Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Action Photos Under $200
Expert (6 Recommendations and 7 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
November 1, 2007 Updated: November 28, 2007
Overview

Taking pictures of sporting events with an inexpensive, digital point and shoot camera presents challenges that cameras in this category are seldom equipped to handle. With features like a 6X optical zoom, automatic high sensitivity ISO, minimal lag time between shots, fast autofocus and unlimited continuous shooting, the Panasonic DMC-LZ7 gives you all of the tools you need to capture fast moving action at an affordable price.

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My Best In Class Pick
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7

In this case, I am most impressed with the Panasonic LZ7. The Fujifilm Finepix S700 has a powerful 10x optical zoom and the highest rated battery power. Where the camera lacks is in speed and quality. This particular model just does not deliver the high level of picture quality that we have come to expect from Fujifilm, Especially when higher ISOs were used. The shutter and fps ratings are also lagging behind the other 2 models. Between the LZ7 and the FE-280, both are fully capable of photographing fast moving action. The Olympus FE-280 does have the edge in resolution with 8 megapixels. Where the LZ7 outdoes the FE-280 is with its optics and ISO settings. The LZ7, with its Leica optics, make it the clear choice, and the numbers back it up. A 6x optical zoom compared to the FE-280’s 3x optical provide the LZ7 with more zooming capabilities for sports photography. Even with twice the zoom as the FE-280, the aperture rating on the LZ7 has a higher rating. Also the ISO settings on the LZ7 go all the way up to 3200. The rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that powers the Olympus FE-280 is a wonderful feature at this price range. The LZ7 once again outperforms the FE-280’s 180 shots with 250 shots on a set of AA batteries.

The bottom line is: when it comes to sports photography, the Panasonic DMC-LZ7 is a decisive winner and outperforms the other models in the categories that matter the most.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Action Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7
Specifications
  • Zoom: 6.0x
  • Resolution: 7.2MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 sec
  • Burst Speed: 4.6 fps
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Website Reviews (1 review)

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7
2
Fujifilm FinePix S700
3
Olympus FE-280
Customer Rating
Price
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Effective Sensor Resolution
7.2 megapixels 7.1 million pixels 8.0 million pixels
Max Shooting Speed (continuous) 3.75 fps 1.4 fps 3.75 fps
Optical Zoom 6.0x optical 10.0x optical 3.0x optical
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
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Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/3.5 f/3.1
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Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/4.5 f/3.7 f/5.9
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec 1/1000 sec 1/2000 sec
Max ISO Setting 3200 1600 1600
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LCD Screen Size
2.5 in. 2.5 in 2.5 in
Battery Type AA-size (x2) AA-size (x4) Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Life 250 shots 500 shots 180 shots
2
Fujifilm FinePix S700

The Fuji FinePix S700 is another good option for shooting action. It has a 7.1 megapixel sensor and a 10X optical zoom. Overall operation is smooth and response time is fairly quick. The mode selection dial is set up like an SLR, with full auto and manual modes as well as scene modes. ISO settings are available up to 1600 with shutter speeds up to 1/1000 sec. Battery life is excellent, as the camera runs on 4 AA batteries and gets about 500 shots. Image playback is also nice with a 2.5” LCD

The Fuji FinePix S700 is not a top of the line ultra zoom camera by any means. As a matter of fact, it’s not even one of Fujifilm’s best attempts. It does, however, reach out to an audience of consumers looking for an inexpensive camera with a lot of zoom and the look and feel of an SLR camera.

Fujifilm FinePix S700 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Action Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S700
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.6 - 2.2s
  • Burst Speed: 1.4 fps
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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3
Olympus FE-280

The Olympus FE-280 redefines the expectation of what a point and shoot camera can do in terms of sports photography. Most pocket sized digital cameras cannot handle freezing fast moving action with acceptable results. The FE-280 allows this style of shooting by offering shutter speeds up to 1/2000 sec, ISOs up to 1600 and minimal shutter lag. Lithium-ion battery power helps keep the size and weight down and is a feature not normally found within this price range. An 8 megapixel sensor with 3X optical provides optimum picture results. The 2.5” LCD allows for critical framing and reviewing of shots. Additional optional accessories include an underwater housing.

Olympus FE-280 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Action Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Olympus FE-280
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