Remember when cameras looked like cameras? The Nikon Coolpix P60 harks back to those days. It boasts 8 megapixels and is available now for a perfectly reasonable £160, but is its style too old school?
The P60's boxy, retro styling looks like a camera should. There's none of your new-fangled, fancy slidey parts or garish colour: it's a black box with silver accents and a rubber grip for the right hand. The controls are nicely uncluttered and the type is large enough to read. Whether you think it's classic or staid and rustic is up to you.
Power comes from two convenient AA batteries, which are easily replaced. The mode dial gives access to portrait and landscape scene modes with more options available via the menus. It also features a setup position to access the more involved options that require adjustment less frequently, such as the date and time. This frees the menu button for quick access to commonly-used shooting options.
At the back of the camera is a 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD monitor. The zoom is controlled by a flat zoom rocker switch. This one is even flatter and more wobbly and lifeless than most.
We're not sold on the placement of the viewfinder in the top left corner. Holding the viewfinder to your right eye avoids squashed nose and greasy screen issues, but essentially the electronic viewfinder is too small. Unless you have the camera eyelash-brushingly close to your eye, there's distracting peripheral vision. The placement of our left hand took some getting used to as well.
On a similar note, the flash is badly-placed for red eye, squatting directly over the lens.
The P60 strikes a balance of basic tweakability with general simplicity. The headline feature is a 5x Nikkor optical zoom lens. The 35mm equivalent is 36-180mm, which isn't anything to shout about in the wide-angle stakes. Still, a long zoom is handy for head-and- shoulders portraits.
Optical image stabilisation is always welcome. A high ISO 2,000 option is less welcome and it's not worth using as noise speckles ruin images at that ISO speed.
Manual control is also welcome, even if it's as limited as this. You can only set a minimum and maximum aperture, but you can choose from a range of shutter speeds between 1/1200 seconds and 8 seconds. There is a program mode, but strangely no aperture or shutter priority.