Expert Recommendation

Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Action Photos Under $200
Expert (97 Recommendations and 21 Compliments)
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December 1, 2007 Updated: December 7, 2007

There are very few ultracompact cameras that do well for sports, and there are even less when your budget is restricted to $200. While the Casio V7 has the decent zoom range and good shutter lag that’s useful for a fast action camera, it and all other competitors are lacking in the high ISO department - the V7 simply isn’t capable of freezing fast action motion in anything but the best daylight situations, making it useless for taking pictures indoors or at night. If all you plan to do is shoot slow-moving subjects in daylight, the Casio V7 is capable of turning mediocre results (which no other camera in this class can claim), but for anything else you will need to look at either a more expensive or bigger camera to produce usable results.

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My Best In Class Pick

At only $200, it’s very difficult to find a capable fast action camera, much less one that fits into an ultracompact body. There are only a handful of ultracompact candidates that come close to having the long zoom range needed for fast action photographs, but even these cameras fail miserably in other aspects of performance - both the Casio V7 and Olympus FE240 have below average high ISO ability which makes fast action photos extremely noisy, and unusably in low-light situations.

The best choice in this class is the Casio V7 - despite its poor high ISO performance it has an adequate zoom range and fairly low shutter lag. The camera will only be usable in good daylight situations, however - it simply will not produce usable fast action photographs indoors or at night, and if you had planned to shoot anything but slow-moving daylight action, you’ll need to either increase your budget or put up with a larger camera.

Casio EXILIM Hi-ZOOM EX-V7 is the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Action Photos Under $200
Where to buy
  • Zoom: 7.0x
  • Resolution: 7.2MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 sec
  • Burst Speed: 2.1 fps
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Website Reviews (2 reviews)
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

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Olympus FE-240
Customer Rating
Price $288.99
Size (W x H x D) 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.0 in. 3.6 x 2.2 x 0.7 in
Weight (without batteries) 5.3 oz 4.1 oz
Max Shooting Speed (continuous) 2.1fps for 3, 1.3fps unlimited Unspecified
Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
38 - 266 mm (7x) 38 - 190 mm (5x)
Storage Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card xD-Picture Card
Battery Life 240 shots 180 shots
Max Usable ISO (subjective) ISO200 ISO200
Shutter Lag Rating Good Poor
Autofocus Rating Average Average
Fast Action Rating Poor Unusable
Olympus FE-240

The Olympus FE-240 is Olympus’ budget 5x zoom, ultracompact camera. The FE240’s 38-190mm zoom lens isn’t quite long enough to get good close-ups of sports photos, but it will do a lot better than ordinary 3x zoom cameras.

The Olympus FE240’s high ISO images are below average - fast action images in daylight will be a little noisy, and photos in low-light will be unusably noisy. Olympus does not specify a continuous shooting rate for the FE240 - it’s probably safe to assume that if it has one at all, it won’t be fast enough to be useful. The Olympus 820’s shutter lag is a below average, which may make it difficult to capture precisely-timed shots.

Olympus FE-240 is one of the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Action Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Olympus FE-240
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