Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $400
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 31, 2007 Updated: November 28, 2007
Overview

Its high resolution (8 Megapixels) sensor coupled with a sharp lens will capture the skin tones of your kids perfectly. With its long zoom (10x) in a compact-sized body, you can take those candid shots of kids & pets anytime without startling them. Its fast operation and excellent performance in low light will enable you to capture those timeless moments in family gatherings. And to top it all, the Canon SX100 IS comes with enough controls and scene modes to satisfy demanding users.

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My Best In Class Pick
Canon PowerShot SX100 IS

All these cameras are fully automatic and offer numerous scene modes (including an auto high-sensitivity mode that helps take blur-free shots in natural lights) for novice users. Although impressive on paper, Sony H3, lags behind the other two in low-light image quality. At higher ISOs (ISO400 & above), its images are heavily compressed and devoid of fine details (due to excessive noise reduction). The lens also exhibit higher purple fringing on high-contrast edges especially near the telephoto end of the zoom range.

The Fuji F40fd & Canon SX100IS have sharper lens and capture more details. The Fuji F40fd’s size makes it easy to carry in a shirt pocket and has low light performance as its unique selling proposition.

However the Canon SX 100 IS leapfrogs it, armed with a much higher zoom (10x) lens with less fringing problems, image stabilization, manual modes (for use by advanced users) while still having good image quality at higher ISOs. Even ISO1600 is usable (images are grainy at this setting but retain enough details for getting up to 8”x10” prints).

The Canon PowerShot SX100 IS is my Top Pick.

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SX100 IS
  • Best Price: $699
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 8.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 sec
  • Max ISO: 1600
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Canon PowerShot SX100 IS
2
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-H3
Customer Rating
Price $699.95 $499.95
Shutter Lag Time (pre-focused) 0.10 sec 0.10 sec 0.10 sec
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Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.6 sec 0.5 sec 0.6-1.0 sec
Power to First Shot Time 2.4 sec 2.7 sec 1.8 sec
Continuous Shooting Speed (single shot mode) 0.6 frame/sec - 0.7 frame/sec
Optical Zoom 10x 3.0x 10x
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes No Yes
Auto Focus Assist Light Available Yes Yes Yes
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Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/2.8 f/3.5
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Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/4.3 f/5.1 f/4.4
Aperture Priority Mode Available Yes No No
Shutter Priority Mode Available Yes No No
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
36 - 360 mm 36 mm 38 - 380 mm
Battery Type 2 AA batteries Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
2
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd

The successor of great low light performer Fuji F20, this model offers greater resolution (8MP) and comes with a sharp 3x zoom lens (36-108mm equivalent). This compact model also has a face-detection feature. The ISO rating goes up to 2000. The camera runs on a proprietary battery.

Fujifilm FinePix F40fd is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $400
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
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (4 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-H3

This is another superzoom without an eye-level viewfinder from Sony. Boasting 8MP resolution, an image-stabilized 10x zoom lens (38-380mm equivalent), and a sturdy body, it aims to compete with the Canon SX100 IS. This camera offers one manual mode (user can adjust shutter speed and select one of two aperture values) and a face detection feature. It has an ISO rating up to ISO3200. The camera runs on a proprietary battery.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H3 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-H3
  • Best Price: $499
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.3 - 1.4s
  • Max ISO: 3200
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (3 reviews)
  • Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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