Expert Recommendation

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Best Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $250
Expert (53 Recommendations and 31 Compliments)
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December 23, 2009 Updated: December 30, 2009
Overview

Having a lot of zoom, fast shooting capabilities and a viewfinder for keeping up with speedy subjects, the Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD is my Best in Class choice for the right camera when capturing the antics of your kids and pets for family memories is your top priority.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD

Long zoom (15x) and speedy shooting (13.5 fps) are only two of the great features you’ll find on the Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD when trying to decide on a camera for pics of the kids and pets.

Add a 10 megapixel CCD sensor, HD video, Dual Image Stabilisation, a 2.7” LCD screen, an electronic viewfinder and 13 Pre-programmed scene modes all wrapped up in a sturdy, easy to hold package that draws its power from four AA batteries (get extras!) and you have the perfect camera for capturing Family, Friends, and Toto too.

For control, the S2000HD gives you Programmed AE, Shutter Priority AE and Manual mode, Face detection for up to 10 faces and 13 Pre-programmed scene modes.

The Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD is a robust, handsome compact camera that thinks it’s a DSLR. It may not fit in your pants pocket, but once you get to know all that it can do, you probably won’t want to be putting it away anyhow.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

Although I like the compact size of the SX120 IS and it’s Digic IV processor, 15x zoom and a viewfinder make the S2000HD worth the trouble of a carrying a slightly larger camera around the house, on vacation or at the ballfield.

Comparison with Sony Cybershot DSC-H20

For photographers who are quite comfortable framing their images with an LCD screen, the Sony H20, with it’s Carl Zeiss lens and dual image stabilization might be a good choice for them, but I prefer a viewfinder every time.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD is the Best Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $250
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
  • Best Price: $180
    Amazon See It »
Recommended with
  • Sanyo Eneloop 4 Pack AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargable Batteries w/ Charger
    $17.60 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 15.3x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 - 0.8s
More

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
Best badge
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
2
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-H20
Customer Rating
Price $180.30 $155.00 $419.99
Size (W x H x D) 4.4 x 3.1 x 3.0 in. 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in. 4.2 x 2.7 x 1.9 in.
Weight (with batteries) 15.0 oz 10.1 oz 10.1 oz
Easy to Use Yes Yes Yes
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Effective Sensor Resolution
10.0 megapixels 10.0 megapixels 10.1 megapixels
Max Shooting Speed (continuous) 0.5 frames/sec 1.3 frames/sec 1.8 frames/sec
Video Available Yes Yes Yes
HD Video Available Yes No Yes
Optical Zoom 15.3x 10.0x 10.0x
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
Smile Detection Available No No Yes
Max ISO Setting 6400 1600 3200
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Face Detection Available
Yes Yes Yes
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Viewfinder Available
Yes No No
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LCD Screen Size
2.7 in. 3.0 in. 3.0 in.
Battery Type AA-size (x4) AA-size (x2) Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Full Manual Exposure Mode Available Yes Yes Yes
2
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

Taking photos of kids and pets has always been one of any photographers biggest challenges. You never know where they’re going to be or when they’re going to do something that is so darn cute, you’ll kick yourself for missing it.

That’s where the Canon PowerShot SX120 IS comes in. Built for just those situations, the SX120 IS has a variety of solutions such as a 10x zoom lens, DIGIC 4 Face Detection Technology that can recognise up to 35 faces, including a face detection self-timer that will wait until a new face (that’s you) enters the frame, and Face Select & Track which allows you to set the focus to track an individual as they move about the scene, keeping that one subject in focus until they do that darn cute thing you’ve been waiting for.

Built to fit easily in your hand, the SX120 IS features a 10 Megapixel sensor with Canon’s powerful and intelligent DIGIC 4 processor, a 3.0” LCD screen, full manual settings for creative control, or, for the beginner, Smart Auto and Easy modes with Scene Detection Technology to take the guesswork out of each camera setup and the ability to shoot at 1.3 fps.

And since the SX120 IS runs on AA power, I would recommend having plenty of extra rechargeable batteries on hand.

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $250
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
  • Best Price: $155
    Amazon See It »
Recommended with
  • Sanyo Eneloop 4 Pack AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargable Batteries w/ Charger
    $17.60 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.8 - 0.9s
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-H20

When considering which camera to buy for taking photos of Kids and Pets, the Sony H20 should rate a “Ten” on your list of requirements. That’s because it fits right in the perfect range of features that make for a great point and shoot camera. 10mp’s, 10 oz’s and 10x zoom.

For starters, having 10mp (SuperHAD CCD image sensor) makes it easy to take photos that will have plenty of resolution for blowing up or cropping down. 10 oz’s helps when you don’t want to be carrying around a larger camera like a DSLR but, rather, a pocketable camera that is easy to transport and ready to shoot. And, finally, 10x zoom (Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar) is good for when trying to capture the kids on stage, on the ballfield or out in the yard.

That’s a trio of features that make the H20 a great choice for your next camera. But that’s not all!

Even though the H20 doesn’t have a viewfinder, the 3.0” LCD screen is big enough to compose your photos and bright enough for viewing them afterward. The intelligent design has all of the controls right where you want them for ease of use and for ease of handling. If you are the type of photographer who likes to set the camera once and go, the Intelligent Scene Recognition mode will do all the work, adjusting to whatever scene mode it recognizes for optimum results.

If creative control is what you want, then simply set the dial to Manual mode and make your choices as each situation dictates, using the left and right arrow buttons to make your selections.

And finally, for just a couple more features to make the H20 a great camera for Kids and Pets, there is HD video at 720p and dual image stabilization.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H20 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $250
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-H20
  • Best Price: $419
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.3 sec
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Excellent by CNET.com

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