Expert Recommendation

.
Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Low Light Photos Under $400
Expert (97 Recommendations and 21 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 20, 2007 Updated: December 21, 2007
Best-badge
My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd

While there are plenty of options in this category, the Fuji S6000fd and Sony H9 are two of the most full-featured cameras on the market - there are simply no other ultrazoom cameras that include a wide-angle lens, good low-light abilities, and overall solid image quality that both cameras offer.

Between the two cameras, the choice is between a more compact size and an overall better camera. The Fuji S6000fd has a slightly wider 28mm wide-angle lens (compared to 31mm on the H9), and while lacking the image stabilization on the H9, has vastly better high ISO abilities (which unlike IS, also freezes subject motion), giving it an advantage if you’re taking photos of moving subjects, like people. Thus, the S6000fd is both a more versatile camera and a better low-light performer, at the cost of being a much larger camera (probably requiring a dedicated camera bag). If you’re willing to live with the size, the S6000fd is the best-in-class choice, but the Sony H9 is nonetheless a capable second choice that’s ideal for travelers looking for something a bit smaller.

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Low Light Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Resolution: 6.3MP
  • Max ISO: 3200
  • 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

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
Best-badge
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd
2
Sony Cybershot DSC-H9
Customer Rating
Price $1299.00
Size (W x H x D) 5.2 x 3.8 x 5.0 in. 4.3 x 3.3 x 3.4 in.
Weight (with batteries) 23.3 oz 19.5 oz
?
Sensor Size
7.6 x 5.7 mm 5.8 x 4.3 mm
?
Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
28 - 300 mm (10.7x) 31 - 465 mm (15x)
?
Image Stabilization Available
No Yes
Storage Media xD-Picture Card Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
Battery Type AA-size (x4) Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Battery Life 400 shots 280 shots
Max Usable ISO (subjective) ISO800 ISO400
2
Sony Cybershot DSC-H9

The Sony H9 is a medium-sized ultrazoom camera that is loaded with features and manual controls, although like all cameras it retains a user-friendly automatic mode for those who want to just point and shoot. The H9 has a big 31-465mm (15x) zoom range which isn’t quite as wide as the 28mm on other cameras, but is still a big step up from the 35mm or 36mm of most other cameras, and adequately covers the most useful travel zoom range.

The H9 uses a conventional image sensor (unlike the Fuji S6000fd), so high ISO results won’t be extraordinary. Because of Sony’s slightly more aggressive noise reduction, however, the out-of-camera high-ISO pictures will be slightly better than what you’d typically find in this class.

The H9 makes up for the lack of high ISO performance with its “Super SteadyShot” image stabilization (IS) system, which will help greatly with low-light pictures of static scenes, like buildings or landscapes. As mentioned above, however, IS won’t do anything to prevent blur from moving subjects. The H9 does have a pop-up flash, so flash results will be slightly better than the kind typically found on built-in camera flashes, but not by much.

The H9 uses a Sony battery which lasts 280 shots (CIPA standard) - a bit below average for cameras in this class, but still good enough to last a day of travel for most people.

While not the leading camera in terms of image quality (especially in low-light situations), the Sony H9 is still above average, and the more compact size makes it a better option for those who don’t want to carry something as big as an SLR or bridge camera.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H9 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Low Light Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-H9
  • Best Price: $1299
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 15.0x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • Max ISO: 3200
  • Size: 4.3 x 3.3 x 3.4 in.
  • Battery Life: 280 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (5 reviews)
  • 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.