Expert Recommendation

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Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $750
Expert (9 Recommendations)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
November 8, 2007 Updated: December 12, 2007
Overview

When it comes to low-light, no flash shooting, the adage you get what you pay for doesn’t necessarily apply: instead of a high-end flagship camera with 10 or 12 megapixels, in most cases, you’re better off with a more moderately-megapixeled camera at a lower price point, like the Fujifilm Finepix F40fd. It’s a great shooter for candids or action shots whatever the lighting conditions, offering a sensible 8.3 MPs, a top ISO sensitivity of 2000, face detection, and noise-free performance at ISO 800. The combination of low-light capabilities and Picture Stabilization make it a natural for non-posed pictures of kids or pets at play.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd

Fujifilm Finepix F40fd. Although perhaps not as dazzling at low-light situations as the discontinued F20 and F30/F31fd, the F40fd upholds Fuji’s reputation as a dim-light dynamo. It inches out other cameras in the compact digicam class like the Sony W90 and Canon 950 IS with cleaner images at 800 ISO, and has better performance at ISO 1600 than some DSLRs. If you want to take family portraits at night, or shoot indoors with no flash, grab a F40fd and let the fun begin.

Fujifilm FinePix F40fd is the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Child and Low Light Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Resolution: 8.3MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 sec
  • Max ISO: 2000
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (4 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
2
Canon PowerShot SD950 IS
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-W80
Customer Rating
Price $599.00 $399.95
Size (W x H x D) 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in. 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.1 in. 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
36 mm 36-133 mm 35 mm
Optical Zoom 3.0x 3.7x 3.0x
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Image Stabilization Available
yes yes Yes
Image Stabilization Type Digital Optical Lens Shift Optical (lens shift)
Max ISO Setting 2000 3200 3200
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Face Detection Available
-yes yes Yes
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LCD Screen Size
2.5 in. 2.5 in. 2.5 in.
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Effective Sensor Resolution
8.3 megapixels 12.1 million pixels 7.2 megapixels
Max Shooting Speed (burst) 1.7 frames/sec 1.5 frames/sec 2.8 frames/sec
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Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/2.8 f/2.8
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Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/5.1 f/5.8 f/5.2
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec 1/1600 sec 1/1600 sec
LCD Screen Resolution 230000 pixels 230,000 pixels 115000 pixels
Storage Media SD Memory Card, xD-Picture Card SD, SDHC Memory Card Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
Battery Type Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
2
Canon PowerShot SD950 IS

This top-of-the-line Digital Elph is a good mix of style and substance. Encased in a titanium body design, it’s sleek, stylish, light, and strong – while still remaining compact. Despite its powerful 12.2 mp sensor, it still delivers good image quality in most conditions, thanks to the DIGIC III image processor. It has Image Stabilization, a 3.7x zoom covering 36-133 mm (film equivalent), and a 2.5”, 230k LCD. One slight ding: writing those 12mp files to the buffer slows down between-shooting times, but the good news is that (like most PowerShots) the 950 IS not only rates excellent at ISO 200 and below, but it can handle high ISOs better than overpixelated P&S cameras like the more expensive 12 mp Canon G9. The SD 950IS might be one of Canon’s best low-light P&S cameras, with excllent performance at ISO 800, acceptable performance at ISO 1600, and a reduced-resolution 3200 ISO setting is available should you ever need it.

Canon PowerShot SD950 IS is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SD950 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.5x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.6 sec
  • Max ISO: 3200
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-W80

This compact Sony W-series camera has somewhat deceptive features. True, it has a streamlined, modern design that some might even find more attractive than an ELPH. But on paper, the specs aren’t that hot: 7 mp and 3x zoom are about average for a modestly-priced camera. Take it out into the field, however, and you’ll see it’s like Goldilocks’ porridge: just about right. The sensor is large enough for big prints but not enough to sabotage the sensor noise, plus there’s a Carl Zeiss lens for crisp images, optical stabilization, face detection, and a fast burst rate – some reviewers have reported 2.7 fps, significantly higher than Sony’s own specs of 2.2 fps. It also has Auto ISO, and a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the widest setting – great for portraits with blurred backgrounds and available-light shots. The next model up, the DSC-W90, has a bigger sensor, but for a low-light fanatic, less MPs usually means better performance. The W80’s user-selectable ISOs go from 100 to 3200, with acceptable ISO 800 performance, helped along by the fast 9-pt. autofocusing.

Sony Cybershot DSC-W80 is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Child and Low Light Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-W80
  • Best Price: $399
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Resolution: 7.2MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 - 0.8s
  • Max ISO: 3200
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (4 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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