As the last major manufacturer to join the enthusiast compact category, does Pentax deliver anything unique with the Pentax MX-1? Read the Pentax MX-1 review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Pentax MX-1


Pentax MX-1 review


Price as reviewed:


Pentax MX-1 review – Noise, resolution and sensitivity

Image: These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured with the lens set to the 50mm equivalent setting. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.

The MX-1 resolves around 21 line pairs per mm (lppm) at its base sensitivity of ISO 100, which is similar to the results from the Olympus XZ-2 – a camera likely to be viewed as MX-1’s closest competitor – but not quite as high as Nikon’s Coolpix P7700 and Canon’s PowerShot G15, which each offer the same 12-million-pixel resolution as the MX-1. Results at the other extreme of the sensitivity range show that the MX-1 can still resolve 16lppm, which is reasonable, but again not quite as high as some of its competitors.

Noise is well controlled across the camera’s sensitivity range, and even though noise reduction cannot be disabled in JPEGs, the camera does well to process out the worst chroma noise without compromising too many finer details. Nevertheless, some smoothing can be seen, and better results can be achieved effortlessly with more gentle noise reduction in a program such as Adobe Camera Raw.

Curvilinear distortion at the widest focal length of the lens is prominent in raw files, and, thanks to the waviness introduced by the aspherical elements within the lens, it can be difficult to fully correct this using software. Nevertheless, the camera’s processor does well to correct this for JPEGs. At the optic’s telephoto end pincushion distortion is pleasingly low, and although some lateral chromatic aberrations are present in images, the overall level is no more than would be expected from such a lens.

  1. 1. Pentax MX-1 at a glance
  2. 2. Pentax MX-1 review - Build and handling
  3. 3. Pentax MX-1 review - Metering
  4. 4. Pentax MX-1 review - Autofocus
  5. 5. Pentax MX-1 review - Dynamic range
  6. 6. Pentax MX-1 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  7. 7. Pentax MX-1 review - White balance and colour
  8. 8. Pentax MX-1 review - Viewfinder, LCD and video
  9. 9. Pentax MX-1 review - Our verdict
Page 6 of 9 - Show Full List