Friday, January 25, 2013

The new Pentax MX-1, Why I will get one for sure.


Hi Photographer friends,

Credits: The Pictures below were taken by I do not have access to the camera yet, but I was lucky enough to try it at the CES in Las Vegas. Clubsnap Forum, in South East Asia, has more about the camera with lots of pictures and comments. I urge you to check it out. They were lucky enough to get a pre-production model from Ricoh/Pentax.  All the images are from a  pre-production model and we all know that it's only going to be better as the firmware gets completed.
Take a look at the camera images and the actual pictures below. Following the images, I write about why I will get the MX-1 for myself. Some reasons are technical while some are personal choices.

The original 35mm Pentax MX, 1976 to 1985



Look at the details.

100% crop

Extreme close up is possible with this camera.

Clear image in this selective focusing image.

That is pretty good bokeh for such a small sensor.
  • I can't claim that the MX-1 will be better than my K-5, but I can't bring my K-5 with me everywhere I go. However, I can bring the MX-1 as it is about the size of the iPhone but thicker. As a backup or "with-me-all-the-time" camera, it's perfect. This is an excellent choice for "in-your-face" street photography.

  • The image quality at 12 Mega Pixels (1/1.7" sensor) is pretty impressive. What's more, you can take pictures in RAW format (DNG - Adobe standard raw format) and post-process them later if you wish. I shoot RAW most of the time and I use Photoshop Lightroom to tweak the images further. I can always improve an image in post-processing.
  • One could say that the camera is not practical without a viewfinder, and I usually would agree. That's the way I feel about the K-01, although I do like the K-01. The difference is that the viewing screen of the MX-1 can be tilted on the horizontal axis. That makes taking pictures much easier in bright sunlight. It reminds me of the earlier waist-level finders Medium Format  cameras. Your body will keep the sun reflection off of the screen. A hood can also be used.

 The MX-1 with the screen horizontally tilted with + the monitor hood below = Waist-Level Finder.
  • I love the retro look, even taken to the extreme, with brass top and bottom plates. We used to judge a camera's usage by what was called "brassing" which occurred when the camera strap would rub on the paint for long enough to wear it out. You then could see the bare brass metal. Too much brassing and you knew that the camera had been used or abused for a long time.

  • The lens used on the camera appears to be the same as used by  the Olympus XZ-2. It is  a 28-112mm equivalent with a  bright F1.8-2.5 aperture across the zoom range. In turn, this produces excellent bokeh for such a small sensor. On the other hand, because of the small sensor, it is possible to take extreme close-up with this camera. It will focus as close as .39" or 1 centimeter.
  •  I like to take video every now and then. The K-5 might take good video footage, but the files are large and the software to convert the files to h.264 video / MPEG-4 is slowing my PC with the Intel I-5 and 16 gig of ram to a crawl. It's not much better with my iMac. What's more, the MX-1 records sound in stereo. I would have prefer also having the capability to use an external stereo mike, but it's not an option. If you don't use the AF or zoom during video taking, you will not hear the mechanism grind through the incorporated microphones. 

There you have claim.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

P.S. I will be writing an e-book for the MX-1. I like it that much.
You can purchase an e-book for most of the Pentax Digital cameras here:  Yvon Bourque e-books
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