Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Expert (97 Recommendations and 21 Compliments)
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August 5, 2008
Overview

While the S1000fd is small on price, it’s big on value, packing in a number of features like a 12x zoom and moderate 33mm wide-angle that are nowhere to be found on most budget cameras. At a sub-$200 price point, it does have some limitations, but still makes a capable camera for taking photos of children and pets.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd

One of the few ultrazoom cameras in the budget range, the Fuji S1000fd offers a large 12x zoom from 33-396mm, more than enough to cover the typical 50-200mm portrait range, and offer a moderate 33mm wide-angle for close-up opportunities as well.

The shutter lag is a below average, which is typical of most budget cameras, especially ultrazooms. As a result, it will be difficult to precisely time shots or snap photos at an instant, which is important for quick and unpredictable kids and pets. The high-ISO ability of the S1000fd is a bit above average for a budget camera - while the results will be somewhat noisy, you’ll get usable blur-free photos of your subjects in low-light situations.

Comparison with Nikon Coolpix P60

Compared to the Nikon P60, the S1000fd packs a much more versatile zoom, and can freeze the motion of kids and pets better with its high ISO ability. However, it’s shutter lag is well below average, which makes it difficult to take any precisely-timed or spur-of-the-moment snapshots.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot A590 IS

Compared to the Canon A590 IS, the S1000fd packs a much more versatile zoom, and can freeze the motion of kids and pets better with its high ISO ability. However, it’s shutter lag is well below average, which makes it difficult to take any precisely-timed or spur-of-the-moment snapshots.

Pros
  • +
    Zoom covers 50-200mm range, and beyond
  • +
    Moderate 33mm wide-angle for close-up perspective
  • +
    Above average high ISO
Cons
  • -
    Very slow shutter lag
  • -
    No image stabilization
Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 12.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.7 - 0.8s
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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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.
Weight (without batteries) 11.5 oz 5.6 oz 6.2 oz
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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
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Image Stabilization Available
No Yes Yes
Battery Life 500 shots 410 shots 500 shots
Important Portrait Features
Shutter Lag Poor Good Average
High ISO Quality Good Average Average
People/Pet Portrait Rating Good Good Average
2
Nikon Coolpix P60

The Nikon P60 is a compact all-around camera that features a moderate 5x zoom. The 36-180mm zoom range just falls a bit short of the traditional 50-200mm portrait range, and close-up opportunities are somewhat limited with only a 36mm wide-angle.

Shutter lag on the P60 is slightly above average, although it still won’t be very easy to react quickly or precisely time your shots. The high-ISO ability is slightly below-average, so while you may be able to freeze your kids’ and pets’ motion in low-light, the result will be very noisy.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot A590 IS

Compared to the A590IS, the P60 covers a larger range, giving you more creative options for different perspectives. The P60’s slightly faster shutter lag will also allow you to snap photos off quicker, although its slightly worse high ISO ability will result in noisier images in low-light situations

Pros
  • +
    Slightly above average shutter lag
Cons
  • -
    Doesn't quite cover the full 50-200mm portrait range
  • -
    Slightly below average high ISO
Nikon Coolpix P60 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Where to buy
Nikon Coolpix P60
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 sec
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
3
Canon PowerShot A590 IS

The Canon A590 IS is the budget camera in Canon’s A-series, offering a small 4x zoom that only provides a 35-140mm zoom range, falling well short of the ideal 50-200mm range for portraits. Close-up opportunities are also limited by the 35mm wide-angle.

Shutter lag on the A590 is about average, so you may have some difficulty reacting quickly and precisely timing your shots. The high ISO ability of the A590 is about average, but typical of Canon cameras leaves in a lot of noise in order to retain detail. This results in images that are easier to edit later, but extremely grainy pictures straight out of the camera.

Comparison with Fujifilm FinePix J50

The A590IS’s main advantage over the Fuji J50 is performance - the A590’s shutter lag is faster and its high-ISO performance is better. While the J50 has a larger 5x zoom range that offers more versatility, the A590’s shutter lag and high-ISO will let you take the spur-of-the-moment and low-light shots that the J50 will simply miss.

Pros
  • +
    Inexpensive
Cons
  • -
    Doesn't cover the usual 50-200mm portrait range
  • -
    Extremely grainy high-ISO images, unless edited with noise reduction software
Canon PowerShot A590 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot A590 IS
  • Best Price: $369
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Resolution: 8.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 - 0.7s
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
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Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
4
Fujifilm FinePix J50

The Fujifilm J50 is an entry-level ultracompact camera that packs a big (for its size) 5x zoom lens. Covering the 37-185mm range, the J50 falls just short of the typical 50-200mm range but covers it better than most cameras in this class.

Shutter lag on the J50 is a little slow, making it difficult to react quickly or time your photos precisely. The J50’s high-ISO performance is also slightly below average - while you’ll still be able to freeze motion in low-light situations, the images will tend to be noisy and blotchy.

Pros
  • +
    Inexpensive
Cons
  • -
    Slow shutter lag
  • -
    Doesn't quite cover the 50-200mm portrait range
  • -
    Slightly below average high ISO
Fujifilm FinePix J50 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix J50
  • Best Price: $124
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.2MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
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