If the DiMAGE X1 represents Konica Minolta's future direction, the DiMAGE X60 may represent the last hurrah for an older school of design. If that is so, then we'll be sorry to see it go as the X60, while being a much more conventional camera than the X1, is very nice and a pleasure to use. At 0.9 inches, the X60 is a bit thicker than the latest ultra-slim wonders (including Konica Minolta's own X1), but it has one of the smallest footprints, smallest volumes, and it is also among the very lightest, weighing just 4.8 ounces. This camera may be a little boxier than some, but it's truly tiny and will fit anywhere. No one didn't like the X60
The X60's "old-school" design is evident almost wherever you look. The boxy body with subtly rounded and beveled edges and corners was pioneered by Canon with its early digital ELPHs. The thick, sliding lenscap to turn the camera on and off has long since been replaced by tiny buttons (though Sony continues to use the big slider plates also). The X60's bulky, low capacity battery is a leftover from earlier days as well, replaced now by flat, little powerpacks smaller than a CF card. Nostalgia truly rules on the DiMAGE X60.
That, as it turns out, is not necessarily a bad thing. In addition to being small and handy, the X60 carries on a tradition that we really appreciate: it actually has USB and AV jacks right on the camera. We much prefer that to having to place the camera into a clumsy dock to connect to a computer.
In other areas, the X60 is as modern as it gets. Despite of its small size, the camera has a large 2.5-inch LCD. And unlike many of the competition's little marvels, the X60's 3X optical zoom lens is completely internal and never motors out. I prefer that to those nervous lens barrels that extrude from otherwise slender bodies. Sadly, no optical viewfinder. That is one now apparently obsolete feature that we miss. On the other hand, the X60 comes with about 15MB of internal memory so that you can take a few shots even without a SD Card in the memory slot (none comes with the camera). The X60's brother, the X1, has no internal memory and is shipped without a card.
The little DiMAGE also benefits from a user interface that Konica Minolta has honed to near perfection over the years--and that goes for both the physical controls and the onscreen menus. A slider on top selects either automatic picturetaking, scenes, or movie/voice recording. The onscreen menus are all-text and exceedingly clear with the exception of the scene modes that are represented solely by hard-to-interpret icons.
Unlike its more modern sibling, the X60 can zoom in and out during movie recording, and also during movie playback. That's much more fun. However, the X60 shows its age by offering only 320 x 240 movies. That is not up to the current 5-megapixel standard. The camera can be used as a competent voice recorder, until the card is full. Playback volume is rather low and switching between movie and voice recording mode requires using an onscreen menu, but hey, it works. Likewise, you can attach 15 second voice clips to pictures.
In terms of features, the DiMAGE X60 doesn't have many. This camera isn't packed with snazzy goodies like the two Casios and it doesn't offer even a semblance of manual control. This is a point & shooters for those who want to whip their camera out of the pocket and get shots without having to first figure out settings.
It's probably fair to say that this will be Konica Minolta's last "old-style" camera. It doesn't have many frills, but it has lots to offer to those who want a small, simple point & shooter with a big screen and a nice internal zoom lens.
In terms of image quality, the X60 couldn't quite match that of its DiMAGE X1 stablemate and scored in the middle of the pack. Its performance was very consistent, though, and good contrast always made for pleasing pictures.
Not so much:
- Big 2.5" screen
- Very simple to use
- Very simple to use
- Fully internal 3X optical zoom
- Only 320 x 240 pixel movies
- Konica Minolta is leaving the digital camera business
- Very few features