Pentax ZX-60 35mm SLRs

Pentax ZX-60 35mm SLRs 

DESCRIPTION

  • Super-compact dimensions and functional design
  • Exposure: Picture Mode, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority, Metered Manual, Bulb, and Exposure Compensation
  • AF with predictive AF
  • Multi-function pop-up flash

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-5 of 5  
    [May 07, 2010]
    Auditor
    Intermediate

    Strength:

    Uses the wonderful Pentax autofocus prime lenses
    Very light
    Mirror Lock Up
    Inexpensive
    Timer
    Fast Autofocus
    Manual Meter settings

    Weakness:

    You cannot use any of the great manual focus lenses that Pentax has made over the years.
    No depth of field preview
    Built of Plastic (which is why it is so light)
    Slow shutter speeds
    Slow frame advance
    Plastic lens mount
    Mirror motor is prone to failure (plastic gear)

    The Pentax ZX-60 may be one of the best backup 35mm cameras ever built and it is certainly one of the best hiking cameras.

    On paper this little camera hardly seems worth considering. But this is one of only two autofocus 35mm cameras built by Pentax with mirror lock up. The other is the flagship Pentax MZ-S which can go for well over $600 even in today's digital world. If you like to take landscape pictures with your 35mm, you want mirror lock up. If you have trouble with manual focus lenses and want to stay with autofocus cameras, this is your best choice as a back up to the MZ-S. Actually, it may be your best choice period if you are interested in saving money. This camera can be bought for far less then the cheapest digital point and shoots available.

    On a long, back-country hike, this camera's lightweight build would be a lifesaver. This camera is unbelievably light. Sporting my Pentax F 50mm lens, loaded with film and batteries, and with the Pentax strap, this camera weighs 23 ounces, slightly less then one and a half pounds. This camera is light.

    The autofocus is great. In fact, although I haven't timed it, I think it may even be faster then the other Pentax cameras I've used, even the MZ-S. I shoot Nikon as well and this is the only Pentax I've ever used that felt like the autofocus could keep up.

    Although there are several available, you are not stuck with pre-programmed settings with this camera. Aperture priority, shutter priority and manual settings are all available and pretty easy to use. You can even "push" or "pull" your film by changing the ISO settings if you want. Finally, although you cannot use manual focus lenses (see below) you can manually focus your autofocus lenses if you need.

    Now for the compromises, and there are several. First, this camera is built entirely of polycarbonate plastic, even the lens mount. Back when this camera was built that was most definitely a demerit, but nowdays we use plastic in everything, with very good results. This even applies to the lens mount. In 50 or so years this may prove to be a problem, but under normal use I doubt anyone would even notice if they weren't told.

    The second problem is that this camera has what is know as a "crippled lens mount". This camera can only use autofocus lenses. If you try to install the Pentax SMC 50mm f/1.4, the Pentax M 50mm f/1.4, or even the Pentax A 50mm f/1.4, on this camera it won't even turn on. So there are lots and lots of older Pentax lenses that cannot be used with this camera. For me, since my eyes will not allow me to do a good job with manual focus lenses, this was not an issue. But for others this may be a deal breaker.

    A third issue is the lack of depth of field. For me this is a much bigger problem then only being able to use autofocus lenses, but I find that I can work around it.

    Next, if you need blazing speed, go somewhere else. It does autofocus quickly but everything ends there. The frame advance speed is a measly 1 frame per second. And the shutter speeds stop at 1/2000s. In other words, don't load ISO 1600 film, go outside in bright sunlight, and expect to shoot wide open, it ain't gonna happen!

    The final problem is something you can't see or feel. All of these MZ and ZX models (except for the MZ-S) are plagued with plastic shutter gears on the shutter motor. These gears are subject to stripping, and the ZX-60 is not different. It doesn't always happen but it is certainly a risk. There are replacement shutter motors available with metal gears but the repair is usually more then the cameras are worth. This is a chance you take with these cameras.

    In conclusion, for the money, this is a very nice little camera. Is it nicer then similar Nikons or Canons? I don't know. I do believe that it is at least their equal. For me, neither of the Nikons, or the Canon, have mirror lock up. So the Pentax MZ-60 is a better deal. If you need a back up autofocus Pentax camera, that has mirror lock up, this is about your only option unless you are willing to spring the big bucks for a second MZ-S. Even if you like digital, you will be hard pressed to find a better value than this little 35mm single lens reflex.

    Customer Service

    Haven't needed it yet.

    Similar Products Used:

    Pentax MZ-S
    Pentax ZX-50
    Pentax SF1N
    Pentax ZX-L
    Nikon N75
    Nikon F100
    Canon XS

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Apr 12, 2008]
    Austin
    Casual

    Strength:

    The manual focus on this camera is VERY GOOD!

    Weakness:

    The built in flash is not that good i suggest you go buy eBay Slave Flash. Also go buy a wide angle lens if your a action sports photographer.

    This was my first camera so I was pretty excited when I got it. When I went to go buy a camera I was expecting to get a Canon Rebel K2 but the seller told me to get this because I was a begginer, so I bought it. When I got home I wasnt really sure what to photograph first. See I am a skateboard photographer but everyone was out of town who I take pictures of, so I went outside and took some outdoor pictures. When I started taking the pictures I fell in love with the landscape option on the camera. When I took the pictures I didnt expect them to be good but when I got them developed they came out pretty good for me being a beginner.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Mar 25, 2003]
    Royce Thompson
    Intermediate

    Strength:

    Can be auto/manual. Nice built in pop-up flash. Light body. Auto bracketing is nice.

    Weakness:

    The light meter gives not that much info. Not sure if its the camera, but its not giving solid results.

    I got this camera for my birthday when I started taking photography class at my school and getting really interested in it. I was using some, strange Minolta manual before I got my new one and all I can say is, I kind of miss the old one. After using my new one for awhile, I can say I do like the older style manuals better. Just the construction of the old style itself will make your pictures look different. I was getting better contrast and better density using the old camera. It may be because the light meter was better, I don't know. It may be that I'm not developing my film now for long enough, I don't know. All I know is that I got better results using the other one. I'm not saying that this is a bad camera, especially for the price. I'm just saying that before you jump the gun because of the price tag, think about the way your pictures are going to look first.

    Customer Service

    Haven't checked

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Jan 01, 2003]
    Phoebus
    Intermediate

    Strength:

    Built quality, fast autofocus, price!!

    Weakness:

    Not very ergonomic (in manual modes), no info in viewinder.

    Excellenet little camera. Very good quality of built (for the price), fast autofocus. I have been using both Canon (EOS) and Pentax (Manual Focus) cameras and I decided to try an entry level Pentax autofocus. The truth is that the Canon EOS at the same level (Rebel 2000, XS etc) are easier to operate and have a few more features but the quality of built is not as good and they are $100 more expensive. As far as lenses are concerned I have never thought that Canon and Nikon are of superior quality to Pentax. The 50mm Pentax is one of the best lenses I have ever used for the price. If you are looking at Canon Rebel, Nikon N65 etc you have to give the ZX-60 a chance. A great little camera.

    Customer Service

    Not needed yet. Cannot comment on long term reliability.

    Similar Products Used:

    Canon Rebel, EOS 620, EOS 630,EOS 10, Elan,Nikon N60,N65, N90s,FA and many others.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Dec 22, 2002]
    Kevin
    Beginner

    Strength:

    Manual Option Mnay Pentax accesories can be used for it. Easy

    Weakness:

    Flash in Black and White pictures

    I bought this camera as my first SLR. I had read alot about the pros and cons of different brands and different models. I had narrowed it down to the Pentax ZX-60, Nikon N65, or Canon Rebel Ti. I decided on the Pentax ZX-60 because it had a manual option which I wanted to learn to use. When i got my first roll of film developed that i had taken with this camera I was very pleased. The pictures came out just as I saw them. THe only con about this camera is that you should buy a flash for it because the on-board flash is tooooo weak fro black and white pictures.

    Customer Service

    good

    Similar Products Used:

    Minolta Maxxum QTsi

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-5 of 5  

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