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Hands-on with Pentax's brass beauty MX-1 camera

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Pentax MX-1
Pentax MX-1

Pentax announced the new MX-1 point-and-shoot camera earlier today, and we just spent a few intimate moments with the brass-clad shooter. The 16-megapixel camera features a 28mm-112mm equivalent lens with a bright f/1.8-2.5 aperture and 1080p video capability. But the best part of the MX-1 is its delightfully retro design and solid construction. Pentax used solid brass for the top and bottom panels of the camera, which give it a heft that you don't normally see in a point-and-shoot camera anymore. On the flip side, the heavy weight and chunky design of the MX-1 mean that it won't fit in your average pocket, and that might be enough to push most customers towards a smaller camera.

The MX-1 does feature a bevy of dials and switches, which should make fans of manually controlling their photos happy. The large size of the camera actually makes it much easier to handle than smaller designs, and the exposure compensation dial and mode dial are within easy reach of your fingers. The 3-inch, 920,000 dot display sports an articulating hinge, but unlike many of its competitors, it lacks a touchscreen. That means you have to dive into Pentax's labyrinthian menu system when you want to change some settings, which feels very dated compared to other camera interfaces we've seen. We'll reserve judgement on the MX-1's image quality until we get a review unit for a proper evaluation, but you can expect to see it on shelves with a $499.99 price tag some time next month.