Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $200
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
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August 14, 2008
Overview

The Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd is the most affordable best in class digital camera for taking travel photos. It’s a superzoom (12x) camera with an electronic eye-level viewfinder (100% framing accuracy) that is versatile and produces good quality images. While traveling, you will not be left stranded with discharged batteries as it can use AA alkaline batteries too.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd

Fuji’s cameras are known for their better low light image quality than others in its class. (The revered Fuji F31fd had even been compared to DSLRs because of its great ISO performance. It has now been discontinued.)

The Fuji S1000fd is an irresistible contender providing plenty of resolution (10MPs), tremendous reach (12x zoom) and good image quality at a low price. The camera’s zoom range will help you cover the petal details of flowers (good macro performance) as well as close ups of murals on the ceilings of heritage buildings. It also has an electronic eye-level viewfinder (EVF).

EVFs are helpful for shooting with a stable posture and also providing a sense of privacy while framing a shot.

The camera is well built and produces good image quality. Power is supplied by readily available AA-size batteries.

Nevertheless the absence of mechanical image stabilization mars this otherwise excellent camera.

Comparison with Nikon Coolpix P60

The Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd has a greater zoom range, a wider angle view, and a higher resolution sensor. It’s more versatile with many available manual modes, including Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Full Manual.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot A590 IS

The Fujifilm P60 has a much greater zoom range, a wider angle view, a higher resolution sensor, and.better framing accuracy with its eye-level viewfinder.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Availability of accurate EVF
  • +
    Versatile
  • +
    Good resolution (10MPs) & zoom range (12x)
  • +
    Well built
Cons
  • -
    Absence of mechanical image stabilization
Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 12.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • Size: 4.0 x 2.9 x 2.7 in.
  • Battery Life: 300 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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 S1000fd
2
Nikon Coolpix P60
3
Canon PowerShot A590 IS
Customer Rating
Price $300.00 $369.00
Size (W x H x D) 4.0 x 2.9 x 2.7 in. 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.4 in. 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.6 in.
Easy to Use Yes Yes Yes
Max Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 3264 x 2448 pixels 3264 x 2448 pixels
?
Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.7 - 0.8 sec 0.4 sec 0.5 - 0.7 sec
Power to First Shot Time 2.3 sec 2.8 sec 1.8 sec
?
Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
33 mm 36 mm 35 mm
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Max Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
396 mm 180 mm 140 mm
Optical Zoom 12.0x 5.0x 4.0x
?
Image Stabilization Available
No Yes Yes
Auto Focus Assist Light Available Yes Yes Yes
?
Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/3.6 f/2.6
?
Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/5.0 f/4.5 f/5.5
?
Viewfinder Available
Yes Yes Yes
Viewfinder Type Electronic (100% accurate) Electronic (100% accurate) Optical (80% accuracy)
LCD Screen Resolution 230000 pixels 153000 pixels 115000 pixels
Battery Type AA-size (x4) AA-size (x2) AA-size (x2)
Battery Life 300 shots 250 shots 450 shots
Image Quality
Low light (High ISO) Performance Good Good Good
Lens Quality (Sharpness) Good Good Good
Fine details Good Good Good
2
Nikon Coolpix P60

The Nikon P60 (5x zoom, 8 Megapixel) is the first compact camera in its class to use an electronic eye-level viewfinder (EVF), which is great for framing as it is 100% accurate. Typical optical viewfinders (OVF) show only 80-85% of actual photo captured. The camera comes with useful features like Face-priority AF (i.e. Face Detection), In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, D-Lighting (to brighten up details in shadows). Power is supplied by readily available AA-size batteries. The camera produces images with lot of details and good colors. The build quality is good. Nevertheless the lack of wide angle lens (than typical 35mm ones) mars this otherwise excellent travel camera.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot A590 IS

The Nikon Coolpix P60 has more zoom and a more accurate eye-level viewfinder.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Good resolution & zoom range
  • +
    100% accurate eye-level viewfinder (EVF)
  • +
    CCD shift image stabilization
  • +
    Well built
  • +
    Cheapest camera with electronic EVF
Cons
  • -
    Wide end of the lens could have been more wider
  • -
    Lower resolution LCD (153K pixels)
  • -
    Moderate response times
  • -
    Poor battery life
Nikon Coolpix P60 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Nikon Coolpix P60
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • Size: 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.4 in.
  • Battery Life: 190 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
3
Canon PowerShot A590 IS

The Canon A590IS is the successor (with slightly more resolution & a reduction in VGA movie frame rates) of the highly successful Canon A570IS. The camera produces images with minimal processing artifacts, rich colors and lot of details in auto mode. Its optical viewfinder (OVF) will help extend the battery life (i.e. one can switch off LCD).
Its predecessor Canon A570IS received a “Highly Recommended” rating at DPREVIEW, one of the most popular camera reviewing sites. Good camera for travel.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8

The Canon PowerShot A590 IS has better battery life, as it uses an optical viewfinder, to frame shots and better image quality, especially in low light.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Optical viewfinder
  • +
    Image stabilization
  • +
    Full manual controls (A/S/M modes)
Cons
  • -
    Lowest resolution LCD (115K dots)
  • -
    Slow flash recycling.
  • -
    Wide end of the lens could have been more wider
Canon PowerShot A590 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot A590 IS
  • Best Price: $369
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Resolution: 8.0MP
  • Size: 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.6 in.
  • Battery Life: 450 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
4
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8

Panasonic has been the first digital camera manufacturer to introduce optical image stabilization in all of its cameras. Its LZ series offers compact digital camera with long-zoom. The LZ8 is equipped with a wide-angle 5x zoom lens. The rich feature set includes Face-Detection and Intelligent AUTO mode (It automatically sets the appropriate scene mode according to the picture you are about to take). The image quality is good.

Comparison with Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS

The Panasonic DMC-LZ8 has a wider angle view, better features (aperture and shutter priority modes), and high resolution LCD screen.

Pros
  • +
    High resolution LCD (230K dots)
  • +
    Optical image stabilization
  • +
    Wider angle view
  • +
    Useful aperture/shutter priority modes
Cons
  • -
    No optical view finder (poor battery life)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8
  • Best Price: $169
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • Size: 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.
  • Battery Life: 470 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
5
Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS

Kodak is well known for making easy-to-use cameras. Just put the camera on easy share dock and press a button to transfer them to a computer. That is why their cameras have “EasyShare” prefix in their name. Kodak Z1085IS has a high resolution 10 Megapixel sensor, 5x zoom and runs on AA batteries. It has a great movie mode too (HD video, allows zooming during movie capture). It also offers a Manual mode (you choose both the aperture and shutter speed).

Pros
  • +
    High resolution sensor
  • +
    Bit more zoom (5x) than normally available in this class of cameras.
  • +
    HD video with zoom
Cons
  • -
    Low resolution LCD (115K dots)
  • -
    Slow response
  • -
    Corner softness (lens)
Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • Size: 3.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 in.
  • Battery Life: 250 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Good by CNET.com

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