Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child, Action, and Low Light Photos Under $200
Expert (97 Recommendations and 21 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
December 2, 2007 Updated: December 7, 2007
Overview

With a large 38-380mm (10x) zoom, the Fuji S700 is one of the few budget cameras in the market that is capable of taking faraway fast action and sports photos. Its average high ISO ability will allow it to freeze fast action in daylight situations, and capture fast-moving children and pets in low light moderately well. While not the perfect camera in this class, the Fuji S700 is one of the only cameras capable of fast action photos, and is a competent performer for children/pet portraits and low light situations as well.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S700

With a budget of only $200, it’s very difficult to find a quality fast action camera, which requires a combination of long zoom range, good high ISO ability, and other features such at continuous shooting speed and shutter lag. While not the best camera in this class, the Fuji S700 is one of the only cameras that is capable of shooting fast action, with a long 38-380mm zoom that can catch close-ups of fast action, and average high ISO ability that is capable of freezing motion in daylight situations. The Fuji S700 is also a capable performer for photos of pets and children, covering the ideal zoom range and having a low shutter lag so that you can snap those spur-of-the-moment shots.

Fujifilm FinePix S700 is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child, Action, and Low Light Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S700
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.6 - 2.2s
  • Burst Speed: 1.4 fps
  • Max ISO: 1600
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Fujifilm FinePix S700
2
Canon PowerShot A720 IS
3
Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS
Customer Rating
Price $400.00 $449.00
Size (W x H x D) 4.2 x 3.0 x 3.2 in 3.8 x 2.6 x 1.7 in. 4.1 x 2.9 x 2.7 in
Weight (without batteries) 10.8 oz 7.0 oz 10.6 oz
Max Shooting Speed (continuous) 1.2 fps for three, 0.4fps unlimited 1.2 fps unlimited 2.1 fps for first 6
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
38-380mm (10x) 35-210 mm (6x) 36-432 mm (12x)
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Image Stabilization Available
No Yes Yes
Storage Media xD-Picture Card, SD Memory Card SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card
Battery Type AA-size (x4) AA-size (x2) AA-size (x2)
Battery Life 500 shots 400 shots 275 shots
Max Usable ISO (subjective) ISO400 ISO400 ISO200
Autofocus Rating Average Average Average
Shutter Lag Rating Good Average Average
Low Light Rating Average Good Poor
People/Pet Portrait Rating Good Good Average
Fast Action Rating Average Poor Poor
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Canon PowerShot A720 IS

The Canon A720 IS is a midrange model in Canon’s A-series of cameras. With a 35-210mm 6x lens, the A720IS covers the midrange useful for portraits of people and pets, but doesn’t really zoom far enough for good close-ups of fast action.

The Canon A720 IS has average high ISO performance. While it can freeze motion in daylight situations, for active pets and children it will produce noisy photos in low-light situations (indoors or at night), and won’t produce usable pictures for fast action in low light. The A720IS does have an image stabilization system, however, which helps it to take photos of non-moving subjects like buildings or interiors.

The A720IS can take photos continuously at 1.2 frames per second, for an unlimited number of photos - about average for this class, but not really fast enough to make a difference (in that 0.8 second, the action will have come and gone). Like all non-SLR cameras, the A720’s autofocus system can just about keep up with fast action in daylight situations, but is far too slow for low-light situations. The A720IS has average shutter lag, which may get in the way of spur-of-the-moment or precisely timed photos.

Canon PowerShot A720 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child, Action, and Low Light Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot A720 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 6.0x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 8.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 - 1.2s
  • Burst Speed: 1.4 fps
  • Max ISO: 1600
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS

The Z712 is Kodak’s budget ultrazoom model, featuring a large 36-432mm (12x) zoom lens that allows you to zoom in for close-up shots of fast action, and covers the midrange that’s ideal for portraits of people and pets, as well.

Like many Kodak cameras, the Z712 has below-average high ISO performance. This means taking photos of children and pets in low light or trying to freeze action in even daylight situations will result in noisy images, and you can just about forget shooting fast-action in low-light.

The Z712 can shoot 6 photos at 2.1 frames per second - a good feature that will allow you to take a series of shots and choose the best photo or moment of peak action later, greatly increasing your keeper rate. The Z712 uses the same contrast-detection autofocus as the S700, allowing it to just barely keep up with fast action subjects in daylight, and making it nearly useless for low-light situations. The Z712 has average shutter lag, which makes it a bit more difficult to react quickly or time your shots precisely.

Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child, Action, and Low Light Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS
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