Pentax are, of course, a legendary name in photography. The Pentax Espio 60s isn’t exactly up there with their professional line of SLR and medium format cameras, but it is a compact, light and comparatively modern 35mm point and shoot film camera.
The Pentax Espio 60s was released in 2001. It is not as compact as some of the more modern point and shoot film cameras, such as the Ricoh RZ-735 or Canon Sure Shot 76 Zoom, but it weighs in at 174 grams, which makes it as light as these things can probably get. Even with batteries in, it feels just about right to hold with one hand.
Pentax Espio 60s specifications
The Pentax Espio 60s zoom lens ranges from 35m to 60mm. This isn’t the widest set of zoom lengths which, in theory, can help to make for a better lens quality. Truth be told, this isn’t actually a zoom camera in the conventional sense of the word. There are actually four different ‘set’ zoom lengths, 35mm, 45mm, 50mm and 60mm.
The Pentax Espio 60s fits very comfortably in the hand and most of the buttons and controls are easy to access.As would be expected, everything about this camera is automated, included film loading, focusing and DX coded film speed selection (with no ability to override ISO settings). Disappointingly, especially for a camera released in the 21st century, the ISO range is very narrow. There is only DX support for 100, 200 and 400 ISO film. There is also a self-timer mode. The Pentax Espio 60s also has the ability to lock the automatic exposure.
The Pentax Espio 60s in use
The Pentax Espio 60s fits very comfortably in the hand and most of the buttons and controls are easy to access and use. The possible exception to this is the mode button, which is recessed and is hard to press. Speaking of mode selection, there are a number of options available, including red-eye reduction, fill flash and the ability to stop the flash firing.
Selecting each of the lens lengths is done by quickly pressing the telephoto or wide-angle buttons, which are conveniently located just behind the shutter button. Holding either of these buttons down, will allow the lens to zoom in or out completely in one motion. That said, I actually prefer it when the zoom buttons are located on the back of the cameras, like the Ricoh RZ-728, as I find that controlling the zoom function with the thumb a bit more comfortable. Or even on the front, like the Canon Sure Shot Zoom S. But, horses for courses.
Irritatingly, the Pentax Espio 60s also has a sleep, or power saving, function – something which I have previously complained about with the Fuji DL Super Mini/Tiara and the Yashica Zoomate 165 SE. This is doubly annoying in this case because the lens retracts, but the lens cover does not close. Even more annoying, is that waking up from power saving mode often takes some time.
On the plus side, the viewfinder is very bright and clear – even when I tested it whilst wearing glasses. According to the specifications, the viewfinder is a reverse galilean albada zoom finder – whatever that is – which gives 80% coverage.
All in all, the Pentax Espio 60s is a basic, but usable, point and click film camera.