Pentax's brass-capped advanced compact ticks the right boxes, but so do most of its competitors.
12 September 2013
Conclusion: In the four years since Canon introduced the PowerShot S90, the quality of images you can get from a compact camera has skyrocketed. While the Sony RX100 currently rules the roost with its relatively massive 1-inch CMOS sensor, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic all have flooded the marketplace with compact cameras with large sensors that take excellent photos.
Excerpt: Pentax/Ricoh unveiled an interesting new retro styled camera for 2013, which they claim will, "appeal to a wide range of photo enthusiasts", thanks to its powerful features and rangefinder charm. Some of the spotlight features include a 12-megapixel, 1/1.7" CMOS image sensor, a fast PENTAX SMC 4x optical zoom lens, f/1.8-2.5 maximum aperture range, and a plethora of exposure options; from Auto Picture to full Manual.
Summary: CONCLUSION The Pentax MX-1, while classified as a compact digital camera, is a fairly large and heavy compact which doesn't offer the shirt pocket portability which tends to define the classic definition of a "compact" digital. However, I wandered around Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park for two days with the MX-1 draped around my neck and am none the worse for wear as a result.
Summary: Overall we are pleased with the Pentax MX-1. It's a good alternative to the Pentax Q for enthusiasts who are looking for a compact backup camera from Pentax and don't want to have to worry about switching lenses. Plus, it's loaded with many DSLR-like features, which makes it an excellent value. It's also a great choice for photographers who want an affordable all-in-one compact with premium image quality.
Pros: Very sharp lens, Convenient zoom range, Excellent build quality, Compact and generally easy to hold, Clear high-resolution tilting LCD, Excellent image quality at low ISOs, Front and rear remote control ports, Fast autofocus for stills, Sensor-shift shake reduction, Handy 1cm macro mode, Fun slow-motion and time-lapse videos, Produces great JPEGs, Large array of features and customizations, ND filter, shadow/highlight correction, HDR mode, Easy one-handed operation, R...
Cons: Poor video autofocus, LCD tilting mechanism ruins retro elegance, Some interface quirks (i.e. info button useless in playback mode), Excessive duplication of settings between info screen and menus, No noise reduction settings, Very slow when shooting in RAW, Distortion at the wide end (if uncorrected/in RAW), Interface locks up while data is written to card, Poor JPEG performance above ISO 1600, No manual video controls, Controls not always intuitive, No focus peaking...
Summary: 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.
Pros: Excellent image quality in JPEG and Raw, Solid build, Appealing design, Good color, practical color modes, Overall good performance in low light, Good optical quality - center to corner sharpness, with little sign of chromatic aberration, Fast autofocus, 10fps full-res burst mode, Captures a Raw image even in special color/effect modes, Switches to Macro mode automatically, 1cm Macro mode allows extreme closeups, In-camera Raw conversion for individual or batch reproc...
Cons: Too large for most pockets, No hot shoe or accessory port, Tungsten lighting sometimes left quite yellow by AWB system, Motor sounds audible when zooming (with optical zoom enabled), Lacks second dial to give easy control of both aperture and shutter speed in Manual mode, Camera doesn't hang level from strap thanks to front-mounted strap lugs, Slow to power down, Slow to return control to user after shots