Pentax announced a new premium compact camera at CES earlier this month. The Pentax MX-1 has a fast, 4x f/1.8-2.5 zoom lens, a large 1/1.7-inch backlit CMOS sensor, manual shooting modes, full HD video and a nice retro design with brass top and bottom plates. The MX-1 is Pentax’s first really serious compact digital camera and it’s got everything an experienced photographer would want – a mode dial with P, A, S, M shooting modes, dedicated exposure compensation dial, RAW shooting, built-in electronic level, a tilting LCD display and digital filters.
Pentax MX-1 Key Features And Specs:
- 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch backlit CMOS sensor
- 4x 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 optical zoom lens
- Dual shake-reduction system
- 1920 x 1080 full HD video
- RAW shooting with in-camera RAW processing
- P,A,S,M shooting modes
- 3-inch 921k-dot tilting LCD display
- Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 12,800
- Dual-axial digital level
- Pop-up flash
It’s clear that Pentax camera designers and engineers put some effort into the MX-1 and I’m sure it’s a great camera. But is it too little, too late? The Pentax MX-1 will compete head to head with other high-end compacts from Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and Panasonic, all of which also have large sensors and fast aperture zoom lenses. The only thing that really sets the MX-1 apart from the competition are the brass top and bottom plates that will allow it to develop “brassing” as the finish wears off and the brass shows through. Watch the video below for a hands-on presentation of the MX-1 at a CES preview event:
Unfortunately, performance-wise, the MX-1 doesn’t really stand out from the other high-end compact cameras already on the market. And ultimately it’s performance that really matters. Unless the MX-1 has some hidden superpowers or Pentax makes it more affordable than the competition, this one is probably going to be a tough sell. And that’s too bad because it does look like a very nice camera.
The Pentax MX-1 will be available in February of 2013 in solid black or two-tone black and silver. The suggested retail price is US $499.95.
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