Expert Recommendation

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Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $150
Expert (53 Recommendations and 31 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
November 30, 2009 Updated: December 1, 2009
Overview

When you want a decent point and shoot camera close at hand for a decent price you can handle, the Sony W150 is my Best in Class choice. Built in the Sony style, you get years of experience and know-how packed into a pocketable camera you can take anywhere.

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My Best In Class Pick
Sony Cybershot DSC-W150

With the release of the W150, Sony has addressed one of the biggest pet peeves I have with camera manufacturers these days, an eye-level viewfinder. Having a viewfinder allows you to see and compose your shots in any kind of enviroment. It really makes a difference if you are buying a camera for the first time.

Along with an 8.1mp imaging sensor and a Carl ZeissĀ® 5x optical zoom lens, the W150 includes such quality features as Super SteadyShot image stabilization and intelligent scene recognition, technologies Sony has perfected over the years to ensure you get the shot everytime.

Add other great features like smile shutter and face detection for either adults or children and a big, 2.7” LCD screen and your biggest decision when choosing the W150 is which of the four eye-popping colors to choose from.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot A1100 IS

The A1100 IS also has an optical viewfinder, which is nice. It’s a little bulkier than the W150 and uses AA batteries. And, the W150 is a little faster and has more zoom. Otherwise, they are both good solutions to your camera needs, especially for the beginner.

Comparison with Casio EXILIM EX-FS10

The FS10 has no viewfinder but is very fast. It also has an inner-zoom lens that keeps it sleek and pocketable.

Pros
  • +
    Good value
  • +
    Viewfinder
  • +
    Good wide angle and zoom
Cons
  • -
    Battery life is limited, so be sure to pack an extra one
Sony Cybershot DSC-W150 is the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $150
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-W150
Recommended with
  • Sony NP-FG1 InfoLITHIUM Type G Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Pack for Sony W & H Series Digital Cameras
    $35.30 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 30mm (17% wider)
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
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Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
Best badge
Sony Cybershot DSC-W150
2
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS
3
Casio EXILIM EX-FS10
Customer Rating
Price
Weight (with batteries) 6.1 oz 5.3 oz 4.3 oz
Easy to Use Yes Yes Yes
Colors Black, Silver, Red, Gold Gray, Green, Blue, Pink Blue, Gray, Red, White
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Sensor Size
5.8 x 4.3 mm 6.0 x 4.5 mm 6.2 x 4.6 mm
Max Shooting Speed (continuous) 2.3 frames/sec 1.1 frames/sec 1.0 frames/sec
Video Available Yes Yes Yes
Optical Zoom 5.0x 4.0x 3.0x
?
Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes No
Manual Focus Available Yes No Yes
Smile Detection Available Yes No No
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Face Detection Available
Yes Yes Yes
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Viewfinder Available
Yes Yes No
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LCD Screen Size
2.7 in. 2.5 in. 2.5 in.
Storage Media Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card
Battery Type Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable AA-size (x2) Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
2
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS

For a smart point and shoot camera that goes anywhere, takes great photos and doesn’t break the bank, you can’t beat Canon’s PowerShot A1100 IS.

With two auto modes, Easy and Smart, the A1100 IS has been designed to render images that capture the best lighting, the truest colors and a balanced overall scene contrast. Add the speedy Digic 4 processor to power great features like the responsive Face Detection and Motion Detection capabilities and you have moved into the future of photography.

Built sturdy, stylish and comfortable to hold, the A1100 IS has a 4x optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer, a 2.5” LCD screen, an optical viewfinder and the ability to shoot 30fps VGA movies. Choosing from 3 striking colors may be the toughest choice you’ll have to make when purchasing this crowd-pleasing camera

But don’t forget to pick up some rechargeable AA batteries, with all that power, the A1100 IS can get pretty hungry. You may even want to add an external flash for more versatility.

Comparison with Casio EXILIM EX-FS10

The FS10 is missing an optical viewfinder which always affects my decision on which camera to buy. Otherwise it’s also a speedy camera that looks good. The inner-zoom lens is also a nice feature to keep the FS10 slim and trim.

Pros
  • +
    Optical viewfinder
  • +
    Digic 4 processor
  • +
    Full PictBridge support
Cons
  • -
    Eats batteries
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras Overall Under $150
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot A1100 IS
Recommended with
  • Canon HF-DC1 High Power Flash for Canon Powershot Digital Cameras
    $93.89 @ Amazon.com
  • Canon CBK4-300 Rechargeable Battery and Charger Kit for PowerShot Cameras
    $39.99 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: No
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Casio EXILIM EX-FS10

Super fast shooting and the ability to pick the best image from a sequence of shots makes the Casio FS10 a must-have camera for those who never want to miss a key moment, at a reasonable price.

When viewing your images on the 2.5-inch high-performance Super Clear LCD screen, choose your favorite one while in the Slow Motion View mode and save it alone, discarding the rest.

Take advantage of the FS10’s speed when taking video too! Record action at 30fps at the highest resolution, or at 210, 420, or even 1000 frames per second at a reduced resolution.

Looking good in it’s sleek, stylish body, this 9.1mp Ultra Compact camera has a 3x inner-zoom lens that makes it easy to set up and capture images with ease any time your creativity is inspired.

Pros
  • +
    Super fast stills and video
  • +
    Super fast selection modes and anti-shake
  • +
    Thin and stylish
Cons
  • -
    Not much wide angle
  • -
    Lacks a viewfinder
Casio EXILIM EX-FS10 is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras Overall Under $150
Where to buy
Casio EXILIM EX-FS10
Recommended with
  • Maximal Power DB CAS NP-60 Replacement Battery for Casio Digital Camera/Camcorder (Black)
    $9.14 @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: No
  • Resolution: 9.1MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
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