Panasonic L10 vs Pentax MX-1
The Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2007 and January 2013. The L10 is a DSLR, while the MX-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (L10) and a 1/1.7-inch (MX-1) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 10 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic L10 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 size dimensions 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 Panasonic L10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the L10 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 L10 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 L10 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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.
|1.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|2.||Pentax MX-1||122 mm||61 mm||51 mm||391 g||290||n||Jan 2013||499|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|6.||Nikon D60||126 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||500||n||Jan 2008||629|
|7.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|8.||Olympus XZ-2||113 mm||65 mm||48 mm||346 g||340||n||Sep 2012||599|
|9.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|10.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699|
|11.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|12.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|13.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|14.||Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|15.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|16.||Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599|
|17.||Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999|
|Notes: 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. The MX-1 was launched at a lower price than the L10, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic L10 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.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the MX-1 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the L10. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 4.74μm for the L10). However, it should be noted that the MX-1 is much more recent (by 5 years and 4 months) than the L10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax MX-1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the MX-1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic L10 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the L10 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the MX-1 (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|9.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|10.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|11.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|13.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|14.||Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
|15.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|16.||Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
|17.||Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The MX-1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the L10 does not. The highest resolution format that the MX-1 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the L10 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic L10 and Pentax MX-1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5 / 207||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|2.||Pentax MX-1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/8000s||1.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1||Y||Y|
|5.||Nikon P7800||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Nikon D60||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon D40X||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|8.||Olympus XZ-2||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|10.||Olympus E-520||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic LF1||200||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic GF3||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.2||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic G1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic L1||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
The L10 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the MX-1 uses 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 and Pentax MX-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic L10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Pentax MX-1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon P7800||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Nikon D60||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D40X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Olympus XZ-2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Olympus E-420||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-520||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic LF1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic GF3||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic G1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic L1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the L10 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 L10 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 Panasonic and Pentax. 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic L10 or the Pentax MX-1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical 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 (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 (450 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 August 2007).
Advantages of the Pentax MX-1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 207k dots).
- 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 L10 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x61mm vs 135x96mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the L10).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 4 months of technical progress since the L10 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the MX-1 comes out slightly ahead of the L10 (11 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 Panasonic L10 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 L10 or the MX-1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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], 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.
|1.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||..||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|2.||Pentax MX-1||3/5||..||..||74/100||4/5||4/5||Jan 2013||499|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|6.||Nikon D60||..||80/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629|
|7.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||..||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|8.||Olympus XZ-2||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|9.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|10.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|11.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|12.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|13.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|14.||Panasonic GF3||3/5||82/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|15.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|16.||Panasonic G1||..||+ +||..||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|17.||Panasonic L1||..||85/100||..||+||..||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1300D vs Panasonic L10
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Pentax MX-1
- Canon 5D vs Pentax MX-1
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic L10
- Nikon A1000 vs Panasonic L10
- Nikon D1H vs Pentax MX-1
- Nikon D3300 vs Panasonic L10
- Nikon D750 vs Pentax MX-1
- Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax MX-1
- Panasonic L10 vs Sony A77 II
- Panasonic L10 vs Sony HX80
- Pentax MX-1 vs Sony A850
Specifications: Panasonic L10 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||Panasonic L10||Pentax MX-1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||28-112mm f/1.8-2.5|
|Launch Date||August 2007||January 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic L10||Pentax MX-1|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.74 μm||1.89 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.44 MP/cm2||27.70 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||49|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.3||20.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||429||208|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic L10||Pentax MX-1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||207k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic L10||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||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic L10||Pentax MX-1|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic L10||Pentax MX-1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||450 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
135 x 96 x 78 mm
(5.3 x 3.8 x 3.1 in)
122 x 61 x 51 mm
(4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||556 g (19.6 oz)||391 g (13.8 oz)|
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