Expert Recommendation

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Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Child Photos Under $200
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
June 15, 2007 Updated: October 22, 2007
Overview

Equipped with best-in-class low light performance and fast image capture times, the Fujifilm F20 is a great camera for photographing babies, young children, and pets. It also has a sharp lens and offers good image quality for capturing landscape photos.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix F20

Both cameras have Auto Modes and lots of Scene Modes for novice users. Both are well built.

The Fujifilm F20 has almost a 50% larger sensor size (Sensor Type 1/1.7”) than other 6-7 megapixel cameras in its class (e.g. Canon A560 and Panasonic FX12 with Sensor Type 1/2.5”). With the F20, Fujifilm has also resisted the temptation to cram more and more pixels onto such tiny sensors, which limits the noise (graininess) at high ISO settings. The camera has class-leading high ISO performance and low shutter lag times for freezing those short-lived expressions of the kids. The camera rivals the resolution of a 7 megapixel cameras because of it sharp lens and Super-CCD Sensor.

The Panasonic FX12 is thinner and has an image stabilization feature, which is very helpful for low-light photography (e.g. cityscapes during night, early morning/late evening photography) while traveling as it’s difficult to carry a tripod.

Overall the Fujifilm F20 scores because of its best-in-class ISO performance (better resolution & color accuracy at high ISOs), and fast response times. The lack of an image stabilization feature is somewhat compensated by the Picture Stabilization feature, while still keeping the noise in check. It’s a terrific value at less than $150. The Fujifilm F20 is our Top Pick.

Fujifilm FinePix F20 is the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Child Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix F20
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Resolution: 6.3MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.3 sec
  • Size: 3.7 x 2.2 x 1.1 in.
  • Battery Life: 300 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Website Reviews (1 review)
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12

The Panasonic DMC-FX12 has a 7 megapixel resolution sensor with a 3x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 35-105mm on a 35mm camera) and is 0.95” thick. It has a start-up time of around 1.9 seconds. The full-press shutter lag is around 0.50 seconds. The shot-to-shot speed is approximately 1.3 seconds. It has an Image Stabilization feature to help avoid blurry pictures because of camera shake. It also has an Intelligent ISO Mode, which detects whether the subject is moving and, as necessary raises the ISO setting and shutter speed according to how fast the subject is moving and the lighting conditions.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12 is one of the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Child Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Resolution: 7.2MP
  • Size: 3.7 x 2.0 x 1.0 in.
  • Battery Life: 350 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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