Here's what I say: even if you don't shoot Pentax, never have and never will, you still gotta love those people.
What do they do when everybody else is going "full-frame"? They put out a medium-format digital system camera based on the old 645 with the Albada finder (the latter invented in-house, by the way, by Akihiro Arai of Asahi).
What do they do when everybody else is making jewel-like little mini digicams? They make a super-tiny miniature system camera with a small sensor and interchangeable lenses, some of them marked "Toy" and priced well under $100.
What do they do when everybody else is making mirrorless cameras? They commission an generalist industrial designer to make a styling exercise that takes regular old K-mount lenses.
"Think different"? The people at Pentax put Apple to shame on that score, if you ask me.
So what have they done now? There's this retro fad going around. Fuji introduces a little camera that looks like a commemorative of the Leica M3 with modern innards; Olympus makes its retro OM-D E-M5 look like a stylized miniature OM camera from the '80s, complete with a none-too-subtle faux prism beak on it. I like 'em both, but then I've owned and shot with both the originals. The new Pentax MX-1 (to longtime Pentaxians, those two little letters are freighted with meaning—and of course there's that font), a fixed-lens, small-sensor digicam meant to compete with the Panasonic LX7, Olympus XZ-2, and Canon S100, has brass top and bottom plates meant to brass out....
You've got to be kidding me.
Dpreview calls the move "strangely endearing." Got that right. Talk about ramping the retro up to 11. Is Pentax goofily daring us to use one digital camera for long enough to wear the black paint off, or shrewdly commenting that nobody will? Are they jumping in on the nostalgia fad, or making fun of it?
Maybe a little of all of the above. There are layers to this joke.
Now, you know there are going to be a lot of blowhards blowsing super-seriously on the tubes of the 'nets about how it should all be about the "imagery" (a term I can't stand) and how brassing doesn't matter to your "personal vision" (ditto), etc. To which I say: it sure doesn't. But lighten up. Unclench yer kisser and try having a little fun. The folks at Pentax obviously are.
Disclaimer: Pentax advertises on TOP.
Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
A book of interest today:
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Timprov: "My S90 is 'aluminuming' out, or whatever. I have to admit, it would look better in brass."
Kevin Purcell: "In the Comments below, roddy k said, 'After Sony's 1" sensor success(?), the MX-1's tiny, probably recycled sensor is pretty much a complete fail.'
"The MX-1 sensor is (almost certainly) the new Sony IMX144CQJ 12Mpx BSI CMOS sensor introduced in October 2012. It' s also used in the Olympus ZX2, Nikon P7700 and the Samsung EX2F. Nothing old or recycled there.
"It's the successor to the very successful Sony ICX685CQZ CCD sensor I've mentioned before (a favorite sensor of mine in the Canon S90/95, G11/G12, Nikon P7000/P7100, Samsung EX1). It's the sensor that made RAW 'enthusiast compacts' respectable.
"You also see this sensor levels the IQ of this part of the market, so lens design, UI and body styling are all important differentiators for selling a given manufacturer's camera. The differentator is the cameras in this segment cost about half as much as a Sony RX100.
"Is Sony selling its type 1 inch sensor to anyone else? It's not in Sony Semiconductors catalog. I suspect Sony Imaging have exclusive right to it for a year or so (just like the Nikon 1 sensor from Aptina); then it may appear in other cameras (along with the Aptina type 1 inch sensor). Or perhaps it's such an advantage they'll keep it even longer. The business folks will decide which approach makes more money for Sony.
"Given the lead time in camera development, even if Sony is selling the type 1 inch sensor to other camera makers you won't see other similar cameras until late 2013 or early 2014. (Just in time to get PDAF on sensor too.)"