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Blown Away by the Pentax MX-1


Gundog e2
1 624 Scotland
3 Jul 2013 5:16PM
OK. I know that I can be a bit silly where money is concerned and almost as soon as I had clicked the "Buy" button on procamerashop.co.uk I thought that getting a Pentax MX-1 might be something I would regret.

I love my Nikon dSLRs but sometimes feel that I would benefit from a much smaller, more easily transportable compact camera.

I had a couple of years dalliance with M4/3 (first an Olympus PEN and then an OM-D) but they just didn't fit the bill. Too much reduction in versatility and image quality without enough of a saving in size and weight.

I resisted the temptation to go "properly" compact until I saw the spec of the MX-1. What really decided me was the amazing macro capability with the ability to focus right down to 1 centimetre. The times I really want to leave my big cameras behind and use a compact are when clambering up mountains or walking far into the hills. Often, in those places, what I want to photograph are "wee things" such as insects and alpine flowers, so a really effective close-up capability seemed really attractive.

What I hadn't expected, until the camera arrived and I put it through its paces, was the general image quality when shooting in Raw. OK, it doesn't match the D800 - but that is mainly because one can't crop a 12Mp Raw file to anything like the same extent as a 36Mp image. If I am able to frame the picture fairly well at capture and use most of the sensor area, then the resultant image quality is really quite outstanding. On landscape at least.

So, happily, the half-expected regrets have not materialised and I really am blown away by the picture quality from a small compact camera.

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Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
3 Jul 2013 6:57PM

Quote:What really decided me was the amazing macro capability with the ability to focus right down to 1 centimetre


Yes but its nothing new, a lot of the high end compacts focus down to 1cm, what kills the Pentax for me is the lack of a hot shoe and tiny sensor.
Gundog e2
1 624 Scotland
5 Jul 2013 2:37PM
Here's a quick example. I know that no-one can tell much from an on-line image viewed on a computer monitor but it is sufficiently sharp for competition or exhibition when printed 12"x12" (not that the subject or composition is necessarily what you would want for competition).

bee2.jpg

5 Jul 2013 2:56PM
That's an excellent picture.

Smaller sensor cameras make it easier to take good macro pictures - something to do with the greater DOF. If I tried that shot on my A77 and 100mm macro I'd need to use a ring flash and f32. And I'd fry the hoverfly.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
5 Jul 2013 3:24PM
Yes but from 1cm the depth of field is very shallow.

This tiny little toad survived my lawn mower and me accidentally treading on it, it was`nt much bigger than a 10p coin Smile

Taken with my little x10 from about 1cm.



Gundog e2
1 624 Scotland
5 Jul 2013 4:23PM

Quote:Yes but from 1cm the depth of field is very shallow.




It is - but not as shallow as I wanted it. I overcame the problem by using Lightroom's new radial grad filter to reduce the clarity and sharpness outwith the immediate vicinity of the insect.
6 Jul 2013 1:43PM
I am glad your camera has finally found you. The progress in compacts has been amazing for the last 5 years, and I like their latest generation with fast optics and super-fast processors. In fact, despite making a move to DSLRs for the sake of image quality and creative possibilities I have increased my park of compacts in last 5 years. They are great on-the-go cameras and allow for good quality photos on a budget where DSLRs have a no go without very expensive quality glass, i.e macro- and tele-. They may need some skill to operate such small bodies with these small lens, but that's a little price to pay for the choice between a very good image and no image at all.Smile
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
6 Jul 2013 10:45PM

Quote:They may need some skill to operate such small bodies with these small lens


Yes you do have to work harder to get the best out of them Smile
7 Jul 2013 1:56PM

Quote:They may need some skill to operate such small bodies with these small lens

Yes you do have to work harder to get the best out of them Smile



It's the bigger sensor cameras that need skill to get the best out of them. The smaller the sensor the more forgiving they are - that's what makes them more suitable for inexperienced users.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
7 Jul 2013 2:23PM
No you do need to work harder to get the best out of them due to there more limited capabilities for creative use.

I know were your argument is coming from, it alway`s comes from the same pointless place Smile
7 Jul 2013 11:58PM

Quote:They may need some skill to operate such small bodies with these small lens

Yes you do have to work harder to get the best out of them Smile

It's the bigger sensor cameras that need skill to get the best out of them. The smaller the sensor the more forgiving they are - that's what makes them more suitable for inexperienced users.


It can be put this way by an inexperienced amateur, and I would accept it. Yes, compacts are producing better looking small images in auto mode. DSLRs are just not created for point-and shoot use, and matching their aperture priority or manual mode results with a compact needs some skill and inventivenes. It is much easier to do a quality shot with a DSLR for the one who knows how to work it.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
8 Jul 2013 1:55AM

Quote:It is much easier to do a quality shot with a DSLR for the one who knows how to work it


The same goes for the the beginner as well Smile


Quote:It's the bigger sensor cameras that need skill to get the best out of them


No, all you need is a fast lens, and those distracting backgrounds vanish, compacts can`t do this so well and you have got to work at layering Smile
8 Jul 2013 9:27AM

Quote:No you do need to work harder to get the best out of them due to there more limited capabilities for creative use.

I know were your argument is coming from, it alway`s comes from the same pointless place Smile



Ooooh! BTW, if you're going to try to insult someone it's usually more effective if you spell things right. Otherwise it just causes amusement.

I'm afraid you're wrong though. The greater creative capabilities of the bigger sensor cameras mean that's there's much greater scope to get it wrong - ask any pro. In particular the smaller DOF means that you need to be more careful with the camera's settings. If something's out of focus it can't be made in focus - unlike the other way round.

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