The premium compact camera market is pretty crowded, so companies are attempting to produce cameras with a unique selling point in order to capture that lucrative customer.

Pentax appears to have chosen a retro design as its unique selling point, and if that's your cup of tea, then you may just find the Pentax MX-1 to be very appealing, perhaps especially if you're already a Pentax user, or had a Pentax film camera.

However, in terms of features and general usability, it falls well short of the other cameras currently residing in this segment. It has neither the sleek build nor the large sensor of the Sony RX100, nor the interesting and fun features of the Olympus XZ-2, both of which we'd recommend over the MX-1.

We liked

The Sony sensor onboard the Pentax MX-1 produces some very sharp images with excellent colour rendition, especially in good lighting conditions.

We disliked

The boxy design won't appeal to everyone, and while manufacturers such as Fujifilm manage to fall the right side of retro, this camera just looks dated.

Final verdict

It's hard to get overly enthusiastic about the Pentax MX-1. While it is capable of producing some good images, and it performed reasonably well in our labs test, it just doesn't have the excitement or appeal of most of the other premium compact cameras on the market.

If you're a fan of Pentax, this might be right up your street, but the majority of consumers may find more to suit their needs elsewhere.