Marketing claims aside the L6 has a lot more going for it, although it’s not without its problems. It’s a very attractive little camera, with good solid build quality despite its plastic body, and it is nicely designed. It’s a very small camera and light too, measuring 91 x 61.5 x 26mm and weighing only 125g, but even so it handles very well, thanks to a sensible control layout, the presence of a thumbgrip on the back, and the bulge on the right side of the body necessary to accommodate the batteries. The lens retracts flush with the body, and the controls and corners are smoothly rounded, so it will slip into a pocket with ease.
It has several other nice design touches. For example the tripod bush (plastic, unfortunately) is positioned centrally on the underside of the camera, so the tripod bracket will cover the battery hatch, but the camera has a separate card slot on the right side, so it is still possible to change the memory card with the camera mounted on a tripod. Also the 2.5in, 115k pixel LCD monitor screen has a good anti-glare coating, and is bright enough to be used in full daylight with no problems.
Naturally for such a low-cost camera the L6 isn’t exactly bursting with features, but it does offer enough to fulfil most snapshot photography duties. It has a full-auto mode which offers only a limited amount of user input, with menu options for image quality, white balance, exposure compensation, continuous shooting, the Best Shot Selector function and a colour option menu with five settings. Flash mode, macro mode and the self timer (10 secs only) are accessed via secondary functions of the D-pad.
In Scene mode there is rather more on offer, in fact considerably more than most cameras in this price range. For example in Portrait mode it features the now ubiquitous Face Detection mode and a standard portrait option, as well as options for positioning your subject on the left, right or centre of the frame, for shooting two people together, or for portraits with the camera held vertically. Likewise Landscape, Sports an Night Portrait mode all have several sub-options, and there are a further ten scene modes to choose from, as well as left or right panorama stitching assist. Not a bad selection for £123.