Any decent P&S should be able to shoot decent no-flash photos outdoors in good light; shooting without a flash indoors, where lighting can be tricky, requires not just High ISO capability, but good High ISO performance. The Fujifilm Finepix F40fd has several featured seemingly tailored for low-light photos of the family pets or young-uns, like Face Detection and Natural Light modes, along with a top ISO of 2000, in a compact package that makes it very convenient to use.
My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
The Fujifilm F40fd edges out these other two mini-marvels by a nose. The Natural Light mode found on many Finepix digicams has been a proven winner in situations where the lighting is less than optimal, and the F40fd continues that legacy in an eight-megapixel model with face detection – a very useful feature for shooting children or pets in any lighting conditions – while still maintaining the crisp High ISO performance the F-series is known for. It’s hard to find optical lens stabilization at this price point, but the F40fd’s digital Picture Stabilization feature is better for freezing moving targets, which requires higher shutter speeds. Another plus: the LCD has twice as much resolution as others in its class, which means you’ll know right away if you got the shot or not.
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices
|Product||Fujifilm FinePix F40fd||Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1050||Sony Cybershot DSC-W55|
|Size (W x H x D)||3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.||91.1 (W) x 57.2 (H) x 24.2 (D) mm||3.5 x 2.2 x 0.9 in.|
Close Effective Sensor Resolution The Effective Sensor Resolution tells you the total number of pixels that are recorded when you take a picture. The units are MP, which stands for megapixels or millions of pixels. For outstanding fine compression prints, 3MP is required for 5x7's, 7.1MP for 8x10's, and 10.9MP for 11x14's. The effective sensor resolution is only one of many important factors that will determine the quality of the photograph when displayed or printed at different sizes.
|8.3 megapixels||10.1 million pixels||7.2 megapixels|
|Shutter Lag Time (pre-focused)||0.10 sec||0.002||0.01 sec|
Close Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time) This is the time from fully pressing the shutter button until the image is captured. Longer shutter lag times make it more difficult to capture the desired moment.
|0.5 sec||n/a||0.3 - 0.6 sec|
|Power to First Shot Time||2.7 sec||1.4 sec||1.7 sec|
|Max Shooting Speed (continuous)||0.5 frames/sec||n/a||1.1 frames/sec|
|Max Shooting Speed (burst)||1.7 frames/sec||2 frames/sec (7fps @ 2 MP resolution)||n/a|
|Max Video Resolution||640 x 480 pixels||640 x 480 pixels||640 x 480 pixels|
|Max Video Frame Rate (any resolution)||30 frames/sec||25 frames/sec||30 frames/sec|
Close Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent) The 35 mm equivalent focal length is a measure that indicates the angle of view of a particular combination of a camera lens and the sensor size. The term originates from the time when the vast majority of photography was done with 35 mm film. On any 35 mm film camera, a 30 mm or less lens is considered a wide-angle lens.
|36 mm||38-114 mm||38 mm|
Close Image Stabilization Available Image stabilization features are designed to reduce the blur that results from normal, minute shaking of a lens due to hand-held shooting. However, image stabilization does not prevent motion blur caused by the movement of the subject or by extreme movements of the camera.
|Image Stabilization Type||Digital||Digital||-|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/2000 sec||1/1000 sec||1/2000 sec|
|Max ISO Setting||2000||800 (1600 in High Sensitivity mode)||1000|
Close Face Detection Available Face detection technology will try to set the focus, exposure, and color balance so that faces appear sharp, well-exposed, and with the proper color.
|Aperture Priority Mode Available||No||No||No|
|Shutter Priority Mode Available||No||No||No|
|Full Manual Exposure Mode Available||No||No||No|
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 2.0 EV||+/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps||+/- 2.0 EV|
Close Viewfinder Available A viewfinder is a window that you look through to compose the picture. Some cameras do not have a viewfinder and instead use the LCD display. The LCD display may be difficult to see in bright light and may make it more difficult to capture fast-moving subjects because of the time required to update the display.
Close LCD Screen Size The LCD Screen Size is the length of the miniature LCD monitor measured diagonally.
|2.5 in.||2.6 in||2.5 in.|
|LCD Screen Resolution||230000 pixels||115,000 pixels||115000 pixels|
|Storage Media||SD Memory Card, xD-Picture Card||SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card||Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo|
|Sensor Raw Format Available||No||No||No|
|Battery Type||Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable||Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable||Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable|
|Battery Life||300 shots||370 shots||380 shots|
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1050
- 1 megapixels for around $200? Yes indeed – print big and print often with the EX-Z1050. Even more attractive to point-and-shooters might be the compact size, no-brainer auto controls, and Auto ISO to 800, with a top ISO of 1600 (for emergencies) available through a “Best Shot” mode. Less heralded but just as useful is the Auto Tracking AF – essentially the same as AF-C or continuous autofocus on a DSLR – which gives the EX-Z1050 a boost when capturing fast-moving subjects like, yup, pets or kids. The Exilim has a lot to offer, like 38 (!) scene modes and very good ISO 800 performance, which makes it an excellent low-light camera. But, there are some compromises here: no optical stabilization, for one, and a 115,000 pixel LCD, for another (which means your pics might not appear crisp until viewed on a larger monitor). Still, with this 10MP addition to the Exilim line, Casio continues to build its reputation for making impressive compact cameras at affordable price points.
Sony Cybershot DSC-W55
With a durable metal body, a Carl Zeiss 3x lens, a 2.5” LCD display, 56 mb of internal memory, and an optical viewfinder, the 7.2 megapixel W55 is an outstanding value in its class. It fits into the palm of your hand and comes in four colors. It’s especially adept at low-light situations; although there is some noise at high ISOs, it delivers acceptable ISO 800 performance that only slightly degrades at ISO 1000 – a fast enough speed for most dimly-lit shooting situations. The downsides to this one are no stabilization, and no way to manually set shutter speeds. Still, for the price, those are acceptable compromises.
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-W55
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How to Pick Digital Cameras
- For Travel Photos
- For Photos of Children or Pets
- For Action or Sports Photos
- For Photos in Low Light