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In this modern age, it seems that taking photos and documenting our lives has become something of an art.
And with the advent of affordable, accessible cameras and hi-tech smartphones that have them built-in, photography is no longer an elite pursuit. Everyone can be a photographer, and that means children too.
It's a worthy hobby; as well as being a great way to document your child's happiest moments and provide memories to look back on in years to come, practising photography comes with a number of great developmental benefits. For starters, learning any new skill can encourage focus and discipline, as well as boost self-esteem. Photography in particular allows children to be creative and expressive, giving kids the opportunity to engage with the world around them and communicate their thoughts and feelings in an artistic way.
A good children's camera can work wonders when it comes to encouraging them to pursue the hobby. There are tons of cameras for kids on the market with specific features designed to make photo-taking easier and more accessible for beginners. Some cameras feature bright, kid-friendly designs. Other cameras are more resistant to drops and bumps. Most kids' cameras are more affordable than adult models. Different features will be more suited to different age groups, so it's worth doing some thorough research before you decide on the best camera for your child.
We've done most of that research for you so you can make an informed decision on which is the best camera. Take a look at our guide to the best cameras for kids available on the market today so that you can find the perfect camera for your child.
Our Top Choice
VTech Kidizoom Duo 5 0 MP Camera
This Vtech kids' camera is, we believe, the best beginner camera for a child. It's amazingly affordable, super easy to use and, though it can't boast the image quality of a traditional digital camera, its capacity for taking crisp images is still decent. With 4x digital zoom and five-megapixel resolution, it's more than capable of taking the sorts of photos and video that will get kids engaged in the world around them and interested in photography. And for under £50, that's a great deal. It's got two lenses, so your child can have fun taking selfies, and the 2.4 inch LCD screen on the back makes use of fun, kid-friendly icons and sounds to help children edit their photos. Better still, it's got tons of fun features that will specifically appeal to young kids: there are frames, stickers and special effects that can be applied to each picture and a voice recorder capable of transforming each recording with a number of wacky effects. There are even five games to be played! It's got a decent amount of memory for a toy cam (able to hold up to 150 photos), the ergonomic design is perfect for little hands and the rubberised casing protects it somewhat against the inevitable bumps and knocks of play time. And, as a bonus feature, the Time Limit control allows parents to monitor their child's usage. The VTech Kidizoom Duo is an all-around winner for younger kids.
- Price: £42
- Age: 3+
Best Kids' Polaroid Camera
Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera
Another inexpensive camera, we found the Fujifilm Instax 11 to be the best instant camera for kids. The immediate gratification that an instant camera provides has proved such a hit with teenagers and young children alike, and the Instax Mini is so easy to use, spitting out a high-quality, sepia-toned 54mm x 86mm photo with every shot. The automatic exposure mode will take stock of surroundings and adjust the shutter speed accordingly so your child doesn't have to; all they have to do is point and shoot! It comes with an in-built selfie lens and a mini mirror (a welcome update for the youths of 2020 and a feature missing on some rival brands) and it's smaller than competitive models, making it much more portable and suitable for smaller hands. It's cheaper than a lot of other instant cameras, but, as is true across the board, the film doesn't come cheap; it might be worth forewarning your child before giving it to them to prevent them snapping up £15 worth of film in the first five minutes. Comes in a range of fun pastel colours so kids can pick their favourite.
- Price: £69.99
- Age: (we recommend) 6+
Best Waterproof Camera
Fujifilm FinePix XP130 16.4MP Waterproof Camera
The Fujifilm FinePix XP130 is a great waterproof camera for kids; robust and versatile, it's perfect for use in all sorts of conditions, whether it be shooting friends in the garden or family on the beach. It's a rugged camera, meaning it's specifically designed to withstand rough handling and adverse conditions - specifically, this cam is shockproof up to 1.75m, waterproof up to 20m, freeze-proof up to -10C and dustproof to boot. It's a 16.4 megapixel lens with 5x optical zoom, so the image quality is decent (certainly better than toy models), and the 28mm wide-angle setting allows for beautiful landscape shots - great for holiday use. It's able to record full HD video and has Wi-Fi capabilities, so uploading and sharing images is a breeze. It's a really decent price, too. An excellent choice for an adventure holiday or even just a kids' party - a child-owned camera is likely going to suffer more rough handling than most.
- Price: £129.99
- Age: (we recommend) 5-13
Best Camera For Under 10s
Nikon Coolpix W100 Digital Camera For Kids
Children under 10 will have no problem navigating this easy-to-use waterproof camera, which features large buttons and simple point and shoot picture-taking. Nice, clear icons denote different settings and features, and from the menu, you can add picture frames and switch between video, underwater and close-up modes. The image quality is, again, nothing too high-spec, but the 13.2-megapixel sensor and 3x optical zoom are perfect for children's use. Waterproof up to 10m and well able to handle plenty of rough play, it's a nice tough model for younger kids, though the battery life could be better. We love the curved design and bright, funky colours; choose from white, pink, yellow or blue. A solid, simple kids' digital camera that makes a great entry-level choice for kids under 10.
- Price: £146.30
- Age: (we recommend) 5-10
Best Camera For Quality
Sony Cybershot W800 20MP 5x Zoom Compact Digital Camera
If your child wants a camera capable of taking sharp, high-definition images, this Sony camera is a good bet. The price point is great, certainly within the range you might expect to pay for child's camera, but it doesn't compromise on image quality; the 20-megapixel sensor with 5x optical zoom makes for a brilliant image every time. It looks nice and slick, too, though of course, the lack of shockproof casing makes this a no go for young kids. Older children will get a lot out of the panorama feature and other high-spec settings, which they can have fun experimenting with. A great digital camera for kids who value image quality.
- Price: £79.99
- Age: (we recommend) 12+
Best Hybrid Cameras
KODAK Smile Instant Digital Camera
This Kodak camera has the best of both digital and instant models. You can view and edit the captured shot on the little screen - a distinct advantage over the Instax and Polaroid models - then print a 2x3 inch sticky-backed photo from its zero ink miniature printer! It has the benefit of being able to print multiple copies, as well as print two photos on one sheet in the ilk of a photo booth. The interface is simple and easy to use and, though the 5-megapixel sensor isn't going to take the sharpest images in the world, they're more than adequate for decorating a bedroom!
- Price: £79.97
- Age: (we recommend) 11+
Best Cameras For Teens
Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera
This cool Polaroid camera is essentially a jazzed-up version of the '70s original, and the cool retro style is bound to appeal to teens. The 2lens system makes for much sharper images than older versions and the in-built double exposure feature allows kids to experiment with layering two different frames. The flash and battery life are also much better than previous models, and the design overall has been streamlined to make it much simpler to use. The finished photos are larger than those of the Instax Mini, more akin to the traditional dimensions associated with an instant polaroid, and have such a dreamy, nostalgic tone to them. This is not the camera for earnest amateur photographers, but for teens looking to document their happiest times and hang the resulting pics around their bedroom, it can't be beat.
- Price: £99.99
- Age: (we recommend) 12+
Best GoPro For Kids
GoPro HERO7 CHDHB-601-RW Action Camera
The GoPro Hero7 has got to be the best action camera for kids; it's super compact and portable, waterproof up to 10m and impervious to almost anything kids can throw at it - ideal for an adventurous family holiday. It's not got zoom but the image quality is excellent, as are the video capabilities; with full HD 4K video and video stabilisation, it's one of the best video cameras for kids, perfect for capturing everything from extreme bike rides to stunning views to epic dives into the pool. The 3 inch wide LCD touch screen makes it slick and easy to use, though the camera can actually be activated by voice control - a cool feature. It has both wifi and BlueTooth capability too, ideal for uploading footage straight to social media. Of course, the Hero7 is not the most recent in the range, but it's all the more affordable for that, making it the perfect kids' GoPro, particularly for teens just off on their first solo holiday or backpacking trip. You'll get to see crystal clear evidence of all their adventures when they get back!
- Price: £149.99
- Age: (we recommend) 13+
Best Cameras For Families On A Budget
Ourlife Kids Waterproof Selfie Camera
The cheapest camera on our list (that you don't have to build yourself!), this Ourlife camera is a great choice for families on a budget. It has some pretty impressive credentials given the price point; the eight-megapixel lens takes decent quality pics and 1080P video and is also fully reversible, which, along with the handles on each side, makes it absolutely perfect for snapping selfies. It comes with tons accessories, too, including an 8GB memory card, a rubber case that makes it waterproof up to a whopping 30 metres (and protects it against bumps and knocks) and a little tripod so kids can set it up to film their exploits without having to hold it. There's a 2.4-inch colour screen on the back from which to add 12 fun frames and seven video filters and it comes with a 12-month warranty. The best camera for kids that won't cost an arm and a leg.
- Price: £39.99
- Age: 4+
Best Cameras For Tech-Lovers
Lomography Konstruktor F
Real photography devotees will love this Lomography Konstruktor cam; the build-it-yourself element gives the user a unique insight into the way cameras work. The set takes about 2 hours to make and includes all the pieces needed for your child to make their very own 35mm SLR film camera. It also comes with a range of stickers so they can really make it your own. The construction can be painstaking at times (certainly best suited to older children), but the finished result is so rewarding, and technology-lovers will certainly relish the challenge. The end product isn't going to give you the crisp, quality shots of a traditional camera (to be expected when it's home-built), but you can get some decent snaps if you mess around with and it's amazingly reasonably priced.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our pick of the best cameras for kids then why not take a look at our guide to the best remote control cars on the market? Or, for something different take a look at our favourite robot toys.
- Price: £33
- Age: (we recommend) 14+
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.