Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $400
Expert (97 Recommendations and 21 Compliments)
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October 7, 2007 Updated: November 28, 2007
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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd

While there are plenty of options in this category, the Fuji S6000fd and Sony H9 are two of the most full-featured cameras on the market - there are simply no other ultrazoom cameras that include a wide-angle lens, good low-light abilities, and overall solid image quality that both cameras offer.

Between the two cameras, the choice is between a more compact size and an overall better camera. The Fuji S6000fd has a slightly wider 28mm wide-angle lens (compared to 31mm on the H9), and while lacking the image stabilization on the H9, has vastly better high ISO abilities (which unlike IS, also freezes subject motion), giving it an advantage if you’re taking photos of moving subjects, like people. Thus, the S6000fd is both a more versatile camera and a better low-light performer, at the cost of being a much larger camera (probably requiring a dedicated camera bag). If you’re willing to live with the size, the S6000fd is the best-in-class choice, but the Sony H9 is nonetheless a capable second choice that’s ideal for travelers looking for something a bit smaller.

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Resolution: 6.3MP
  • Size: 5.2 x 3.8 x 5.0 in.
  • Battery Life: 400 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (6 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
2
Sony Cybershot DSC-H9
Customer Rating
Price $1299.00
Size (W x H x D) 5.2 x 3.8 x 5.0 in. 4.3 x 3.3 x 3.4 in.
Weight (with batteries) 23.3 oz 19.5 oz
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Sensor Size
7.6 x 5.7mm (43 sq. mm) 5.76 x 4.29mm (25mm sq. mm)
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
28 mm 31 mm
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Image Stabilization Available
None Yes
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Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/2.7
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Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/4.9 f/4.5
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LCD Screen Size
2.5 in. 3.0 in.
LCD Screen Resolution 235000 pixels 230400 pixels
Storage Media xD-Picture Card Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
Battery Type AA-size (x4) Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Battery Life 400 shots 280 shots
Max Usable ISO (subjective) ISO800 ISO400
2
Sony Cybershot DSC-H9

The Sony H9 is a medium-sized ultrazoom camera. While it doesn’t have an SLR-type body and manual controls of a “bridge” camera, the H9 still has a high degree of manual control, and fits into a much more compact body (although definitely not ‘pocketable’). Of course, the H9 can be put into a fully automatic mode, making it as easy to operate as any point and shoot camera.

The H9 has a big 31-465mm (15x) zoom range - not quite as wide as some cameras, but a step up from the 35mm or 36mm of most other cameras. The H9 uses a conventional image sensor, so high ISO results won’t be extraordinary, but because of Sony’s slightly more aggressive noise reduction, the out-of-camera pictures will be slightly better than the rest of the pack. However, the H9 makes up for the lack of high ISO performance with its “Super SteadyShot” image stabilization system, which will help greatly with low-light pictures, but as noted above won’t do anything to prevent blur from moving subjects. The H9 uses a Sony battery which lasts 280 shots (CIPA standard) - a bit below average for cameras in this class, but still good enough to last a day of travel for most people. While not the best camera in terms of image quality, the Sony H9 is still above average, and the more compact size makes it a better option for those who don’t want to carry something as big as an SLR or bridge camera.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H9 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-H9
  • Best Price: $1299
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 15.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • Size: 4.3 x 3.3 x 3.4 in.
  • Battery Life: 280 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (5 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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