Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $750
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
May 22, 2007 Updated: October 22, 2007
Overview

A great camera for indoors and landscape photography, the Pentax K100D offers great image quality, captures panoramic views of landscapes and has great low light performance for indoor photography.

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My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S9100

Fujifilm’s cameras are widely considered to have among the best image quality because of their Super-CCD technology. Sensors with this technology have octagonal shaped pixels, which utilize the space better and have better linear/vertical resolution when compared with conventional CCD sensors with the same number of total pixels. Presently, one of the best cameras with this feature is the Fujifilm FinePix S9100. It has a 9 megapixel resolution sensor, wide-angle lens with 10.7x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-300mm on a 35mm camera). The zoom is manually controlled, which is useful for precise framing of the scene. It has a start-up time of 1.1 seconds and a full-press shutter lag of 0.6 seconds. Barrel-distortion at wide-end of zoom is 0.60% (lower the value, less the distortion). It also has options for full manual controls (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, raw mode, etc.) & flip-down LCD for additional versatility. The battery life is approximately 320 shots/charge (using 4 AA-size NiMH batteries).

The camera was a “Dave’s Pick” at Imaging-Resource, which is popular, independent digital camera review site.

Fujifilm FinePix S9100 is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $750
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S9100
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 9.0MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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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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Pentax K100D (with 18-55mm Lens)

Yes - it is a DSLR. There is no need to be intimidated as it also has Auto Picture Mode :-). You can always use it as a typical point-and-shoot camera with its kit-lens mounted and in an Auto Mode or Scene Mode. The only relevant difference is that with a DSLR you need to use the optical viewfinder to compose a shot. The rear LCD is only used for preview/playback and for changing the camera settings (e.g. brightness, contrast, ISO, etc.). The optical viewfinder is also advantageous for framing in dim light (indoors).

DSLRs have a real advantage in image quality as they have much larger sensors (about 9 times the size) than prosumer cameras like the Fujifilm S9100. So each pixel is larger and therefore more sensitive to light. This translates into much lower noise at high ISOs and better dynamic range (range of light-levels between darkest and brightest areas in a scene). So you will have less blown out areas in high contrast scenes.

The Pentax K100D has a 6 megapixel resolution sensor and has an in-body image stabilization feature (called shake reduction or simply SR). Its kit lens has 3x zoom (equivalent to 28.8-88mm on a 35mm camera). The maximum usable aperture at the wide-end of the zoom is f3.5. It has a start-up time of 1.6 seconds and a full-press shutter lag of 0.19 seconds. The barrel-distortion at wide-end of zoom is 0.72%. It also has options for full manual controls (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, raw mode, etc.). It runs on 4 AA batteries and can alternatively use 2 CRV3 batteries. The battery life is approximately 300 shots/charge (using 4 AA-size NiMH batteries). The camera is a bit smaller than the Fujifilm S6000fd.

Pentax K100D (with 18-55mm Lens) is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras Overall Under $750
Where to buy
Pentax K100D (with 18-55mm Lens)
  • Best Price: $829
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 27mm (30% wider)
  • Resolution: 6.1MP
  • Easy to Use: No
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

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