Updated May 29, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

The 8 Best Kids Cameras

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This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in February of 2016. In this day and age, it's easy to forget that photography is, actually, an art form. Let your children express themselves and explore the world as they never have before with one of these kids' cameras. Taking pictures might just become their next favorite hobby. We've included low-cost models, as well as some that are more than just toys, ranked by image quality, durability and easy of use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best kids camera on Amazon.

8. Intova Duo HD

7. Amkov Digital 5MP

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

6. VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180

5. Joytrip Digital HD

4. Powpro Kfun Action

3. Fujifilm Instax Hello Kitty

2. VTech Kidizoom Duo

1. Nikon Coolpix W100

Editor's Notes

May 23, 2019:

Given the prevalence of smartphones and kids' almost instictive understanding of their photo functions, this is a category that probably won't see a ton of growth in the years to come. That said, certain toy manufacturers still understand the benefits of teaching kids to use cameras that aren't also phones, not only to familiarize them with equipment that's more specifically photographic, but also to give them something they can drop and break that isn't mommy's $1,200 iPhone. Companies like VTech, with their Kidzoom Duo, come to mind. That offering made it into our second slot after landing in fifth last year. Part of that was due to some confusion between that model and another by the same company, which we've removed as it's a slightly inferior choice, and the price difference is negligible. In its place we found another VTech model that's more of an action cam.

A few other companies seem interested in making very basic cameras that are water and shock proof, and that make a good gift for kids who might drop them frequently or want to take them for a swim. Nikon's W100 is probably the best example of this, and although it isn't the cheapest option out there, it's undeniably the best for and kids old enough to handle a little more camera.

Capture With The Kids

These elements are often much more cheaply made in children's cameras.

It's understandable that kids are drawn to cameras. They produce flashing lights, they have bright screens on their bodies, and adults seem to have a strange love-hate relationship with them. When a child actually sees what a camera does – how it freezes a moment in time that can be preserved for years – that fascination only grows.

Photography is a great tool to teach a child early on in his or her life. It gets them out and about on the lookout for subjects, which is vital to a culture of kids battling obesity and diabetes more or less straight from the womb. It also helps them begin to hone an artistic eye. If your young one has even the slightest inclination toward artistic expression – which pretty much every child has to some degree – the act of selecting subjects to shoot will be one of the first interactive experiences he or she has with a sense of taste in that expression.

The majority of these cameras is built to similar specs you'd see on a lot of consumer point-and-shoot digital cameras. Manufacturers often gear their cameras toward children by reinforcing their designs with waterproofing and shock-proofing technologies. Those technologies cost money, however, so those same manufacturers find corners to cut that children would never notice.

For example, a camera's lens is one of its most expensive components, and its quality bears heavily on the quality of the images the camera can produce. These elements are often much more cheaply made in children's cameras.

The display screen on the digital cameras we have listed is another area of savings, as its resolution is significantly reduced compared to its adult counterparts. A couple of these cameras have no screens at all, however, as they shoot to an instant-development film like old Polaroids.

Kid-proofing New Technologies

Outfitting your child with the best camera to bring out his or her most artistic self begins with a little knowledge about the child in question. I'd argue that the most important thing you can ask yourself before buying anything for your kid that's representative of an expensive technology sector – even if the pieces designed for children aren't terribly expensive – is how destructive your child is.

If you have a zen monk for a child, you might not have to worry, but those are some of the most important features you find among the cameras on our list.

I broke pretty much everything I could get my hands on when I was growing up, so I would have been an ideal candidate for one of the shock-proof or waterproof cameras on this list. If you have a zen monk for a child, you might not have to worry, but those are some of the most important features you find among the cameras on our list.

One of the more exciting features on one or two of these cameras, which you'll see from time to time on consumer point-and-shoots, is a second lens on the other side of the camera for selfies.

You also get to make the choice as to whether your kids will shoot film or digital, a choice most of us didn't have growing up in the film age. Take note of the age ranges on that film camera, as well as each of the cameras on our list, as they aren't all directed at the same group. This is especially important with the instant film camera, as its chemicals can be dangerous to kids.

You Know...For Kids

For the first 150 years of photographic history, cameras were almost exclusively meant for adults. Sure, they could take pictures of children just as easily as they could adults, but they weren't intended for use by kids.

The camera fit into the Game Boy handheld gaming unit like any other game cartridge, but that had a big ball of a lens element on the top of it.

In the 1980s and 90s, toy companies and camera manufacturers ramped up their marketing and development toward a child demographic, with cameras like Polaroid's i-Zone (they beat Apple to the lower-case "i" thing, but Apple went ahead an erased it from the collective memory).

The digital photography revolution changed all that, and among the earliest digital cameras marketed toward children was Nintendo's Game Boy Camera in 1998. The camera fit into the Game Boy handheld gaming unit like any other game cartridge, but that had a big ball of a lens element on the top of it.

In the past decade, as camera makers found it easier and less expensive to pack a fair number of megapixels onto inexpensively produced sensors, they began to pair them with simplified menus and more rugged designs that could stand up to the rigors of childhood.

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Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on May 29, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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