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CES 2013: Pentax MX-1 First Look Preview
by Laura Hicks -  1/14/2013

[click to view image]Vintage is the hottest design feature this year and the MX-1 by Pentax is no exception. Geared to impress a wide variety of photo enthusiasts including DSLR users, the MX-1 offers users a 1/1.7 inch 12 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor which helps the camera render better low-light images. Designed as a tactile experience, the grip is texturized, the body has a pseudo leather covering and the brass housing is cool to the touch. Over time, the MX-1 actually develops a patina around the edges giving us the look of a well-used, sturdy camera. Impressive, Pentax, impressive!

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The MX-1's fast f/1.8-2.5 4X zoom offers a wide range from 28mm to 112mm (in 35mm format). It has a dual shake-reduction system which promises sharp, blur-free images even in low-light and challenging situations. You can also take advantage of the wide open aperture by producing images with background bokeh, a term used to describe the out-of-focus areas in the image. The MX-1 also provides a macro mode that focuses on objects from as little as one centimeter away. And, if you choose you can extend the zoom length to 218mm by using the camera's digital Intelligent Zoom feature.

The MX-1 has ISO sensitivities up to 12,800. Combined with the backlit CMOS sensor, this camera should perform very well in difficult lighting situations. The MX-1 was designed to impress the DSLR shooter with its P,A,S,and M shooting modes and its in-body RAW data development. It also comes equipped with a dedicated exposure compensation dial.

The MX-1 has a 3 inch articulated LCD screen that houses 921,000 dots and allows users to photograph at a multitude of angles. It also come equipped with a built-in pop up flash. For more creative functionality the camera has 15 digital effects filters. And one of my favorite editing features is the choice of four aspect ratios that include 4:3, 16:9, 3:2 and 1:1 which allows you to choose the ratio you like best.

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Full HD movie recording is easy with a dedicated button. The camera also offers creative movie capture modes like slow motion and time-lapse movie mode.

My initial reaction of this camera was very positive. The autofocus seems fast and responsive. It has a beautiful retro design that is in the running for the fastest growing design feature this year. I love the fact that the camera gives a beautiful patina finish to mimic a well-used film camera of days gone by. The dual shake-reduction system should be very helpful while hand holding in challenging lighting or if you don't have steady hands. I love a wide-open aperture and can't wait to take the MX-1 out in the field. 

The MX-1 will be available in February 2013 for a suggested retail price of $499.95.


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