How To Choose the Best Cameras For Kids

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Kids’ intuition when it comes to operating digital technology is no longer shocking, but most electronic devices aren’t built kid-proof yet. When you hand over your smartphone to a rambunctious child you always runs the risk of a shattered screen, and letting them play with your digital camera often results in a dysfunctional zoom or sticky buttons. Don’t fear. If your kid is a camera junkie already, there are plenty of kid-proof models made especially to combat these results.

Vtech Kidizoom

The first camera to make this list is for very young kids, for very entry-level young photographers. It retails at less than $80, so it’s a good choice if you’re not sure your child will take to photography but want to give him the option of trying it out.

• 4x digital zoom with 1.3-megapixel resolution
• Has game function with easy user interface
• Shoots video (though not HD)
• Durable, sturdy casing

• Susceptible to blurry images / digital noise
• Screen a bit small for young children

Buy it here

Nikon Coolpix S31

This kid-friendly version of a very grown-up camera is easy to use and comes in fun color choices of yellow, blue, or pink. Retailing at less than $120, it’s a good option if your child is just beginning to show an interest in cameras.

• Waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof
• 720p HD video capability
• 10-megapixel CCD sensor with 3x optical zoom
• Rechargeable batteries
• Creative frame and filter options

• Screen difficult to see underwater
• Delay in shutter release
• Significant digital noise in low-light situations

Buy it here

Olympus SZ–16

If your child loves the great outdoors and you suspect he will be interested in long-zoom wildlife photography, this Olympus model could be your best bet. It’s a bit pricier than other models (roughly $200), but with a myriad of high-powered features, it has plenty of room to grow with your child.

• 16-megapixel CCD sensor with 24-megapixel optical zoom
• Can shoot at ISO 1600 (functions well in low-light situations)
• Full 1080p HD video capability
• Range of Magic Art Filters, including tilt-shift, color correct, and fisheye lens

• Recording delay in burst mode
• Deleting images is cumbersome
• Digital noise in extreme zoom photos

Buy it here

Sony Cyber-shot DSC–TF1

Kids love this Sony for its wide range of Instagram-like filter options, including panorama, partial color, and tilt-shift. It performs on-par with the Pentax WG–10, but it’s a bit more stylish for fashion-forward photo apprentices.

• 16-megapixel CCD sensor with 4x optical zoom
• 720p HD video capability
• Weatherproof, waterproof to 33 feet, dustproof, and shockproof
• Rechargeable batteries
• 2.7-inch LCD viewing screen

• Low-contrast screen makes it difficult to see true image quality
• Difficult to focus in low-light situations
• Does not include necessary Micro-SD card

Buy it here

Pentax WG–10

This model is still easy to use, but offers more manual options for kids who are a bit older and have a burgeoning interest in photography.

• Waterproof to 33-feet, shockproof, weatherproof, dustproof, and crushproof up to 220 pounds
• 720p HD video capability
• 14-megapixel CCD sensor with 5x optical zoom
• Rechargeable batteries
• Performs well in low-light settings

• Card slot has tendency to open underwater
• Lacks internal microphone jack
• No internal GPS function
• Only 2.7-inch LCD viewing screen

Buy it here

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