Expert Recommendation

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Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Child Photos Under $400
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
May 3, 2007 Updated: October 22, 2007
Overview

Equipped with an image-stabilized 3.8x zoom lens, great image quality, good low-light performance, and a 7 megapixel resolution sensor in an ultra-compact body, the Canon SD800 IS is a versatile camera for babies and travel photography. Its optical viewfinder and fast response times help track active babies, young children, and pets, so you can capture those short-lived expression at the exact desired moment. The wide-angle lens helps capture the panoramic landscape views.

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My Best In Class Pick
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

Both cameras are well built, have good image quality, are equipped with Image Stabilization and Face Detection features. Both have an Auto Mode and lots of Scene Modes for easy operation by novice users.

The Sony DSC-T100 scores because of its reach (the 5x optical zoom is very useful when traveling), however lags behind on image quality because of excessive compression applied while storing the images. Although it has higher resolution than the Canon SD800 IS, its image file size is typically around 30-40% less for the same scene (especially destructive at high ISOs, where noise reduction also reduces the details, leading to water-color type artfacts)!

The Canon SD800 IS scores higher because of its better image quality at higher ISOs (more details, less compression), wide-angle lens (useful for landscapes, architectural photography), and optical viewfinder (useful for real-time tracking of active kids). The Canon SD800 IS is our Top Pick.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS is the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Child Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.8x
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 sec
  • Size: 3.5 x 2.3 x 1.0 in.
  • Battery Life: 270 shots
  • 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
2
Sony Cybershot DSC-T100

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 model is 0.87” thick and has the greatest zoom with a wide-angle lens among the ultra-compacts. The camera has an 8 megapixel resolution sensor and 5x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 35-175mm on a 35mm camera) with an optical Image Stabilization feature. It also has a Face Detection feature. The start-up time is 1.8 seconds and the pre-focus shutter lag (half-press to full-press of shutter button) is 0.008 seconds. The battery life is approximately 340 shots/charge. The camera received a good review at Digital Trends (an independent camera review site) and is a “Top Pick” at Imaging Resource (another popular camera review site).

Sony Cybershot DSC-T100 is one of the Best Ultra Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Child Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-T100
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 - 0.7s
  • Size: 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
  • Battery Life: 340 shots
  • 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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