Pentax MX-1 Review

Review posted 05/15/2013

Quick Take
  • iAuto shooting mode is accurate and easy in all situations
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • Overall excellent image quality
  • Fast, Easy to use HDR shooting options
  • Sensor Shift SR assists up to 3 stops
  • Bright, tiltable 3.0-inch LCD
  • Good shooting performance
  • Optical zoom available while recording video
  • Stills can be capturing during video recording
  • HDR mode works very well for an auto camera mode
  • Great Battery Life
  • Competitively priced
  • AF during video recording struggled
  • Some noise in higher ISO images
  • Popup flash unit is not very powerful
  • No EVF or OVF
  • Wind noise reduction does not work with other background noises
  • Camera body is very thick
Bottom Line
The Pentax MX-1 is a classically designed, fully featured compact digicam. It's 12-Megapixel CMOS and low-light zoom lens capture excellent quality images. It is a great compact alternative to a larger entry-level dSLR. Read more in our Full Conclusion.

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.

The camera body seems to be built quite well, with brass covers at the top and bottom, metal accents and trim, and a nice textured-rubber surround. The MX-1 also sports a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD screen, Dual Shake Reduction system (Sensor-Shift + Digital SR), RAW and JPEG image capture, in camera editing (RAW edit as well), Full HD video recording, Dual-axial digital level, and a pop-up flash unit.

Pentax MX-1 features:
  • 1/1.7" 12-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • PENTAX SMC 4x optical zoom lens covers 28-112mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Fast f/1.8-2.5 maximum aperture range
  • Intelligent Zoom (digital) extends telephoto end to 218mm
  • Super Resolution technology built-in to the image processor
  • Built-in, pop-up flash unit
  • Remote control sensors for optional accessories
  • 10 exposure modes to choose from; including Auto Picture, Program AE, Aperture/Shutter priority, and full Manual
  • RAW and JPEG image formats
  • JPEG and RAW in-camera image editing options
  • Full 1080p (30p) H.264 video recording
  • High-speed and Time-lapse movie mode options
  • Dual-axial digital level
  • 15 digital filters for more creative photographs
  • Card slot accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC type memory cards
  • Eye-fi wireless LAN SD card compliant
  • Li-ion battery pack
The MX-1 sports a suggested retail price of $499.95 USD. You can choose from black on black, or black with silver accents. See our lowest price button at the top right of this page for the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • MX-1 Body
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery D-LI106(B)
  • Battery Charge Cradle D-BC106
  • AC Plug Cord
  • Strap O-ST130
  • PENTAX Lens Cap O-LC130
  • Software CD-ROM S-SW130

Additional Product Views


Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.