Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $400
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
May 9, 2007 Updated: October 22, 2007
Overview

A great camera for indoors and landscape photography, the Fujifilm S6000fd offers great image quality, captures panoramic views of landscapes and has the best in class low light performance.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd

Fujifilm’s cameras are widely considered to have among the best image quality because of their Super-CCD technology. Sensors with this technology have octagonal shaped pixels, which utilize the space better and have better linear/vertical resolution when compared with conventional CCD sensors with the same number of total pixels. Presently, one of the best cameras with this feature is the Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd. It has a 6 megapixel resolution sensor, wide-angle lens with 10.7x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-300mm on a 35mm camera). The zoom is manually controlled, which is useful for precise framing of the scene. The lens is sharp so finer details are captured. It has options for full manual controls (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, raw mode, etc.) for additional versatility. It also has Face Detection feature. The maximum usable aperture at the wide-end of the zoom is f2.8 (the lower the value, the wider the lens aperture, which means more light gathering ability). Barrel-distortion at the wide-end of the zoom is 0.6% (the lower the value, the less the distortion). It has about a 50% larger sensor size (Sensor Type 1/1.7”) than other 6-7 megapixel cameras in its class (e.g. Panasonic DMC-FZ8 and Sony DSC-H5 with Sensor Type 1/2.5”). With this model, Fujifilm has also resisted the temptation to cram more and more pixels onto such tiny sensors. This limits the noise (graininess) at high ISO settings. The sharp lens captures minute details. The Fujifilm S6000fd actually rivals the resolution of 7 megapixel cameras because of its sharp lens and Super-CCD Sensor.

The camera received a “Highly Recommended” rating at Digital Photography Review, which is one of the most popular, independent digital camera review sites.

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $400
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 6.3MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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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
2
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

Canon is one of the leading camera manufacturers with a wide and versatile range. Their wide-angle offering is the Canon PowerShot SD800 IS (0.99” thick). It received the “Recommended” rating at Digital Photography Review. This camera has a 7 megapixel resolution sensor and a wide-angle lens with 3.8x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-105mm on a 35mm camera). It has an optical Image Stabilization feature to reduce blurring of pictures because of camera shake, Face Detection feature and an optical viewfinder. The maximum usable aperture at the wide-end of the zoom is f2.8. The barrel-distortion at the wide-end of the zoom is 1.2%.

It received the “Recommended” rating at Digital Photography Review.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras Overall Under $400
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.8x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (5 reviews)
  • Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Kodak EasyShare V705

This is the ultra-compact camera (0.8” thick) with an ultra-wide angle lens of 23mm. The body also houses another lens with 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 39-117mm on a 35mm camera). The Kodak EasyShare V705 has a 7 megapixel resolution sensor and the battery life is approximately 150 shots/charge. The maximum usable aperture at the wide-end of the zoom is f2.8.

Kodak EasyShare V705 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras Overall Under $400
Where to buy
Kodak EasyShare V705
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.1x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 23mm (52% wider)
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
4
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

The Lumix TZ3 is the latest big zoom compact (1.5” thick) from Panasonic. This camera has a 7 megapixel resolution sensor and a wide-angle lens with 10x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-280mm on a 35mm camera). The lens is sharp. The camera has an Image Stabilization feature to help avoid blurry pictures because of camera shake. The maximum usable aperture at the wide-end of the zoom is f3.3. The barrel-distortion at the wide-end of the zoom is 0.5%. The camera captures a wider view in 3:2 and still wider view in 16:9 Aspect Ratio modes.

The camera received a “Recommended” rating at Digital Photography Review.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras Overall Under $400
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 7.2MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (6 reviews)
  • Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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