Expert Recommendation

.
Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Child Photos Under $750
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
June 15, 2007 Updated: October 22, 2007
Overview

The Pentax K100D offers exceptional low-light performance and fast response times for photographing babies and kids indoors and outdoors. Its shake-reduction feature helps take blur-free shots of landscapes. It uses AA-size Batteries, which is a helpful feature to have while traveling as, when in a bind, one can use alkaline batteries, which are widely available. The camera also has an Auto Mode and lots of other Scene Modes for novice users.

Best badge
My Best In Class Pick
Pentax K100D (with 18-55mm Lens)

All of these cameras have an Auto Mode and lots of other Scene Modes for novice users.

The Fujifilm S6000fd 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 SD800IS with Sensor Type 1/2.5”). The camera has class-leading high ISO performance and has good speed for freezing those short-lived expressions of the kids. The sharp lens captures minute details. It rivals the resolution of 7 megapixel cameras because of sharp lenses and Super-CCD Sensors. The S6000fd has an Auto Mode and lots of other Scene Modes for novice users and versatile manual controls for experienced users. Its larger zoom with wide-angle (good for travel photography and portrait photos of the kids as the tele-zoom helps blur the background). The zoom is silent (manually operated) so there are no motor sounds to distract your subjects.

The Nikon D40, with a much larger sensor, easily outperforms the Fujifilm on image quality. It also has lower full-press shutter lag and start-up times. It has best-in-class low noise at high ISO settings (useful for indoors photography). Even ISO 1600 & 3200 are usable (great for photographing babies without flash)! The dynamic range is also larger, which helps avoid overexposed areas while shooting outdoors when it’s bright and sunny. Its auto-focus assist lamp helps when taking photos without a flash, and the optical viewfinder helps track moving subjects. The wide-angle kit-lens is useful for landscape and architectural photography. There is also the option to buy additional lenses (available separately).

The Pentax K100D scores over the Nikon D40 because of its image stabilization feature, which is very helpful for low-light photography (e.g. cityscapes during night, early morning/late evening photography) while traveling as it’s difficult to carry a tripod. Its use of AA-type batteries is also helpful when traveling as one can use alkaline batteries, which are widely available. The Pentax K100D is our Top Pick.

Pentax K100D (with 18-55mm Lens) is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Child Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Pentax K100D (with 18-55mm Lens)
  • Best Price: $829
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Resolution: 6.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.2 sec
  • Size: 5.1 x 3.6 x 2.8 in.
  • Battery Life: 300 shots
  • Easy to Use: No
More
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
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd

Fujifilm’s cameras are widely considered to be best low light performers 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 operated, which is useful for fast and precise control. The lens is sharp so finer details are captured. It has a start-up time of 1.8 seconds and a pre-focus (half-pressed shutter button) shutter lag (half-press to full-press of shutter button) of 0.03 seconds. Full-press shutter lag (interval between ‘full-pressing the shutter without pre-focus’ to ‘actual moment of capture’) is 0.45 seconds (0.35 seconds in high speed mode). It also has a Natural Light Mode (camera boosts ISO automatically in low light to take picture without flash), Face Detection feature and full manual controls (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, raw mode, etc.) for additional versatility. The battery life is approximately 400 shots/charge (using 4 AA-size NiMH batteries).

The camera received a “Highly Recommended” rating at Digital Photography Review, which is one of the most popular, independent digital camera review sites. It also is one of “Dave’s Pick” at Imaging Resource.

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Child Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Resolution: 6.3MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 - 0.6s
  • Size: 5.2 x 3.8 x 5.0 in.
  • Battery Life: 400 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
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
3
Nikon D40 (with 18-55mm Lens)

Yes, it is a DSLR. But there is no need to be intimidated as it also has an Auto Mode :-). You can always use it as a typical point-and-shoot camera with its kit lens mounted and in Auto Mode or a Scene Mode. The only relevant difference is that for DSLRs composing a shot is done using the optical viewfinder. The rear LCD is used for preview/playback and for changing camera settings (e.g. brightness, contrast, ISO, etc.) only and not for composing the shot (as is the case with point-and-shoot cameras). The optical viewfinder is also easier when framing in dim light (e.g. indoors).

DSLRs have a real advantage in image quality as they have much larger sensors (about 9 times the size) than prosumer cameras like the Fujifilm S6000fd. So each pixel is larger and therefore more sensitive to light. This translates into much lower noise at high ISO settings and better dynamic range (range of light-levels between darkest and brightest areas in a scene). So you will have less blown out areas in high contrast scenes.

The Nikon D40 has a 6 megapixel resolution sensor. Its kit lens has 3x zoom (equivalent to 28.8-88mm on a 35mm camera). The maximum usable aperture at the wide-end of the zoom is f3.5. It has a start-up time of 0.4 seconds, a full-press shutter lag of around 0.26 seconds, and a pre-focus shutter lag of less than 0.1 seconds. It has an auto-focus assist lamp (useful for focusing in low light when indoors). It also has full manual control options (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, raw mode, etc.). It runs on a proprietary battery that delivers approximately 470 shots/charge. The camera’s size is a bit smaller than the Fuji S6000fd! It is one of the smallest DSLRs in the market.

Nikon D40 (with 18-55mm Lens) is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Child Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Nikon D40 (with 18-55mm Lens)
  • Best Price: $619
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Resolution: 6.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.3 sec
  • Size: 5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in.
  • Battery Life: 470 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
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

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.