Best Digital Cameras for Kids

If they're young enough, your kids have always known a world in which smartphones are the most popular devices for taking photos. That’s too bad. To ensure that the next wave of young photographers understand the performance and ergonomic advantages of using a real camera, you’ll need to get one into their hands as soon as possible.

But wait! Before you sneak a Nikon D800E into your baby’s basket of toys, you’ll need to consider choking hazards and the fact that some children are a lot more careful (read: girls) than others (read: boys) when it comes to handling expensive electronics. If you want to buy a camera specifically for your child - or a camera that your entire family can share without worrying too much - durability and ease of use are just as important, if not more, as image quality and features.

And, of course, much of that depends on the age and maturity level of your child. We wouldn’t trust any toddler or the vast majority of 10-year-old boys with a DSLR, but for a teenager or pre-teen that's wise beyond their years and genuinely interested in photography, an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera may be a great entry point into the world of photography.

So here's a selection of some of what we think are the best camera options for your kids, sorted by age range. Most of these models aren't specifically for kids, and all of the obvious caveats apply. Batteries aren't edible, memory cards are choke hazards, cameras can hurt when they're thrown at people, etc. All prices are approximate street prices, correct at time of publication, 'buy now' links go to amazon.com and if you think we've missed a model that deserves consideration, let us know in the comments!

Ages 5-8

If you're shopping for an under-10, you probably don't want to spend a lot of money, and durability is likely to be important. You want something lightweight that won't break the first time it gets dropped, and the simpler the operation the better. 

VTech KidiZoom | www.vtechkids.com | buy now

Baby's first piece of kit should be tough and inexpensive, and the VTech KidiZoom fits the bill. This durable 1.2-megapixel camera/toy comes with 128MB of internal memory, has a 4x digital zoom and can also shoot video. The more expensive 'Plus' model features a 2MP camera, 256MB internal memory and an SD card slot, for kids that have grown out of putting memory cards in their mouths.

Key Features

  • 1.2MP CCD sensor
  • 4X digital zoom
  • 128MB built-in memory 
  • AA batteries

Nikon Coolpix S31 | www.nikon.com | buy now

The KidiZoom is a toy, but this waterproof Nikon model is a real entry-level camera built specifically for kid/family usage. Its wide-angle, 3X optical zoom lens (29-87mm equivalent) only offers digital image stabilization, but this 10 megapixel camera’s key selling points are its durability and ease-of-use. It’s rated to withstand drops of up to 3.9 ft., and you can also bring it underwater to depths down to 16.4 ft (or of course into the bath or shower).

There’s an underwater scene mode for capturing photos in the pool, as well as a tilt-shift simulator (Diorama mode) and a single-color-isolation feature (Highlight Color mode) that allows your kid to get a bit more creative. The S31 shoots 720p video, and its ISO range of 80-1600 means your kid will be able to keep on shooting even when the light gets low. 

Key Features

  • 10MP CCD sensor
  • 3X optical zoom (29-87mm equivalent)
  • 720p HD video
  • Waterproof, shockproof and dustproof 
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Available in multiple colors including pink, yellow and blue

Ages 8-10

Durability is still a concern at this age, and there are a few rugged cameras that may be a good fit for middle- to late-elementary school students. All the following models also come in a range of colors, which younger kids might appreciate, but also offer a degree of manual control which will be useful for older children as they get more curious about photography. 

Pentax WG-10 | www.pentax.com

Most 8- to 10-year-old boys will probably love the WG-10’s race-car-like styling, and the ring of LED lights that surround its 5X zoom lens (28mm to 140mm equivalent) will also augment its cool factor. This 14 megapixel camera’s rugged/waterproof features are the icing on the cake: It’s submergible to depths down to 33 ft., droppable to heights of 5 ft., crushproof to weights of 220 lbs., and it’s freezeproof and dustproof, as well.

The WG-10 shoots 720p video but while it only offers digital image stabilization, its ISO range is a generous 80-6400. The five LED lamps that surround its lens are employed in 'Digital Microscope' mode, which is essentially an illuminated macro setting. the WG-10 doesn’t have manual controls, but it’s not short on scene selections, with 25 options that include program auto, panorama, underwater, and underwater movie.

Key Features

  • 14MP CCD sensor
  • 5X optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent)
  • ISO 80-6400
  • 2.7in, 230k-dot rear LCD
  • 720p HD video
  • Waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and 'freezeproof'
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Available in red and gray
*Note that in the US, the Pentax WG-10 is available exclusively at Target stores

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TF1 | www.sony.com | buy now

Still tough, but a little more stylish, the Cyber-shot TF1 has a lot to offer. Sony's in-camera automation features are some of the best in the business, and the ruggedized TF1 should be fun to use for young photographers. It offers an optically stabilized 4X zoom lens (25mm to 100mm equivalent) in front of a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, and it’s also waterproof (submersible down to 33 ft.), shockproof (5 ft.), freezeproof, and dustproof.

Kids will enjoy the camera’s Sweep Panorama mode - which also has an underwater setting - and its selection of Instagram-like retouching options (Toy Camera, Partial Color, and Beauty Effects). The camera’s ISO range spans 100-3200, and it shoots 720p video. One important thing to note is that the TF1 records to MicroSD/MicroSDHC cards instead of normal-sized SD/SDHC cards. You may be less likely to have one of those smaller-sized cards laying around, and they're also small enough to be choking hazards for younger kids, so beware.

Key Features

  • 16MP CCD sensor
  • 4X optical zoom (27-108mm equivalent)
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 2.7in, 460k-dot rear LCD
  • 720p HD video
  • Waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and 'coldproof'
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Available in multiple colors including black, red and blue

Fujifilm Finepix XP60 | www.fujifilm.com | buy now

The ruggedized, waterproof XP60 is a bit pricier than the two models above, but it’s the first camera in this roundup to offer a CMOS sensor (16 megapixels), sensor-shift stabilization, and 1080p video recording, making it a little bit more capable all-round. The XP60 has a 5X-optical-zoom lens (28mm to 140mm equivalent), an ISO range of 100-6400, and it accepts full-sized SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

This colorful camera is waterproof down to 20 ft. underwater, shockproof up to 5 ft., dustproof, and freezeproof. Action-minded kids will love the maximum framerate of 10fps at full resolution (or 60fps at a reduced 2MP resolution) and a high-speed movie mode is also available, allowing you to capture slow-motion 240fps video at 320x240px resolution.

Key Features

  • 16MP CMOS sensor
  • 5X optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent)
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 2.7in, 230k-dot rear LCD
  • 1080p HD video
  • Waterproof, shockproof and dustproof
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Available in multiple colors including yellow, green, red and blue

Pre-teens

Durability may be less important in a camera for this age group, but it really depends on the child. In our selection we're assuming that you're buying for a kid that's learned not to throw precious things around, and all of the models we've chosen offer a little room for your child to grow away from the strictly auto-everything snapshooting if they get more confident. 

Canon PowerShot A1400 | www.canon.com | buy now

Canon's A series point-and-shoot cameras may not be the most exciting in the company's lineup, but they consistently offer simple operation and solid image quality for their price. The PowerShot A1400 has a 16-megapixel CCD sensor tucked behind a 5X-optical-zoom lens (28mm to 140mm equivalent), and it runs on a pair of AA batteries. This is arguably a plus for younger photographers - they won't need to worry about charging or recharging an internal battery, and the relatively large bay that houses the batteries makes for a big, comfortable hand grip.

While you don't get manual exposure controls with the A1400, you will find a wide selection of scene modes that add to its versatility: A dedicated low light mode, a long-shutter mode, and a program auto mode are among them. The camera also has a few Instagram-like features, such as a Miniature Effect setting, a fisheye lens simulator, and a Toy Camera mode. The camera records 720p video, and ISO ranges from 100-6400.

Key Features

  • 16MP CCD sensor
  • 5X optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent)
  • ISO 100-1600
  • 2.7in, 230k-dot rear LCD
  • 720p HD video
  • Built-in optical 'tunnel-type' viewfinder
  • AA batteries

Nikon Coolpix S01 | www.nikon.com | buy now

While other cameras have small pieces and components that might be considered a choking hazard, this entire camera is small enough to be a choking hazard in itself. Kids who want an ultra-pocketable, ridiculously cute point-and-shoot will likely love the Coolpix S-01, which is both of those things. It sports a 10 megapixel CCD (albeit a smartphone-seized one) with a 2.5-inch touchscreen, a 3X optical-zoom lens (29mm to 87mm equivalent) with digital stabilization, and 7.3GB of internal memory.

ISO sensitivity ranges from 80-1600, and the camera shoots 720p video, but all those basic specs are secondary to the fact that it’s barely larger than a DSLR’s lens cap. At 0.7 inches deep, 3.1 inches wide, and 2.1 inches tall, it should fit in the smallest pockets and purses, and at 96 grams, including battery and memory card, it's light enough to take anywhere.

Key Features

  • 10MP CCD sensor
  • 3X optical zoom (29-87mm equivalent)
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 2.5in, 230k-dot rear LCD
  • 720p HD video 
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Available in multiple colors including white, silver, pink and red

Olympus SZ-15 | www.olympus.com | buy now

None of the cameras listed thus far have offered much telephoto reach, but the Olympus SZ-15 is a good option for a child that loves to take wildlife, sports, and landscape photos. The SZ-15 offers the widest-angle lens of any of the aforementioned cameras, and its 24X optical-zoom (25-600mm equivalent) reach gives it plenty of power on the telephoto end. Luckily, it has dual sensor-shift/digital image stabilization to keep those long-zoom shots reasonably steady. 

The SZ-15 is also a highly capable camera for close-up shots, with a minimum focus distance of about an inch. This 16-megapixel camera has a CCD sensor, and it’s able to capture 15fps at a reduced 3-megapixel resolution. Video capture tops out at 720p, and it includes Olympus’s 'Magic Art Filters' offerings to add anything from line-art effects to tilt-shift simulators to a warped fisheye look to your kid's pictures. The very similar SZ-16 features a 16MP CMOS sensor, and offers 1080p video for a little more cash.

Key Features

  • 16MP CCD sensor
  • 24X optical zoom (25-600mm equivalent)
  • ISO 100-1600
  • 3in, 460k-dot rear LCD
  • 1080p HD video
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Available in black, silver and red

Canon Powershot SX160 IS | www.canon.com | buy now

This is the first camera in this roundup to offer manual exposure controls, making it a nice first foray into more advanced photography. Another long-zoom model that offers AA-battery power, the SX160 IS has a 16X- optical-zoom lens (28mm-448mm equivalent) with optical stabilization. Full-manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority modes are accessible via a top-mounted mode dial, and you can manually adjust focus, shutter speed, aperture, ISO (80-1600), and white balance.

A nice selection of imaging effects are available in the Creative Filters menu, including Miniature Effect, Fisheye, and Toy Camera, and the SX160 IS can also record 720p video.

Key Features

  • 16MP CCD sensor
  • 16X optical zoom (28-448mm equivalent)
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 3in, 230k-dot rear LCD
  • 720p HD video 
  • AA batteries
  • Available in black and red


Teenagers

If they're getting serious about photography, young teenagers may be ready for an interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera or an entry-level DSLR. The models we've selected here stand out for their relatively compact physical size, ease-of-use, and range of both automatic and manual features. They're all small and easy to use, but they also offer enough advanced functionality to allow a keen young photographer to learn the basics of photography and take their hobby further if they want to.

Nikon 1 S1 (inc 11-27mm zoom) | www.nikon.com | buy now

It’s not that much bigger than a point-and-shoot camera, but the Nikon 1 S1 offers the benefits of a 1-inch-type CMOS sensor (the same size as the one found in Sony’s RX100) and interchangeable lenses in a small form factor. It eschews a traditional mode dial and other buttons and knobs for on-screen controls, but that may not bother your kid as much as it might bother you.

Some significant step-up features are in included, including full manual exposure, aperture- and shutter-priority  modes, an ISO range of 100-6400, 12-bit NEF RAW capture, and a fast hybrid phase-detection/contrast-detection autofocus system that’s employed in the camera’s 15fps continuous-shooting mode.

There are even faster burst shooting speeds available in the camera - 30fps and 60fps - but both require focus to be locked on the first frame of the sequence. The Nikon 1 S1 records 1080 video at 60i and 30p, and there are two slow-motion movie modes that capture footage at 400fps (640x240) and 1,200fps (320x120).

Key Features

  • 10MP CMOS sensor
  • Nikon 1 lens mount
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 3in, 460k-dot rear LCD
  • Maximum 60fps continuous shooting (15fps with autofocus)
  • 1080p HD video 
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Available in multiple colors including white, black, red and khaki

Olympus E-PM2 (inc 14-42mm zoom) | www.olympus.com | buy now

Another diminutive mirrorless camera, the Olympus PEN E-PM2 (also known as the 'Pen Mini') offers a FourThirds sensor, sensor-shift image stabilization, and a 3-inch touchscreen LCD. Like the Nikon 1 S1, it doesn’t have a mode dial. Its 16-megapixel Four-Thirds CMOS sensor is the same one found in the high-end Olympus OM-D E-M5, but the E-PM2 has a form factor and an interface that’s designed with novices in mind.

Dubbed the 'PEN Mini', the E-PM2's Live Guide feature lets you adjust in-camera settings (aperture, exposure compensation, shutter speed, white balance, color saturation, etc.) using simple terms such as 'Blur Background' and 'Express Motion' instead of diving into aperture and shutter adjustments. Of course, you can adjust those settings the traditional way in the camera’s manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority modes.

Its touchscreen supports touch-to-focus and touch-shutter operations, and autofocus speeds are a major strong suit. ISO settings also reach into the stratosphere compared with most compact cameras, with a range of 200-25,600. Continuous-shooting speeds max out at 8fps for full-resolution shots (with fixed focus), and the camera also records 1080p/30fps video. And as is the case with many Olympus cameras, the creative filters included in the E-PM2 are extensive and very effective. We reviewed the E-PM2 recently and were very impressed.

Key Features

  • 16MP CMOS sensor
  • Micro Four Thirds lens mount 
  • ISO 200-25600
  • 3in, 460k-dot rear LCD (touch-sensitive)
  • 1080p HD video 
  • Available in silver, black and red

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (inc 18-55mm zoom) | www.canon.com | buy now

A lot of people think there’s no substitute for a proper through-the-lens optical viewfinder, and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 offers that DSLR-only feature in a body that isn’t much bigger than a mirrorless camera. Canon proudly bills the SL1 as the 'world’s smallest and lightest DSLR,' and it has the same 18 megapixel APS-C sensor and DIGIC 5 image processor as the bigger EOS Rebel T5i.

Its small size is definitely a key selling point of the SL1, which despite its slimmed-down body remains comfortable to use. Core specs include an ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable up to to 25,600), aperture- and shutter-priority modes, 4fps continuous shooting, RAW capture, and a fixed 3-inch touchscreen that supports touch-focus and menus. There’s also a traditional mode dial and control wheel on the top of the camera, so you’re not stuck with the touchscreen as the only way to dial everything in.

The EOS Rebel SL1 is also the best fit in this roundup for any aspiring young filmmakers, as its 1080p video mode (which records at both 30fps and 24fps) supports manual exposure adjustments while shooting movies. You can read more about what we think of it here

Key Features

  • 18MP CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF/EF-S lens mount 
  • ISO 100-25600
  • 3in, 1.4 million-dot touchscreen LCD
  • 1080p HD video 
  • Rechargeable iithium-ion battery (included)
Check out the Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D in our Product Database

Tim Moynihan is a freelance technology writer based in New York. After two years as Home Page and Features Editor at CNET, Tim joined PC world in 2007, and worked for six years as a senior editor for camera, camcorder and HDTV content. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

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Comments

Total comments: 141
12
jtan163
By jtan163 (10 months ago)

My nephew is 5 and has been using my D7000 and EM5 since he was 3.
I put it in Aperture priory or auto and he is fine.
Actually now he chooses his own settings.
He likes the blinkies on
At the moment he doesn't understand wat they are but he insists on turning them on.

I require him to wear a neck strap to reduce the risk of dropping, and he is happy to do it.
The images aren't masterly, but he can shoot a focusses shot.

I bet by the time he is 10 they will be masterly.

My only mistake was assuming he'd stick to what I showed him.

He didn't. Kids mimic.
He attempted to out an SD card in my EM5. Backwards.

Now I need to use a key or other edge to remove SD cards, because the push to eject spring mechanism is seriously fritzed (he managed to get that SD card ALL the way in backwards).

He is now not allowed to open doors on the camera, so batteries, memory cars and USB etc ports are out of bounds.

So if you show your kids camera stuff, make limits.

0 upvotes
sean000
By sean000 (10 months ago)

I'm afraid to let my 3-year-old use my E-M5 even though she knows how to use it (while daddy is holding onto it) and she is quite careful for an almost-3-year-old. I would be more comfortable letting her use my Nikon D200 since it's a little more drop resistant, but it's heavy so I think I will get her a compact P&S off Craigslist for $25. I see a 12 MP Kodak EasyShare on there now for $30. That might just be a good 3rd birthday gift for her :-)

Good tips on setting limits and not showing them too much. Of course kids will explore and figure out a lot of it on their own, so it might take some coaching to get her to avoid messing with cards and batteries.

1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (10 months ago)

I've seen adults mess up cameras in exactly the same way, heh, just be thankful it was an SD card... Had it happened a few years ago you would've been dealing with the bent/broken pins of a CF slot and lemme tell you, Canon will gouge the hell out of you to fix something like that. :p

0 upvotes
FRANCISQUAN
By FRANCISQUAN (10 months ago)

When my Canon PowerShot A95 gave up the ghost for no apparent reason, I put it into the repair shop who wanted 70% of the purchase price of a Canon PowerShot A620 to fix it!
Even wanted £80 for the exploratory work done.
Turns out my wife had removed the CF card and then struggled to put it back in.

Surely it should not be possible for an adult to put a card in the wrong way...........

Anyway with bent pins I told them to keep it and upgraded.

0 upvotes
momoceio
By momoceio (10 months ago)

I'm surprised you didn't include the Nabi Square HD.

http://www.nabitablet.com/nabicamera

2 upvotes
Dodi73
By Dodi73 (10 months ago)

My son already uses my FM3A. It's 2 y.o.
Well, I don't put film in it yet he can already basically operate it :) Look, reload and shoot :)

Look for yourself how bold he looks with the fm3a in his hands !
http://italy74.smugmug.com/ALLTHEREST/Family/Giugno-2013/i-VzhqmQc/0/X3/DSC_7352-X3.jpg

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (10 months ago)

Too cute, indeed. My kid used my Nikormat as a hammer.

0 upvotes
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (10 months ago)

I saw a 3 year old using an S31 on holiday. Initially I thought she was way too young, but she really new what she was doing

Picked it up, switched it on, took a photo, switched to review mode to have a look, switched back to photo mode, took another photo....! And switched it off each time she was finished.

I've seen adults struggle to work out how to view the photo they just took - she was 3!

Her dad said he just put a 16GB card in and left it with her for the week. She took photos of totally different things to what adults would choose. I bet they enjoy getting to see what is important in her world, and what it looks like from her perspective.

10 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (10 months ago)

Well, be sure first, that they really need a cam after all...

2 upvotes
TB Rich
By TB Rich (10 months ago)

Bought an S31 for one of mine on their 5th birthday. Very simple to use and bright colour options (pink!) are perfect.

Oldest (8) wants a camera now and not too sure if to go for a rugged one or not? Had a look at an XP60 as mentioned here, really unresponsive shutter and focussing, whereas an Olympus TG-630 was miles better.

However a Canon SX240 might be more useful due to massive zoom range and I guess better IQ?? Just as long as it's not dropped I guess!?

1 upvote
udris
By udris (10 months ago)

Kids and teens are beyond this ordinary run of the mill redundant stuff a smartphone is their game

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (10 months ago)

Not every parent out there wants to give a preteen a smartphone, much less a 5-8 yr old.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (10 months ago)

How about dad's old camera ;)

10 upvotes
TheLastMan
By TheLastMan (10 months ago)

No joke! My kids already use my old Canon A40 and Sony W1. They cost me nothing at all.

4 upvotes
Octav1an
By Octav1an (10 months ago)

It depends on a child really. My son was making photos with my iphone since he was 1.5, so I bought him a camera (ixus) and he is being shooting with it since. He haven't destroyed it yet and dropped only a couple of times.

0 upvotes
Kuppenbender
By Kuppenbender (10 months ago)

A lot of emphasis on rugged/shock-proof cameras for the under 10's. How about teaching your children to treat fragile electronic gadgets with a little respect?

My son's Canon A560 (similar to the A1400 in the article) has remained undamaged after four years of use - he got it when he was 5.

Incidentally, I found that once he discovered the long optical zoom on the family videocam (Panasonic HDC-SD40) that this quickly became his camera of choice, even for stills photography. Of course, by now he has learned to treat cameras with care and respect.

13 upvotes
electrophoto
By electrophoto (10 months ago)

ditto...
when my mom handed me her Canons (A1 & F1) when I was about 9 or 10 so I could get into photography (as I had shown *some* ;) interest) I was using the thing like it was VERY FRAGILE and it still works to this day...

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (10 months ago)

F1? Lucky boy...

0 upvotes
TheLastMan
By TheLastMan (10 months ago)

Well, that really depends on the child. If you know your child then you will know how careful they are likely to be and how much you want to supervise them. The biggest hazards with mine are not while they are using it but when they are not. Often the camera is left on a floor ready to be kicked or trodden on by some unsuspecting adult or left behind in a cafe while on holiday.

1 upvote
bertalan
By bertalan (10 months ago)

Well, considering that the vast majority of our family's pics are while we are camping,canoeing,hiking, or at the beach, a rugged waterproof camera is ideal. I just wish they made some with m43 or aps-c sensors for me!

1 upvote
JustDavid
By JustDavid (10 months ago)

Pentax Q/Q10/Q7 is by far the most 'playful' and 'learning' system for wannabe photographers on the market. I am really surprised it is not picked here.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (10 months ago)

Good suggestion! But honestly, we omitted it because it's a little pricey, in our opinion (to buy for a child, I mean). Nice cameras though and we're working on a review of the Q7 right now.

4 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (10 months ago)

But a Rebel is fine because it has a (awful) viewfinder ?

The Pentax Q has an advantage too, it is tiny and 7 times as rugged as a Rebel. :)

The original Q kit seems to be €250, so probably $250 then.

Quality is fine for the kids, and they get to learn about lenses, those aren't too expensive either. Though, granted, certainly not cheap for a childs toy. But a bargain for photo's through the eyes of your kids. ;)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (10 months ago)

The T3i Rebel / 600D is not awful at all. It actually has one of the better pentamirror finders around. The only entry level DSLRs that offer true 100% Pentaprism finders are the Pentax K-30, K-50 / K-500.

But for a kid learning photography a VF with exposure information listed is critical. For this reason, I'd give my daughter a Rebel or D5100 over a Q any day. The Q is more portable camera and it's loads of fun, but a proper VF and spot meter make learning exposure far easier.

0 upvotes
JustDavid
By JustDavid (10 months ago)

Barney, allow me to differ on the price matter.
Q can be had for £79, Q10 for £339 with kit lens (after rebate).
The full set of 6 lenses is approx £900. Where else do you get this for your kid?

0 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (10 months ago)

Polaroid anyone?

1 upvote
Ray Chen
By Ray Chen (10 months ago)

My daughter has shot my 1D X last year when she was 7 while under my watch, and she is using the EOS M solo quite often this year. She has learned not to touch the front element on the kit lens after some corrections, and her little hands can drive the controls on the M well, unlike the X.

0 upvotes
RJH1981
By RJH1981 (10 months ago)

I gave my 4 yo nephew a Fuji XP60 last year for Christmas. He had previously had the VTech and after I taught him how to focus and take picture with my a77 he became horribly frustrated with the VTech. It has held up nicely. He knows how to treat it, but I got the XP60 because I know it can survive going through the ringer if needed.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

I disagree with the crummy toy camera. They take awful pictures and kids can see it is a toy, not a camera like mom or dad use. 5-8 year olds especially wouldn't be caught dead with a camera that looks like a toddler toy.

The S31 is an excellent recommendation for this category, though, as are the rest of the list.

7 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (10 months ago)

Agreed, 2 of my kids at ages 5 & 6 had similar ones, used them once, then dumped them at the bottom of the toy box. The youngest now isn't interested & the oldest (now 9) has my old Olympus Tough, which he loves.

0 upvotes
CAClark
By CAClark (10 months ago)

The advantage of crumby toy cams is that they are reasonably robust, and cost very little. If photos is a passing phase, no big shakes.

I personally wouldn't entertain spending £400 let alone £700 on a camera for a child. If they hoever stick with and become frustrated by the toy camera and its crumbiness, then you've at least worked out that spending a bit more on a nicer camera isn't going to be a wasted outlay.

0 upvotes
supeyugin1
By supeyugin1 (10 months ago)

Where is Pentax Q7?

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

Probably sitting on store shelves.

11 upvotes
TheLastMan
By TheLastMan (10 months ago)

Very popular in Japan, apparently, but it needs some more serious glass if it is to make it as a serious photographer's tool in the USA or Europe.

Remember this?
http://www.submin.com/110/manuals/pentax/brochures/pentax_now_you_can.jpg
My sister bought one and loved it. Still has it, but cannot get 110 film any more :(

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (10 months ago)

The Pentax Q7 was just announced last week and AFAIK, it's still in the pre-order stage so they haven't shipped a single camera. Perhaps that's what the above commenter meant by "sitting on store shelves", but somehow I doubt it.

The Q is actually fun little camera with far better manual controls than most compacts and IQ that belies it's small sensor size. Not sure why they elicit so many negative remarks on these boards.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

What good are the manual controls if the sensor is too small to control DOF? That makes it a terrible learning tool. The Aperture and ISO seem to do the same thing on a small sensor so it doesn't really click that aperture controls DOF.

1 upvote
top quark
By top quark (10 months ago)

Pentax Q comes with a 15-45mm F2.8 telezoom. Do you really think you can't control DOF with one of those?

0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (10 months ago)

I've got kids that are 2, 4, 6, and 7 and the older two can handle a dSLR when supervised, but really they have a lot more fun doing videos. I suspect it will be a few years before they are interested in any kind of manual control. I'd just get them a Go-Pro and let them shoot video for a few years until they express an interest, and then go for a year or two year old model like an e-pm1, nikon v1, e-pl1, Panny G3 or something like that. The MILCs are just so much more responsive than entry level P&S cameras, and the older ones aren't far off in price. Getting into manual control with a camera that has a tiny sensor make it hard to see the effects of aperture...

Just make sure they turn off the go-pro when they head into the changeroom after the waterslides :)

1 upvote
CanonKen
By CanonKen (10 months ago)

I had a film SLR when I was in elementary school. Now I'm hopeless with a 1Ds III and a bunch of L glass. Wish my dad stuck me with a cruddy P&S :-(

0 upvotes
Optimal Prime
By Optimal Prime (10 months ago)

No Leica in this line up...! Doesn't DPR think it necessary to list at least the new Leica mini or nano to help wealthy parents decide what to get their massively spoiled kids?

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (10 months ago)

I'll sell you a red dot for $1000 - just send me a PM.

2 upvotes
Optimal Prime
By Optimal Prime (10 months ago)

Thanks Barney for clarifying where Leica's true value lies :)

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (10 months ago)

There is only one specification needed for a P&S for Kids:

Submersible.

.

Comment edited 35 years after posting

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (10 months ago)

I got 'em a Nikon AW110 for that reason.

0 upvotes
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (10 months ago)

Blah no wimpy camera for my 5 year old. I let him use my dSLRs all the time and here he is using some Canon L glass too :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kinematic/8733283271/

1 upvote
Anepo
By Anepo (10 months ago)

That first camera? My brothers child owned one, fell off a table and was immediatly BROKEN. So durable? I think not.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (10 months ago)

I like the recommendations a lot, and think this page will be very useful to a lot of parents, or college students with younger siblings.

However, I disagree with the focus on compactness in the pre-teen and teenagers section. When buying cameras like the Nikon 1, you're paying a premium for compactness. You can save a lot of money by buying a used DSLR, and get roughly the same image quality with a far larger native lens selection.

For example, if I were buying a camera for a 10-15 year old, I would seriously consider a $150 Nikon D70/50, or a Canon 20D for about the same price. I think anyone considering buying a camera for a kid needs to take the used DSLR market into consideration, because IMO that offers some pretty much unbeatable functionality/image quality per dollar out there. And a 10-15 year old can handle a medium sized DSLR without problems.

8 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Simple. The main reason is Amazon.com don't sell second hand cameras.

9 upvotes
Airless
By Airless (10 months ago)

1. Do you not realize the absurdity of an article like this suggesting people purchase used gear? Or imposing an arbitrary budget on people? Your argument against compactness contains nothing to do with functionality and everything to do with price, which is a blatantly prejudiced assumption to make. Just because you personally have a $150 budget for a child's camera doesn't mean other, sane people are just as limited.

2. Do you even know how much Nikon 1 cameras cost? Your analysis suggests a complete lack of research into camera pricing, especially through third party sellers on ebay, that would produce a much more competent and NEW camera.

3. The far larger native lens selection is pretty much irrelevant if you are being so stingy with the camera budget, anyone who is looking into purchasing a seriously diverse collection is going to want a real camera, not a $150 used Nikon D50.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (10 months ago)

@white shadow - I love that you think we're making a ton of money off the affiliate links in this article (I wish). An article about great-value used digital cameras is actually a really good idea. I'll put it on the list for later this year!

5 upvotes
Ignat Solovey
By Ignat Solovey (10 months ago)

Then consider film too :) One can get Speed Graphic for half a price of used DSLR, or Graflex 22 for quarter of it, and it is a good way to keep protesting teenager out of drugs, liquors and stuff, because film is a bit more expensive now these days :) Not to mention that thieves in European touristy places don't get hyped over mid-20th century cameras too much these days, and... well... kid's ego will be pretty much pleased when one realizes that he/she does actual PHOTOGRAPHY with all limitations applied, especially if that kid turns into budding hipster. Oh, one more thing: old everything-is-manual-here stuff is unforgiving if you do something before you think. So, a Graphic with faulty rangefinder plus adjustment manual and three screwdrivers is a nice way to channel a "dad-I-wanna-really-cool-camera" howls into some skills and knowledge. Come to think of it, megapixel count of properly scanned 6x9 frame is still unbeatable by what you can get off the shelves, 64 to 128 it is.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
TheLastMan
By TheLastMan (10 months ago)

Airless, so a Nikon D50 is not a "real" camera?!?!?

I think Chlamchowder's comment is very good advice. I have a 10 year old who is very keen on photography and if I had a $150 budget (£100) I would seriously consider a used DSLR any day over the most capable P&S. I already let him have (supervised) use of my Pentax K-5 and he wants full manual controls on his next camera. That would be a struggle with anything other than a used DSLR. The budget might have to be higher, but a used Canon, Nikon or Pentax would give him access to any kind of creative photography he might be interested in (wildlife, macro, studio, portrait (bit young for glamour!). For instance he is already into snapping bugs (he is 10 after all...) and I have an old 35-75 manual macro zoom he could use already. In fact I might have a browse on e-bay to see how much an old K100 might cost.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Bart40
By Bart40 (10 months ago)

My daughter got an used Fuji A202 I bought for €20 when she was 5. She (ab)used it a lot but it never broke. Now she is 12 and is using a Nikon D40, great for small hands and enough quality and possibilities to be completely happy.

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (10 months ago)

@ Ignat Solovey - If you're talking from experience, your kids are very different to mine. If I'd offered to buy any of my children a film camera, let alone a Graflex, they would have laughed first, then probably moved out!

1 upvote
Rainer2022
By Rainer2022 (10 months ago)

Good idea to post a Digital cam for kids review. Good comments, too.
The idea to try a used cam is really intriguing.
I wood not go for a "film" cam. Films are expensive, slow in terms of results; I tried it 2 years ago and was disappointed.
I myself bought a "beach cam" (for use on the beach, where my DSLR would be too precious). This would be my first choice if my 5-year-old would ask.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Ignat Solovey
By Ignat Solovey (10 months ago)

@ Nigel Wilkins I have no children, but I know a lot of parents with kids. It's up to you to channel your kids activities. If in previous years kids grasped the concept of manual exposure and film processing, why should today's be different? They are not any dumber "by design". Sure enough, sometimes I have a hard time explaining what film is to 2013's 8-10 year-olds with cameraphones, but those who are interested in photography more than in gadgetry, get that instantly. And once they get basics of exposure, aperture, sensitivity, color and composition, they'll become better photographers. Sure enough, Graflex is not for little ones, more for teenagers, but, well... Brownies are and always were :) Also, kids love mysteries, and film IS a mystery. If you allow to do some darkroom work (after safety lecture and under supervision for the beginning), you'll be grateful later, because it's about responsibility as well as about finally seeing pictures. And good for science class too.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (10 months ago)

Thanks for the parenting lesson, but I prefer not to channel my kids time into old technology. They can make those decisions for themselves, as I did.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ignat Solovey
By Ignat Solovey (10 months ago)

@Nigel Wilkins It's not about technology or parenting. It's about either just pushing buttons, or involving brain into process, in photography or not. You never know when you or your kids need not that certain skills, but an ability to improvise quickly, think wider, deeper and faster.
I'm not a film advocate, since digital floats my boat and allows me to work like it wouldn't be nearly possible on analog. But what I learned in and from analog era, helps me a lot. And technology... well, who knows what might happen to it.

0 upvotes
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