The Pentax ME was succeeded in 1979 by the more advanced ME Super and the simpler Pentax MV. The MV was in turn followed in 1980 by a less basic version, the Pentax MV1. The differences with the MV were the following:
- winder attachment for the ME I winder (1.5i/s) or ME II winder (2i/s)
- self-timer present
- memo holder on the back
- data back attachment for the Dial Data ME
- ASA range from 32 to 1600
The Pentax MV1 is an aperture priority automatic camera, with an electronic focal plane shutter from 1s to 1/1000, synchronized at 1/100. The shutter curtains are metal and have a vertical movement. There is no shutter dial, and the camera cannot be used in manual mode, except for B and 1/100 exposures. The exposure meter is of the standard TTL open aperture center weighted type. It is activated by a slight pressure on the release button.
The Pentax MV1 has a 0.85× viewfinder, covering 92% of the field. The finder screen is fixed, with a split image image and a microprism ring in the center. Neither the shutter speed nor the aperture is displayed in the finder.
There is a self-timer and a hot shoe on the top of the prism with an additional contact for dedicated Pentax flash units. The selector around the release button has three positions: Auto, 100X (1/100, X sync) and B. The Pentax MV1 can attach the external Winder ME (1.5 i/s) or the later Winder ME II (2i/s). The Pentax MV1 can also use the Dial Data ME databack with an adaptor to slide in the hot shoe, or the later Digital Data M databack via a cord adapter and the hotshoe adapter.
The lenses are interchangeable with the K bayonet mount. Together with the M series was introduced the SMC Pentax-M series of compact lenses.
The Pentax MV1 was sold in black and in chrome finish.
It was followed in 1981 by the improved Pentax MG.