- Multiple functions, low cost
- Poor sharpness, high chromatic aberration, poor MP3 sound quality, slow operation, slightly confusing menu
Overall, the Megxon MX7 isn't really worth your money. It's poor image quality and slow operation combined with the distorted audio from the music player make this a disappointing product.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Following hot on the heels of products like Aiptek's Mini Pocket DV 8900 is Megxon's MX7 digital camera. Sporting a 7 megapixel CCD sensor, it tries to be a little of everything, capturing both still pictures and video footage, as well as offering MP3 playback. While it is relatively cheap, most of the functions have issues and unless you badly need a low cost, multi-purpose device, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Despite fulfilling several roles, the design indicates the MX7 is primarily a digital still camera. While our initial impressions of its pictures were reasonable, more comprehensive testing revealed several issues that will leave most users unsatisfied.
The most prevalent problem was high chromatic aberration. Imatest awarded the MX7 a score of .202% in its chromatic aberration test, which is higher than we usually see. Most cameras score between .08% and .14%, so this unit's performance was quite disappointing. It was clearly evident in our shots, highlighted by very prominent blurring and blue and red haloing across many edges and areas of high contrast.
This issue is exacerbated by the high levels of under-sharpening in the shots. Imatest's sharpness test awarded the MX7 a score of 1487, which is a little below what we expect from a 7 megapixel sensor, but not particularly surprising. However it also gave us a result of 30% for under-sharpening, which is much higher than most other units. When a camera processes a picture, it applies a sharpening algorithm to help restore sharpness lost by the lens or sensor. However, this algorithm can be slightly off, which results in unrealistic looking images. In the case of the MX7, the effect is clear; most edges are a little blurry, and when combined with the high level of chromatic aberration, the pictures are lacking in clarity. At small print magnifications this may not be a huge issue, but for anyone looking to step above the regular 4x6in and 5x7in pictures, it will gradually become noticeable.
The highlight of the MX7 was its noise performance, for which Imatest gave it a score of .64% at ISO 100. This is a great result for a budget camera (they often suffer in this regard) and our shots were clean and noise free. At ISO 400 the results were similar, with the noise reduction effectively removing most traces of noise. However this also resulted in a further decrease in sharpness, which means that we would recommend avoiding high sensitivities if possible.
The MX7's results were also quite good in our colour reproduction test, where it scored 8.36. Imatest revealed that the problem colours were largely red and blue, and our shots confirmed this with a slightly dull edge to several primary colours. While this isn't an outstanding result like those produced by recent Canon units, it is more than adequate for day to day snaps.
Unfortunately in our speed tests, the MX7 was not even close to average. It exhibited a gigantic .5 seconds of shutter lag, more than five times as long as most other cameras. Its four seconds of shot-to-shot time and 4.5 seconds of power up time were equally unimpressive, making this the slowest camera we've reviewed by quite a margin.
Its imaging options are fairly ordinary, with a standard array of white balance presets, a measly six scene modes and ISO sensitivities up to 400. There is a continuous shot mode, but sadly it suffered from the same sluggish operation as the rest of the unit, capturing just over a frame a second; not really comparable to burst modes on most other units.
Aside from snapping pictures, the MX7 also records video. Much like most other digital cameras it records a 640 x 480 AVI file at 24 or 15 frames per second. The quality was decent, but far from outstanding, and on part with other still cameras with similar functions. There are also a few video effects including black and white, RGB and sepia.
The MX7 also doubles as an MP3 player, albeit a relatively below average one. The features list is rather bare, containing just shuffle and reverse order play, while the included headphones are less than impressive. Music is stored on the SD card, which is also used for still image capture. It does offer a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a nice touch, but even using an extremely expensive pair of IEM headphones we found the sound quality lacking. The low range bass notes had no power at all, and there was noticeable distortion in the middle and upper ranges. Our music did have good detail, but it wasn't enough to make up for the other failings.
Aesthetically the MX7 is quite plain. It has a silver, plastic and metal body and looks simular to many other units on the market. The interface and controls are a little strange though, with a thumb stick for navigation also acting as a menu button when pressed inwards. There is then a separate "M" button that selects the mode of operation (still images, video etc) and yet another button specifically for the music player. Furthermore, most of the functions are stored in the main menu, including white balance and shot type (single or continuous), although exposure and ISO sensitivity are both in their own menu, accessed by pressing the thumb stick left. Overall, the menu didn't cause too many problems, but it did take a while to get used to, and novices who have less experience may struggle for a while.
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