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Fujifilm XQ1 vs Pentax MX-1

The Fujifilm XQ1 and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and January 2013. Both the XQ1 and the MX-1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 2/3 (XQ1) and a 1/1.7-inch (MX-1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Fujifilm XQ1 versus Pentax MX-1
Fujifilm XQ1 Pentax MX-1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-100mm f/1.8-4.9 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
12 MP, Two Thirds Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-12,800
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
12 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
240 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
100 x 59 x 33 mm, 206 g 122 x 61 x 51 mm, 391 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm XQ1 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm XQ1 and the Pentax MX-1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The XQ1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the MX-1 is only available in black.

Size Fujifilm XQ1 vs Pentax MX-1
Compare XQ1 versus MX-1 top
Comparison XQ1 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 notably larger (26 percent) than the Fujifilm XQ1. Moreover, the MX-1 is substantially heavier (90 percent) than the XQ1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XQ1 nor the MX-1 are weather-sealed.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 100 mm 59 mm 33 mm 206 g 240 n Oct 2013 499i
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499i
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Fujifilm XQ2 100 mm 59 mm 33 mm 206 g 240 n Jan 2015 399 i
8.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
9.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
10.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
11.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
12.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
15.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm XQ1 features a 2/3 sensor and the Pentax MX-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the MX-1 is 26 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 4.5. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Fujifilm XQ1 and Pentax MX-1 sensor measures

Even though the XQ1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the XQ1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 2.20μm versus 1.89μm for the MX-1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the XQ1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the MX-1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the XQ1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The XQ1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Fujifilm XQ1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The Pentax MX-1 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

XQ1 versus MX-1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
1.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849
3.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
7.
 
Fujifilm XQ2 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
8.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
9.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
10.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
11.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
12.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
13.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
14.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
15.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the XQ1 provides a higher frame rate than the MX-1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The XQ1 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 Fujifilm XQ1 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
1.
 
Fujifilm XQ1none n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
2.
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
7.
 
Fujifilm XQ2none n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
8.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
9.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
10.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
11.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
12.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y

Both the XQ1 and the MX-1 have zoom lenses built in. The XQ1 has a 25-100mm f/1.8-4.9 optic and the MX-1 offers a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Fujifilm provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Pentax, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XQ1 and the MX-1 write their files to SDXC cards. The XQ1 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.

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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 Fujifilm XQ1 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
1.
 
Fujifilm XQ1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Fujifilm XQ2-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
10.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the XQ1 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 XQ1 and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XQ1 was replaced by the Fujifilm XQ2, 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 Fujifilm and Pentax websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm XQ1 and the Pentax MX-1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Fujifilm XQ1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (100x59mm vs 122x61mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 185g or 47 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the MX-1).

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Reasons to prefer the Pentax MX-1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (290 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
  • 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 XQ1 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 6 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.

XQ1 14:06 MX-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm XQ1 and the Pentax MX-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the XQ1 and the MX-1 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm XQ1......4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 499i
2.
 
Pentax MX-13/5..74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499i
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Fujifilm XQ2......4/54/5 Jan 2015 399 i
8.
 
Fujifilm X304/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
9.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
10.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
11.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
12.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
13.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+..4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
15.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Fujifilm XQ1:
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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Fujifilm XQ1 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 Fujifilm XQ1 Pentax MX-1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-100mm f/1.8-4.9 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date October 2013 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Fujifilm XQ1 Pentax MX-1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Two Thirds Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 8.8 x 6.6 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 58.08 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 11 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 3.9x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.20 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 20.66 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 208
    Screen Specs Fujifilm XQ1 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 920k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Fujifilm XQ1 Pentax MX-1
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 12 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-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 Fujifilm XQ1 Pentax MX-1
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Fujifilm XQ1 Pentax MX-1
    Battery Type NP-48 D-LI106
    Battery Life (CIPA)240 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 100 x 59 x 33 mm
    (3.9 x 2.3 x 1.3 in)
    122 x 61 x 51 mm
    (4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 206 g (7.3 oz) 391 g (13.8 oz)

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