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Today Pentax unwrapped their first entry towards the growing premium-compact market. The all-new Pentax MX-1 features a 12 megapixels 1/1.7″ sensor behind an ultra-bright stabilized wide-angle lens with 4X optical zoom, equivalent to 28-112mm. Like other premium compacts, the MX-1 has full manual-controls, including focus and white-balance. Unlike its competitors, this one only has a single control-dial. It does have a traditional mode-dial and exposure-compensation dial though.

Pentax MX-1

The elongated design of this digital camera lets it keep a lower height with both top and bottom plates made of painted brass for a quality build and feel. Within the body is Pentax’s own Shake-Reduction system and dual IR receptors. The textured rubber surrounding the body provides purchase without an actual grip.

Pentax MX-1

There are a good number of controls at the rear of the camera, including direct access to ISO and drive-mode, as well as an AE-L button which also toggles rather than shifts the exposure parameter being controlled in Manual mode. This is unfortunately necessary because the only control-dial is on the same side as the AE-L button and it would be awkward to turn the dial while pressing the button below it. The traditional Pentax Green button also finds its way on the back of the camera.

The Pentax MX-1 has RAW capabilities and fans of DNG will rejoice to know that Adobe’s format is also supported. This camera runs on a proprietary Lithium-Ion  battery and supports SDXC memory cards. It is scheduled to ship next month for a suggested retail price of $499 USD.

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