Unboxing the Pentax MX-1

We got our hands on Pentax's newest enthusiast compact camera

Pentax's MX-1 has held our interest since it was announced. We really like its retro styling, which is a throwback to the 1976 Pentax film SLR of the same name.

We've finally got our hands on an MX-1, in Pentax's Classic Silver finish. We wanted to show you what you get inside the box for the MX-1's $499.95 Australian asking price, so here you are:

The box for the Pentax MX-1 is simple. It's not going to win any packaging awards, but it's got a good list of descriptions of the MX-1's specs and features.

In the top of the box you'll find the camera's manual, warranty card, product registration info, and a CD with SilkyPix Developer Studio to process the camera's images on your PC.

Everything is logically laid out inside the box, and well padded to accommodate rough treatment during shipping.

This is what you get inside the MX-1's package. There's no nostalgia here; just a utilitarian list of camera strap, charger, charger power cable, USB cable, battery pack, and clip-on lens cap.

And here's the camera in the (brass-bodied) flesh. Our first impressions were that it's quite large for a supposedly compact camera, but it's also one of the most reassuringly solid that we've used.

The camera's lens is a 4x zoom from 28mm-112mm (full-frame equivalent), with a slightly-variable f1.8-f2.5 minimum aperture from wide to telephoto. Like the Olympus XZ-2 it shares this lens with, the MX-1 is quick to focus, and can get some reasonable out-of-focus blurring going on when it's used for macro shots.

We really like the leatherette that wraps the MX-1. It's easy to grip, and looks great. The front of the camera is Spartan, with only the MX-1 logo and an autofocus assist lamp.

The left side of the camera has a pop-up switch for the inbuilt flash — it doesn't do it on its own — while the right has ports to connect a PC or TV.

The controls on the back of the camera are extremely clearly laid out. Everything is intuitively placed — the MX-1 just feels natural to use. Anyone who's used a Pentax digital SLR will be instantly familiar.

We like the dedicated exposure compensation dial, and the proximity of the shooting mode dial to everything else. The on/off button is a little hard to press, but this can be circumvented by setting an appropriate auto-sleep setting in the MX-1's menu.

The MX-1's tripod screw is slightly offset from the lens — making wide panoramas slightly difficult to shoot professionally — and a single hinged door hides the battery pack and SD card slot. Here you can also see the MX-1's articulating 3-inch screen, which tilts over a wide range of motion.

The Pentax MX-1 is available now in Australia, for a recommended retail price of $499.95.

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
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