Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Expert (9 Recommendations)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
November 8, 2007 Updated: December 12, 2007
Overview

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.

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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.

Fujifilm FinePix S700 is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Where to buy
Fujifilm FinePix S700
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.0x
  • Resolution: 7.1MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.6 - 2.2s
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Fujifilm FinePix S700
2
Nikon Coolpix L12
3
Kodak EasyShare V1003
Customer Rating
Price $159.99
Optical Zoom 10x 3x 3x
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Image Stabilization Available
yes yes yes
Image Stabilization Type Digital Optical Digital
Max ISO Setting 1600 1600 1600
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LCD Screen Size
2.5" 2.5" 2.5"
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Sensor Size
7.2 MP 7.1 MP 10 MP
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Face Detection Available
No Yes No
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
38-380 mm 35-105 mm 36-108 mm
2
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.

Nikon Coolpix L12 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Where to buy
Nikon Coolpix L12
  • Best Price: $159
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3
Kodak Easyshare V1003

The V1003 packs 10 megapixels into a fairly compact body and keeps the price nice. Its zoom is nothing to write home about, only 3x, but it has a 2.5” display, video mode, 32mb of internal memory, a top ISO of 1600, digital image stabilization, 22 scene modes, and a custom settings mode which stores flash, white balance, ISO, and resolution settings – a nice, user-friendly touch that’s rare for a camera at this price point. The V1003 also has something called Perfect Touch, which is supposed to increase contrast and optimize brightness for more detailed pictures. If you plan on going small but printing big, the V1003 might be your cup of tea, just be forewarned that this many megapixels stuffed into a tiny sensor can result in significant noise at all but the lowest ISO settings.

Kodak EasyShare V1003 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Photos of Children or Pets Under $200
Where to buy
Kodak EasyShare V1003
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