Pentax MX-1 Hands-On

by on January 9, 2013

in Pentax

Pentax MX-1

The Pentax MX-1 is a new, retro-styled point and shoot camera with a 1/1.7″ sensor inside at 12MP resolution. It has a robust body, complete with a brass top that will add some character to individual units as they age.

Geared toward prosumers, the MX-1 offers RAW image capture and a fast, f/1.8-2.5 aperture on the 4x zoom lens. And, the 3″ LCD articulates, which makes high and low viewing easier.

Pentax MX1

When I picked up the Pentax MX-1 for the first time, I was surprised at just how big it is. The MX-1 rivals the size of some compact mirrorless cameras. So, it’s certainly not a front-pocket camera if you’re wearing skinny jeans.


Reading the press sheet earlier this week, I didn’t think I would care much for the camera. Putting hands on it though, it’s quite a nice point and shoot camera. As I started operating it and snapping frames, I liked it even better.

Pentax MX-1

I’ve got nothing to say on image quality because the unit I handled was a pre-production model; however, the feature set seemed to be pretty smooth throughout.

Pentax MX1

The fast lens is a solid feature for low light use and the autofocus is very fast. AF tracking for subjects and faces appeared to be spot on.

Additionally, the shot-to-shot speed is nice with standard continuous mode at 1.57fps (for approx. 37 frames) and up to a high speed burst option at 4.21fps (capped at 10 frames).

Pentax MX1

The one thing I noticed missing was a ISO hot shoe, which is found on several of the MX-1′s category competitors. Instead, the MX-1 is equipped solely with a pop-up flash.

Pentax MX-1

Overall though, I had a very positive first-impression of the Pentax MX-1 and look forward to hopefully getting more time with the camera later for a full evaluation of its performance as a prosumer point and shoot. At $500, the MX-1 is not a cheap model; however, it stacks up against the likes of the Canon G15, Fuji X20 and Nikon P7700, which are priced in the same range for the same prosumer target audience.

The Pentax MX-1 is available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail partner, B&H Photo, at the following link:

Pentax MX-1 at B&H Photo

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1 Grant January 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm

What a stupid marketing from Pentax to come out with a camera sensor size which is already saturated and not too popular at all, 1/1.7″ sensor inside at 12MP.
The look is not favorable and the adjustments aren’t as good as the G15.

It would be different if they have come with a APS sensor 18×12 or larger, or even with an interchangeable lens system. Japan must have gone nuts after the Tsunami.

2 Jay January 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm

A 1″ sensor as on the RX100 would have been preferrable. But no need to make it an interchangeable lens system. Remember, Pentax already has a very compact APS-C system with the DA Limited lenses. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to market this advantage very well.

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