Expert Recommendation

.
Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $200
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
August 7, 2008 Updated: August 14, 2008
Overview

The Nikon Coolpix P60 is the affordable best in class compact digital camera for travel. It’s a versatile camera with an eye-level viewfinder (100% framing accuracy) that uses AA-type batteries, which is great when traveling as you can pick up alkaline batteries if your batteries are discharged.

Best badge
My Best In Class Pick
Nikon Coolpix P60

Last year Nikon launched performance oriented P series (P50 & image stabilized P5000) compact cameras. This camera is an upgrade of the initially launched P50. The Nikon P60 (5x zoom, 8Megapixel) is the first compact camera in its class to use an electronic eye-level viewfinder (EVF), which is great for framing as it is 100% accurate. Typical optical viewfinders (OVF) show only 80-85% of actual photo captured.

EVFs are helpful for shooting with a stable posture and providing a sense of privacy while framing a shot.

The camera comes with useful features like Face-priority AF (i.e. Face Detection), In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, D-Lighting (to brighten up details in shadows). Power is supplied by readily available AA-size batteries. The camera produces images with a lot of detail and good colors. The build quality is good. Nevertheless the lack of a wide-angle lens (than typical 35mm ones) mars this otherwise excellent travel camera.

Comparison with Canon PowerShot A590 IS

The Nikon P60 has more zoom and a more accurate eye-level viewfinder.If the eye-level viewfinder accuracy is not important to you, the Canon PowerShot A590 IS is the better choice because of its longer battery life.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8

The Nikon Coolpix P60 has an eye-level viewfinder for easy framing and better image quality, especially in low light with lower noise reduction artifacts. However, if a wider angle view is important then the Panasonic LZ8 is preferable.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Good resolution & zoom range
  • +
    100% accurate eye-level viewfinder (EVF)
  • +
    CCD shift image stabilization
  • +
    Well built
  • +
    cheapest camera with electronic EVF
Cons
  • -
    Wide end of the lens could have been more wider
  • -
    Lower resolution LCD (153K pixels)
  • -
    Moderate response times
  • -
    Poor battery life
Nikon Coolpix P60 is the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Nikon Coolpix P60
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • Size: 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.4 in.
  • Battery Life: 190 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
Best badge
Nikon Coolpix P60
2
Canon PowerShot A590 IS
3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8
Customer Rating
Price $369.00 $169.00
Size (W x H x D) 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.4 in. 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.6 in. 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.
Easy to Use Yes Yes Yes
Max Image Resolution 3264 x 2448 pixels 3264 x 2448 pixels 3264 x 2448 pixels
?
Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.4 sec 0.5 - 0.7 sec 0.4 - 1.2 sec
Power to First Shot Time 2.8 sec 1.8 sec 2.4 sec
?
Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
36 mm 35 mm 32 mm
?
Max Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
180 mm 140 mm 160 mm
Optical Zoom 5.0x 4.0x 5.0x
?
Image Stabilization Available
Yes Yes Yes
Auto Focus Assist Light Available Yes Yes Yes
?
Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/3.6 f/2.6 f/3.3
?
Max Aperture (tele-photo)
f/4.5 f/5.5 f/5.9
?
Viewfinder Available
Yes Yes No
Viewfinder Type Electronic (100% accurate) Optical (80% accuracy) -
LCD Screen Resolution 153000 pixels 115000 pixels 230000 pixels
Battery Type AA-size (x2) AA-size (x2) AA-size (x2)
Battery Life 250 shots 450 shots 470 shots
Image Quality
Low light (High ISO) Performance Good Good Average
Lens Quality (Sharpness) Good Good Good
Fine details Good Good Good
2
Canon PowerShot A590 IS

The Canon A590IS is the successor (with more resolution & a reduction in the VGA movie frame rates) of the highly successful Canon A570IS. The camera produces images with minimal processing artifacts, rich colors and lot of details in auto mode. Its optical viewfinder (OVF) will help in extending the battery life (i.e. one can switch off LCD). OVF also helps for shooting with a stable conventional posture. Its predecessor, the Canon A570IS, received a “Highly Recommended” rating at DPREVIEW, one of the most popular camera reviewing sites. It’s a good camera to use when traveling.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8

The Canon A590 IS has better battery life, as it uses an optical viewfinder, and better image quality, especially in low light.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Optical viewfinder
  • +
    Image stabilization
  • +
    Full manual controls (A/S/M modes)
Cons
  • -
    Lowest resolution LCD (115K dots)
  • -
    Slow flash recycling.
  • -
    Wide end of the lens could have been more wider
Canon PowerShot A590 IS is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot A590 IS
  • Best Price: $369
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Resolution: 8.0MP
  • Size: 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.6 in.
  • Battery Life: 450 shots
  • 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
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8

Panasonic has been the first digital camera manufacturer to introduce optical image stabilization in all of its cameras. Its LZ series offers compact digital camera with long-zoom. The LZ8 is equipped with a wide angle 5x zoom lens. The rich feature set includes Face-Detection and Intelligent AUTO mode (it automatically sets the appropriate scene mode according to the picture you are about to take). The image quality is good.

Comparison with Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8 has a wider angle view, better manual control features (aperture/shutter priority modes), and higher resolution LCD screen.

Pros
  • +
    High resolution LCD (230K dots)
  • +
    Optical image stabilization
  • +
    Wider angle view
  • +
    Useful Aperture/shutter priority modes
Cons
  • -
    No optical view finder (poor battery life)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8 is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8
  • Best Price: $169
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 8.1MP
  • Size: 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.
  • Battery Life: 470 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
4
Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS

Kodak is well known for making easy-to-use cameras. Just put the camera on easy share dock and press a button to transfer them to a computer. That is why their cameras have “EasyShare” prefix in their name. Kodak Z1085IS has a high resolution 10 Megapixel sensor, 5x zoom and runs on AA batteries. It has a great movie mode too (HD video, allows zooming during movie capture). It also offers a Manual mode (you choose both the aperture and shutter speeds).

Pros
  • +
    High resolution sensor
  • +
    Bit more zoom (5x) than normally available in this class of cameras.
  • +
    HD video with zoom
Cons
  • -
    Low resolution LCD (115K dots)
  • -
    Slow response
  • -
    Corner softness (lens)
Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS is one of the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel Photos Under $200
Where to buy
Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • Size: 3.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 in.
  • Battery Life: 250 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Good by CNET.com

How It Works

You tell us your budget, intended uses, and desired features. We show you personalized recommendations from unbiased experts to quickly identify the best digital camera for you.

Advertisement

best hdtv Looking for an HDTV? BestInClass.com also provides expert recommendations for the best HDTV for you.