Expert Recommendation

.
Best Compact Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $300
Expert (53 Recommendations and 31 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
December 2, 2009 Updated: December 4, 2009
Overview

Casio has designed an Ultra Compact point and shoot with all the features you’d expect and added an impressive zooming capability along with some creative post processing functions. That makes the Casio Exilim Hi-Zoom EX-H10 my Best in Class choice for Compact Point and Shoot digital camera for travel photos under $300.

Best badge
My Best In Class Pick
Casio EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-H10

Good looking and ready to hit the road, the Casio EX-H10 is an Ultra Compact camera with a hungry wide angle lens and lots of zoom. Add contrast detection and super responsive HD video and you are ready to go wherever the travel bug takes you.

Built with a 12.1mp imaging sensor, a 24mm wide angle lens, a clear, easy to view 3.0” LCD screen and one of the longest lasting batteries in its class, the EX-H10 has the stuff to sit quietly in any one of your pockets, yet respond quickly when needed. A real relief when you’re trying to take in the sights of a new destination.

When you’re ready to shoot HD video, simply push the little red button on the right with your thumb and the video starts right up. Shoot in YouTube mode and you’re ready to upload your videos without any post processing.

But if you like to work with your images when done shooting, the EX-H10 has a Dynamic Photo feature that allows you to create a unique image out of multiple shots taken and then reassembled in the viewing mode. There’s a bit of a learning curve there, but well worth the effort.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1

The EX-H10 has a little more zoom and wide angle than the ZR1 and the LCD screen is clearer and brighter.

Comparison with Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

The F200EXR may have some newer, smarter features, but the EX-H10 has a wider angle lens, more zoom and Hd video.

Pros
  • +
    24mm wide angle
  • +
    Clear 3.0" LCD
  • +
    38 scene modes
  • +
    Lots of battery life
  • +
    Manual controls
Cons
  • -
    Digital zoom only in movie mode
Casio EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-H10 is the Best Compact Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $300
Where to buy
Casio EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-H10
  • Best Price: $229
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
  • Size: 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.0 in.
  • Battery Life: 1000 shots
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
Best badge
Casio EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-H10
2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1
3
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR
Customer Rating
Price $229.00
Size (W x H x D) 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.0 in. 3.9 x 2.1 x 1.0 in. 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
Weight (with batteries) 7.3 oz 5.6 oz 7.2 oz
Easy to Use Yes Yes Yes
Colors Black Black, Silver, Blue, Red Black, Silver
?
Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.6 - 0.9 sec 0.4 - 0.6 sec 0.5 - 0.6 sec
Video Available Yes Yes Yes
HD Video Available Yes Yes No
Optical Zoom 10.0x 8.0x 5.0x
?
Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
Max ISO Setting 3200 1600 1600
Aperture Priority Mode Available No No Yes
Full Manual Exposure Mode Available No No Yes
?
Face Detection Available
Yes Yes Yes
?
Viewfinder Available
No No No
?
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in. 2.7 in. 3.0 in.
Battery Type Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
?
Effective Sensor Resolution
12.1 megapixels 12.1 megapixels 12.0 megapixels
?
Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
24 mm 25 mm 28 mm
?
Max Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
240 mm 200 mm 140 mm
2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1

When Panasonic decided to create an Ultra Compact point and shoot camera with 8x zoom capability and ultra wide angle, they went for the lens this time. Introducing the world’s first 0.3mm super-thin aspherical lens and the industry’s first 0.3mm spherical lens at the time of this writing, they were able to pull it off.

Travelers hoping to take a pocketable camera wherever they go, and expecting to get the kind of high quality images they can show off back home, will love this 12.1mp camera with all the amenities Panasonic has been delivering for years. Features like POWER O.I.S (the latest improvement over its predecessor, MEGA OIS), AF Tracking and a sturdy compact body that comes in five different colors.

Getting the shots of a lifetime are easier too! By selecting the IA mode, the quick AF system tracks your subject even before you press the shutter halfway. With a shutter release lag time of approx. 0.007 seconds and the ability to shoot at a burst rate of 2.3fps in full size, the ZR1 just might be faster than you are, and in 1920 x 1080 pixel HD or 16:9 for wide screen viewing.

Expect the same HD qualities when shooting video. With the ZR1 you can shoot at a large 1280x720 pixels @ 30fps or, at WVGA and VGA sizes.

Pros
  • +
    Power OIS
  • +
    HD video
  • +
    Lots of scene modes
Cons
  • -
    Battery issues
  • -
    Mode dial right next to shutter
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1 is one of the Best Compact Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $300
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1
Specifications
  • Zoom: 8.0x
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
  • Size: 3.9 x 2.1 x 1.0 in.
  • Battery Life: 330 shots
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Excellent by CNET.com
3
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

It’s a good idea to take the Fuji FinePix F200EXR out for a spin to see what it’s made of before heading out for new vistas. That’s because Fuji gives you the benefit of the doubt that you can find all of the great features and functions built into this slim, powerful camera.

Fuji claims that the F200EXR, with it’s EXR auto mode, high sensitivity mode for low light, and Manual controls has the worlds most versatile sensor in it’s 12mp 1/1.6”Super CCD EXR, challenging you to challenge the camera in a variety of lighting situations.

Still images are shot at HD quality and can be viewed on the bright 3.0” LCD screen. Then, once you have that great, unique photo, go into the film simulation modes and creat original images in Provia/standard, Velvia/vivid, ASTIA/soft, black & white and sepia.

Video shooting is available too, at 640 x 480 pixels or 320 x 240 pixels @ 30 fps, but not in HD.

So, when you’re ready to take it out on the road, whether in bright light or low light, The F200EXR is a camera that will test your creative abilities and reward you for the effort.

Pros
  • +
    HD stills
  • +
    Film simulation modes
  • +
    Mode dial easy to use
Cons
  • -
    Takes some getting used to for best results
  • -
    No HD video
  • -
    Noisy at high ISO
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR is one of the Best Compact Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $300
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 12.0MP
  • Size: 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
  • Battery Life: 230 shots
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (3 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Rated Excellent 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.