Samsung PL60 review: Samsung PL60

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The Good Smart and stylish; decent control layout; handy USB charging system; good value for money.

The Bad Weak definition past ISO 400; lacks a wideangle zoom.

The Bottom Line The Samsung PL60 offers a decent set of specs at a good price, throwing in some hi-tech shooting functions and a dash of style too. You might not use all the fancy technology, but you'll get good pictures regardless. If you want a wideangle zoom, though, you'll need to step up to the PL70 instead

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7.5 Overall

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Samsung's 10.2-megapixel PL60 offers a tempting little package for anyone who wants a compact camera with some style, fancy tech and decent specs without putting too much of a dent in the old plastic. There are five PL models (the others are the PL50, PL55, PL65 and PL70), all of which are quite close in terms of specs. The PL60 falls pretty much in the middle, costing around £120.

Smooth operator
The front of the PL60 has a smart, brushed-metal finish, available in a choice of colours. Around the back, a full-width plastic panel covers the 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD display and surrounds the mode dial, buttons and directional controller, giving a smooth, seamless look.

The controls work very well. You can spin the main mode dial with your thumb, but firm click-stops prevent it turning accidentally. While the four-way controller is on the small side, it has satisfying, positive 'click'. It's rather hard to make out the icons embossed on the black buttons, but you'll probably memorise them quickly enough for it not to matter.

The PL60's lens produces some pincushion distortion at the wideangle setting, which we haven't seen before. The definition is very good at low ISOs, but drops off sharply past ISO 400 (click image to enlarge)

You press a 'Fn' button on the bottom right to change routine stuff like EV compensation, white balance, face-detection mode, drive mode and picture style, or resort to the main menus for metering patterns, focus area, image size and quality, and more in-depth set-up options. It all looks good and works well.

The camera's pictures aren't bad, either. The PL60 makes light work of everyday photography, reliably producing accurate exposures, good colours and decent definition. There's some pretty obvious noise reduction even at low ISOs, though, and fine textures tend to get smoothed over.

Like other Samsung compacts, this one has a USB charging system. You can plug it into the mains with the supplied adaptor, or use the detachable USB lead to charge it from a powered USB port on a computer.