Expert Recommendation

.
Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Action Photos Under $400
Expert (53 Recommendations and 31 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
January 11, 2012 Updated: January 12, 2012
Overview

When heading out for a long deserved trip or attending a sporting event that features one of your favorite athletes (a family member for example), nothing beats a lightweight camera that has a long lens that brings you close to your subject and has all the right tools for both capturing and displaying your images. This list of super zoom cameras have been chosen from a wide variety of choices to give you those tools and make your purchase a satisfactory one.

Best badge
My Best In Class Pick
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

For those photographers who would rather leave the camera bag at home when traveling or going to a sporting event, The Canon Powershot SX30 IS is a powerful alternative that will make travel or action photos easier to take while still providing SLR-like quality.

Solidly built with a 14.5 mp sensor, Digic 4 processor and 35x zoom capability, the SX30 is designed to be ready when you are for getting great shots without bogging you down with tons of equipment.

And with such a powerful image sensor, you don’t have to worry about enlarging or cropping your favorite shots when you get home.

If taking video is your thing, the SX30 features 720p HD movie capture with stereo sound and full optical zoom along with optical image stabilization and Ultrasonic (USM) and Voice Coil (VCM) motors to ensure quick and crisp exposures every time. Use either SDHC or SDXC memory cards and shoot away without fear of filling up your card too fast.

For framing great travel shots or speedy action, the SX30 has either a built-in electronic viewfinder or a 2.7” vari-angle LCD screen. With the swiveling LCD screen you can get those hard to reach shots by tilting the screen while holding the camera over your head or to easily frame self portraits. With a 230,000 pixel screen with adjustable brightness and 100% coverage, you can also show off your pictures to family and friends immediately.

For those who want a pocketable camera but like to have total control, the SX30 offers fully manual operation along with the ability to add additional lenses or filters. There is also a hot shoe for flash attachment.

Comparison with Olympus SP-800UZ

While the SX30 has a larger zoom capability and an optical viewfinder going for it, the SP-800UZ is more lightweight and has a larger LCD screen. They both hold an SDHD card but the SP-800UZ has an additional 2 GB of internal storage.

Comparison with Fujifilm FinePix S4000

With the ability to zoom during video operation, the SX30 is versatile enough to get my vote when comparing it to the S4000. Some people might prefer the use of AA batteries though and will overlook the zooming capabilities. The Facebook and YouTube features on the S4000 might tip people in that direction since the other features are pretty close.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Action Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
  • Best Price: $434
    Amazon See It »
Recommended with
  • Lens Bundle Kit For The Canon SX30IS SX30 IS SX40HS SX40 HS Digital Camera Includes HD .45x Wide Angle Lens + 52MM Close Up Lens Kit Includes +1 +2 +4 +10 + 3pc High Res Filter Kit + Lens Hood + 57" Tripod + Deluxe Case + Lens Cap Keeper +MicroFiber Cloth
    @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Resolution: 14.1MP
  • Size: 4.8 x 3.6 x 4.2 in.
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
2
Olympus SP-800UZ

For a compact point and shoot camera that gives you a ton of zoom, the SP-800UZ is a must-have tool when capturing images of far away lands you may not ever get back to or that perfect play that is destined to go up on the family room wall. And not only because of the awesome 30x optical zoom.

Packed into it’s lightweight body is a 14mp imaging sensor, dual image stabilization for crisp, clear images, 10 fps sequence shooting and 2 GB internal memory. That’s a lot of bang for your buck.

And if taking high quality video is just as important as your images, consider the HD movie recording and HDMI technology feature that is accessible with a one-touch button located within easy reach right above the uncomplicated control dial.

When framing or viewing your best shots or showing off your HD videos, the SP-800UZ has a big, bright 3.0 LCD screen with an extra-wide viewing angle and anti-glare technology for sharing.

With the SP-800UZ, it’s also the extras that make it a great camera for travel and action shooting. Consider such valuable features like intelligent auto mode and AF tracking, advanced face detection and shadow adjustment technology, magic filters, beauty mode, in-camera panorama and perfect shot preview that lets you see your changes before taking the shot.

And if you’re worried about having enough power, the SP-800UZ has a USB cord for charging the LI-50B rechargeable lithium-Ion battery from any available outlet.

Olympus SP-800UZ is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Action Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Olympus SP-800UZ
  • Best Price: $269
    Amazon See It »
Recommended with
  • Maximal Power DB OLY LI-50B Replacement Battery for Olympus Digital Camera/Camcorder
    @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Resolution: 14.0MP
  • Size: 4.2 x 2.9 x 3.3 in.
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
3
Fujifilm FinePix S4000

For fans of long zoom lenses, and especially Fuji camera fans, the S4000 is a great choice when hitting the road or hoping to catch that all-important sports shot while standing in the bleachers.

Along with a generous 30x zoom lens, Fuji has combined a 14mp CCD sensor, a 3.0 LCD screen and other great features such as AF tracking, image stabilization, 720p HD recording, and P/A/S/M shooting modes into this AA powered alternative to lugging your SLR around.

The S4000 is also a perfect camera for people who frequently put their photos and videos on social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube. When you find a picture or video you want to share, you simply identify each of them in-camera, and when you get to a pc, the camera automatically uploads them, saving you lots of time.

Fujifilm FinePix S4000 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Action Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S4000
Recommended with
  • Fujifilm Finepix S4000 Digital Camera Battery Charger Replacement for 4 AA NiMH 2800mAh Rechargeable Batteries, with Charger
    @ Amazon.com
Want More Opinions? See:

How It Works

You tell us your budget, intended uses, and desired features. We show you personalized recommendations from unbiased experts to quickly identify the best digital camera for you.

Advertisement

best hdtv Looking for an HDTV? BestInClass.com also provides expert recommendations for the best HDTV for you.