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Canon M10 vs Pentax MX-1

The Canon EOS M10 and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and January 2013. The M10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the MX-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M10) 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon M10 versus Pentax MX-1
Canon M10 Pentax MX-1
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-12,800
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.6 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
255 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
108 x 67 x 35 mm, 301 g 122 x 61 x 51 mm, 391 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M10 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M10 and the Pentax MX-1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the MX-1 is only available in black.

Size Canon M10 vs Pentax MX-1
Compare M10 versus MX-1 top
Comparison M10 or MX-1 rear

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 somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Canon M10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M10 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 M10 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M10 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499i
 
Pentax MX-1 4.8 in 2.4 in 2.0 in 13.8 oz 290 n Jan 2013 499i
 
Canon M100 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon T6 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon G9 X 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon M3 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Canon G7 X 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon SL1 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon M 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon T3i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Olympus XZ-2 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 12.2 oz 340 n Sep 2012 599i
 
Panasonic LF1 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.8 oz 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
 
Sony A5000 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 M10 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 M10 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the MX-1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon M10 and Pentax MX-1 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the MX-1 (12MP), but the M10 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.89μm for the MX-1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M10 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 9 months) than the MX-1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon M10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M10 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 M10 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS M10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

M10 versus MX-1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the M10 provides substantially higher image quality than the MX-1, with an overall score that is 16 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.8 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.9 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M10 and the MX-1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon M10 and Pentax MX-1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M10 has a touchscreen, while the MX-1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The M10 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the MX-1 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M10 and the MX-1 write their files to SDXC cards. The M10 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the MX-1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 M10 and Pentax MX-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the M10 offers wifi support, while the MX-1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the M10 and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M10 was replaced by the Canon M100, 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M10 and the Pentax MX-1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M10:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.8 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.6 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the MX-1 launch.

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Advantages of the Pentax MX-1:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M10 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (290 versus 255) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2013).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M10 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 5 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.

M10 14:05 MX-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M10 and the Pentax MX-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M10 or the MX-1 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499i
 
Pentax MX-1..74/1004/53.5/54/5 Jan 2013 499i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon SL1+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon M+..4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon T3io77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Olympus XZ-2+..4.5/54/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
 
Panasonic LF1+..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

Canon M10:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax MX-1:
Check Ebay offers

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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~

    Specifications: Canon M10 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M10 Pentax MX-1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date October 2015 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon M10 Pentax MX-1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.6x 4.5x
    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 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.2 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 753 208
    Screen Specs Canon M10 Pentax MX-1
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M10 Pentax MX-1
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4.6 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-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 UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon M10 Pentax MX-1
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon M10 Pentax MX-1
    Battery Type LP-E12 D-LI106
    Battery Life (CIPA)255 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 108 x 67 x 35 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
    122 x 61 x 51 mm
    (4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 301 g (10.6 oz) 391 g (13.8 oz)

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