I've touched on the background to the introduction of the MX already - suffice it to say that it was designed as a direct competitor to the Olympus OM 1 as a very compact manual exposure SLR with pretty much a full system backup - interchangeable backs, a motordrive and/or autowinder, user-changeable viewfinder screens and a wide range of lenses - because Pentax also replaced the sizeable K lenses with more compact M series ones, including the famous 40mm f2.8 Pancake, a lens that makes a very compact package overall. Broadly speaking, despite the accessories, it's a very simple camera. To the left of the prism is the rewind knob/back latch. The hotshoe has no additional contacts for dedicated flash. On the right is a shutter speed dial (1s - 1/1000), hrizontally travelling cloth shutter) with film speed window, a shutter release with locking collar, wind-on lever that is incredibly smooth, and the frame counter. The back has a memo holder and notheing else. On the front are two flash synch sockets for X sync and FP sync - possibly one of the last cameras with FP sync. On the other side is the self timer lever- push it towards the lens throat to trigger the depth of field preview. On the base is the battery compartment (2 silver oxide cells), tripod bush in line with the lens, a rewind button, and sockets/contacts for the drives. The motordrive is also compact, and can drive the camera at a respectable 5 fps. The standard screen has a horizontal split image surrounded by a microprism ring. A Judas window at the top shows the aperture, a rotating wheel shows the chose shutter speed, and exposure is indicated by a series of LEDs - correct exposure by a central green one, over/under exposure of 1 stop by orange LEDs, and more than one stop by red LEDs. So a fairly simple spec, but it's really got all you need for just about any circumstances. It's one of my absolute favourite cameras, and certainly my favourite compact manual SLR.