Expert Recommendation

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Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400
Expert (9 Recommendations)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 24, 2007 Updated: December 5, 2007
Overview

In the ultra-compact category, nothing is more svelte than the Exilim EX-S770, a real sleeper that’s worth choosing over better-known brands. Don’t buy it just because it’s light as a feather; buy it for a surprisingly good blend of features and performance, like high ISO capability and faster autofocusing than one might expect. This make it a good choice for shooting young children or pets in action or low-light situations, while the small size means you can easily fit it in a diaper bag or shirt pocket..

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My Best In Class Pick
Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S770

CasioEX-S770. This is a tough call, as both the Casio and the Canon have the same amount of MPs and comparable features. On the surface, the optical lens stabilization of Canon’s IS would seem better than the digital stabilization of Casio’s DSP, but then you have to think about what you actually use the camera for. The faster auto-focusing and good low-light performance of the Casio make a big difference in real-world usage, and as compact as the ELPH is, the Exilim is a tad more diminutive, making it a true ultra-compact. Don’t expect DSLR-like performance from one of these little guys, but for a go-anywhere camera that barely takes up any room at all, the Exilim delivers high performance for its class.

Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S770 is the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400
Where to buy
Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S770
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Resolution: 7.2MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 - 1.0s
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S770
2
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-T100
Customer Rating
Price $699.99
Size (W x H x D) 3.7 x 2.4 x 0.7 in. 3.5 x 2.3 x 1.0 in. 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
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Effective Sensor Resolution
7.2 megapixels 7.1 megapixels 8.1 megapixels
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
38 mm 28 mm 35 mm
Optical Zoom 3.0x 3.8x 5.0x
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Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Type Digital Optical Optical
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec 1/1600 sec 1/1000 sec
Max ISO Setting 800 1600 3200
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LCD Screen Size
2.8 in. 2.5 in. 3.0 in.
LCD Screen Resolution 230400 pixels 207000 pixels 230000 pixels
Storage Media SD Memory Card SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
Sensor Raw Format Available No No No
Battery Type Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
2
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

The Canon ELPH is the prototype compact camera; the film version was reportedly used by supermodels to document backstage goings-on at runway events. You don’t have to be a supermodel these days to use one, but good looks have remained the hallmark of this successful product line. Canon offers many different ELPH variations, but the 7.1 MP SD 800 stands out in the crowded ELPH lineup because of its Image Stabilization feature, which works with the DIGIC II processor to deliver blur-free images, even at low shutter speeds. Other features include Face Detection, for better people (and pet) pics, a 3.8x zoom (film equivalent 28-105mm) for wide-angle and portrait shots, and a top ISO of 1600. All this at a weight of just 5.3 oz.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS is one of the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.8x
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 sec
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (5 reviews)
  • Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Sony Cybershot DSC-T100

The Sony offers the biggest zoom (5x) in the ultra-compact field, and comes in three colors for the fashion-conscious casual photographer. It stuffs 8 MP and a 3” LCD into its tiny body, and features a Carl Zeiss lens for crisp images. Auto ISO means the camera will automatically adjust to different lighting conditions, and user-selectable settings go up to ISO 3200. It can fire bursts at 2.2 FPS in continuous-shooting mode, and offers HD-optimized connections for full-resolution viewing on HDTVs. But the lack of an image stabilization feature makes the T100 a shaky proposition for all but the most steady-handed photographer.

Sony Cybershot DSC-T100 is one of the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $400
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-T100
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 - 0.7s
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (3 reviews)
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Excellent by CNET.com

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