Pentax MX-1

Pentax MX-1 front
  • 12MP - 1/1.7" Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 100 - 12800
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 28-112mm (F1.8-2.5) lens
  • 391g - 122 x 61 x 51mm
  • Released July 2013
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax MX-1 summary

Pentax MX-1 is Pentax's Small Sensor Compact digital camera initially launched on July of 2013. The camera comes with a 12MP, CMOS 1/1.7" size sensor with a full resolution of 4000 x 3000.

The MX-1 comes in at #9 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras & overall #495 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. Please use our Smart camera search to find camera listings based on your personalized requirements.

Photography Glossary

Here is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Pentax MX-1 Pros and Cons

Here is a list of pros and cons of the Pentax MX-1 based on factors which are often regarded as useful in a digital camera.

delivers RAW files
does have HDMI support
flash built-in
good battery life (290 CIPA)
good maximum aperture (f1.8)
good minimum ISO (100)
great aperture at full zoom (f2.5)
great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
high res video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
in built lens has zoom (28-112mm 4.0 x zoom)
includes face detection autofocus
includes tracking autofocus
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
rather wide (28mm)
tilting screen
very good screen resolution (920 k dot)
you can focus manually
does not have external mic jack
does not have headphone jack
does not have selfie friendly screen
does not have Time Lapse mode
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
has no phase detect autofocus
heavier than others in class (391 grams)
max fps very slow (1.0 frames per second)
MP count low (12MP)
no external flash support
sensor size is small (1/1.7")
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Pentax MX-1 Sensor specs

The sensor spec on the Pentax MX-1 is 7.44mm x 5.58mm (1/1.7"). The 42 mm² sensor can capture 4000 x 3000 pixels with aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera comes with Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). Optical stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter might produce cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 12MP and gives a standard ISO range of 100 to 12800. RAW format is supported so you have more room to maneuver in post.

The graphic underneath shows the MX-1's sensor size compared to other popular sizes. The MX-1 sensor has a crop factor of 4.8 and is highlighted in green.

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To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax MX-1 dimensions

Pentax MX-1 has a weight of 0.86 pounds (391 grams or 13.79 ounces) & the size of the camera is 122mm x 61mm x 51mm (4.8" x 2.4" x 2.0"). The weight of average Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 grams and the Pentax MX-1 is weightier compared to various competitors.

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Here is a picture of the Pentax MX-1 beside a soft drink to help you to get a feel for its size.

Pentax MX-1 dimensions scale

The top view just below will illustrate the button design on the MX-1.

Pentax MX-1 topview buttons dials

Pentax MX-1 Lens details

The MX-1 has an inbuilt lens giving a focal range of 28-112mm giving it a 4.0 x zoom which is definitely not outstanding however it will be invaluable in some situations.

At it's widest 28mm, it comes with an aperture of f1.8 and that is perfect for low light events and getting a shallow depth of field. It would also enable you to set a lower ISO to get better shots. On the long end, 112mm comes with f2.5 making it fairly good and will allow you to have higher shutter speeds.

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Pentax MX-1 Connectivity

The MX-1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that contain NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You are able to transfer images and in some cases adjust camera settings without the hassle of connecting physically with the camera.

Several apps also provide a Liveview and release the shutter when you are not close to the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it could be hooked up to an external screen. A lot of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack with the USB port.

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Pentax MX-1 Video details

The highest possible video quality on the Pentax MX-1 is 1920 x 1080 and you can save in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 1080p quality gives a great balance between video quality and file size but 1080p won't give you any room to crop. The body does not offer a microphone and / or headphone socket so you have zero control over the audio. It is probably best to buy an alternative model if you need decent audio for your videos.

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Pentax MX-1 Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing for the Pentax MX-1 so you have to be careful in wet and dusty conditions.

Pentax MX-1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax MX-1 comes with a 3" tilting display screen with a resolution of 920k dots.

Unfortunately the display screen isn't a touch screen.

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The ViewFinder specifications for Pentax MX-1 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be rather beneficial during sunny outdoor conditions which can make the camera screen washed out and hard to see.

Pentax MX-1 Shutter details

Pentax MX-1 continuous shooting rate is 1.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 seconds.

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Pentax MX-1 Flash and Hot shoe details

Pentax MX-1 comes with just in-built flash with missing external flash support.

Pentax MX-1 Autofocusing details

Pentax MX-1 comes with only Contrast Detect AF & is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot quicker and precise compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera comes with Face detection which can be helpful for taking portraits of people.

The Sensor comes with 25 focus points to pick from. It also features Tracking AF for objects that move. Pentax MX-1 has got manual focus if needed during low light conditions or you need more precise focus control.

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Pentax MX-1 Battery life

The battery life (D-Li-106) for the Pentax MX-1 is fashioned to last for 290 clicks as per the CIPA requirements making it higher than the usual ın comparison with its class. The average Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 offers the best (470) battery life within this kind of cameras.

Listed below is a collection of Small Sensor Compact cameras having the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Photography Glossary

Pentax MX-1 for varying styles of photography

The following diagram presents a rundown of the Pentax MX-1 for varying styles of photography. To find out more, scroll to the specific paragraph underneath.

Pentax MX-1 Portrait photography factors

The Pentax MX-1 has a score of 42 which is horrible, meaning that it is simply not good for portrait photography. Taking portrait images favors heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support together with the flexibility to utilize external lighting.

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has manual focus
has face detection focus
saves RAW files
cannot use external flash
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
sensor is tiny (1/1.7")

Pentax MX-1 as a Street photography camera

With a above average points tally of 65, the Pentax MX-1 is a very decent fit for street photography. A very good street photography camera features a fine balance of picture quality and portability.

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tilting screen
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
exports RAW formats
sensor size is small (1/1.7")
heavier than others in class (391 grams)

Pentax MX-1 as a Sports photography camera

A horrible sports photography points tally of 43 means the Pentax MX-1 is simply not good for photographing sports. A camera should have fantastic autofocus plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

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high shutter speed (1/8,000s)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
offers tracking autofocus
better than average battery (290 per charge)
max fps low (1.0 frames/s)
low MP (12MP)
small sensor size (1/1.7")
lacks phase detect autofocus

Pentax MX-1 Travel photography factors

Size is super important in getting a travel camera. On the whole, the Pentax MX-1 gets a above average 61 for a travel camera which makes it a very decent fit to take on your vacations.

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good battery (290 CIPA)
built-in flash
fairly wide (28mm)
great max aperture (f1.8)
missing Time Lapse recording
heavier than competition in class (391 grams)
low resolution (12 megapixels)
doesn't posses selfie friendly display

Pentax MX-1 Landscape photography details

For anybody looking to choose a digital camera for landscape photos, the biggest factor is going to be image quality. The Pentax MX-1 at it's decent grade of 55 for a landscape camera is relatively suited among it's competitors.

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has manual focus
reasonably wide (28mm)
good maximum aperture (f1.8)
decent sized screen (3")
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
supports RAW formats
great battery pack (290 CIPA)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
low MP (12MP)
very small sensor size (1/1.7")
no Timelapse function

Pentax MX-1 Vlogging info

A camera for vlogging should really posses a moving display screen, mic input and if possible image stabilization. Taking all things in to account, the Pentax MX-1 is simply not good for vlogging as it delivers a horrible rating of 33.

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pretty wide (28mm)
great max aperture (f1.8)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
offers face detect focusing
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
screen is not selfie friendly
no microphone support
more heavy than others (391 grams)

Pentax MX-1 Alternatives

If you are searching for alternatives to the MX-1, below is a list of the highest placed cameras that fall within the category of Small Sensor Compact.

The graph listed below gives you a bird's eye view of the MX-1 compared to it's highest ranked competitors mentioned above.

Following are additional cameras you may check out as alternative options. To read through a comprehensive comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Brand Name
Pentax MX-1
Small Sensor Compact
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
7.44 x 5.58mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW files
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focus
Touch to focus
Continuous AF
AF single
AF tracking
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28-112mm (4.0x)
Max aperture
Macro focus range
Focal length multiplier
Range of screen
Screen sizing
3 inches
Screen resolution
920k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Screen technology
TFT LCD with AR coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Minimum shutter speed
30 seconds
Fastest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shutter speed
1.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
12.00 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Speed sync, Trailing Curtain sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
MPEG-4, H.264
Mic input
Headphone input
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
391 gr (0.86 pounds)
Physical dimensions
122 x 61 x 51mm (4.8" x 2.4" x 2.0")
Battery life
290 pictures
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage media
Storage slots
Launch price