There are a wide variety of action cameras available, this now includes ones designed specifically for children, that are compact, easy to use and as many come with waterproof casing, they can be used to capture under water action as well as sporty activities out of the water.
The VTech KidiZoom Action Cam is priced at £5.48 and is a current bestseller over on Amazon. Take photos, capture movies and play games on it, plus it comes with a waterproof case and mounts for attaching to a bike or helmet. You can choose from lots of cartoon and distortion effects and the camera features 128MB of internal memory that's expandable with a micro SD card.
Even at a younger age, it's easy to spark a child's interest in photography with fun and colourful cameras that are easy to operate. Designed with small hands in mind, these chunky cameras are ideal for kids to grab hold of and experiment with taking their own images.
The VTech Kidizoom Duo is available in blue or pink. This camera has large handles to make it easy to hold as well as 2 optical viewfinders allowing binocular vision. It features front and back 2-megapixel cameras to allow easy taking of selfies and has a 2.3-inch colour LCD screen. 4x digital zoom is featured on both cameras. It's great for creativity, with You&Me Photo Effects, 5 games, a voice recorder and photo edition options built in.
This innovative idea from Leapfrog uses an iPhone or iPod touch inserted into the protective case to let kids create images and express themselves with the help of an app. Ideal for ages 3-5, this app/case combination can help nurture creativity, self-expression and matching. The Leapfrog Creativity Camera App & Case features 6 different use modes including a gallery and editing options with filter, stamp and morph capabilities. There is also a Photobooks option to create themed albums.
Educational / Building Cameras
Kids of 8 and over and even adults that are interested in how things work will relish in the ability to build their own fully functioning camera. Whether you want to build a digital or film camera, there are options for both. These kits make great stocking fillers and will no doubt occupy a few hours over the festive period.
Bigshot - build your own!
The Bigshot digital camera is designed as an educational tool, allowing children and adults to build their own digital camera. There is a re-charging crank on the side allowing it to be charged anywhere. The Bigshot features 3 different lenses and an optical viewfinder. Recommended for ages 8+
Kids who love a certain brand or character will no doubt be clamouring to use a camera of that theme. There are lots on the market but here are just a few of our top picks:
This 3-megapixel Lego digital camera may be quite basic but it features a real flash and 1.5inch screen on the back. You can also add to the Lego camera with more Lego, although unfortunately, you can't take it apart. Ideal for kids obsessed with lego. Recommended for ages 3+.
For tweens and teens that want their images instantly, this Hello Kitty themed Instax camera is the answer. It produces credit card sized images and there are several themes of film available to express your creativity. The camera comes complete with accessories and a Hello Kitty themed film pack. There is a mirror on the front to help when taking selfies and a hi-key mode for a softer effect.
Tough And Waterproof Cameras
Tough cameras are ideal for kids as it doesn't matter if they're dropped or get wet, plus they tend to have better image quality and a variety of settings for older children and teens looking to improve their technique. These cameras are also easy to grip yet compact, fitting easily in a pocket when not being used. There are a wide variety of tough cameras out there but here are a few that will be ideal for kids:
The Nikon Coolpix W100 is an entry-level waterproof camera and will be easy to use for younger kids thanks to its simple, chunky buttons on the back. It doesn't have as many advanced options as some of the other waterproof tough cameras here, but offers a nice middle ground of a 13.2-megapixel sensor and 3x optical zoom lens as well as 1080p video recording for kids looking for better performance than some of the novelty cameras. It's available in bright yellow, blue, white or pink.
The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is waterproof down to 15m and is also shock-, dust- and freezeproof. The camera features a 5x optical zoom lens, a 3inch screen, a 16-megapixel sensor and full HD video recording. The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 offers a lot of camera for not a lot of money. Those who enjoy sharing images on social media will be happy to hear Wi-Fi is built-in and charging takes place via USB.
If you're looking for a first camera, then there are a number of budget options available, and here's just a highlight.
The Sony Cyber-shot W800 is one of the cheapest main brand digital cameras available, and offers an easy to use interface, a 5x optical zoom lens, a 20.1 megapixel sensor, but also a number of controls and settings, so that you can progress beyond just point and shoot. With a real flash it also gives more than a smartphone.
Older Kids Who Have A Smartphone
Teens with smartphones seem to be using them to take images more than ever and if they want to improve images but like their current phone, then a camera that fits onto the phone and uses the phone's screen to view what they're shooting could be an ideal present. These will give better image quality and most importantly, more optical zoom to images, something that some smartphones lack in.
The Sony Cyber-shot QX10 adds a 10x optical zoom lens, fullHD video recording, and an 18-megapixel sensor to any Android or iOS smartphone, significantly upgrading the camera on most smartphones and giving the extra clarity and reach of 10x optical zoom to boot.