10 Best Cameras For Kids | April 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you have a budding Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz or David Bailey in the family, treat him or her to one of these cameras for kids. Specifically designed to withstand the somewhat rougher treatment doled out by younger photographers, and priced so that it won't hurt too much if your little one gets bored with the hobby, these models can still produce stunning still images and videos. Skip to the best camera for kids on Amazon.
10 Best Cameras For Kids | April 2017
Overall Rank: 7
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
10
The Intova Duo is an affordable option with a lot of flair. Its rugged, compact design is waterproof to 100 feet, and it has the ability to float for added peace of mind. But you can't change the mode from still photos to video while underwater.
  • removable plastic housing
  • variety of color settings
  • picture quality is a bit grainy
Brand Intova
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
9
"Frozen" fans will get a kick out of the Disney Action 78027. This 5.1 megapixel unit is perfect for everyday use, and can stand up to a variety of weather conditions thanks to its waterproof case. Its battery charge is short-lived, however.
  • helmet and bike attachments
  • hd-quality pictures and video
  • does not include instructions
Brand Disney Frozen
Model 78027
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
8
Introduce your little one to photography and digital technology with the Fisher Price Kid Tough. It features a bi-optic view finder, a 1.6-inch color LCD screen, and dual hand grips. It is sturdy and safe enough for kids as young as 3 years old to operate.
  • built-in automatic flash
  • simple to download pictures
  • poor image quality in dim light
Brand Fisher-Price
Model L8341
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
The Sony DSCW830 allows anybody to capture gorgeous images with superb contrast and clarity thanks to its powerful 20.1 megapixel super HAD CCD image sensor. It also has a unique Smile Shutter technology that automatically captures a smile the moment it happens.
  • easy mode simplifies the menu
  • panoramic shots up to 360 degrees
  • reduced blur effect rarely works
Brand Sony
Model DSCW830
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
6
The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam has an extra-tough construction that can handle drops, making it an ideal first video camera for kids. It is a great value with a rugged waterproof case that can be used up to six feet under water
  • includes a micro usb cable
  • built-in rechargeable battery
  • image quality is average at best
Brand VTech
Model 80-170700
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
The Nikon COOLPIX W100 is an excellent choice for your kid to take on all of his or her adventures. It is built to be waterproof, shockproof, and freeze-proof, and it features oversized controls and easy menus that any member of your family can operate.
  • electronic vibration reduction
  • large movie record button
  • lens tends to fog up
Brand Nikon
Model 26496
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
The innovative Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 sports a compact, slim body that fits easily into small pockets. It allows kids to capture and print the perfect picture every time thanks to a flashing LED signal that recommends an ideal aperture setting for your environment.
  • high-key mode for brighter pictures
  • enhanced subject viewing
  • film cartridges are expensive
Brand Fujifilm
Model Instax Mini 8 (Raspberr
Weight 15.5 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
3
The Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 is the ultimate kid-friendly gadget, featuring a chunky body, soft grips, and a wrist strap that makes it easy for little hands to carry. It's a great way for youngsters to share their creativity, since it also works as a projector.
  • fun sound effects
  • five slideshow themes
  • over 50 ways to customize pictures
Brand Playskool
Model A5258
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
2
Instantly turn your kid into a photographer with the VTech Kidizoom Pix. It offers endless fun with the ability to edit digital photos with silly effects, make movies, and play games at the press of a button. It boasts 128 MB of internal memory and a micro-SD card slot.
  • compatible with pcs and macs
  • features 35 photo effects
  • includes free animation maker
Brand VTech
Model 80-193600
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
1
For slightly older children who are responsible enough to take the leap into more adult photographic work, the Nikon D3400 offers top-tier image quality and incredible ease of use. As your youngster learns, he or she can access more and more manual control over the images.
  • aps-c-sized sensor
  • interchangeable lens system
  • seamless smartphone connection
Brand Nikon
Model 1571
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Images In Training

As children, the majority of us incurred continuous costs to our parents if we showed any interest in photography and wanted to do any significant amount of shooting. That's because the cameras of our childhoods ran on film, an expense that only ever got more expensive as the years wore on, racking up costs on both ends of the shooting process.

Now that everything photographic is digital, cameras for kids have an amazing and inexpensive experience to offer young, budding artists. Starting your kids out early has never been easier either, as a lot of the cameras on our list offer features that help your little ones figure out some of the most important techniques that go into capturing a great image.

For starters, they're going to have direct access to a camera that isn't your smartphone, helping to greatly reduce the risk kids present to anything both electronic and expensive. Just like the phones they see you using, however, they'll get instant and progressive feedback from the scene in front of them and from the pictures they take, teaching them instantaneous and invaluable lessons about composition.

Timing is one of the other incredibly important aspects of photography, and while getting to look back over their shots immediately will help teach them where they went wrong, it isn't where the lesson stops. Some of the cameras on our list have a smile capture feature, for example, that snaps a photo automatically when it detects a smiling face.

Cameras for kids are usually priced to sell, but even if you don't think that these cameras are particularly expensive, you don't want to get stuck replacing them if you don't have to. That's why a lot of the manufacturers of kids' cameras include waterproofing and shock-proofing technologies to ensure that their camera will last as long as possible in the hands of even the most reckless children.

Older, Wiser, And Better At Photography

If the digital age bores you, or scares you, there are old-fashioned kids' cameras out there, as well. For example, some children's cameras shoot an instant film akin to the old Polaroid stock that was so popular in the 80s and 90s. It isn't quite the same, as the film sizes are different, and the development times are ever-so-slightly longer (Polaroid, even in bankruptcy, has held their chemical development formula under lock and key), but the experience is much the same.

Of course, one of the most important things for you to consider when evaluating the kids' cameras on our list is age appropriateness, and exposing children under a certain age to little envelopes of deadly chemicals probably isn't a good idea, especially if they have an oral fixation of any kind.

Along that same line of inquiry, you'll notice that some of the cameras on our list look significantly as though they were designed for use by much younger children. Their buttons are bigger and there are generally fewer of them, their view screens tend to be a bit smaller and a lot cheaper, and their colors and patterns are louder and more eye-catching. These tend to be the safest and easiest cameras to use with the youngest photographers.

If you're dealing with a slightly older child, somewhere closer a range between five and ten, there are more professional-looking cameras on our list with little design features meant to maximize lifespan and performance in the hands of a child. These cameras look like slightly more rugged point-and-shoots, and their menu systems are significantly simplified compared to their adult counterparts. Additionally, these are the cameras on our list that are waterproof and shock-proof, so you don't have to worry about drops and spills damaging valuable hardware.

Still further up the age range, there are a few cameras on our list that are intended for kids getting closer to their teenage years. These are the kinds of cameras you buy for a kid who's already shown an interest in, and even a talent for, photography, as they will allow young shooters to take that next step toward professional quality. They're not much different from a lot of the full-fledged point-and-shoot models out there, but we've chosen them for our list based on their simplicity and ease of use relative to that market.

A Coming Wave Of Artists

From the early days of photography in the 1800s on through to more recent decades, photography as a kids hobby wasn't a particularly safe idea. If you wanted to take your film to a professional lab for development and printing, you'd pay pretty high premiums for the pleasure. Having a child in the darkroom with a bunch of chemicals, however, wasn't the best option either.

Once smaller, mechanized photo processing labs began cropping up in department stores in the 80s and 90s, more and more parents handed their 35mm cameras off to their kids from time to time, allowing them to get a taste for the medium. After that, disposable cameras hit the market, flooding households with easy, reliable cameras that posed no financial risk to the family, and that overwhelmed department store photo labs with NSFW pictures.

With the advent of digital photography and cell phones with cameras built into them, more and more kids can find photography at earlier and earlier ages. With the kinds of digital and film cameras on our list that manufacturers design specifically for younger demographics, it's only a matter of time before we see an explosion of work from new, young artists.



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Last updated on April 27 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.