Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Action Photos Under $400
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
May 26, 2007 Updated: October 22, 2007
Overview

Equipped with 10.7x super-zoom, class leading low light performance and fast response, the Fujifilm S6000fd will freeze action at the press of a button and is also great for capturing the natural skin tones of babies.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd

For action photography, the Canon S3 IS score higher than the Fujifilm S6000fd because of its larger reach and brighter lens (the usable aperture is wider) at maximum zoom. It has an image-stabilized lens, which compensates for camera shake while permitting horizontal panning in “Panning Mode,” and good continuous shooting performance (2.1 shots/sec till the card fills up). The zoom’s reach can further be extended by using the optional tele-converter lens.

On the other hand, the Fujifilm S6000fd has about a 50% larger sensor size (Sensor Type 1/1.7”) than other 6-7 megapixel cameras in its class (e.g. Panasonic DMC-FZ8 and Canon S3 IS with Sensor Type 1/2.5”). With this model, Fujifilm has also resisted the temptation to cram more and more pixels onto such tiny sensors. This limits the noise (graininess) at high ISO settings. The camera has class-leading high ISO performance and has good speed for freezing those short-lived expressions of the babies. The sharp lens captures minute details. It rivals the resolution of 7 megapixel cameras because of its sharp lens and Super-CCD Sensor.

Overall, the Fujifilm S6000fd wins here because of its class-leading high ISO performance (useful for photographing babies without flash), while also having fast performance and good zoom (10.7x) with wide angle (good for action & landscape photography). The Fujifilm S6000fd is my Top Pick.

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Action Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Resolution: 6.3MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 - 0.6s
  • Burst Speed: 2.3 fps
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (6 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
2
Canon PowerShot S3 IS

This camera is Canon’s big-zoom offering with a unique swivel LCD. The Canon S3 IS has a 6 megapixel resolution sensor and a 12x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 36-432mm on a 35mm camera). The lens is good (low distortion/aberrations), and the zoom is motor operated.

It has a start-up time of 1.7 seconds and a pre-focus shutter lag (half-press to full-press of the shutter button) of 0.09 seconds. The full-press shutter lag (without pre-focusing) is around 0.50 seconds. In the High Speed Continuous Shooting Mode, the camera can take about 2.1 pictures/second until the memory card fills up. The shot-to-shot speed is 1.7 seconds (without a flash). It has another Normal Continuous Shooting Mode in which it takes approximately 1.5 shots/sec and supports a live view on the LCD (good for action photography as one can follow the subject uninterrupted). The maximum usable aperture at the tele-photo end is f3.5. The camera has an Image Stabilization feature to help avoid blurry pictures because of camera shake. The battery life is approximately 550 shots/charge (using 4 AA-size NiMH batteries). It can support a tele-converter lens.

Canon PowerShot S3 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child and Action Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 12.0x
  • Resolution: 6.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 - 0.5s
  • Burst Speed: 2.3 fps
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (6 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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