Pentax MX-1 review

How appealing is this retro-styled premium compact?

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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.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NamePentax
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Face Detection, Pet Detection, Smile Detection, Blink Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)362.9 g
Image Sensor Size1/1.7" (7.60 mm x 5.70 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height61 mm
Width121.9 mm
Depth50.8 mm
Focal Length6 mm to 24 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelMX-1
Product NameMX-1 Compact Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number12621
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Classically Crafted, Contemporary Quality

With its genuine brass covers and advanced digital compact capabilities, the PENTAX MX-1 is where craft design meets contemporary quality. The MX-1's fast F1.8-2.5 lens, 4X zoom and large 12 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor allow for bright everyday imagery inside a stylish body. As its brass wears with time, feel the good old days come back to life in your images of today with the PENTAX MX-1.

Package Contents
  • MX-1 Compact Camera
  • USB Cable I- USB
  • Rechargeable battery Li-Ion D-LI106
  • Battery charger D-BC106
  • Strap
  • Software Media S-SWxx
Limited Warranty1 Year