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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Cameras

Photos: Hands-on with the 5x zoom Nikon Coolpix P60

The P in P60 may stand for 'performance', but this Nikon snapper puts a 5x zoom and manual control alongside more consumer-friendly features like AA batteries -- and a very odd viewfinder

Even though it's a part of the Coolpix performance camera range, the Nikon Coolpix P60 is aimed squarely at the consumer who wants advanced functions without the complication. Some might say the P60 is the camera representative of the recent trend for products that suit consumer's needs, even if that means they aren't at the bleeding edge of technology -- such as the Eee PC or Flip Video, and their assorted clones. So the P60 has an 8.1-megapixel resolution rather than being jacked up to 12 or more, and takes convenient AA batteries.

The headline feature is a 5x Nikkor optical zoom lens offering outstanding precision and sharp resolution. The 35mm film format equivalent is 36mm-180mm.

The design of the P60 involves 'traditional-design ergonomics' that 'aid purposeful photography' -- whatever that is. And yes, when using the P60 we found that there was a greater urgency in our stride, a more resolute set to our shoulders, a determination in our furrowed brows. Or it may have just been some PR waffle, we're not sure.

One feature we like is that the mode dial features a setup position to access the more involved options that require adjustment less often. This frees the menu button for quick access to shooting options. There's also program and manual control, although no aperture or shutter priority for some reason. Manual control is slightly misleading: although you can choose from a range of shutter speeds between 1/1,200 second and 8 seconds, you can only set a minimum and maximum aperture.

The Nikon Coolpix P60 is available now for £150-£180. To see more, and to get a look at perhaps the P60's oddest feature, click through for the next photo. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Nikon Coolpix P60 review

A 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD monitor, uncluttered controls, rubbish zoom rocker switch -- so far, so average. But what's this? The electronic viewfinder is in the top left corner -- what's that about? We're not sure if we like it -- check back soon for an in-depth review to see how it works out.