!

UPDATE July 4th 2016: This little buddy is still going on performing like in the first day I got it. It's my walk around camera and have been my companion in my latest trips around my country. Also with the M-X1 I've been making and uploading images to photostock websites and they've been approved.

I would've liked Pentax to released a firmware update to speed up writing and get rid of "Data being processed" message that put the camera on hold for a couple of seconds specially when making RAW photos but apart from that and a couple more features here and there, I'm very pleased with this camera.

UPDATE October 5, 2016: ¡My MX-1 in Machu Picchu, Peru! It felt very hard over a rock on the floor and... survived! Just some marks on the top brass and some scratches and little chips in the LCD screen plastic frame. I'm very impressed by its construction and durability and more than happy to have purchased this little gem more than three years ago. The camera performed very well during my trip. Great!
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 20, 2013, 9:16:44 AM PDT
Livia says:
Hi Mr Gonz, When you said your camera managed to record 1.5 hours video before battery died (which I think is not bad), I wondered- how many photos can you take on a full charge? 300? 500?

And have you tried the built in ND filter?

Thanks for your frequently updated review ^_^

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2013, 10:11:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2013, 10:12:47 AM PDT
TheGnz says:
Hi Livia. I haven't tested how many shoots I can make with a full charged battery but I can say that I've had the camera on (shooting, recording some videos and reviewing and editing photos in the camera) and the battery lasted around 2.5 to 3 hours. Notice that Pentax rates the battery life at 290 shots.

About the ND filter: I have set it to "Auto" and have seen that, from time to time, the camera activates it. But I haven't manually used it yet.


Posted on Aug 8, 2013, 10:06:51 AM PDT
I use this...

Fotasy MANGSB Focal Reducer Speed Booster Adapter Nikon G AFS Lens to MFT Micro 4/3 M43 Camera, Black

Posted on Aug 27, 2013, 1:02:16 AM PDT
Todd Krieger says:

Can you post a video of the concert footage? I am interested in this particular camera because the sound capture seemed superior than most, and could be a candidate for a concert camera. The only drawbacks I've seen is limited zoom, and I'd also be interested in how well the digital zoom works (if you used it). Thank you much.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 30, 2013, 1:13:22 PM PDT
TheGnz says:
Hi. Yes, I've been using this adapter for almost 2 months now. It works fine but avoid the kit that comes with the lens hood, as it produces lots of vignetting. Regards.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 30, 2013, 1:37:59 PM PDT
TheGnz says:
Hi. I'd love to upload the original file but it's too large and my Internet upload speed isn't that fast.
I've tried to cut a couple of minutes from the original video but the resulting file is poor in video & audio quality.
I'll keep trying to get a good example, but in Youtube there is one or two of my videos taken with the MX-1 that a friend of mine uploaded. Of course neither the image or the audio is as good as the original but you they can give you an idea. Regards.

Posted on Nov 26, 2013, 10:27:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2013, 10:29:52 AM PST
A. Ee says:
Thanks for the helpful review! I got the MX-1 as a result.
As for your concern about not being able to go into playback mode without extending the lens, you can do that by holding down the playback button without powering the camera on. It's on page 47 of the manual. :)

Also, for the blue tint on sunny days, try using the built-in ND filter. It might help.

Posted on Sep 1, 2016, 5:21:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 1, 2016, 5:24:08 PM PDT
Daviangel says:
Still using this alongside a Pentax K-500.
I can attest to the ruggedness of both. I'd dropped both from chest height and both still work fine like nothing happened. Actually, a bit of the brass on the MX is finally showing through since the paint coat is finally starting to wear out after using it so much, as originally intended for this camera.
Also take them both to the beach all the time and other than carefully wiping away the salt mist and sand from the lens afterwards pictures still come out as good as new.
If you are shooting RAW you can easily fix the blue cast in camera raw since most likely the autocolor white balance on the camera must've got confused or chose wrongly.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2016, 8:46:20 PM PDT
TheGnz says:
Hi. I'm very impressed by this camera's ruggedness too. It recently felt down over a rock! part of the brass had little damage and the reddish color began to show finally. But the camera is working as in the first day I purchased it. Pentax/Ricoh have done a very good job with this camera.

The blue cast sometimes is very strong, but yes, it can be fixed in post processing or using manual white balance or the Kiwi adapter and a UV filter I guess.

I recently purchased a K-3II but I still find myself taking more pictures with the little MX-1.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2016, 1:04:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 6, 2016, 1:08:21 AM PDT
Daviangel says:
Yeah I got a K-500 too and use the MX-1 more since it's a lot easier to carry around. Until last week anyways, seems I finally killed it by taking it to the beach one time to many and not being careful about wiping away the sand from the sides of the zoom lens when shutting it off. If you get too much sand in the grooves it will prevent the lens from opening and closing correctly :(
Ironic that dropping it from eye level to concrete doesn't kill it (Also, dropped my K-500 the same way and can't believe it survived and didn't seem to suffer any noticeable damage) but getting grains of sand in the grooves of the zoom lens finally did. I also had a Nikon point and shoot in the past that quickly died the first time I dropped it from waist height.
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