A New Toy


My personal circumstances mean that I am on a somewhat limited budget for my photography (zilch), but I’ve wanted a compact camera to take when I’m out on my bicycle – my dslr is just a bit too cumbersome.  My family have kindly given me vouchers for birthdays and Christmas, which I’ve diligently saved together (and saved myself from socks and vests and undergarments – when you get to my age people run out of ideas!).  I’ve now purchased myself a new toy in the form of a Pentax MX-1, a smallish compact (with a bit of style in keeping with my image, or course! ;))

This shot is a straight jpg from the camera (with re-sizing and logo added).  Limited pallet admittedly, it seems to have coped with the dynamic range quite well.

I’ve found up an old case for the camera which I can clip to my belt and have been out a couple of times with it – seems just the job to me.

I did a fair bit of web based research before I chose the MX-1 and fully appreciate there are better compacts, but a significant price reduction on the camera tipped the balance – I could get it now, rather than wait another 6 months or so.

What I like (bearing in mind the short time I’ve had it)

  • it has a tipping lcd screen
  • it is quite weighty – feels like a real camera, feels like quality
  • it has an easy to reach compensation dial
  • it has quite a wide aperture.
  • oh, it does RAW (though I wouldn’t have bought it if it didn’t)
  • I’m already a bit more inclined to go out on my bike!

What I’m not so keen on

  • the lens cap has to be off when you switch it on – ( I knew this, I can live with it)
  • the lens gives a fair bit of barrel distortion, corrected in jpg on camera, but will need specific attention when working in RAW (I use PTLens for this, tried it, it corrects for the camera).
  • not 100% about the colours it gives, but I suspect there will be a control in camera to help with this (to save time)
  • slowish write times – (I knew this, I can live with it for my type of photography)
  • no viewfinder – (I knew this, I will force myself to get used to it, part of my rationale for buying it)
  • histogram tool looks a bit ‘Mickey Mouse’ but I’ll get used to it.



42 thoughts on “A New Toy

  1. This is a darn good photo! Great idea to get a camera like this for outings when not wanting to be weighed down with dslr. I’m getting tired of using my phone’s camera, and this seems like a good alternative.

  2. Good luck with your compact, I wish I could stake out my shots first, I know what you mean about a bent back. As my main interest is birds I can be walking around all day with a hefty 400mm lens around my neck. Nice scene, by the way!

  3. Lovely light. Sometimes I wish I had a more compact camera for when I go on cycle rides – I often regret not having a camera on me but I don’t really want to be lugging my DSLR around on those longer journeys.

    • The conditions were such that any camera pointed at the scene would have produced something nice – more a question of being there to see it.
      One of the main problems I’ve found in carrying a dslr is the combination of weight of the camera coupled with the ol’ ticker pumping from riding the bike – more camera shake than you’d want.

  4. Good to hear your views on using this compact…I have been thinking I would like one to keep with me when I don’t want to lug the big camera around…useful to know things like slow write time…

    • I’ve used it a bit more now.
      The write times are with respect to creating a RAW and jpg at the same time.
      In practice, it’s not much of a problem when I take my time and consider what I’m doing, but sometimes as soon as I’ve pressed the shutter I can see that a slightly better composition would be appropriate or I need to add in some compensation because there’s a hot spot or two which I can easily lose and I try to take another immediately. In practice, it acts a bit like a ‘calm down,Stephen!’ facility!
      My last couple of posts were derived from shots using the mx-1 – with a little photoshop work (which I do with most of my pictures, tweaking this or that).

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