Expert Recommendation

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Best Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $150
By Dante
Expert (1 Recommendation)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 15, 2009 Updated: October 26, 2009
Overview

The Sony W180 is an affordable feature packed camera for taking pictures in all situations, but in low light conditions the W180 excels at capturing sharp photos of children and pets.

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My Best In Class Pick
Sony Cybershot DSC-W180

The Sony W180 is an easy to use, affordable compact camera that takes sharp pictures of children and pets. Featuring Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization, face detection technology, and superb 290 shot battery life, the W180 makes taking great pictures simple in any setting. However where this camera really excels is in taking pictures of fast moving subjects indoors. Most cameras cannot use a fast shutter speed indoors to stop the action of a quick moving child or pet, but in low light conditions the W180 defaults to a higher ISO sensitivity than its competitors ensuring a faster shutter speed to capture the moment. The camera is also one of the most responsive cameras in its class minimizing the time between when the shutter button is pressed and the camera takes the picture. The Sony W180 is ready to go when your family is and captures the moment in clear detail making it the best camera in class for photographing kids and pets.

Comparison with Nikon Coolpix S220

The Sony W180 has better low light capability and a much better battery life. They both have the same resolution for picture quality and the same amount of zoom. The Sony has a bigger LCD screen for viewing.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot A1100 IS

Because it uses a rechargeable long life battery, is more user friendly, and is more responsive, the W180 is a better value than the Canon A1100. The Canon does very well taking pictures in low light situations and is the only camera with an optical viewfinder.

Pros
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    Very fast response time
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    Super long battery life
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    Great low light performance
Sony Cybershot DSC-W180 is the Best Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $150
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-W180
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Sony Cybershot DSC-W180
2
Nikon Coolpix S220
3
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS
Customer Rating
Price $239.99 $125.00
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LCD Screen Size
2.7 Inch 2.5 Inch 2.5 Inch
Max ISO Setting 3200 2000 1600
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Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
Very Good Very Good Good
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Face Detection Available
Yes Yes Yes
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Viewfinder Available
No No Yes
Easy to Use Very Good Very Good Good
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Effective Sensor Resolution
10.1 MP 10.0 MP 12.1 MP
Optical Zoom 3X 3X 4X
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Rechargeable AA
Battery Life 290 Shots 180 Shots 140 Shots (Alkaline)
2
Nikon Coolpix S220

The Nikon S220 is also a great choice as an inexpensive camera for taking pictures of children. The S220 features Nikon’s Face-Priority AF system, VR image stabilization, and a very compact design. This is an all around great camera which takes fantastic pictures in all situations.

Pros
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    Good low light performance
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    Great all around camera
Cons
  • -
    Smaller LCD screen
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    Less battery life
Nikon Coolpix S220 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $150
Where to buy
Nikon Coolpix S220
  • Best Price: $125
    Amazon See It »
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Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Good by CNET.com
3
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS

Among the cameras which use AA size batteries this is my favorite. This camera is very compact and still features a 4x stabilized zoom lens, 2.5 inch LCD screen, and still has room for an optical view finder. This camera performs well under low light situations and does a very good job of taking clear pictures of moving subjects.

Pros
  • +
    Optical viewfinder
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    12.1 MP
Cons
  • -
    AA batteries
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    Smaller LCD screen
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $150
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.6 - 0.8s
  • Max ISO: 1600
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Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
4
Fujifilm FinePix J38

The Fuji J38 is the most compact and simplest to use of my recommended cameras. It features Fuji’s Face Detection technology, a 2.7 inch LCD screen, and a 12.2 MP sensor for fantastic image quality. The lack of any optical image stabilization keeps this camera from being in my top three picks.

Pros
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    12.2 MegaPixels
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    Ultra compact design
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    Simple menu layout
Cons
  • -
    No optical image stabilization system
Fujifilm FinePix J38 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $150
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix J38
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5
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS85

The most affordable camera on this list, the Panasonic LS85 is a fantastic value. This camera has superb battery life for a AA camera and a great image stabilization system.

Pros
  • +
    Most affordable
  • +
    Good battery life
Cons
  • -
    8.1 MP
  • -
    AA batteries
  • -
    Smaller LCD screen
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS85 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $150
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS85
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 sec
  • Max ISO: 1600
More
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