The 10 Best Kid-Friendly Cameras to Buy in 2017

Find the best inexpensive models aimed at children

The best kids camera options include a wide variety of models, all of which are pretty inexpensive.

The biggest dilemma a parent faces when trying to decide what type of digital camera to purchase for a child will depend on what the child wants to do with the camera. Some cameras aimed at kids are little more than toys, not really suited for anything but preschool age children. Others are a little more advanced, giving kids a very rudimentary understanding of the basics of photography with an extremely inexpensive model.

And if your child has some photography experience, most of the cameras listed here aren't going to be powerful enough to meet their needs. The cameras listed here are very basic models. If you want more of an intermediate or advanced model, check out my digital camera gift guide instead.

For beginners, here are the best digital cameras for kids, listed in alphabetical order.

Discovery Kids Camera

Discovery Kids Camera review

The dual handgrips on the Discovery Kids camera will make this model much easier to use for small children, who will want to use the camera in a manner similar to binoculars.

The Discovery Kids camera can shoot both still images and video, which can be easily viewed on the 1.5-inch screen. It can run from four AA batteries, and it has a soft exterior, which will make it kid friendly and tough.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera

Fujifilm Instax 8 review

If you miss the days of the old Polaroid instant print cameras, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film camera is a great option. It'll be fun for kids to see the prints immediately after shooting their photos with this easy-to-use camera. 

However, you do want to be sure you monitor use of this camera, so your child isn't shooting an entire roll of film in a couple of minutes.

Fujifilm FinePix XP80

Fujifilm FinePix XP 80 review

If you're worried about your kids shooting photos around water, the Fujifilm XP80 is a great option as a waterproof camera. 

This camera's drawbacks aren't as glaring when you're comparing the XP80 to other point and shoot waterproof cameras. The FinePix XP80's price is at the lower end of waterproof cameras, which makes it a model that's well worth considering if you want to use it in tough conditions.

GE X550

GE X550 review

The GE X550 provides the look of an advanced camera -- complete with large zoom lens and viewfinder -- coupled with the point-and-shoot simplicity of most GE cameras. A viewfinder may make this camera easier to use for younger children than trying to shoot with the LCD only.

The X550 offers 16 megapixels of resolution, a 15X optical zoom lens, and a 2.7-inch LCD screen. It runs from four AA batteries, which can be handy for kids, as you can swap out the AA batteries faster than having to wait for a li-ion battery to recharge.

The GE X550 is similar in look to past GE models, such as the GE X5 and the GE X500. Look for the X550 in black or white body colors.

Kodak EasyShare PlaySport

Kodak PlaySport review

"Tough" still image digital cameras are growing in popularity and availability. "Tough" video digital cameras aren't quite as easy to find, though, which makes the Kodak EasyShare PlaySport video camera an interesting option.

The PlaySport, which is the second generation model and which was announced at CES in January, can shoot full 1080p HD video in a small video camera body. With still images, the PlaySport can shoot at 5MP of resolution. It has a 2.0-inch LCD.

Kids who enjoy outdoor activities, such as snowboarding or skateboarding, will love the PlaySport, because it's small and easy to use to shoot videos and images of friends.

Nikon Coolpix S80

Nikon S80 review

Even though this model is a bit older than some of the others on this list, kids will really love that the Coolpix S80 includes a 3.5-inch OLED touch screen display. The high-resolution screen has a wide viewing angle of about 180 degrees. Users can add art effects to their photos or can rate their photos for easy sorting by using touch commands on the S80's display.

You'll find 14.1 megapixels of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, and 720p HD video capabilities with the S80. The S80's color combinations should appeal to children, too, with black, blue, gold, red, light pink/dark pink, or silver/brown camera bodies available.

Olympus VG-160

Olympus VG-160 review

Because of the low price of the Olympus VG-160 -- along with a good performance level with flash photos -- I really like this model as a first camera for kids. Among sub-$100 cameras, the VG-160 carries one of the better specification lists that you're going to find.

Granted, the VG-160's features aren't going to stand up well against most of the other cameras introduced recently, but this model does compare strongly against other cameras in its price range. You'll find 14 megapixels of resolution, a 3.0-inch LCD, a 5X optical zoom lens, and 720p HD video capabilities with this model. Olympus is offering the VG-160 in red, orange, black, and silver body colors.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

Samsung Galaxy Camera review

Samsung is currently showing off a new model called Galaxy Camera, which will be running the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, further blurring the line between digital cameras and cell phones.

The Galaxy Camera is expected to have a 16MP CMOS image sensor, can shoot 1080p HD video, built-in Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G support, a 4.8-inch touch screen LCD, and a 21X optical zoom lens. Those are some impressive features.

Certainly the Galaxy Camera carries a pretty high price point for a children's camera, but kids will love the large screen and all of the apps that this camera provides.

Vtech Kidizoom

Vtech Kidizoom review

The Kidizoom camera from Vtech is more of a toy than a serious camera, but, for children, it will be a fun option. Younger children will enjoy the Vtech more than pre-teens and older children interested in photography, because the Kidizoom offers only the most basic photography features. Its photography options only are good enough to shoot photos to share by e-mail or to make tiny prints.

Vtech Kidizoom Action Cam

Vtech Kidizoom Action Cam review

For young photographers on the go, the Vtech Kidizoom Action Cam is a great choice. It can capture still images, video, and special effect images. It's waterproof and it can be mounted to a bicycle. It also comes with games.


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