If you have a budding photographer on your hands, it might be time to begin researching the best camera for kids. There are literally hundreds of options available on the market, so sorting through them and coming up with the best can seem like a daunting task. Below, we will discuss what makes a camera kid-friendly and review ten of the best cameras for kids that we have found on the market.
Best Camera for Kids FAQ
1. How Do I Know If My Child Is Ready for a Camera?
Does your child have an eye for detail? Are they forever admiring the beauty around them? If you have a child who often comments that something looks "cool" or "pretty," and seems to be very stimulated by the visuals they are exposed to, they might be a budding photog. Ask them if they would like to learn to take photographs and then discuss the responsibilities associated with owning a camera.
Before a child has a camera of their own, they need to know the importance of keeping a camera safe and clean. They should also understand that some things are appropriate to take pictures of (the dog, for example) and some things are not (what the dog leaves in the yard).
2. What Should You Look for in Determining the Best Camera for Kids?
Look for a camera that will fit well with your child's size and ability. A seven- or eight-year-old child will require something lightweight and bulky to fit into their clumsier hands while a young teen might prefer a more slim model or a heavier camera with more "bells and whistles."
Anyone's first camera should be pretty straightforward and easy to use. Look for a camera with simple functions and/or a tutorial for when your child is ready to advance into more complex photo taking.
Also look for a camera that has an adequate zoom range. Because your child will want to take great photos right away, you want them to be able to get photos from far away, if needed. It can be frustrating for a child to try to take pictures of a bird, for example, only to have the bird fly away when they get too close. A zoom feature allows your child to take photographs from a comfortable distance. The more photos they take now, the more they will have to be proud of, and then the more skills they can build from as they age up.
3. Should You Look for Digital or Film as a First Camera Option?
Film cameras are almost obsolete. As such, they tend to be more affordable, so parents are often drawn to them as a first camera purchase. After all, if they break, then there is not as much money wasted. There is a drawback, however.
Children tend to respond best to instant gratification. Most film cameras will not provide this. For that reason, most experts would agree that a digital camera would be best. A digital camera gives a child the ability to instantly see the fruits of their labor.
The exception to the no-film rule is with instant film. These are also great cameras for kids because they provide the same instant gratification, but also a "print" of their photo which they can use to decorate their bedrooms, lockers, or other personal places.
4. When Is a Child Old Enough for Their Own Camera?
Most kids are old enough to properly care for a basic camera by the age of seven. If your child is able to hold a camera and use the viewfinder or LCD screen, can read the instructions necessary to take a quality photo, and understands what is and is not an appropriate photo subject, they are old enough. If you feel your child is not yet to the point of having a real camera, you can still encourage their love of photography by gifting them a toy camera or viewfinder, which will set the scene for a transition into a real camera of their own in a few years.
5. What Other Accessories Will They Need?
You should make sure that your child has everything they will need for their new camera before they begin taking photographs. This includes memory cards or film cassettes, waterproof housing for the camera if available, a camera strap, a camera bag, chargers, batteries, and more.
You might also consider buying your child a tripod if they are going to do any kind of exploration with lighting or still shot photography. This is typically a skill best reserved for older kids and teens, though. It would not be an appropriate concern for a child of seven in most cases.
Taking the above buyer tips into consideration, you will be able to narrow your selection down to the best camera for kids like yours. This is the most important factor of all to pay attention to when buying any kid-geared product.
How We Reviewed
In narrowing down our list of cameras to consider when looking for the best camera for kids, we took several parameters into consideration.
We looked at the features of cameras on the market and compared and contrasted them against one another. In doing so, we were able to determine which features would be best for kids and which might be unnecessary or too complicated. We also made a list of the pros and cons of each of the cameras on our list to help us see in one glance how they compared against one another.
It is also important to consider availability when making a purchase. A person shopping for any of these cameras should be able to find one easily and at a cost that is affordable. When considering affordability, we not only considered the original cost of the camera, but its overall durability and the available warranty in case repairs are needed later.
Using these parameters, we feel that you will agree when we make our final declaration of the best camera for kids available on the market today.
Overall Price Range and Investment
In determining the best camera for kids, you will want to pay special attention to the cost of the camera. The price you are willing to spend on a camera for your child will, of course, depend on the investment you are willing to make and the responsibility level of your child. Can they handle proper care of a more expensive model? Can you afford necessary repairs if a child does inevitably damage their camera?
If you are unsure about your child's responsibility level, you might opt for a less expensive option which will be easier to replace in the circumstance of a total loss. If you know your child can handle the responsibility and you want them to have more control over their photographs, a higher resolution ability, and better editing capabilities, you might choose to invest in a higher-priced model.
The models featured on this list are available. We have used a wide price range to offer options to all parents, regardless of their budgetary needs.
Contenders for Best Camera for Kids
This camera is geared for kids ages 4-12 and is available in two different color schemes to suit your child's personality. It is small and easy to hold and comes with a waterproof case which allows for pictures and videos to be made even while swimming!
The LCD features simple step-by-step instructions to guide your child through the process of taking a photo or recording a short video. It even has games installed with facial recognition, adding a new dimension to photo taking!
Also available in two different color options, this camera has a built-in auto flash, 4x digital zoom, and dual view finders. There is a built-in MP3 player so your child can listen to their favorite music while taking pictures, which can be adorned with a variety of fun camera effects.
This camera has a battery saving feature that automatically shuts the camera off after three minutes without use. It comes with a wrist strap, a USB cable for transferring photos to a computer, and is marketed to kids between 3 and 9 years of age.
This lens-style camera attaches to a smartphone, instantly turning it into a 10x zoom digital camera. There are a variety of apps that are easily downloadable for photo editing and online photo sharing.
You can uncouple the lens from your phone after the initial install to gain a more flexible photo-taking experience. This camera is geared toward teenagers and young adults.
This camera is marketed to a very young crowd: ages 3-6. The camera helps children create and express themselves through photo taking using a creativity learning app and curriculum-based games. Through taking selfies and pictures of the world around them, children fulfill the tasks of the game, learning to take amazing photos and follow instruction all at once.
This is a cute, simply designed camera that encourages nature photography. It offers a decent photo resolution for a camera in its classification and built-in collage templates. Your child will enjoy spending time outdoors photographing nature and learning about the composition of photographs as well as the plants, creepy crawlies, and creatures they encounter along the way.
It can also record up to ten minutes of video or 800 photos on its internal memory card.
This is a fun kit that enables kids to build and then use their own 35mm film camera. In creating the camera, kids learn about the different parts of the machine and how they work together to take beautiful photos and transfer them to film.
The kit comes with all the parts needed to build the camera as well as a variety of sticker sets that can be used for exterior customization. The end result of this product is a camera that your child will be proud of and love to show off as their own creation. The photographs will be pretty neat to pass around, as well!
This is an instant film camera that also comes in a Minion design if your child is not a Hello Kitty fan. Using this camera, kids can take and then instantly develop fun photographs which they can use to decorate their personal space.
Included with the camera purchase are a ten-photo film pack, stickers, and shoulder strap. Ten photos won't go a long way, though. This is especially true if you are gifting the camera to a child who has been itching to get into the photo-taking world. It's a good idea to stock up on film cartridges right away to give your child plenty of supplies to work with as they hone their craft.
This camera is available in both blue and silver. It is geared toward kids ages ten and up and is designed to fit in an older child's hand. The sleek design of this camera would be difficult for a smaller child to hold, however, so keep that in mind when you are considering it as an option. Even older people have complained of trouble holding onto it, so maintaining a wrist band attachment would be a good idea no matter what the user's age.
The camera is compatible with Nikon's Snap Bridge app, which offers photo filters, editing capabilities, and more. It is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet and can handle a nearly six-foot drop.
This camera from Sony captures videos in up to 720p HD and features a 5x optical zoom with a 360 sweep panorama feature. It is marketed for kids ages twelve and older, so it would not be a wise choice for a young child. If you are dealing with a teenager who has an itch for the photography field, though, this might be a perfect choice.
It shoots smooth video thanks to its SteadyShot Image Stabilization feature, which also reduces blurring. Because it takes photos at 20.1 megapixels, photos come out in great quality, even when taken from a distance.
Marketed specifically to kids ages 3-9, this camera comes in three different colors. There are built-in games, funny photo effects, and side handles to help a child hold the camera for a steady photo, making it maybe the best camera for kids who are clumsy.
The 2.4" color LCD screen can take photos and video, or the camera can be reversed into selfie mode. It comes with a micro USB for photo transfer and a wrist strap.
The Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 Digital Camera is our pick for the best camera for kids. We have made this decision based on its affordability, quality of photo taking, and built-in features including panoramic shots and SteadyShot assistance.
This camera is best for kids ages twelve and older, but given proper supervision, we feel it would be a good choice for a child of a younger age as well. It doesn't have the fun or funny features that some more "kid-geared" cameras offer, but it is a great option for a child who is interested in the art of photography and wants to learn to take quality photos on a simple and easy-to-use platform.
Of course, ultimately the choice hinges on the individual child. We urge you to take your time and consider all options before deciding what is best. Nobody knows your child better than you and we know you can make the best decision.