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“On the face of it this Sony DSC-U60 Digital camera is...”

Written on: 07/04/2004 by martin427 (2 reviews written)

Good Points
Easy to handle; durable plastic case; quick startup; simple to use; great battery life on two AAAs; can be used underwater to five feet; takes good pics day and night.

Bad Points
No optical viewfinder; no expert controls like white balance; no lens protector; no tripod mount; only supplied with 8Mb Memory Stick; no spare sealing O-ring.

General Comments
On the face of it this Sony DSC-U60 Digital camera is quite expensive for what it is (2 megapixel). However, Sony can quite cheerfully charge around 150 UKP because, to my knowledge, there is no other underwater camera on the market right now to compete with it.

However, I got it for a specific purpose - taking quick, single-handed photographs in difficult situations - and for this it does the job just fine. Compared to other digicams I have it is also extremely simple to use and takes not half-bad night shots (without flash) - provided you can keep the camera steady enough to avoid shake. It can be done - just.

Meanwhile, flash photos and those taken during the day are highly acceptable for a camera in this price range. The flash recharges quickly and the DSC-U60 is pretty fast to start up from cold. The battery life is also excellent and it only needs two AAA NiMhs (supplied). It also comes with a plastic wrist strap and a comprehensive instruction manual, though digicam freaks will hardly read this. The DSC-U60 is most intuitive.

The Memory Stick supplied is only 8Mb so you'll probably want to upgrade that immediately to a 128Mb, which will hold roughly 245 pics at full resolution. So add 30 UKP for one of those. Plus -a case will be useful. The Sony case is 24 UKP (with discount), but others should fit okay and might well be cheaper.

I can strongly recommend this camera for fuss-free photography - especially in situations where a more expensive camera might get damaged by rain, sand or moisture. Just be sure to look after the sealing O-ring on the bottom lid, which provides access to the USB connector, battery compartment and Memory Stick slot. Spare O-rings are available from Sony - but I've no idea how much they cost.

At around 150 UKP from dealers that advertise on this site the Sony DSC-U60 is definitely worth a punt. You will not be disappointed. And, let's be realistic - if you need a camera like this, it's the only one of its type around for this kind of money.

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