I figure "fool" is a good category for personal posts in the vein of "a fool and his money are soon parted." Hopefully there won't be many of them.

We harvested our first greens from the garden, which was more exciting than I expected. Dave the Plant Guy was at the garden and showed us how to harvest leaves while leaving the plant healthy enough to produce more.

It was the garden that got me to use my compact cameras again, which got me thinking about my compact cameras. I'd sold one, the Fuji X20, gave one to Mitzi, the Fuji XQ1, gave two away to my granddaughters, an Oly XZ-10 (I had 2), and an XZ-2. I have four XZ-1s, and I'll probably never let those go, a remaining XZ-10, the Stylus 1s, two Tough cameras, a TG-4 and a 6, and the odd one, an old C-7000. In the box of stuff I still have to post to KEH.COM for an offer is a Lumix LX-7, which will probably go back on the shelf.

Anyway, thinking about compact cameras got me thinking about the Pentax MX-1, which was a camera I'd wanted for a long time, but always seemed absurdly priced on the used market. Thinking about it led to checking the auction site for current prices, and they are still pretty high. $300-$500 range, mostly from Japan.

I did spot one from a U.S. seller for $225 with a "make offer" option. I offered $200, they came back with $210, so I split the difference at $205 and they agreed. I suspect I might have gotten it at $200. My sister is a seller and she says business is bad on the auction site.

I don't know much about the camera business, but the MX-1 and the Olympus XZ-2 both have the same lens and sensor combination. The image processor hardware is likely the same as well, but I don't know. I imagine there are (were?) OEM manufacturers who marketed these things (not so much anymore, in the smartphone era) to camera brands as the guts for a compact camera.

At any rate, I'd always been curious about the MX-1, partly because its "retro" gimmick was brass for the top and bottom plate. This makes the black model more desirable than the silver one I bought.

Well, it arrived yesterday. It was a nearly complete kit, missing the USB cable, but including the external charger (thankfully). The camera itself is nearly pristine. The seller had pointed out a very small blemish on the lens barrel, and there's a slight round mark on the bottom plate that suggests perhaps a half-case screwed into the tripod socket. The only real negative is the rubber grip is sticky where the former owners' fingers likely deposited oils. Alcohol didn't resolve that, and I'm not sure anything will. I may cover it with a bit of black friction tape, which would give a better grip anyway. I use it on my black XZ-1, because it can be pretty slick.

Battery was fully charged, so I put an SD card in it and played around with it yesterday. They say that "curiosity killed the cat," and the MX-1 has cat "meows" as sounds for the shutter, startup and button confirmations. I'm using them for the moment, I'm pretty sure I'll get tired of them soon.

It feels pretty dense, which is probably the brass plates. No sign of brassing yet, and it wouldn't look as appealing against the silver coating anyway. Buttons are very tiny, even the power button, which may be hard to find just by feel, we'll see.

I'd say as handling goes, it's not as good as the XZ-2.

The LCD screen is probably the same as the one on the XZ-2, likely part of the OEM package. Tilts, but no touch. Bright and sharp. It dims pretty quickly, which is probably a setting I need to adjust.

People complain about Olympus' old menu system, but I've been shooting Olympus digital for 15 years and I don't mind it. The Pentax menu was fairly easy to figure out, better than Panasonic's that's for sure. But I haven't found a "quick" setting. Looks like most changes require a menu dive. The XZ-2 adopted Olympus' Super Control Panel, so nearly everything you'd be inclined to change was available in one interface when you pushed the center "OK" button on the back.

I've only taken a few shots with it, nothing worth sharing.

I reviewed my XZ-2 shots in my Photos library, and was reminded of the kinds of images it was capable of producing. They're pretty decent, meaning I enjoy them.

Out of curiosity, I looked at XZ-2 prices on the auction site. Also high, though not as absurd as the MX-1. I noticed one that was reasonably priced, I thought, at $125. There may have been a "make offer" option, but I don't recall. I saved the listing in case I wanted to revisit it later. The low price is because a corner of the cover glass on the LCD is cracked and missing. Not pretty, but it still works.

Well, as these things often go when you "favorite" listing, the seller made me an offer, and, fool that I am, I accepted. I figured I could then do a direct comparison of the two cameras.

The XZ-2 also permits me to use one of my electronic viewfinders, so the LCD is less of an issue.

So I'll play around with two different cameras with identical sensors and lenses. I'm nut sure if I'll keep the MX-1, it doesn't fall into my hand as nicely as the Olys. That may just be familiarity, but I do think the shooting experience with the MX-1 won't be as comfortable. If that's the case, I'll probably sell it to KEH and recover some of my money.

I'll probably keep the wounded XZ-2. Put a screen protector on the LCD and hope the problem doesn't grow.

Fools and their money, and cameras, are soon parted.

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 06:50 Friday, 10 November 2023