Expert Recommendation

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Best Digital Camera for Interior Photos Under $200
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
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September 29, 2008 Updated: October 2, 2008
Overview

The Panasonic FS5 is the best-in-class digital camera for photographing interiors, producing images with minimal distortion and offering great value for your money. It features a sharp lens with a wide angle view, a good zoom range, and a well-built compact body.

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My Best In Class Pick
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5

Panasonic’s partnership with leading lens manufacturer Leica has helped them produce cameras with good quality lenses, and the Pansonic FS5 is one such product, featuring a 30mm (focal length equivalent to that on a 35mm film camera) wide-angle Leica DC lens.

The camera produces images with low (0.4%) barrel distortion (inward bending of straight vertical objects near corners) at widest angle view zoom setting.

Although the camera does not offer full-featured manual controls, it does feature lots of scene modes, which are helpful in shooting interiors (e.g. Night Scenery, Candle light, etc & Intelligent Auto that automatically selects the appropriate scene mode depending on the scene).

The overall image quality is good.

Comparison with Fujifilm FinePix J150W

Lower distortion. Optical image stabilization. Lower minimum shutter speeds possible (15, 30 or 60sec in Starry Sky Mode )

Comparison with Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z100

Optical Image Stabilization, better corner-to-corner sharpness. Lower minimum shutter speeds possible (15, 30 or 60sec in Starry Sky Mode )

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Low barrel distortion in images
  • +
    Well built body
Cons
  • -
    Lacks Aperture priority, Shutter priority, full manual modes.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5 is the Best Digital Camera for Interior Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 30mm (17% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5
2
Fujifilm FinePix J150W
3
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z100
Customer Rating
Price $145.00 $398.55
Size (W x H x D) 3.7 x 2.1 x 0.9 in. 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.9 in. 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.8 in.
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Effective Sensor Resolution
10.1 megapixels 10.0 megapixels 10.1 megapixels
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Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.3-0.5 sec 0.3-0.5 sec 0.2 sec
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
30 mm 28 mm 28 mm
Optical Zoom 4.0x 5.0x 4.0x
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes No No
Auto Focus Assist Light Available Yes Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Mode Available No No No
Battery Life 300 shots 150 shots 400 shots
Image Quality
Barrel Distortion (%) Approx. 0.4% (lower than average) approx. 1.0% approx. 0.5%
Corner to corner sharpness Very good Very good Average
2
Fujifilm FinePix J150W

This camera is one of the newer additions to the recently launched J series featuring easy-to-use cameras. The images retain good corner-to-corner sharpness, and image quality is good but suffers from high barrel distortion (around 1.0% at widest angle view). The featured scene modes, particularly Museum or Night, can be helpful in shooting interiors.

Comparison with Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z100

Better corner-to-corner sharpness. Higher zoom range. Lower minimum shutter speed of 8 sec possible in scene modes, while the Casio Ex-Z100 allows 4 sec in Night Shot and only 1 sec in other scene modes.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Well built
Cons
  • -
    High Barrel Distortion
  • -
    Lacks Aperture/Shutter Priority, full manual modes
  • -
    Lacks Optical image stabilization
Fujifilm FinePix J150W is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Interior Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix J150W
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
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3
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z100

Casio is the pioneer of ultra compact cameras, and its EXILIM series of cameras are comparable in size to a deck of playing cards. They recently launched cameras with wide angle views for the first time, and the Casio EX-Z100 is one of them. The camera is equipped with a low distortion 4x zoom lens with a wide-angle view. The images suffer from excessive corner softness (blurring of fine details near corners of captured frame) at the wide end of the zoom range. The camera features useful AUTO BEST SHOT mode in which it analyzes scenes to determine an appropriate shooting mode (Scenery, night scenes, night scenes with people, etc.).

Comparison with Olympus FE-350

Faster focusing, availability of AF assist lamp, higher resolution & battery life.

Pros
  • +
    Well built
  • +
    Low barrel distortion in images
Cons
  • -
    Lacks Aperture/Shutter Priority, full manual modes
  • -
    Lacks Optical image stabilization
  • -
    Corner softness and blurring of fine details in images
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z100 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Interior Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z100
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
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4
Olympus FE-350

The Olypus FE-350 is equipped with a 5x wide-angle zoom lens in a stylish metal body. It lacks an AF Assist lamp and image-stabilization. Images suffer from corner softness and are lacking of fine details at the wide end of the zoom range.

Pros
  • +
    Well built
Cons
  • -
    Corner softness and blurring of fine details in images
  • -
    Lacks AF Assist lamp
  • -
    No optical image stabilization
  • -
    Slow performance
  • -
    Costly
Olympus FE-350 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Interior Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Olympus FE-350
  • Best Price: $215
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Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 8.0MP
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