If you’re looking to spark a love of the arts in your child, there are few more useful tools than a camera. The best kids cameras provide everything a child needs to express their creative vision right out of the box but facilitate a level of growth that can help them develop beyond the amateur level. Finding a sturdy camera built for the practical needs of a kid often means narrowing your options.
Luckily, there are a ton of great cameras for kids on the market today. We break down 10 of the best cameras for kids as well as some advice to help your little one find the camera best suited to their experience level and practical needs.
- 10 Best Cameras for Kids
- 1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
- 2. Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera
- 3. VTech Kidizoom Duo Selfie Camera
- 4. AbergBest 21 Mega Pixels 2.7″ LCD Rechargeable HD Digital Camera
- 5. hyleton Digital Camera for Kids
- 6. Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF
- 7. Nikon COOLPIX W150
- 8. Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera
- 9. PROGRACE Kids Camera
- 10. Campark Kids Camera
- Best Camera For Kids Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Cameras for Kids
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
For parents, instant film cameras may evoke nostalgic memories of the 70s or 80s, but they've managed to find a new life in the modern age despite the prevalence of cameras packed into every single cellphone. And the compact size, lack of complex controls, and near immediate results make the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 one of the best choices for a kid looking to learn photography.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini is basically built to suit the hands of small children, and the controls are simply point and click while still providing a range of different shooting options for the more curious and entrepreneurial photographers. The automatic exposure measurement provides the perfect light settings in any situation but with the flexibility to try out a range of different exposure levels. And the new macro lens attachment lets you get stunning closeups in just about any situation.
2. Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera
If your child has more professional aspirations, the Olympus TG-5 could be the best choice of camera for you. It's significantly more expensive than even the best instant camera, but this Olympus tough camera can survive just about anything. It's an action camera that's waterproof, dust proof, shock proof, and crush proof, and that makes it a best choice because it gives a range of features without the risk of damage.
In addition to the 12 megapixel sensor, this action camera can record 4k video in MOV format, and it includes a range of generous sensors for making the most of shooting in the wilds. That includes a compass, GPS, and manometer in addition to sophisticated temperature sensors. And its ability to shoot in low light settings means your kid can get stunning results even in the most outrageous conditions.
3. VTech Kidizoom Duo Selfie Camera
You might have guessed by the name, but the VTech Kiddizoom is a camera built specifically to suit the needs of kids, and it's arguably the best camera around in terms of finding the right balance between pricing, size, and fun features designed explicitly to encourage the creativity in the younger crowd. Photo effects like cartoons and collages can be applied to an image easily and the five games are easily one of the best ways to keep children developing a love for photography organically.
The Kiddizoom may sport a bright and colorful design, but there's a sturdy frame at work beneath it. This is a camera equipped to deal with the rough and tumble interests of kids, and the 2.4" LCD screen makes it incredibly easy to learn how to frame shots. A backup selfie camera is even included.
4. AbergBest 21 Mega Pixels 2.7″ LCD Rechargeable HD Digital Camera
The AbergBest is a phenomenal camera for kids, but if your little one loses interest, it's still one of the best models around for capturing the image of special events, milestones, and family gatherings. The 21 megapixel sensor isn't the best you'll find on a point and shoot camera, but it's more than enough for the needs of most kids and parents, and the ultra slim frame makes handling it a breeze. This a great compact camera that still keeps the price under $50.
And there are a ton of features packed in here as well. In addition to an impressive 8X digital zoom, you'll also find a wealth of options like smile capture, shoot camera timers, and face detection. Your kid can learn the fundamentals in minutes but also has a lot of features to grow into.
5. hyleton Digital Camera for Kids
If the soft pastel blue and pink designs of the hyleton weren't enough to tip you off, this is a camera explicitly built with the needs of kids in mind, and that only increases its incredibly value. Less than $30 gets you a camera that bears the non-intimidating design of a toy while still sporting some impressively advanced features underneath the hood
On the most basic level, your children will have some of the best variety of customization features around. Multiple scene selections and photo frames let your child customize their photos with a simple tap of the touch screen, and the ergonomic design makes it easy to grip even by the smallest slippery hands. More advanced used will love features that include a self timer, video playback, and date setting.
6. Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF
Polaroid is a name synonymous with instant cameras, and their Originals OneStep 2 is anything but a disappointment in that regard. This kids camera may rock a decidedly vintage aesthetic, but getting the perfect image is as simple as pointing, clicking, and watching your image print out in a matter of minutes. And it even includes a flash that allows you to get quality results in low lighting.
Of course, the fact that this is an instant film camera means that it's missing out on some of the more complex functions you'd find in a point and shoot, but a self timer lets your children take shots where everyone can manage to get in the image. The precision step motor system, meanwhile, results in higher quality results all around.
7. Nikon COOLPIX W150
The Nikon COOLPIX series is one of the most popular brands you'll find anywhere, but the W150 is arguably the best of these models for kids. Occupying a decent mid-priced range, this camera offers the fundamentals you'd expect for a serious entry level model: full HD video recording along with a great macro mode and respectable image quality with decent low light performance. The inclusion of water resistance to a depth of 10 meters is just icing on the cake.
It also sports some of the best built in editing features you'll find for a point and click model. The filters are diverse and easy to apply, and it even utilizes facial recognition autofocus for assisting children looking to capture a great portrait image. But all of it is wrapped up in a package that's eminently easy to learn.
8. Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera
The Sony DSCWX220/B is arguably the most serious camera on our list, but it's also one of the best. If you have an older child or teen with a passion for serious photography and looking to grow in the craft without getting overwhelmed by the more complex controls and functions or a mirrorless or DSLR model, this is one of the best models you'll find. The 1080p camera delivers crisp video at speeds of up to 60 frames per second, and the maximum zoom of 20X is easily the best for our list.
The 2.7" touchscreen is perfectly sized for smaller hands, and the image results offer respectable clarity even if it doesn't match the standards you might expect to find in a hobbyist model. That makes this the best choice if you have a child trying to crossover into more serious photography.
9. PROGRACE Kids Camera
The Prograce is one of the most affordable models for children, and its design is truly phenomenal. Dual handles make gripping easier even for children with less developed motor skills, and that's further accentuated by the big, bright buttons and the sensibly sized LCD screen. Your child will feel like a pro even as they're still just learning the ropes.
While there's no internal memory, this model does come with support for SD cards of up to 32 GB. And the simple five functions cover all the basics without being confusing. All that combines together for a camera well suited to toddlers.
10. Campark Kids Camera
The Campark is pretty similar to the Prograce: a model that offers a decent range of options while still being appropriate for toddlers and younger children. Seven puzzle games are built in so that your children can turn the process of learning photography into a fun activity, and there are also 15 funny frames they can use to spruce up their images.
And while this model doesn't come with dedicated handles, it is completely shockproof. A 2 inch LCD screen lets your child know exactly what they're shooting before taking a picture, and a secondary camera is ideal for taking selfies.
Best Camera For Kids Buyer’s Guide
Our goal with each review was to spotlight a kids camera that offers a range of versatility while also providing children with an easy way to jump right into photography. The best choices for kids prioritize functionality, and ease of use over more important specs, and that’s where we’ll be focusing our buying guide tips. If you want detailed information on more complicated features, check out our advanced camera guides.
For our review list, we decided to focus our attention on two specific types of camera. Both models are ideal for kids, and they tend to be far more reasonably priced than more advanced mirrorless and DSLR cameras that are catered for the needs of adults.
The main advantage of instant film models like those produced for Fujifilm is that they provide children with a sense of immediate gratification. You typically just look through the lens, click the button, and receive a physical artifact in 15 minutes or less. There’s a meaningful sense of accomplishment almost immediately. Instant film models are some of the best and cheapest models for children, but the main disadvantage is that they tend to be lacking for more advanced features.
When looking at cameras for teenagers or for older or more experienced children, you should look towards point and click models. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but the value for the price is usually still strong. That’s because these cameras offer better resolution in pictures and videos and smart features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
When we put together a review list for cameras for adults, the video and image resolution is arguably the top priority. How many megapixels are packed into a sensor and the maximum resolution for video is a top priority for anyone who takes photography seriously. But for children, we wouldn’t sweat the resolution too much. These aren’t cameras built for professional use, and we believe that the thrill of learning how a camera works should be the top concern.
Children tend to be a bit more careless with their belongings with adults, and that’s why durability is such a big deal. You want a camera that can be dropped without breaking, and that’s a universal trait throughout the models we’ve featured here. If your kid is a real adventurer, seeking out an action cam like the Olympus TG-5 can be a smart choice. It offers waterproofing that makes it ideal for the pool and the beach.
Zoom functionality allows your kid to get up close and personal with their subjects, and deeper zooms are always best. Many cameras feature both an optical zoom which allows you to zoom in manually as well as a more advanced zoom that’s entirely digital.
Ease of Use
If you’ve lived around cameras your whole life, it can be easy to forget how intimidating the fundamentals can be for kids. When shopping for a camera for kids, it’s important to make sure that it’s readily accessible. For children, attention span is often a precious commodity, and that’s why we’ve focused primarily on point and shoot and instant cameras. The advantage for these models is that a kid can get satisfying results with no experience.
You’re going to want to look closely at the dimensions and weight of these models. Finding a camera that will fit comfortably into the hands of a young child is more difficult than finding a camera that will fit easily in your hands. Also keep in mind what sort of grip a camera has. While our review list is dominated by cameras built explicitly for children, a few of our models are adult or family cameras that just happen to work well for kids.
But ease of use doesn’t have to mean overly simplistic. For a lot of these models, the layering of denser features is savvily handled, letting kids share their videos and pictures while leaving more complex features like time lapse and filters there for them to discover at their own pace.
What is a Good First Camera For a Child?
If you’re looking for a camera kids will love, we think the best choice is the hyleton. It’s easy to pick up and use and incredibly durable, but it also includes cool features like filters that are incredibly simple to understand while still allowing kids the opportunity to customize their photos in a variety of ways.
What is the Best Camera For a Teenager?
We think the best model for teenagers is the Olympus TG-5. It’s one of the more expensive cameras on our list, but it offers the best variety of features along with the best durability. Teens can go just about anywhere with this camera and document their experiences without worrying about it breaking just because it gets wet.
Which VTech Camera is Best?
The Vtech Kidizoom series offers some of the best cameras tailored specifically to kids. And the best of the series is the Vtech Kidizoom Duo. It’s still a pretty inexpensive camera, but it also includes a rear facing camera for taking selfies.
What is a Good First Digital Camera?
The Sony DSCWX220 is arguably the best digital camera to start with. It’s incredibly easy to pick up and use, but it also comes with a bunch of advanced features that means you won’t need to replace it as your child or teen begins to experiment with more advanced photography.
It’s important to remember that the best camera for kids is going to depend on the interests, experience, and age of your kid. Fortunately, we include a wide variety of different models at varying price points. If you’re looking for something more advanced, be sure to check out our guides to the best mirrorless and DSLR cameras.