Steve's Digicams

Toshiba PDR-M60

Review posted 9/5/00


Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Toshiba PDR-M60
Click to take a 360-degree QTVR tour of the PDR-M60

The palm sized Toshiba PDR-M60 has a 1/2-inch 2.33 megapixel CCD imager capable of recording either 1792 x 1200 or 896 x 600 size still images in Fine, Normal or Basic quality. It has a 2.3X (38-86mm 35mm equivalent) optical zoom lens with a 2X digital zoom option. For image download to the computer the PDR-M60 has a USB port that eliminates the need for a card reader.

The PDR-M60 has a powerup time of about 3 seconds and a shot to shot recycle time of around 1 second. This is basically an automatic point and shoot type of camera but through the Manual mode you can control the white balance and the exposure compensation value. Variable ISO sensitivity of 100, 200 or 400 and macro focusing down to 5cm gives you a very versatile entry-level priced 2 megapixel digicam.

Toshiba PDR-M60

On the back is a bright 1.8-inch active-matrix color LCD which can be used as a realtime viewfinder or to playback your stored images. In playback mode it can display images fullscreen, as thumbnails or in 3x zoom. It is also used to access the menu system. It can be switched off to conserve battery power when using the conventional eyelevel viewfinder.

Toshiba PDR-M60
The PDR-M60 sports a large and bright optical finder but no diopter adjustment.

A tri-color (red/yellow/green) LED indicates autofocus, flash and memory processing status.

Toshiba PDR-M60

The bottom of the PDR-M60 is flat and is well suited to being mounted on a tripod. The only thing on the bottom besides the tripod socket is the battery access door.

Toshiba PDR-M60

On the top is a monochrome data LCD, the Mode Dial, the Shutter Release and control function buttons. When powered down the lens retracts. I was disappointed to see that the data LCD was not illuminated as is the case on Toshiba's other cameras.

Toshiba PDR-M60

The big dial on top turns the camera on by selecting an operating mode: Manual Record (not really Manual but it lets you change the white balance and EV compensation values) or Automatic Record mode, Playback, Connect to PC or Setup mode.

Toshiba PDR-M60

Closeup look at the top data LCD display and control buttons. From left to right the buttons are: Flash mode, Quality / Image Size and Self-Timer.

Toshiba PDR-M60

Controls on the rear include the 4-way jog switch which is used to navigate the menu system, select images or activate various functions.

There are dedicated buttons for displaying the MENU system. Turning the color LCD screen on/off (DISP). Enabling the MACRO mode and Deleting files.

Toshiba PDR-M60 Toshiba PDR-M60

The all-glass aspheric 2.3x zoom (38-86mm equivalent) features a fast F2.8 aperture for better than average low light performance. The focus range is from two to twenty inches in Macro, or 20 inches to infinity in normal Autofocus mode. When the camera is powered down, the lens retracts and is covered by a builtin lens barrier.

Toshiba PDR-M60

The PDR-M60 has a five-mode flash system (automatic, red-eye reduction, forced- fill flash, slow synchro and force-off) with a working range of 12-feet.

Toshiba PDR-M60
The PDR-M60's I/O ports:

On the top is the video out (NTSC or PAL).

The USB port is rated at 12mbps and is capable of transfering a high-res picture in about 1 seconds.

On the other side of the camera is the 5VDC input jack for the optional AC power supply.

Toshiba PDR-M60

Access to the SmartMedia memory card slot is via a door on the side.

The card slot employs my favorite "push in - pop out" type of ejector mechanism which makes it a snap to change the tiny cards.

The PDR-M60 accomodates any capacity 3.3v SmartMedia card and comes with a 4MB card.

Toshiba PDR-M60

Unlike all the other Toshiba camera we have reviewed, the M60 does not use a Toshiba lithium rechargeable battery. They have gone back to using four AA size batteries as the portable power for the camera. This will be good news to those who dislike proprietary battery packs.

Included with the camera are four alkaline batteries but I would recommend the use of NiMH rechargeables instead.

Toshiba PDR-M60

The PDR-M60 has a compact high-impact plastic body with a weight of just over seven ounces (without the batteries), here it is for size comparison with the Nikon Coolpix 880.

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