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Pentax MX-1

12-megapixel digital camera with 4X optical zoom (Silver)

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  • Pentax MX-1

    Front

  • Pentax MX-1

    Back

  • Pentax MX-1

    Front

  • Pentax MX-1

    Side view with zoom lens extended

  • Pentax MX-1

    Tilting high-resolution LCD screen

  • Pentax MX-1

    Top view with zoom lens extended

  • Pentax MX-1

    With built-in flash

Item #: 815MX1S
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Pentax MX-1

by David Brown
Pentax

Today's point-and-shoot cameras make great pictures easier than ever

From baby's first steps, to that dream vacation in the islands, these cameras make it easy to capture life's greatest hits. Today's cameras have helpful automatic features, like face detection and scene recognition that make shooting more foolproof than ever. And they all have plenty of megapixels for detailed photos that stay sharp, even when you enlarge and print them.

Get creative in ways old and new

Get the feel of old-school photography along with the convenience of the digital age. The Pentax MX-1 gives you more creative control than most point and shoots, with gorgeous picture quality to boot. Genuine brass covers and a leather-grained band give this camera a classic look, while its fast lens with 4X optical zoom lets you capture accurate detail in low light as well as shoot with a shallow depth of field for sharply focused portraits against softly blurred backgrounds. Manual control dials let you adjust exposure on the fly, while plenty of pre- and post-shot editing options can further refine your snapshots for printing out and displaying for others to admire.

Don't be afraid of the dark

Want to get better photos in poorly lit environments? The MX-1's lens has a f/1.8 maximum aperture that lets in plenty of light even with fast shutter speeds. That means photos taken in poorly lit indoor settings or outdoors in the evening can have lots of detail and color with minimal graininess and noise. The backlit CMOS sensor offers selectable ISO up to 12,600, giving you incredible flexibility to shoot after dark, even without a flash. And HDR (high dynamic range) shooting mode can compensate for difficult high-contrast lighting situations by automatically snapping multiple exposures in rapid succession and combining them to bring out more highlight and shadow details — perfect for shooting sunsets or late-afternoon landscapes.

A bright, multi-angle display

Pentax MX-1 compact digital camera

The Pentax MX-1's high-resolution display tilts up and down, so you can set up shots even when holding the camera above or below eye-level. (Silver model shown)

The MX-1 features a large high-resolution LCD screen to set up and review shots. The display pulls out and tilts, perfect for accurately lining up subjects while holding the camera up high or down low. It also provides nice flexibility for shooting 1080p HD video, so you don't have keep the camera at eye level while trying to record an entire inning of your son's baseball game.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    Specifications:
    • 12.0-megapixel effective recording
    • 1/1.7" backlit CMOS sensor
    • 4X optical zoom lens 6.0-24mm, f/1.8-2.5 (35mm equivalent focal length: 28-112mm)
      • minimum focus distance: 1.3 ft. (normal), 2 inches (macro mode), 0.4 inches (super macro mode)
    • 3" tilting high-resolution LCD screen (920,000 dot resolution)
    • uses optional SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
    Special Features:
    • program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, and manual exposure modes
    • sensor shift and digital image stabilization to counteract shaky hands for blur-free photos
    • high-def movie mode with stereo sound (up to 1080p, 30 frames per second)
    • shutter speed range: 30-1/8,000 seconds
    • sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-12,800
    • HDR (high dynamic range) bracketing for more balanced exposure of shadows and highlights in high-contrast scenes
    • Face Detection (up to 32 faces) with Blink Detection and Smile Capture for improved portraits
    • digital filters can apply unique creative effects to photos pre- or post-shooting
    • brass top and base covers with easy-to-grip leather-grain band
    • records in RAW and JPEG formats for greater creative flexibility during editing
    • built-in flash
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • high-speed USB interface
    • micro HDMI output (cable not included)
    • 4-7/8"W x 2-9/16"H x 2-1/16"D
    • weight (including battery and memory card): 13.7 oz.
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • rechargeable lithium ion battery
    • battery charger
    • lens cap and string
    • neck strap
    • USB cable
    • software CD-ROM

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    LCD Screen Size
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    3"
    Adjustable-angle LCD
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    Yes
    Wi-Fi
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    No
    Touchscreen
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    No
    Waterproof
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    No
    GPS-enabled
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    No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent
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    28-112mm
    Optical Zoom
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    4x
    Digital Zoom
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    1.95x
    Filter Diameter
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    N/A
    Manual Focusing
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    Yes
    Manual Exposure
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    Yes
    Built-in Flash
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    Yes
    HDMI Output
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    Micro
    Memory
    Internal Memory
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    75.3MB
    Memory Media
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    SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Image
    Effective Megapixel Count
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    12
    Total Megapixels
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    12.76
    Image Stabilization
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    Sensor Shift
    Highest Resolution
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    4000 x 3000
    HD Video Recording
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    1920 x 1080
    Dimensions
    Width (inches)
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    4-7/8
    Height (inches)
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    2-9/16
    Depth (inches)
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    2-1/16
    Weight With Battery (ounces)
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    13.7
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Digital camera (silver/black)
    • Lens cap
    • Lens cap string
    • D-LI106 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.6V 1250mAh 4.5Wh)
    • D-BC106 Battery charger (DC output: 4.2V 0.8A)
    • 6' AC cord (C7 non-polarized plug)
    • 59" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and proprietary USB on other end)
    • Neck strap
    • Pentax S-SW130 SilkyPix software CD-ROM
    • Operating Manual
    • Quick Guide
    • Worldwide Service Network
    • Notification of Change in Company Name
    • Consumer Services Dept contact sheet
    • Manual correction sheet
    • Serial Number card

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    General Features
    Playback and Editing Features
    Connections
    Battery Information
    Supplied Software

    General Features

    Overview: The Pentax MX-1 is a high quality digital camera with a classic design. It has genuine brass covers on the top and bottom with other metal accents. With the look of a classic compact film camera, the MX-1 has the capability of some high-end contemporary digital cameras.

    smc Pentax Lens: The MX-1 is equipped with a fast and bright F1.8-2.5 smc Pentax lens. It has a focal length of 6-24mm, which is equivalent to 28mm to 112mm in 35mm photography.

    3.0" Tiltable LCD Monitor: The camera features a large, bright 3.0" LCD monitor for viewing the camera settings, framing your shots, and playing back recorded still images and movies. The monitor's 920,000-dot resolution gives you crystal clear images. The tiltable monitor can be lowered down to approximately 45° or raised upward to approximately 90°.

    Image Sensor: The MX-1 is equipped with a 1/1.7" CMOS image sensor. It has 12.76 million total pixels and 12 million effective pixels.

    Shake Reduction (SR): The MX-1 is equipped with the Pentax Shake Reduction (SR) system, which uses a magnetic force to move the image sensor at high speeds, compensating for camera shake. In addition, the camera offers Dual SR, combining sensor-shift and electronic pixel-tracking SR, for maximum blur prevention. There is a Movie Shake Reduction setting for use during movie recording.

    Internal Memory/Recording Media: The camera can record still images and movies onto its 75.3 MB internal memory, or SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards. The camera is also compatible with Eye-Fi cards that can transfer images wirelessly to a computer or similar device via Wi-Fi.

    Still Image Formats: The MX-1 can shoot JPEG still images in 4:3, 16:9, 3:2 or 1:1 aspect ratios. You can set the image quality level (compression ratio) for each size to Fine or Normal. In addition, the MX-1 can record the output of the full CMOS image sensor without processing in Digital Negative (DNG) format. JPEG Image sizes include:

    4:3 16:9 3:2 1:1
    12M: 4000 x 3000 9M: 3968 x 2232 10M: 3984 x 2656 9M: 2992 x 2992
    7M: 3072 x 2304 5M: 3072 x 1728 6M: 3072 x 2048 5M: 2304 x 2304
    5M: 2592 x 1944 3M: 2560 x 1440 4M: 2592 x 1728 3M: 1936 x 1936
    3M: 2048 x 1536 2M: 2048 x 1152 2M: 2016 x 1344 2M: 1536 x 1536

    Movie Recording: Movies can be recorded in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format with audio recorded with the built-in monaural microphone. You can choose from Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames per second, or 1280 x 720 at 60 or 30 fps. The Quality Level is fixed at "Fine." High-speed Movie mode allows for slow-motion playback, and Time-lapse Movie mode allows for fast-forward playback.

    Focus Modes: You can set the focus mode to one of the following:

    • AF (standard): Used when distance to subject is 16" or more.
    • Macro: Used when the distance to the subject is 2" to 20".
    • 1cm Macro: Used when the distance to the subject is 0.4" to 8"
    • Pan Focus: Used when focusing on subjects near and far in a wide range.
    • Infinity: Used for taking distant objects.
    • MF (manual focus): Lets you adjust the focus manually.

    Drive Modes: The MX-1 offers multiple Drive Mode options, including:

    • Single Frame: The camera takes a single photograph each time the shutter release button is pressed.
    • Continuous Shooting: Multiple, full resolution photos are taken while the shutter release button is pressed fully (frame rate not given).
    • Burst Shooting: Burst Shooting at higher frame rates than Continuous Shooting is available at reduced resolution.
    • Self-Timer: A single photo is taken after approximately 10 seconds to allow the photographer to get into the picture. A 2-second self timer can be used to avoid camera shake when the shutter release button is pressed. The 3-shot self timer mode records 3 pictures after a 10-second delay.
    • Remote Control: Using the optional remote control, the shutter is released immediately or after a 3-second delay when the shutter release button on the remote is pressed. You can also use the remote control for continuous shooting. Pentax offers the optional Remote Control F or Waterproof Remote Control O-RC1.
    • Auto Bracketing: You can take three consecutive images at different exposure levels when the shutter release button is pressed: at standard exposure, one underexposed, and one overexposed.

    Metering: You can select the portion of the image sensor to use for measuring brightness and determining exposure:

    • Multi-segment: The sensor meters the brightness in multiple zones.
    • Center-weighted: Metering is weighted at the center of the sensor.
    • Spot: The brightness is measured only within a limited area at the center of the sensor.

    Exposure Modes: The top-mounted Mode Dial lets you set the desired Exposure Mode. You can select from the following:

    • Auto Picture: Automatically selects the optimal capture mode for the subject. Possible modes include Standard, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Sport, Candlelight, Blue Sky, Portrait x Blue Sky, Portrait x Backlight, Portrait x Sunset, Sunset, Group Photograph, and Text.
    • Scene Mode: Lets you choose the capture mode from various scene styles. Scenes include: Portrait, Flower, Landscape, Blue Sky, Sunset, Night Scene, Handheld Night Snap, Night Scene Portrait, Candlelight, Fireworks, Food, Surf & Snow, Pet, Kids, Sport, Digital SR, Text, Candid Capture, Digital Wide, Digital Panorama, and Miniature.
    • HDR: The camera captures three images with different exposures that are automatically processed to store a single composite picture with a wide dynamic range.
    • User: You can save exposure settings and recall them when needed.
    • Program (P): The camera automatically sets the shutter speed and aperture value to obtain a proper exposure.
    • Shutter Priority (Tv): After you set the shutter speed, the camera automatically sets the aperture value to obtain a proper exposure.
    • Aperture Priority (Av): After you set the aperture, the camera automatically sets the shutter speed to obtain a proper exposure.
    • Manual (M): Lets you set the aperture and shutter speed to record the picture with creative intent.
    • Movie: Lets you record movies in High Definition with sound.
    • Green Mode: This mode is used for quick capturing, using the standard settings registered in advance.

    EV Compensation: You can deliberately overexpose or underexpose a picture using EV Compensation. The compensation value can be set between -2 and +2 EV at 1/3 EV steps.

    White Balance: White Balance is a function for adjusting the color of an image so that white objects appear white. You can choose Automatic White Balance (AWB), or a preset White Balance depending upon the lighting source: Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Light (4 types), Flash, or Manual.

    ISO Sensitivity: You can set the sensitivity to suit the brightness of the surroundings. The sensitivity can be set to ISO AUTO or manually between ISO 100 and ISO 12800. You can choose increments of 1 EV (8 steps) or 1/3 EV (22 steps).

    Flash: The MX-1 has a built-in pop-up flash for use in low-light situations. There are several Flash Modes to choose from:

    • Auto Flash: the flash automatically fires based on brightness of the scene
    • Flash Off: the flash does not fire regardless of subject brightness
    • Flash On: the flash fires with each picture when manually popped up; does not charge when retracted
    • Auto + Red-eye Reduction: the flash fires automatically with a pre-flash for red-eye reduction
    • Flash On + Red-eye Reduction: the flash fires when popped up with a pre-flash for red-eye reduction
    • Slow-speed Sync: the flash fires during a slow shutter speed; lights foreground subject while maintaining a distant lit background
    • Slow-speed Sync + Red-eye Reduction: the flash fires during a slow shutter speed, with a pre-flash for red-eye reduction
    • Trailing Curtain Sync: the flash fires immediately before closing the trailing curtain of the shutter. Moving objects are captured as if they are leaving a trail behind.

    Playback and Editing Features

    Quick Zoom: Single images can be magnified up to 10 times in playback mode. While the image is magnified, you can use the 4-way controller to move around in the magnified area.

    Multiple Image Display: You can display four, nine, or 25 images on the LCD monitor at once. Images can also be displayed by folder or in a calendar display.

    Image Editing: The Playback Mode Palette lets you perform playback and editing functions on recorded images and movies. Some of the functions include:

    • Slide Show: Continuously play back images at different intervals (30, 20, 10, 5, or 3 seconds), transition effects (wipe, checker, fade, random, off), and sound effects.
    • Image Rotation: Rotates images so they will be displayed at proper orientation.
    • Stretch Filter: You can stretch a user-selected area of a 4:3 image and store it as a 16:9 image.
    • Small Face Filter: Reduces the size of faces detected by the camera.
    • Collage: You can create a collage image by placing captured images on a selected pattern.
    • Digital Filter: You can edit images using the following digital filters: B&W, Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Extract Color, Color Emphasis, High Contrast, Starburst, Soft, Fish-eye, Brightness, Miniature, Slim, and Invert Color.
    • HDR Filter: You can adjust parts of an image that are too bright or too dark, and process images to simulate an HDR effect.
    • Original Frame: You can overlay a decorative frame over a selected part of the picture. Text can be entered on the picture as well.
    • RAW Development: You can convert RAW images into JPEG images, and save them as a new file.
    • Movie Edit: Recorded movies can be divided into two separate files, and still images can be captured from single frames.
    • Red Eye Edit: You can correct images where the flash has caused the subject to appear with red eyes.
    • Resize: Change the number of recorded pixels and quality level and save it as a new image.
    • Cropping: Cuts out only the desired area of the selected image and saves it as a new image.
    • Image Copy: Images stored on the internal memory can be copied to an inserted SD card, or vice versa.
    • Protect: Protects images and movies from deletion.
    • DPOF: Sets and stores parameters for printing images on the SD card, allowing you to print the images as desired on a DPOF-compatible printer or at a photo processing lab.
    • Start-up Screen: You can select a still image to appear on the LCD monitor when the camera is first powered up.

    Connections

    PC/AV Terminal: The proprietary PC/AV terminal can be used to connect the camera to your computer via the supplied I-USB7 cable. The terminal is USB 2.0 High-Speed compatible. You can also connect the camera to a TV using an optional I-AVC7 AV cable. The cable has composite video and mono RCA audio plugs. The AV output is automatically set based upon the hometown entered at the time of initial setup, in accordance with that region. The video output format can be manually set to NTSC or PAL, if necessary.

    HDMI: You can connect the camera to a high definition TV (HDTV) via the Micro HDMI terminal (Type D), located on the side of the camera. A commercially available HDMI cable is required. The camera's default HDMI output is set to Auto. You can set it 1080i, 720p, or 480p, if desired.

    DC-In: If you intend to operate the camera continuously for a long period of time, you should plug the camera into ordinary household current using the optional K-AC130 AC adapter kit. The AC adapter plugs into the dedicated DC-In jack on the side of the camera.

    Battery Information

    Battery Requirements: The Pentax MX-1 is powered by the D-LI106 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.6V, 1250mAh, 4.5Wh). The battery fully charges in approximately 2 hours 20 minutes, using the supplied D-BC106 battery charger. With a fully charged battery, you can shoot approximately 290 pictures (flash used for 50% of shots), or approximately 90 minutes of movie recording time. Playback time with a fully charged battery is approximately 4 hours 40 minutes.

    Supplied Software

    Pentax S-SW130: The MX-1 comes with the Pentax S-SW130 software CD-ROM disc with SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 LE for Pentax Ricoh Imaging. With this program, you can develop RAW files, adjust the color of the images and other settings. Developed and edited images can be saved as JPEG or TIFF files.

    Compatible Operating Systems: The supplied software is compatible with the following operating systems:

    • Windows:
      • Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit)
      • Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
      • Windows Vista (32-bit, 64-bit)
      • Windows XP SP3 or later (32-bit Home/Pro)
    • Macintosh: Mac OS X Ver.10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8
     
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    Pentax MX-1 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    5 out of 5

    Great camera

    Written By Tom G, Lynnwood, wa on Thursday, January 30, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great pentax camera. I was looking for an affordable,high-end point and shoot for not only photos but video also. My daughter plays volleyball and we take action shots as well as video all games, then upload video to her website. The video has been awesome and I haven't taken many shots yet but the few that I have look great. I'm a big pentax fan and Crutchfield had the best package and value for the money I spent.
    Pros:
    Great stills and video and the camera has easy to understand menus plus pentax is the only manufacturer that still provides a printed manual. Great. For taking with you in the field so if you need to look something up you just open the manual.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Pentax MX-1

    Written By Dan, Kingwood, TX on Tuesday, January 21, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    For the price, this is an excellent mirrorless digital camera. It would be great for any beginner who wants to practice using the manual settings.
    Pros:
    Excellent image quality, and easy to use manual settings. Raw format option.
    Cons:
    No view finder, no external flash capability.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     

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