Pentax MX-1 Camera - An In-Depth Review of Its Features and Performance

Looking for a high-performance compact camera for your photography needs? Pentax MX-1 could be your perfect match. With its exceptional features and excellent image quality, the camera has gained a decent reputation among professional photographers and amateurs alike. In this blog post, we'll take a detailed look at the Pentax MX-1 camera and share our thoughts on its various features, performance, and capabilities.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Pentax MX-1 article cover photo

Key Features

Jul 01 2013


12 megapixels


Sensor Type1/1.7-inch

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Overview of the MX-1

If you're searching for a high-performing compact camera, the Pentax MX-1 is one device that could offer you everything you need. Offering excellent image and video quality, coupled with advanced features and robust build quality, the camera is an ideal choice for professional photographers and enthusiasts alike. Nonetheless, to gain a deeper understanding of what this camera can offer you, we'll delve into its features and performance to help you make an informed decision. So, let's get started!

Pentax MX-1 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Pentax MX-1 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High Image Quality
Retro Style
Fast Lens
12 Megapixel
Optical Viewfinder
Wi-Fi Enabled
RAW Format
Image Stabilization
Articulated Screen


Slow Autofocus
Limited zoom range
Small sensor size
Limited video options
No manual focus ring
No touchscreen
Not weather sealed
Mediocre battery life

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Pentax MX-1

Weather sealed
Dimensions122 x 61 x 51mm

Weather Sealing

The Pentax MX-1 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeTilting
Screen Resolution920k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a tilting 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 920k dots. This makes the Pentax MX-1 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Pentax MX-1 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the MX-1 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Pentax MX-1 has a 12MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Pentax MX-1 has a native ISO range of 100 - 12800 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Jul 01 2013


100 - 12800

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4000 x 3000 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


49 / 102

Color Depth

20.4 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

11.3 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

208 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Pentax MX-1 camera has average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the MX-1 is poor

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/1.7-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life290 shots
Battery ModelD-Li-106
Wireless Connectivity


The Pentax MX-1 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Pentax MX-1 uses the D-Li-106 model of battery pack. This is rated for 290 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Pentax MX-1 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Pentax MX-1 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Pentax MX-1 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 25 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Pentax MX-1?

The Pentax MX-1 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Pentax MX-1 weather sealed?

No the MX-1 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Pentax MX-1 announced?

The Pentax MX-1 was announced on Jul 01 2013

Does the Pentax MX-1 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the MX-1 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Pentax MX-1?

The MX-1 has a native ISO range of 100-12800, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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