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Panasonic G10 vs Pentax MX-1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2010 and January 2013. The G10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the MX-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (G10) 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
Panasonic G10
versus
Pentax MX-1
Panasonic G10   Pentax MX-1
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
12 MP – Four Thirds sensor 12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor
720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-12,800
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 460k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
2.6 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
380 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
124 x 84 x 74 mm, 388 g 122 x 61 x 51 mm, 391 g
Panasonic G10:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax MX-1:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 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 physical size and weight of the Panasonic G10 and the Pentax MX-1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.

Size Panasonic G10 vs Pentax MX-1
Compare G10 versus MX-1 top
Comparison G10 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 (29 percent) than the Panasonic G10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G10 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 G10 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 G10 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras 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.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499i
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
5.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
6.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
7.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
8.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599i
9.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
10.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
11.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
12.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
13.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
14.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
15.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
16.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749i
17.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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.

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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G10 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax MX-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the MX-1 is 81 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 4.5. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic G10 and Pentax MX-1 sensor measures

Even though the G10 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the G10 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 1.89μm for the MX-1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the MX-1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 10 months) than the G10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

G10 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
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.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
6.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
7.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
8.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
9.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
10.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
11.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
12.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
13.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
14.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
15.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
16.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354
17.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353
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 also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the MX-1 provides a better video resolution than the G10. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G10 has an electronic viewfinder (202k 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 Panasonic G10 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.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
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.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n3.0 / 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
10.
 
Panasonic GF6none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
11.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
12.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
13.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G10 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 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.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
2.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
6.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G1Y- / ---mini2.0---

It is notable that the G10 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 G10 and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G10 was replaced by the Panasonic G3, 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 Panasonic and Pentax websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic G10 better than the Pentax MX-1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.6 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2010).

ilogo

Advantages of the Pentax MX-1:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • 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: Has an integrated lens, whereas the G10 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x61mm vs 124x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the G10 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the MX-1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 7 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 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.

G10 07:09 MX-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G10 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G10 or the MX-1. 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.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
2.
 
Pentax MX-13/5....74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499i
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
5.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
6.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
7.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
8.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
9.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
10.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
11.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
12.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
13.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
14.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
15.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
16.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/100..69/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749i
17.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +..70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Panasonic G10:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax MX-1:
Check Ebay offers

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Panasonic G10 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 Panasonic G10 Pentax MX-1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date March 2010 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G10 Pentax MX-1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.33 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 5.34 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 52 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.2 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.1 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 411 208
    Screen Specs Panasonic G10 Pentax MX-1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.52x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    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 Panasonic G10 Pentax MX-1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.6 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-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 Panasonic G10 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 Panasonic G10 Pentax MX-1
    Battery Type DMW-BLB13 D-LI106
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 84 x 74 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in)
    122 x 61 x 51 mm
    (4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 388 g (13.7 oz) 391 g (13.8 oz)
    Panasonic G10:
    Check Ebay offers
    Pentax MX-1:
    Check Ebay offers

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