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Nikon P7800 vs Pentax MX-1

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2013 and January 2013. Both the P7800 and the MX-1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch 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
Nikon P7800
versus
Pentax MX-1
Nikon P7800   Pentax MX-1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor 12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400) ISO 100-12,800
Electronic viewfinder (921k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 921k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
8 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
350 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
119 x 78 x 50 mm, 399 g 122 x 61 x 51 mm, 391 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix P7800 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 Nikon P7800 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 views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon P7800 vs Pentax MX-1
Compare P7800 versus MX-1 top
Comparison P7800 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 smaller (20 percent) than the Nikon P7800. Moreover, the MX-1 is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the P7800. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the P7800 nor the MX-1 are weather-sealed.

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, you can 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
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499ebay.com
Note: 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 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. The MX-1 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the P7800 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon P7800 and Pentax MX-1 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the P7800 and the MX-1 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the P7800 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the MX-1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the P7800 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the MX-1 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

P7800 versus MX-1 MP

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 P7800 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the MX-1 (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
5.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.411.2-31249
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
8.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
10.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
11.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
12.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the P7800 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the MX-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon P7800 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Pentax MX-1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n3.0 / 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The P7800 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.

The Nikon P7800 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the P7800 and the MX-1 have zoom lenses built in. The P7800 has a 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 optic and the MX-1 offers a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon and Pentax provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Pentax has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The MX-1 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the P7800 and the MX-1 write their files to SDXC 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 Nikon Coolpix P7800 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
8.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
12.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the P7800 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 P7800 and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Nikon and Pentax. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Pentax websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon P7800 better than the Pentax MX-1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix P7800:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 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 7 months after the MX-1).

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Reasons to prefer the Pentax MX-1:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x61mm vs 119x78mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P7800 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

P7800 11:04 MX-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon P7800 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the P7800 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Pentax MX-13/5....74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm X304/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+....4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. 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: Nikon P7800 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 Nikon P7800 Pentax MX-1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date September 2013 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Nikon P7800 Pentax MX-1
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 4.5x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 54 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.2 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 200 208
    Screen Specs Nikon P7800 Pentax MX-1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon P7800 Pentax MX-1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon P7800 Pentax MX-1
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon P7800 Pentax MX-1
    Battery Type EN-EL14 D-LI106
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 119 x 78 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
    122 x 61 x 51 mm
    (4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 399 g (14.1 oz) 391 g (13.8 oz)
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