Of course for £100 you can’t expect too much, and the M60 does lack a few features that one would take for granted on a more expensive camera. It has no image stabilisation, except for a digital shake reduction function in video mode, there are no manual exposure options, and the zoom range of 36-180mm lacks the wide-angle ability that is becoming more common on higher-end models. However it does offer tracking AF, an improved face detection system with blink detection, a full range of metering options including spot, centre-weighted and multi-zone, 6400 ISO maximum sensitivity and adjustable saturation, sharpness and contrast. Some cameras costing over twice as much don’t offer all of those options.
The M60’s great strength is its ease of use. Pressing the Mode button on the D-Pad opens up the scene mode menu, which has no less than 24 options, including all the usual ones such as portrait, landscape, sport, night portrait and night scene, as well as some more unusual ones such as active children, fireworks, food and pets, with sub-settings for the colour of the pet’s coat. It also has sub-settings for cats and dogs, although of course this is a joke by the designers. To my relief it also has Pentax’s wonderful frame composite mode, which now offers over 80 frames to superimpose over your pictures.
Pentax was the first company to introduce automatic scene selection, and the M60 has this option. It works well, accurately choosing from the main shooting modes depending on the circumstances. It also has Pentax’s usual Green Button mode, which in its default state sets the camera to an Auto-everything “idiot mode”. However the button can be re-assigned via the menu to something more useful, such as ISO setting or white balance.
There are several useful options in playback mode, as well as a digital shake reduction function, which to be honest doesn’t really help that much with any significant blurring. The same composite frames can be added to pictures in playback, and there is a nice digital filter option including single colour masking, which everything except a chosen colour is turned black and white.
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