Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $200
Expert (9 Recommendations)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
November 8, 2007 Updated: December 12, 2007
Overview

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.

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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.

Fujifilm FinePix F40fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Resolution: 8.3MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 sec
  • Max ISO: 2000
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Website Reviews (4 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
2
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1050
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-W55
Customer Rating
Price $399.53
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.
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Effective Sensor Resolution
8.3 megapixels 10.1 million pixels 7.2 megapixels
Shutter Lag Time (pre-focused) 0.10 sec 0.002 0.01 sec
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Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
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
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
36 mm 38-114 mm 38 mm
Optical Zoom 3.0x 3.0x 3.0x
Digital Zoom 6.9x 4x 2.0x
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes No
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
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Face Detection Available
Yes No No
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
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Viewfinder Available
No No Yes
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LCD Screen Size
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
2
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1050
  1. 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.
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1050 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1050
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3
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.

Sony Cybershot DSC-W55 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-W55
  • Best Price: $399
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Resolution: 7.2MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.3 - 0.6s
  • Max ISO: 1000
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (3 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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