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I have been using this camera for ages now to take my pictures for EBay so I thought it was about time that I waxed lyrical about it!
The camera that I am talking about is a Pentax Optio M60 and it is a compact digital camera and mine is black although I have also seen it in blue.
I forget how much I paid for this camera but when I took a look on Google the only one I could find was at Amazon and that was used and on offer at £49.99.
The camera is a lovely little thing - just 9.5cm by 2.4cm by 5.5cm - and it sits comfortably in the palm of my hand. On the top is the on / off switch, next to which is the button you press to take the photograph and the zoom lens is operated by a small rocker switch on the back of the camera situated at the top near to these.
Also on the back of the camera there is a screen on which you see the photograph that you are about to take. Next to it there is a button surrounded by another circular button which has four sections on it. These can be pressed to display the menus on the screen and you can alter the focus mode, drive mode, flash mode, set the time and date (which is displayed in the bottom right hand corner of the screen) and you can also set the camera to take portraits, night pictures, close ups etc.
There are also three small oblong buttons one of which brings up the photograph that you have just taken displayed on the screen, one is the button to press to delete a photograph and the other displays a full menu on the screen.
There is a built in flash which is easy to turn on and off. Sometimes, when I am trying to photograph things for EBay the flash will go off automatically and I get bright spots if the item is shiny so I switch off the flash. There is also a 5 times zoom which is easy to operate using the button on top of the camera.
Underneath the camera is a switch that, when moved across, a little door flips open revealing the memory card and the battery.
The memory card is where all the photographs are stored and to use this you just have to press it down and it springs up enough for you to grasp and pull out. You can then put it directly into your computer and download the photographs - easy peasy!
The battery is easy enough to remove and the camera comes with a charger into which the battery is inserted for charging from the mains. You can monitor the amount of charge left in the battery by looking at the little icon on the screen which shows the charge in a series of green bars which disappear one by one as the battery is used up.
The photographs that are taken with the camera are clear and sharp and are good enough for posting onto EBay or even for enlarging and printing.
In conclusion I find the camera very easy to use both for EBay photographs and holiday ones that I have also taken. The photographs are easy to get from the camera onto my computer, which is good because I am not very technically minded (as you can probably tell from this review!).
I would definitely recommend this one!
This camera is one of the best quality I have come across at an price, it has useful features such as its easy to use interface and high quality 10 mega pixel. This can however be lowered to poorer quality images when such a high quality is not required. The SD card which can be easily removed by flicking the lid open at the bottom is handy when a quick picture is needed for listing items on eBay for example. Also the camera takes both standard SD cards and newer SD High Capacity versions, this can come in handy when dealing with older computers as I have discovered myself which don't support the new SD card versions. I find the video recording feature quite good (also includes audio,) and ample for requirements if you do not wish to go through the expense of purchasing a camcorder
One drawback I do find is its Battery life seems lower than some I have used in the past and if you enjoy taking many high quality landscape photos for instance I find it decreasing fast in power supply. I also find the optical zoom feature works well up to 5x, although once the digital zoom feature comes into play it can be quite poor with its ridiculous 28.5x zoom, at this stage the photograph is simply no greater in quality than the old VGA 0.3 mega pixel cameras you use to find on mobile phones eight years ago.
My conclusion with this product is that it's an overall decent camera, it is simple to use and to understand with a high quality associated. I would recommend it to others.
There seems to be quite a bit of disagreement about this little camera when you look around on the internet. Either people seem very happy with it or they are complaining and want to return it to the store as soon as possible. Personally I am pretty enthusiastic about this camera. I have it for over a year now and have not had any issues with it.
I am your average "photographer", as in I point and click and want the camera to do the work without me having to fumble around with settings. So I am not going to talk about ISO values, white balance, sensitivity, EV Compensation, ... because honestly I do not know what they are all for. Which means I will cover things that I think matter most when looking for a normal day to day use digital camera.
The Pentax M60 is compact, light and lies very comfortably in your hand. The manufacturer has kept the use of plastic to a bear minimum, which gives the camera a very solid feel. Most of the back of the camera is taken up by a good size screen (which has remained scratch free so far).
Lens and zoom:
The camera is able to take pictures up to 10 mega pixels, which is more than enough for your day to day use and holiday pictures. And this would allow you to enlarge your pictures if you would like without losing out on quality.
Pentax did a nice job with the 5X optical zoom, which works very well and will not give you any quality loss.
The standard memory allows you to take 9 pictures on the best quality. So you will have to invest in an SD card to expand this. I have a 2gig SD card in my camera and that allows me to take 482 pictures on the best quality. Normally I set my camera on 7 mega pixels and than you can take up to 648 pictures.
Pentax has chosen for a lithium-ion battery, which has to be recharged outside the camera in a separate charger (delivered with the camera). The battery life is something I cannot flaw, the camera can be used for a long time before you have to recharge. And there is a handy indicator on your screen, which shows the remaining battery available.
There are no less than 24 preset modes you can chose from on this camera when taking a picture. All these modes are set by the manufacturer as "best" settings for certain situations. Just a grab out of the possibilities are night scene, flower, landscape, surf and snow, sport, pet.
I think the most important one though is the auto mode. The camera will then pick "the most likely correct mode" for you automatically. And in most occasions this will give you a very nice result.
In the menu you can change the settings of your camera. The menu is very simple in use and self-explanatory. But I must admit that I have left most of the options as default.
I'm not an expert but I cannot fault the picture quality. The pictures taken look sharp and the colours are very natural.
I have printed quite some pictures at home on photo paper with a normal printer and they come out just great!
- Ability to make (short) movies
- "Smile capture" - Very funny to use at parties as the camera will automatically take a picture when it detects someone smiling
- "Face priority" - The camera will focus on faces when taking a picture
- A build-in picture editor so you can reduce red eyes, put a frame around a picture, adjust colours, ...
A very nice point and click camera with lots of options and very good picture quality. In its price range I think it is a very worthy contestant with others.
If you feel there is something missing in this review, do let me know and I will do my best to add it.
The pentax m60, well what can i say, bought it from argos, and exchanged it 3 times, eventually got it from Comets! The problem being, and if anyone else has had the same i would be grateful to know, clicking noises, now Comets were kind enough to ring Pentax who said it does that when its trying to focus, buts its damn noisey, and i had my first pentax m60 for a week, before this fault as i call it developed. The one i have now is doing the same, but i kept it as i purchased £40 accessories which can't be returned! Its a lovely camera to look at, and i felt the pictures looked not bad, and it's not that hard to use, but this clicking noise is a loud one, so come on Pentax, sort this problem out, else what's the point in buying your products!! Be better if they were British built!!
I bought the Pentax Optio M60 on a Friday, used it on a Saturday, and returned it on a Monday. The camera is stylish and good looking, but regrettably developed a fault after one nights usage. This in itself is inconvenient, and does not speak well for the build quality. All could have been forgiven had it not been for the substandard image quality that the camera also suffered from.
The daylight shots were fine, although it struggled with mixed lighting conditions. What really let the camera down were night time shots. As noted by other reviewers, the lack of hardware based image stabilisation and focusing assistance measures seriously hinders the night time performance of this camera; shots were blurry, grainy, poorly defined, and with terrible red eye.
The M60 did have some redeeming features; the battery survived all evening after being charged for just 4 hours, the daylight shots were crisp and good quality, the menu system was easy to navigate, and the M60 is a genuine 'point and shoot' camera.
I would not recommend this camera to a friend; it's stylish, with good quality daylight shots, but it struggles with dim conditions and the unit I was supplied with broke after just one night..
As I am sure most of you will now know, I am a professional photographer but as well as taking pictures I also hold photography seminars at my local camera club and over the last few years I have become somewhat of a target for sales persons asking me to try out their latest digital cameras and give talks and written reviews on them.
I figured a couple of years back if I was going to be testing out all these cameras and doing reviews anyway then I may as well be posting them on Ciao and Dooyoo and making some money for charity which as you well know is what I do now.
The latest camera to be handed to me is the Pentax Optio M60 and as you read on you will find that this little digital camera is a real breath of fresh air. For months now I have been handed very expensive digital point and shoot cameras that claim to be able to perform miracles but they never seem to rise to their supposed capabilities.
The megapixels are getting higher and higher which is really just wasted because the tiny sensors in these point and shoots cannot make proper use of them, the built in anti-blur systems are promising to remove blur from pictures leading people to believe they can get great shots every time which of course is not true and the things like smile activated shutter release and facial recognition are leading people to believe that this makes the camera a better option when quite frankly it doesn't.
What a good camera needs is simply a decent level of megapixels (6 or above), some form of optical zoom (3X or above), the ability to allow the user to alter shutter speeds and apertures and of course the ability to produce good quality images, I say good quality rather than great quality because if you want great quality then quite simply you need a DSLR not a point and shoot.
Pentax are one of the original so called big 5, the 5 best known names in the camera market, along side the likes oc Canon, Nikon, Olympus and the now collapsed Minolta which has recently been taken over by Sony, well not exactly taken over but Sony design their DSLR cameras around the old Minolta workings which allows the old Minolta lenses to work on the new Sony bodies, anyhow, I digress.
Pentax having been around for so long have seen and done it all and it shows in this great little point and shoot camera, it has 10 megapixels (more than enough), a 5X zoom (more than enough) and it offers some great user settings that will keep even the most avid amateur very happy and what's more it actually produces images that you can be proud of and that look like they have been taken by a much more expensive unit.
The look and the feel of this camera also give the impression that it would cost a lot more than the £100 that it does, the body is all aluminium rather than the plastic offerings from most makers and it feels very solid and reassuringly tough in the hand. It was the first thing that really got me excited about this point and shoot, that it actually feels like a real camera and not a kids toy as so many others out there do. although it is very strong feeling it is still very light and also still small enough to fit in the average shirt pocket or it is certainly small enough to fit neatly into your handbags girls. The body is very compact, measuring 95 x 55 x 23.5mm, and extremely light, weighing only 130g and that is including the battery and the memory card.
Ok so having mentioned that this unit costs only around £100 I should also say that because of this there are a few things missing that some of the slightly more expensive cameras always offer, gone is image stabilization for still images although there is still a digital shake reduction for the video mode, gone also is the ability to manually set exposures a thing I would have liked to have seen included but most amateurs would not miss. It also has a zoom range from 36-180mm so you lose out on the ability to shoot wide angle that a lot of more expensive point and shoots can offer, that is about the only downfalls of this unit though and I have taken care of them in one paragraph, so now on to what is good about the Pentax Optio M60.
As far as everyday users are concerned the biggest advantage of this camera would certainly be its ease of use, the menu system is so easy to navigate and understand it is childs play, in fact the menu system could even be mistaken for something you would find in a kids camera, it has a real cartoon look to it but do not let that put you off as it is very informative whilst being so simple to use. one of the things I was very impressed with was the cameras built in face detection with blink detection, it works superbly which cannot be said for this function n many point and shoots and I was very impressed with the portraits I did using this function.
This unit also offers a full range of metering options including spot, centre-weighted and multi-zone, 6400 ISO maximum sensitivity and adjustable saturation, sharpness and contrast, these are functions that you would not find in some point and shoot cameras costing twice what this one does. Also included in this camera are a wide range of preset options from the usual portrait, landscape, sport and night scene to the less usual active children, fireworks, food and pets, with pets you can even set the cameras sub settings in pets to select the colour of your pets coat.
Away from all the presets you also of course have the good old auto mode for those who just want to pick up the camera point it at something and start snapping. Usually the auto functions on point and shoot cameras never really get it right and the things like white balance and exposure tend to be out a bit even if it is just slightly but this little cameras auto mode makes a brilliant job of getting the image right or as close to right as can be expected without human intervention, the only time I saw the camera produce poorer images on auto was when shooting in bright sunshine but then this is the worst time to be taking pictures anyway and some great professionals still struggle to get their images right in bright sunlight so I will let it off with that.
This camera is not the fastest in the start up or auto focusing departments but again you have to take into consideration its price, it will start up in three seconds and its auto focusing time is only marginally slower than the Panasonic LX3 which costs nearly three times as much. The time between shots sits at around 4 seconds which whilst being much, much slower than a DSLR is only about 2X slower than the point and shoots in the £200 range so again it depends what your expectations are as well as your budget. The auto focus on this unit gets it right even in very low light although again the lower the light the slower it focuses so do not expect to be snapping every few seconds if the light is not great.
On to the image quality which as I stated earlier is very good, it is especially good in great light and of course not so in poorer light but welcome to the real world, you are never going to find a point and shoot camera for £100 that will capture great images in poor light it just does not happen that is why professionals like myself use DSLR`s costing nearer £1000 than £100 and lenses that cost about the same again. Having said that though the images from this camera are free from most annoying things that digital point and shoots throw up, for example the lens gives very little barrel distortion and the softness found around the edges of the images was very minimal. When cropped or zoomed the chromatic aberration in some images becomes quite noticeable but as most point and shooters are quite happy to print their images at a basic 7X5 or maybe 10X8 this does not really throw up any real problems.
The ISO settings in point and shoot cameras tend to throw a lot of noise into the images when they are set to 400 or above to enable shooting in poorer lighting but with this little camera I found even the images shot at 800 ISO had very little signs of noise or at least not so much that a simple noise reduction program on your PC or laptop couldn't remove. The colour reproduction in the images was also very good although the ones taken in poorer light lost a bit of their edge and the colours that seemed to be very bright through the lens did not show their full brightness in the finished images. Overall though, when taking into consideration the low cost of the unit I was more than happy with the images.
Resolution: 10Mp CCD
Sensor size: 1/2.3in
Storage: Built-in Memory (approx. 36.5MB), SD/SDHC
Zoom: 5x Optical
Monitor: 2.5in LCD 230,000 dots
Focus type: 9-point AF, Spot AF, Auto tracking AF
Metering: Multi, Centre-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation: Yes ±2EV(1/3EV steps)
Shutter Speed: 4sec-1/2000
Flash Modes: Flash-on, Flash-off, Red-eye reduction, Soft Flash
Flash Range: Wide: 0.2-4.4m, Tele: 0.6-2.8m
Drive Modes: One shot, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting, High Speed
Power: Lithium-ion battery
OTHER THINGS OF NOTE
The battery on this unit is a lithium Ion rechargeable which is unusual for such an inexpensive unit but it is a great thing to have, read almost any review on a camera that still uses AA batteries and you will find that the battery life span is the most common complaint. The battery in this will allow around 350 photos and then you simply recharge so no further outlays of cash for batteries and of course as you are shooting digital there is no outlay for film so once you have this camera and a memory card all you have to pay for is printing unless of course you have your own printer than photography is free.
It should also be noted that although as with every point and shoot camera you will get red eye in your images from the flash when shooting in poor light it is worth saying that the red eye reduction in this camera is actually quite good and it reduces it enough so that a second or two in whichever program you favour will remove the red eye instead of it taking an age when the whole eye is virtually red.
The other things that make this a great buy at only £100 is the macro ability in it is superior to the macro capabilities in a lot of point and shoots at twice its price although you still have to be realistic and not expect it to compete with macro lenses on DSLR`s costing hundreds of pounds, and the high speed continuous shooting mode, although not particularly high speed will allow you to capture moving objects without too much trouble as long as you use it in good outdoor light otherwise it is less than useless.
TO SUM UP
The long and the short of it is that if you have only around £100 to spend then you will struggle to find a camera that offers better final images than this one, add to that the fact that it has a higher zoom than most in its price range and it has the now obligatory ten megapixels, why wouldn't you buy it? Even if you are a person who bases every buying decision on looks or size alone then again you will not be disappointed, this camera is a nice looker, it comes in black, silver and blue at the moment although I am sure a red or pink one will be available at some point and it is small and very lightweight so unless you are looking for the point and shoot with all the added extras then this is the one for you and my advice to you if you are looking for a camera that can do everything then you do not want to be spending a fortune on a point and shoot that will ultimately fail to impress you want to be buying a DSLR or at least a bridge (superzoom) camera.
Throughout the review I have commented on this unit costing only £100 but obviously this depends on where you purchase it from, simply Google the cameras full name and you will find many offers on it including one that I saw this morning from UK Digital cameras for this unit in red (told you there would be a red one) for only £103, there was also one last week for £98.99 which I can no longer find!
LOOKS - 8/10
BUILD QUALITY - 9/10
EASE OF USE - 9/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 8/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 7/10
VALUE FOR MONEY - 8/10
OVERALL - 8.5/10
Thanks for reading.