Canon 1200D vs Pentax MX-1
The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and January 2013. The 1200D is a DSLR, while the MX-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (1200D) and a 1/1.7-inch (MX-1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1200D and the Pentax MX-1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Pentax MX-1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax MX-1 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Canon 1200D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1200D nor the MX-1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the MX-1 has a lens built in, whereas the 1200D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 1200D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|2.||Pentax MX-1||122 mm||61 mm||51 mm||391 g||290||n||Jan 2013||499|
|3.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|8.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|9.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|11.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|12.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|14.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|15.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|16.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|17.||Olympus XZ-2||113 mm||65 mm||48 mm||346 g||340||n||Sep 2012||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1200D features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax MX-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the MX-1 is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.5. The sensor in the 1200D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the MX-1 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 17.9MP, the 1200D offers a higher resolution than the MX-1 (12MP), but the 1200D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.89μm for the MX-1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 1200D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the MX-1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 1200D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1200D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax MX-1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 1200D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 1200D provides substantially higher image quality than the MX-1, with an overall score that is 14 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, and 1.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|7.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1200D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the MX-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1200D, the Pentax MX-1, and comparable cameras.
|7.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1200D and the MX-1 write their files to SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 1200D and Pentax MX-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|7.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the 1200D has a hotshoe, while the MX-1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the 1200D and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1200D was replaced by the Canon 1300D, while the MX-1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Pentax websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1200D and the Pentax MX-1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1200D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the MX-1).
Reasons to prefer the Pentax MX-1:
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1200D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x61mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1200D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2013).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1200D emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1200D and the Pentax MX-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1200D or the MX-1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|2.||Pentax MX-1||3/5||..||74/100||4/5||4/5||Jan 2013||499|
|3.||Canon 4000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon 1300D||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|8.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|9.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon 700D||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|11.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|12.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|14.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|15.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|16.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|17.||Olympus XZ-2||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon 1200D vs Pentax MX-1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 1200D||Pentax MX-1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||28-112mm f/1.8-2.5|
|Launch Date||February 2014||January 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1200D||Pentax MX-1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||1.89 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||27.70 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||49|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||20.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||724||208|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1200D||Pentax MX-1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1200D||Pentax MX-1|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||1 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1200D||Pentax MX-1|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1200D||Pentax MX-1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
130 x 100 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
122 x 61 x 51 mm
(4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||480 g (16.9 oz)||391 g (13.8 oz)|
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