Expert Recommendation

.
Best Digital Camera for Action Photos Under $300
Expert (53 Recommendations and 31 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 15, 2009 Updated: October 16, 2009
Overview

When searching for a reasonably priced point and shoot camera designed to capture action shots, look no further than the Fuji S1500. Fuji has been a leader in ultra-zoom cameras that are built tough and take beautiful, clear images. With the S1500 you get the simplicity of a point and shoot with the feel of an SLR. You can take the S1500 into low light situations, fast action events, or both, and shoot with confidence that it will have the stuff to capture the shot.

Best badge
My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S1500

This camera has it all. High ISO, a 12x zoom and a new Tracking Autofocus Function that let’s you be in control of every shot in every environment.

When put to the test, this 10mp dynamo packed inside a sturdy, lightweight body passes every challenge and makes you look good doing it. When others have to put there cameras away in low light situations, you’ll be capturing the action with an impressive 6400 ISO and Dual Image Stabilisation.

Another great feature of this camera is the Scene Recognition Auto setting. Depending on the environment you are currently shooting in, the camera will optimise the settings to fit each situation, allowing you to worry about, well, nothing.

I only wish this camera used a lithium Ion battery instead of 4 bulky AA batteries but purchasing rechargeable batteries will help keep this camera an economical choice.

Comparison with Samsung HZ15W

I chose the Fuji S1500 over the Samsung HZ15W because of the SLR style handgrip and the ability to toggle back and forth between the LCD and the electronic viewfinder. I wouldn’t be able to look past the fact that the HZ15W has no viewfinder, but the 24mm wide angle Schneider lens, 10x zoom and 3200 ISO capabilities let’s me forgive Samsung for this oversight and recommend it as an excellent camera for capturing action in a variety of situations.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

I like the Fuji S1500 for the body style and it’s optical viewfinder. Otherwise, the Canon SX200 IS is a great camera for taking action photos. Packed into a light (7.8oz) metal body (with 3 new colors), the SX200 IS fits perfectly in your pocket or purse.

Pros
  • +
    Solid body
  • +
    Electronic viewfinder
  • +
    High ISO
  • +
    DIS
Cons
  • -
    4AA batteries
  • -
    Won't fit in your pocket
Fujifilm FinePix S1500 is the Best Digital Camera for Action Photos Under $300
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S1500
Recommended with
  • Canon Monopod 100 for SLR Cameras & Lenses
    $99.99 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 12.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.8 sec
  • Burst Speed: 1.6 fps
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
Best badge
Fujifilm FinePix S1500
2
Samsung HZ15W
3
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
Customer Rating
Price $390.81 $313.29
?
Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
?
Viewfinder Available
Yes No No
Battery Type AAA Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Colors No No Black, Blue, Red
Easy to Use Yes Yes Yes
HD Video Available No Yes Yes
Optical Zoom 10.0x 10.0x 12.0x
?
Face Detection Available
Yes Yes Yes
Video Out Interface Available Yes Yes Yes
Weight (with batteries) 12.2 oz 8.8 oz 8.7 oz
?
Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.8 sec 0.3 - 0.9 sec 0.3 sec
2
Samsung HZ15W

Samsung finally got around to producing a compact superzoom camera with the release of the HZ10W. Then they made a few adjustments (a bigger LCD screen and a 12.2mp CCD image sensor) and came out with the HZ15W.

They were smart, however, to keep the 24mm wide angle Schneider lens that zooms out to 10x.

If getting close to the action is what you want while looking stylish with a camera that fits nicely in your pocket or purse, the 8.8 oz. Samsung HZ15W is the choice for you.

Pros
  • +
    HD movie recording
  • +
    24mm wide angle lens
Cons
  • -
    no viewfinder
Samsung HZ15W is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Action Photos Under $300
Where to buy
Samsung HZ15W
Recommended with
  • Canon Monopod 100 for SLR Cameras & Lenses
    $99.99 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Resolution: 12.2MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.3 - 0.9s
  • Burst Speed: 1.4 fps
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Perfect by CNET.com
3
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

I have always been impressed with the quality of the images I get from Canon’s point and shoot line of cameras. It probably has to do with their Digic 4 image processor. I am constantly amazed at the overall quality Canon is able to produce thanks to Digic 4.

And don’t worry about missing that special moment, fast or slow. With a 12x zoom lens, Optical Image Stabilization and an ISO of 1600, you will have the right tools to match your talent for catching that perfect shot.

If a lot of zoom (12x) and HD movie capabilities are what you’re looking for in a point and shoot camera, throw in a variety of colors and a Smart Auto feature that does most of the thinking for you, and this camera can’t be beat.

Pros
  • +
    Digic 4
  • +
    Lightweight
  • +
    Easy to use
  • +
    Variety of colors
  • +
    HD movie recording
Cons
  • -
    No optical viewfinder
  • -
    Short battery life
  • -
    Popup flash can be annoying
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Action Photos Under $300
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Best Price: $313
    Amazon See It »
Recommended with
  • Canon Monopod 100 for SLR Cameras & Lenses
    $99.99 @ Amazon.com
  • Canon NB-5L Battery Pack for Canon SD700IS, SD790IS series Digital Cameras
    $39.60 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 12.0x
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.3 sec
  • Burst Speed: 1.0 fps
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

How It Works

You tell us your budget, intended uses, and desired features. We show you personalized recommendations from unbiased experts to quickly identify the best digital camera for you.

Advertisement

best hdtv Looking for an HDTV? BestInClass.com also provides expert recommendations for the best HDTV for you.