There are many reasons you’d want to get a good camera for your kid. Perhaps, you want them to break their addiction to their smartphone, pick up a new hobby or you simply wanted to add more fun to their lives with a gift of a camera.
Whatever your motivation, your choice of a camera is super awesome. Naturally, and depending on your budget, the plan is to get the best camera for kids.
It is one thing to make up your mind to get the best camera for your kid; it is a different ball game to get a truly remarkable camera. Generally, this is down to the confusion you would encounter when you have so many wonderful-looking cameras to choose from.
Some people get so bogged down by the idea of picking the perfect camera they miss the point of buying it in the first place which is to give your kid a new fun thing to do.
Picking the best camera for kids shouldn’t be a painful exercise even if there are hundreds of cameras on the shelf. This review has done the hard job of researching the best and presenting 13 of them for you to make a choice.
First, though, let’s look at some camera-shopping considerations for kids. If you are new to this, pay attention to these tips or you might end up throwing good money at a gadget that would ultimately disappoint you and your kid.
Things to Consider before Buying the Best Camera for kids
There are four broad categories of factors that determine the type of camera you should buy for your kid. These are:
- The age of your kid
- How interested they are in the whole idea
- What the camera is to be used for.
- The cost of the camera
Camera size – Some might think the size of the camera should be proportional to the age or size of the kid. In other words, a bigger camera for bigger or older kids. Actually, the reverse is the rule as far as age-appropriate cameras for kids are concerned.
You should choose bigger cameras for younger or smaller kids. The big size makes it easy for them to hold since their fine and gross motor skills are still developing.
Your best bet is to get cameras with handles so the kids can hold them easily.
For older kids and teenagers, the size doesn’t really matter.
Design and built – Clumsiness is part of a kid’s life. The younger they are, the easier it is for them to drop things. The camera you choose must be able to withstand the several falls it would be subjected to.
Also, remember to go for brightly-colored cameras for the younger kids.
Preteens and teenagers won’t mind the colors as long as the camera is beautifully designed and functional.
For older kids, sturdy cameras are also important. Here though, emphasis should be more on whether the camera is dustproof and waterproof. This is because older kids tend to spend more time outdoors with the camera.
Ease of use – To eliminate frustration for your young kid, make sure the camera is not hard to operate. For instance, the buttons should be big making it easy for them to press down on them.
Again, stay away from cameras with too many buttons unless your kid is a preteen or teenager. Young kids find too many buttons complicated and this can take the fun out of it.
Display/viewfinder – The display is an essential part of modern cameras. This is one of the innovations that have made it possible for people of all ages to pick up the photography bug.
Never get a camera with a viewfinder for younger kids. They find it confusing and difficult to use in many cases. Always settle for a camera with a display no matter the size of the display.
Older kids, especially teenagers, won’t have a problem with a viewfinder or display.
How keen your kid is – There are several aspects to this, but they all boil them to the kind of camera you would get if you kid just wants to have fun versus the kid who is really interested in photography as a hobby or wants to make a career of it.
For kids with long-term interest, all the vital components that help to make good photos in the camera must be top-notch. Things like the size of the lens, shutter speed, frames per second rating, and sensors must be the best at least in their age category.
But if your kid just wants to have fun over the holidays with the camera, you don’t have to burst a vein looking too closely at these details. There are very good basic gadgets that would fit the bill nicely.
Accessories – Depending on what your kid needs the camera for and the type of camera, you might have to buy accessories such as:
- Camera case
- Film for Polaroid camera
- Printer for digital camera
- Extra memory cards
However, you shouldn’t get too hung up on those accessories and their impact on your budget. You might not need all of them especially if your kid doesn’t want to become a professional in the future.
Photo or Video – These days, most of the best cameras for kids come with both video and photo functionality. If your kid is more interested in simply snapping pictures, there is no point getting them one with a video option. That should save you a bit of money.
However, kids who love adventures would prefer cameras with video functions. Many action cameras are for older kids because they can be too complicated for the younger ones.
That said, you should decide which one best fits the situation before choosing a camera for your kid. How about asking your kid their opinion to be very sure what they want?
Digital or instant camera – Cameras for kids these days are digital cameras. The old-fashion instant cameras are making a strong comeback in recent times though.
The fascination with an instant camera is understandable. The kid would immediately see the result of their effort and gleefully show it around to whoever is close.
However, you have to factor in the cost of getting the films in the case of an instant camera. It can’t be too much fun if your kid has to think about not wasting the limited shots available.
With the digital camera, your kid can snap as many shots as they want. Nothing has to be printed. And besides, there is much leeway for creativity while editing the shots before printing them at a convenient time.
Cost – Ultimately, your budget would play a big part in your choice. What to note here is simply this: there is no direct correlation between cost and the quality of the camera.
Sometimes, a camera is costly simply because of the brand name. And the reverse holds true for some very cheap but quality cameras from not-so-popular brands.
The cameras in this review are very affordable even the relatively high-end ones. This goes to prove you don’t have to break the bank to get quality cameras.
Top 13 Best Camera for Kids: Review
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
Instant cameras are in vogue again and Fujifilm’s smoky white Instax Mini 9 is the perfect camera for kids who want to see their shots immediately.
The camera comes with several features making it instantly likable and giving it the feel of a high-end camera for kids. Some of these features include a selfie mirror beside the lens to help in taking great selfies; a unique mode for taking bright pictures with softer impression; flashing LED that help you choose the right aperture setting; and a lens adapter for perfect close-up shots.
Instax Mini is also able to determine the optimal light levels for taking pictures automatically. This makes the 1/60 seconds shutter-speed camera great in different weather conditions.
2. VTech Kidizoom Camera
VTech’s Kids zoom Camera is a sturdy, strong shooter that can withstand the rough treatment to expect from kids between 3 and 8 years. This blue camera packs lots of photo effects and apps giving kids the chance to explore the limits of their creativity.
The camera comes with 2.0 MP lenses that can capture 160×120 resolution videos; a 4X digital zoom; built-in memory and an SD slot for more storage options; 4 photo collage templates; and over 35 fun photo effects.
Also available in pink to thrill the young ladies, it is a great selfie camera with an automatic face detection feature and a voice recorder to capture audio while recording.
3. PANNOVO YT001 Mini Digital Camera
PANNOVO’s Mini Digital Camera is designed specifically with kids in mind. The pastel blue and yellow color combination gives it a soft, fragile look. But it is a strong and durable affair that can withstand any rough stuff thrown at it.
It features a 1.5″ display and 5MP lens. Amazingly for such a small camera, it has a display resolution of 1920x1080p for crystal clear videos. The camera comes with an in-built memory of 1GB that can store up to 800 pictures. However, the memory can be expanded to 8GB with an SD card.
The camera would make a great birthday present for kids or simply a gift to prod them into exploring their photography skills.
4. Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera
This digital camera is so cute kids would fall in love with it immediately. It is all soft colors, round edges with smooth curves and some amazing features.
There are over 50 fun effects to customize pictures, sounds, and fun animations. Your kid would also be able to create instant short stories with it.
Made for kids ages 3 – 7, the easy-to-hold and operate camera features a USB cable, easy controls, sharp display, and a projector. It is powered by 4 AA batteries and kids would have lots of fun creating and sharing their own shows using the projector.
5. Suntak HD Mini Digital Video Camera
Preteens and teenagers would find this Suntak HD Mini Digital Video camera amazing with its simple operation and ability to create photos and videos that have the look and feel of a professional. Actually, it is a great digital camera for beginners.
It features an 18MP lens capable of capturing photos and videos easily. With a display resolution of 720p, kids are guaranteed crystal sharp images on the 2.7″ LCD display.
It also comes with an anti-shake, face detection, smile-capture features among others. It automatically adjusts the lens to capture better images in low-light conditions.
There is enough space in the 32GB max card slot to store videos and photos. A USB cable is provided to transfer files to a computer to create storage space for new videos and photos.
6. VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
Action cameras for kids don’t come any better than VTech’s Kidizoom Action Cam. The waterproof action camera is suitable for kids between 4 and 9 years.
It has all the important accessories you would expect from an action camera for kids including a wrist strap; 3 mounts to attach it to bicycles, helmets, skateboards, arm, etc.; and waterproof case.
Other notable features include the 1.4″ LCD screen; microSD slot to expand the memory and storage capability; and a rechargeable Li-ion battery capable of over 2.5 hours of non-stop video recording and photo-taking.
It also features games, fun photo effects, multiple picture frames, photo filters. Photos and videos can be downloaded to the camera using the included USB cable.
That sounds like a lot. The best part is, it is sold at a very pocket-friendly price.
7. Ourlife Kids Waterproof Camera
If you desire a cheaper action camera than VTech’s (#6) above that is just as awesome, Ourlife Kids Waterproof Camera is a wonderful option.
The pink action camera comes with all the accessories all decent action cameras must have. These include a neck and wrist strap, fastening strap, waterproof case, 2 mounts, and 1 USB cable among others.
It features a 1.77″ LCD screen with an HD video resolution of 1280×720 megapixels and a 5 MP camera lens. It also features a built-in microphone; shoots 30 frames per second; and has a microSD slot with a maximum capacity of 32GB as extra storage.
The pink eco-friendly action camera would make a cool gift for your daughter especially if she is between 4 to 12 years.
8. DROGRACE Children Waterproof Digital Video Action Camera
DROGRACE action camera is the third awesome action camera of this review and it is even cheaper than the two above. Take nothing away from it because it is cheaper, it is just as good.
It comes with the usual accessories like mounts for a helmet, bicycles, etc; 2 helmet belts; hand strap; waterproof casing; and USB cable to transfer and download files between the camera and smartphone or pc.
The 1.77″ LCD screen has a video resolution of 1920×1080 to view the shots of the 5MP primary lens. There is a microSD slot with a maximum capacity of 32GB to store digital files temporary. The rechargeable lithium battery can provide 1.5 hours of continuous recording time.
It is also available in a camouflage color if you don’t fancy the pink version.
9. Akaso Ek7000 4k WiFi Sports Action Camera
The Akaso Sports Action camera is a more sophisticated action camera than the three above with more features and comes at a slightly higher price. That is one reason it is recommended for teenage kids and smart younger kids.
It comes with all the usual accessories like mounts and straps. The 12MP lens projects pictures and videos on the 4K resolution HD display. Videos and photos would look like the work of a professional.
Other features of the 25 frames per second camera include a built-in WiFi, a wrist remote control, two 1050mAh batteries each capable of 90 minutes continues recording and an HDMI port.
10. APEMAN 4K Waterproof Action Camera
This APEMAN’s digital action camera can hold its own among high-end action cameras. Teenagers would have tons of fun with the great features in the camera.
It comes with a fixed base and all the usual accessories like bicycle stand, 3M adhesive, one clip, 3 switch supports, a waterproof case, tape wire rope, etc. If that sounds too much, an illustrated manual for guidance is included.
The camera packs a 20MP lens. Your kid can view uber sharp videos and images on the 4k resolution, 2” display. This is a 30 fps max camera with in-built WiFi and two 1080mAh rechargeable lithium batteries.
Everything kids need in a full multimedia gadget is provided in this digicam and it doesn’t even cost that much to get one.
11. Discovery Kids USB Compatible Digital Camera
The design, styling, and finishing of this digital camera show it is specifically made for kids. The unique grips are specially made to protect the camera from falls and rough-handling by kids.
Colored in soft blue, green and smokey white, the camera features a full color 1.5″ LCD display, a 16 MP internal memory, a USB cable to transfer photos and videos to a pc, and it is able to process full-motion Avi 640x480p resolution video clips on the display.
It requires 4 AA batteries to operate and comes with an installation CD for computers.
If you need to get a super-cute, durable digital camera for your 3+ kid without having to spend too much, Discovery’s digital camera ticks all the right boxes.
12. VTech Kidizoom Duo Selfie Camera
The Duo Selfie Camera by VTech is a cute, pink camera specially designed for young ladies between 3 – 9 years. But boys too could enjoy its awesome features if they don’t mind the pink color though.
This digital camera is an upgrade on the Kidizoom camera reviewed earlier (#2). It comes with both front and rear cameras to take great shots and selfies. With the photo optimization feature, kids can take multiple shots and the camera automatically selects the best ones.
Other features of this durable camera include parental controls settings for the in-built games; 2.4” TFT screen; a 256 memory and microSD slot to expand the memory and for more storage; and video and voice recording with 5 voicing-changing effects.
The camera operates on disposable 4 AA batteries. No charging is required.
13. Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera
This is the priciest gadget in this review of the best kid’s cameras. Fisher-Price were able to design a super-cool camera that is obviously for kids while packing some awesome features only kids would truly appreciate.
The camera is built to survive multiple drops. It comes with a 1.4” color screen and lens with 4x zoom capability. The dual eye viewfinder ensures quality image even in low-light conditions. It has a pc-downloadable software that allows kids to edit photos and filters after transferring the photos to a computer.
Storage space for up to 2,000 pictures is taken care of by the 256MB memory while power is supplied by 4 AAA batteries.
Your preschool kid would definitely have the time of their life as they romp outdoors honing their photography skills.
Guide to Kid’s Age Group Camera Shopping
It is possible you would want to do some independent research for a kiddy digital camera because you didn’t find what you need in the review above. This age-group guide to getting a camera for kids should aid you in making your research less time-consuming:
Ages 2 – 5
For kids in this age bracket, there is no need to stress it. Simply make sure the camera feels like a toy they can play with. You are looking at something very colorful, with no sharp edges and very durable.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money here.
Ages 5 – 8
Here, you want to get a camera that is durable. So think lightweight as this would surely not get broken easily when it falls down. Like in the previous age group, you don’t have to invest too much money getting something that is complicated. Simplicity and easy to understand and operate are key here.
Ages 8 – preteens
For this age group, durability is not as important as in the two groups above. Kids at this point have a good idea about the value of gadgets. They know how to take care of things except in instances where accidents occur.
If your child has learned not to throw gadgets on a whim, you can splurge a bit of cash on getting them a camera with more features.
Most teenagers can operate complicated gadgets. Action and DSLR cameras are the most suitable for this age group. The basic cameras would simply not hold their interest for long.
Understanding Basic Camera Terms
If this is your first foray into the world of digital cameras, it is likely some of the words you see frequently as you do your research don’t mean much to you. This is normal. Most newbies — and to be fair, we all were newbies once upon a time — encounter the same problem.
Knowing these terms could be vital as they can make the difference between wasting money and getting good value for your money.
WiFi digital camera – Chances are, you are going to get a digital camera for your kid. All the cameras in the review are digital.
In its simplest terms, digital cameras use electric power. Some of them can be connected to the Internet with the integrated WiFi feature. If your kid loves sharing photos on social media, they would love you to bits for getting them a WiFi-enabled digital camera.
Instant camera – They are also known as Polaroid after the name of the company that developed the first instant camera.
The instant printing of the image is the distinguishing feature of these cameras. They can also be digital if they use batteries.
Lens – this is a specially made piece of glass situated in front of the camera that captures and directs the light from an object on to the film. The quality of the picture taken depends largely on the type and size of the lens in the camera.
The size of the lens is measured in megapixels (MP). Generally, the higher the lens size, the better the quality of the picture. But, other factors come into play in the final determination of picture quality.
Aperture – The aperture works together with the lens to determine the quality of the images. It is situated inside the lens and has a shutter that opens up to let in light when you press the button to take a picture.
The aperture mostly affects the background of the image. In simple terms, narrow apertures which let in less light, produce deep backgrounds while wider apertures tend to create shallow backgrounds.
Camera apertures are measured using the ‘f’ stop scale. It is an inverse scale where lower numbers imply wider apertures. For instance, an f/1.4 aperture is wider than an f/2.8 aperture. Conversely, an f/8 aperture is smaller than an f/4 aperture and so on.
Frames per second (FPS) – this refers to the speed a camera can capture images. Lower-end cameras, especially the cameras for younger kids, have lower fps than the more sophisticated ones.
You should purchase a camera with a high fps if your kid needs to shoot or snap moving objects or else the photos would be blurry. Action cameras usually have a combination of decent fps, aperture size, and lens for sharper pictures.
ISO – The ISO rating on a camera refers to the sensitivity of the camera’s image sensor to light.
In normal light conditions, for instance on a bright sunny day or in a brightly-lit room, the ISO should be set at normal. That is about 100. Only increase the ISO value in the settings in low-light conditions.
When the ISO is too high, the picture becomes grainy. Fortunately, most of the best cameras for kids come with an autofocus feature to automatically set this value at the optimal level.
Top 5 Camera-care and Maintenance tips
Always use the camera bag – Putting the camera inside its case when it is not in use is one of the easiest things to do. But it is surprising the number of kids who don’t bother to do this. They would rather hold it in their hands like a smartphone or jam it down their backpack, purses, etc, like that.
This is bad practice. Apart from the body and even lenses getting scratched easily, specks of dust and moisture can easily get into it damaging some delicate components.
Cleaning display and lens – It is a terrible idea to clean the display and lens with just any cloth. This is likely to either make the lens and display dirtier or even leave scratch marks on them depending on the type of cloth.
Always use a lens tissue to do it. You can also use a microfiber cloth, specially-made lens brushes or air blower to remove dust. These items can be found in most camera stores. Some even come as part of the package when you buy the camera.
For smudges that refuse disappear from the display, there are commercial cleaners you could buy and use.
Remove the batteries – modern cameras for kids use either alkaline or lithium batteries. These batteries can get corrosive if they are left in the camera for long periods without using the camera.
Check your kid’s camera at least once every two months for any sign of corrosion in the battery compartment. If you notice some, carefully rub it off with a pencil eraser. Don’t use something hard for this task.
Switch off the camera before doing anything – There are many things you’d want to do with a camera prior to using it such as disconnecting cables, swapping batteries, changing memory card and so on. Before doing any of that, ensure it is switched off.
Leaving it on can damage some components or reduce the efficiency of some of the features. In any case, your kid would end up with a gadget that is either damaged or performs below its best.
Use good memory cards – Low-quality memory cards can affect the performance of the camera. The speed at which images are transferred to the memory card depends on the quality of the card. This, in turn, affects the performance of the camera.
Your kid could lose several quality shots because the memory card is not fast enough to handle high volume shots.
And if you have a good memory card, use the following tips to take care of it:
- Keep the card away from dust
- Always keep it in a protective case when it is not in the camera
- Keep it away from heat
- Never keep it near the vicinity of magnets or magnetic sources like strong audio speakers and TV.
Before heading out to get a camera for your kid, it might be a good idea to let them know. You never know, they just might know a thing or two about cameras and what they have in mind.
Of course, if it is going to be a surprise gift, asking them is out of the question. In that case, you won’t go wrong following the tips here. Any of the gadgets in this review of the best camera for kids is guaranteed to make your kid squeal with happiness.
However, make sure to take their age into consideration. You don’t want to get something too basic or too complicated for them. That would ruin all the fun.