Something magical happens when you look through a camera lens, and the best cameras for kids put that magic in the hands of burgeoning photographers. Kids' cameras are made to withstand a few stumbles and falls but can still capture the moment. Most kids’ cameras are lightweight and simple, with just a few settings.
Tweens and teens can usually handle a little more complexity and a model designed for their socially focused lives. Older teens may want a camera for more serious photography, while others are happier with an instant camera for kids that prints photos on the spot. Your child’s age, interest level, and personality all factor into the camera that’s right for them. We’ve created a list of the best cameras for kids, with models for the youngest children up to teens who are developing their creative eye.
— Best Overall: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
— Best for Young Kids: VTech 507103 Kidizoom Duo Camera 5.0
— Best for Action-Packed Adventures: AKASO EK7000
— Best for Introduction to Proper Photography: Canon EOS REBEL SL3
— Best Budget: PROGRACE Kids Waterproof Camera
How We Picked the Best Cameras for Kids
We considered cameras that were appropriate for different age groups, from toddlers to teens. We looked at durability and weight, extra features, and photo quality.
Durability and Weight: Kids just aren’t as careful as adults and lack some of the coordination needed to protect a camera. We looked for camera bodies made of plastic or with durable construction that could take a few tumbles without breaking. However, we also considered the weight of the camera. Kids get tired faster and have a harder time holding a camera that’s heavy.
Extra Features: A digital zoom, facial recognition, autofocus, and other features can enhance your child’s experience with the camera. We not only considered if the camera had extra features but how well those features functioned.
Photo Quality: A kid’s camera doesn’t need to take award-winning photos. However, they should be good enough that kids get excited about photography.
Best Cameras for Kids: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
Why It Made The Cut: The Mini 11’s simple functionality and instant printing within minutes of shooting make it the best camera for kids.
— Age Range: Seven and up
— Zoom: Fixed
— Video: No
— Easy to use right out of the box
— Print pictures instantly
— Comes in fun colors
— Can be accessorized
— Cannot withstand rough use
— Film can get expensive
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera is the next in a line that’s been a consumer favorite for years. I have a Mini 9 in my house, and its pictures grace several walls in my teenage daughters’ room. This camera is perfect for kids who are ready to snap selfies and document their crazy antics on film.
One of its best features is instant printing. Kids can take photos and print out several copies for themselves and their friends. Note that not every photo will turn out. On occasion, the film won’t fully develop. However, the fun, vintage-inspired 2 x 3-inch prints can fit in a wallet or decorate the inside of a locker without gobbling up too much space.
Fuji has also created a line of accessories for the Mini 11 that kids love. It includes cases, picture frames, and scrapbooking supplies.
The Instax plastic body can withstand some basic tumbles. However, it’s a better choice for children 8 to 10 or older because it can break if it lands on a hard surface or gets dropped in the water. The other downside is that the film can get expensive if your kid takes a lot of pictures.
Best for Young Kids: VTech 507103 Kidizoom
Why It Made The Cut: The Vtech Kidizoom offers impressive features like video, photo editing, and zoom for a camera designed for children three years old and up, making it the best camera for young kids.
— Age Range: 3+
— Zoom: 4x
— Video: Yes
— Edit photos on camera
— 4X digital zoom
— 2.4-inch color screen
— Takes photos or video
— Eats through batteries
— Poor picture quality
The VTech 507103 Kidizoom offers impressive features for a beginner camera for kids ages three and up. This five-megapixel camera can take photos or videos, switching between the two with the click of a button.
The plastic body is durable enough for young children, yet the buttons are large and easy to press. A good size 2.4-inch color LCD screen offers a good view for the built-in photo editing. Kids can add frames or stickers to their pictures before transferring them to a laptop. It also includes a 4X digital zoom for better close-up shots. There are a few built-in games, though they’re not the kind that will keep kids entertained for hours.
On the downside, the Kidizoom goes through batteries quickly, especially if kids are using any of the special features like photo editing or video. Lastly, though this is a five-megapixel camera, images are not particularly high quality.
Best for Action-Packed Adventures: AKASO EK7000
Why It Made The Cut: The AKASO is rugged enough for outdoor adventures and underwater photos and filming but doesn’t cost a fortune, making it the best action camera for kids.
— Age Range: 8+
— Zoom: Fixed
— Video: Yes
— 16mp (30 frames per second) and 4K (30fps) video
— Waterproof up to 100 feet
— Build-in WiFi, HDMI, and editing
— Wrist remote control
— Could have quality control issues
— Lacks image stabilization
The ASKAO EK7000 is an affordable alternative to a GoPro camera for kids. It’s a great camera for kids on the go who want to take photos while skateboarding, rollerblading, or swimming. It also offers 4K 30 frames per second (fps) video. The built-in photo and video editing allow kids to upload fully completed creations.
The EK7000 is easy to use, includes a plastic case for underwater photos, and comes with different mounts. One of our favorite features is the wrist remote control. It’s a clever (and safe) way to take action shots and selfies. This model is also waterproof up to 100 feet.
The EK7000 cost hundreds of dollars less than the least expensive GoPro. It’s also a great small camera for kids. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. It doesn’t have image stabilization, which would be helpful for action shots. There have also been a few quality control issues, such as air bubbles under the lens. The manufacturer has responded positively to manufacturing issues.
Best for Introduction to Proper Photography: Canon EOS REBEL SL3
Why It Made The Cut: The SL3 is a lightweight DSLR camera with excellent auto-focus response, a good range of manual controls, and a vary-angle touchscreen, making it one of the best photography cameras for kids.
— Age Range: 13+
— Zoom: Depends on lens
— Video: Yes (4K at multiple fps)
— Has a good range of manual and automatic functions
— Fast autofocus response
— Light and compact
— Guided user interface
— Expensive for a kid’s camera
The Canon EOS REBEL SL3 combines the ease of a point-and-shoot with a few advanced features for kids to start their journey into serious photography. The 24.1-megapixel sensor creates beautiful photos at high resolution. The SL3 has a guided user interface that takes newbies through photography basics on the camera. There’s also a creative assist mode to add photographic effects.
However, the SL3 also has manual adjustments like shutter speed and aperture, giving kids a chance to experiment and develop their skills. Kids can also use this camera to take 4K video at a much higher quality than most cameras.
A vari-angle touchscreen is a nice feature for budding photographers. You can set the camera on a tripod or raise it above your head and angle the screen to see the subject and get the right shot. Users can switch between pressing a button or touching the screen to snap shots too. Lastly, the SL3 is a compact, lightweight DSLR, making it easier for kids to hold and carry.
The downside is that the SL3 is expensive for a kid's camera. However, if your child has already shown a vested interest in photography, this camera will let them take their skills to the next level.
Best Budget: PROGRACE Kids Waterproof Camera
Why It Made The Cut: The PROGRACE is built for children as young as three and is packed with features like face recognition, 1080p video, and waterproofing, making it the best budget camera for kids.
— Age Range: 3+
— Zoom: 4X digital zoom
— Video: Yes
— Durable build and casing
— Waterproof up to 100 feet
— Time-lapse photos
— Built-in games
— Not for older kids
The PROGRACE Kids Waterproof Camera is a good option for young children who want in on the photography action. It’s IP68 waterproof up to 100 feet and has a plastic body that can take a few falls. The five-megapixel photos aren’t the best quality but young kids will be satisfied.
For a camera this inexpensive, it’s loaded with features. The PROGRACE has burst shooting, facial recognition, time-lapse, a 4X zoom, and brightness adjustment. It can also take 1080p video, though the quality matches the price.
The youngest children may need some help scrolling through some of the settings. But once they are set, it’s as easy as a click of a button. Kids can wear the PROGRACE around their neck to keep it from getting lost.
The image quality may leave older kids a bit disappointed. However, for young children who constantly want to use mom and dad’s camera, this model gives them some impressive options for the price.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Camera for a Kid
Whether it’s kids’ binoculars, drones for kids, or other gifts for kids, the item needs to be appropriate for your child’s fine motor skills. Kids’ cameras are designed for children as young as two or three years old. Children at this age can easily break even a simple point-and-shoot camera designed for adults.
At this age, it’s important that the camera has a plastic body that can handle a few falls, tumbles, and bumps. These digital cameras for kids have large, easy-to-push buttons for fingers that are still developing fine motor skills. Even cameras made for young kids are often five megapixels or more, which is usually enough for children this age. (The more megapixels, the finer detail in the photograph.)
As kids get older, they can handle more complex cameras that are closer to the real deal. However, consider their interest level. Some kids will be interested in the details of photography like shutter speed, light levels, and aperture. Others want to point and click to take selfies and photos with their friends.
Durability is a big issue for kids' cameras. Models designed for children as young as three have plastic bodies that can be dropped without cracking or breaking. How well the lens will fare is another matter.
You may also want to consider a waterproof camera for kids. These are great cameras for kids because they’re typically submersible up to at least 10 feet or more. They also tend to be more rugged and appropriate for adventuresome wanderers.
Kids don’t generally need a complicated camera that requires scrolling through endless menus. Young children need an easy-to-push button and maybe a zoom feature. Some models have a camera mounted toward the viewer for selfies.
Simplicity works best even as children get older. Point-and-shoot models with a few basic features often work better than one loaded with confusing options. Kids who are ready to get into the details of photography can use an entry-level DSLR camera with a few basic manual settings before jumping into a high-priced professional model with all the bells and whistles.
Q: How much do cameras for kids cost?
Cameras for toddlers start at around $50, but mirrorless or DSLR cameras for teens could cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000. Before buying, set your budget and look for a camera that fits your child’s interests, age, and personality. A child who wants to take photos while climbing trees needs a more durable camera than one who is interested in portrait photography.
Q: What age should a child get a camera?
The appropriate age for a child to get a camera depends on the child’s maturity and what they want to use the camera for. There are cameras designed for children as young as three. These models have a plastic body, large easy-to-use buttons, and are more similar to a toy than a working camera. Other cameras are designed for children eight and older. These cameras have a few more features like zoom and may take video. Teens may be ready for a DSLR camera with manual settings that allow for some creative control.
Q: How many megapixels is good for a camera?
Megapixels, in part, determine the quality of the photo. Professional photographers may use cameras that are 20 to 30 megapixels, which allows them to create 300 ppi 12x18-inch prints. However, a child doesn’t need that kind of quality. A five-megapixel camera can create a 300 ppi 6x9-inch print. Older children may want a 16-megapixel camera or higher to get better quality than they can get with their mobile phone. (Many mobile phones have a 12 to 15-megapixel camera.)
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera is simple to use and offers instant prints for kids who want to take selfies or photos with their friends. It’s durable enough for kids who can be careless on occasion, but it’s still cool to carry around. For families on a budget, the PROGRACE Kids Waterproof Camera doesn’t cost much but offers a surprisingly long list of features. Best of all it’s waterproof up to 100 feet.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.