It wasn’t that many years ago that $400 would buy you a 2-megapixel digital camera with a basic feature set. Nowadays, as little as $200 will get you a P&S with 7-10 megapixels and advanced features like anti-shake stabilization. But only one sub-$200 camera throws in an electronic viewfinder and a 10x zoom: the Fujifilm Finepix S700. This affordable superzoom which offers a host of well thought-out features usually only found on much more expensive cameras, including a magnificent 38-380mm (film equivalent) Fujinon lens, Picture Stabilization function, a brilliant 2.5”, 230K pixel LCD monitor for reviewing your pictures, both low and high ISO capabilities, AA battery capability, and custom white balance. This makes it perfect for shooting pets, young children, or just about any other task you assign it to.
My Best In Class Pick
Fujifilm FinePix S700
Fujifilm Finepix S700. Although not as good at low-light photos as it’s more expensive, Super CCD chip-equipped brothers, the S700 is far from the red-headed stepchild of the Finepix line. In fact, its feature set is outstanding given the price point. The Kodak has more megapixels, but the Fuji’s 7.1 MPs is still enough for 13”x19” prints or fairly aggressive cropping, and neither the Coolpix L12 nor the V1003 can come anywhere near the Fuji’s 10x zoom, which is the difference between average and outstanding. Indeed, to get a superzoom EVF camera with a high-resolution LCD monitor and plenty of other bells and whistles for under 200 clams is impressive, especially since the faux-SLR styling will make others think you paid twice as much.
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S700
Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices
|Product||Fujifilm FinePix S700||Nikon Coolpix L12||Kodak EasyShare V1003|
Close Image Stabilization Available Image stabilization features are designed to reduce the blur that results from normal, minute shaking of a lens due to hand-held shooting. However, image stabilization does not prevent motion blur caused by the movement of the subject or by extreme movements of the camera.
|Image Stabilization Type||Digital||Optical||Digital|
|Max ISO Setting||1600||1600||1600|
Close LCD Screen Size The LCD Screen Size is the length of the miniature LCD monitor measured diagonally.
Close Sensor Size Most digital cameras, even most digital SLRs, have sensors that are smaller than a standard frame of 35 mm film (36 x 24 mm). These smaller sensors have a number of effects on the captured image and the use of the camera, including an increased depth of field, decreased light sensitivity, increased pixel noise, and increased degree of enlargement.
|7.2 MP||7.1 MP||10 MP|
Close Face Detection Available Face detection technology will try to set the focus, exposure, and color balance so that faces appear sharp, well-exposed, and with the proper color.
Close Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent) The 35 mm equivalent focal length is a measure that indicates the angle of view of a particular combination of a camera lens and the sensor size. The term originates from the time when the vast majority of photography was done with 35 mm film. On any 35 mm film camera, a 30 mm or less lens is considered a wide-angle lens.
|38-380 mm||35-105 mm||36-108 mm|
Nikon Coolpix L12
Intended as a no-brainer camera, the Coolpix L12 is nevertheless the top entry in Nikon’s entry-level roster. It combines a 7.1 MP sensor with 3x zoom and Vibration Reduction – a feature found in many of Nikon’s pro lenses – and an Anti-Shake button which activates VR, ups the ISO, and turns on something Nikon calls Best Shot Selector simultaneously. 15 scene modes make it easier to point and shoot and come away with a good shot in varying conditions, and in-camera editing capabilities include D-Lighting (which can save poorly-lit shots from the delete button), Face Priority AF (which enhances group shots), and in-camera cropping (saves time in post-production). The L12 can use SDHC cards, goes up to ISO 1600, and takes AA batteries. The biggest downside? A 2.5” LCD with somewhat poor resolution – only 115k, or half the detail of the Finepix S700.
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How to Pick Digital Cameras
- For Travel Photos
- For Photos of Children or Pets
- For Action or Sports Photos
- For Photos in Low Light