Kids’ digital cameras give young children a fun, easy-to-use camera for real photography. These cameras provide a great introduction to photography that’s not too serious, complicated, or expensive.
When buying a kids' digital camera, it helps to understand some of the terminology associated with digital photography. Content: Before buying a kids' digital camera, it helps to understand some of the terminology associated with digital photography.
An image sensor is the chip that records a digital photo. Image sensors are small, measuring half an inch to one inch on most cameras, and they record the color of light in both bright and dark areas of a scene. Some advanced cameras have larger image sensors. Larger image sensors create better-quality photos.
Digital cameras take pictures in a way similar to traditional film cameras. Each camera has an image sensor that records the light in pixels. Pixels are tiny dots of color. A digital photo is made up of thousands of pixels, each one just one pixel big.
The LCD screen on the back of a camera allows you to see your photos immediately. Larger screens are desirable, but more expensive.
The memory card is a small storage card that’s inserted into the camera. A kids’ digital camera will require a certain style of memory card, such as microSD or SD. Each card can store several hundred photos at a minimum.
The viewfinder is the small window on the back of your camera that you look through to frame the photo. Some kids’ cameras allow you to use either the viewfinder or a live image of the scene on an LCD screen to frame the photo. Others only allow you to use the viewfinder. Some kid's cameras have two viewfinders, so your child can take pictures using any sides.
The zoom function is a feature on some cameras that allows the user to magnify the scene. Digital zooms use software to enlarge the image, which causes a loss of sharpness. An optical zoom adjusts the lens to enlarge the image and maintains sharpness.
When looking for a kids’ digital camera, you should consider the age of the child. While some older children prefer simpler toys, younger children may be ready for an advanced camera.
Up to age six
Young children can have fun with simple cameras featuring colorful plastic and age-appropriate themes. These cameras usually have two handgrips and two viewfinders. This allows young kids to hold and use the camera in a natural manner. These cameras do not create high-quality photos, so think of them more like a toy.
Ages seven to nine
Toy cameras are still popular with elementary school kids, but some kids in this age group may be ready for an action camera. Action cameras are waterproof and can handle rough treatment, which is a nice safeguard for children in this age range.
Ages 10 to 12
Kids in this age range typically are ready for an action camera. Action cameras can be mounted to bicycles or skateboards and add an element of fun to kids’ videos. Simple, inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras work for this age group, too. These cameras are easy to use, lightweight, and portable.
Action cameras and traditional digital cameras are appropriate for teenagers. Point-and-shoot cameras provide a nice introduction to photography for this age group, too. If your teen shows an aptitude for photography, you may even want to select an entry-level advanced digital camera. DSLR and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras give impressive photographic results. These cameras are expensive compared to other kids cameras.
In the early 2000s, digital cameras for kids were available in the $20 to $50 price range and more like toys. The more expensive models in this range included a memory card or had a larger screen.
The digital cameras for kids are usually action camera that is aimed at pre-teens. The price of these cameras ranges from $50 to $150. However, you can pay as much as $500 for some action camera that is aimed at teens or adults. Point-and-shoot digital cameras also fall into this price range and they are small and easy to operate.
For teenagers who are serious about photography, you may want to consider entry-level DSLR or mirrorless cameras. These offer quite a few features and will create photos of excellent quality. You can expect to pay $350 to $750 for cameras in this price range.
Waterproof cameras have their limits. Each waterproof camera is built with a certain depth so it can be submerged in water, and each is built to withstand a certain amount of pressure per square inch. If you go beyond the limitations of your camera, you could damage it.
Screen quality is important. Kids' digital cameras are so inexpensive because of poor-quality LCD screens. Kids will want to see their photos on the camera’s screen immediately, so a poor-quality screen will limit their enjoyment of the camera. Consider spending a little extra for a sharper screen.
A digital camera can be a good gift for a child. But the majority of kids will shoot photos as fast as they can, which is fine, except that most children don’t take the time to choose the best photos to print. Either they are still learning how to use their camera or they just think it’s fun to shoot pictures.
Get down to your child’s level. Remember that your child will be looking at the scene through a viewfinder from a different angle than you, so you may have to get down on her eye level.
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