Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400 with Wide-angle lens
Expert (9 Recommendations)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 24, 2007 Updated: December 12, 2007
Overview

The top-rated Fuji S6000fd delivers plenty of performance-oriented features, with enough panache to make a hard-nosed camera enthusiast proud while still retaining simplicity and ease-of-use. Its 28mm wide-angle setting makes it great for landscapes, interiors, while face detection technology makes large group shots a breeze. And high ISO capabilities and digital stabilization make it a good choice for action shots of fast-moving subjects like dogs, cats, and young children.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd

Fuji S6000fd. Both the SD800 and the FX50 have remarkably similar specs and features, but the Fuji stands out for its versatility. And while some folks prefer the ‘look’ of Canon’s Digic III processor over Panasonic’s Venus III engine, many others prefer the Fuji’s Super CCD chip for its extended dynamic range – part of Fuji’s heritage as a maker of photographic film. Only the Fuji has Dual Picture Mode – which takes pictures both with and without a flash, for side-by-side comparison; a rather neat trick, that. All things considered, we’ll take more reach over compactness: the Fuji’s zoom range is about 3x the Canon or Panasonic cameras. That means when you’re shooting Rover galloping around at the dog park, you can remain a comfortable distance away (your shoes will thank you for this). Or when you’re catching Junior’s touchdown all the way from the stands, you’ll be able to see the look on his face. Let’s face it, optical stabilization is great for static shots, but it doesn’t help for sports or action, since the subjects are moving. That’s why Fuji’s Picture Stabilization and Intelligent ISO features are a welcome tandem that makes the most out of the S6000fd’s ISO 3200 setting. Plus, the Face Detection feature allows us to capitalize on the 28mm setting for group portraits, by decreasing red-eye and making faces more detailed. For the price point, the S6000fd’s combination of unique and standard features are hard to beat.

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400 with Wide-angle lens
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 6.3MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 - 0.6s
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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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

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
2
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX50
Customer Rating
Price $699.99
Size (W x H x D) 5.2 x 3.8 x 5.0 in. 3.5 x 2.3 x 1.0 in. 3.85 x 2.25 x0.99 in
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Effective Sensor Resolution
6.3 megapixels 7.1 megapixels 7.2 million pixels
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
28 mm 28 mm 28-102 mm
Optical Zoom 10.7x 3.8x 3.6x
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Type Digital Optical Optical
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Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/2.8 f/2.8
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Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/4.9 f/5.8 f/5.6
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 sec 1/1600 sec 1/2000 sec
Max ISO Setting 3200 80-1600 3200
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Face Detection Available
Yes No No
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LCD Screen Size
2.5 in. 2.5 in. 3 in.
LCD Screen Resolution 235000 pixels 207000 pixels 230,000 pixels
Storage Media xD-Picture Card SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard
Sensor Raw Format Available Yes No No
2
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

The SD800 is the only digital Elph to start at 28mm. It’s feature set is very good, about what you’d expect from the PowerShot line at this point. It has Face Detection for sharper, more detailed group photos, a basic 3.8x zoom that nevertheless reaches out to 105mm (film equivalent) – which happens to be a very useful range that covers everything except for extreme wide angle and extreme telephoto, and should easily handle wide group shots and close-up head shots. The SD800 has two very useful Auto ISO settings, including High ISO, which lets the camera assess the light and pick a setting up to 1600 in low-light situations. The camera has a top shutter speed of 1/1600, three types of metering, a 640x480 video setting, and the ability to accept SDHC cards for mega memory storage. Additionally, the camera is only 1” thick, has PictBridge for easy printer compatibility, and has a range of color modes, including Custom Color, Sepia, and B&W. About the only downside is the average 1.7 fps burst rate, which, when combined with the average zoom, makes this a less than ideal choice for action sports.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400 with Wide-angle lens
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.8x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 sec
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (5 reviews)
  • Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX50

The FX50 has almost all of the same features as the Canon, with a bigger LCD screen – 3” instead of 2.5” – sure to be a difference users will notice right off the bat. Like other models in the Lumix-branded line, the FX50 boasts a Leica lens with lens-based Image Stabilization. The FX50’s focal range is very similar to the SD 800: 28-100mm (film equivalent). Instead of a 3.8x zoom, the Panasonic has a 3.6x zoom. Not a big difference. What the Panasonic does have is a High Sensitivity mode which can select up to a 3200 ISO, just in case you find yourself in near-pitch darkness; and scene modes for “Pet” and “Sunset” which employ the speed-boosting Intelligent ISO control, which ups ISO and shutter speed to compensate for subject motion (Image Stabilization only stops camera shake). The FX50 can shoot in three aspect ratios: 16:9 (for viewing on a widescreen TV); 3:2 (replicating the typical photo album-sized shot), and 4:3 (for making prints that will be framed). There’s a brightness-boosting sensor on the LCD, which helps in dimly-lit conditions, and a burst mode that reaches DSLR speeds: 3fps in full resolution. All in all, a very impressive feature set.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX50 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400 with Wide-angle lens
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX50
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