When you are choosing a camera for a child, the best option is not necessarily the most expensive one, but if you are looking for more than a basic kids version you might need to pay a little extra. If you are buying for a child of 8 or older, you should go for a slightly more advanced model than one you would choose for a pre-schooler.
Older children spend more time thinking about what (and who) they want to capture in their photographs, compared to young kids who can amuse themselves for hours taking pictures of their own feet!
Pre-teens give more thought to what they are taking pictures of and are more likely to photograph specific things, whereas little kids tend to take photos of completely random objects! If there is a vacation, field trip or party you can be sure your teen is going to want to take a few pics. This age group are also going to be far more creative with their images, so choosing a something suitable for older pre-teen children will involve looking for models that enable them to print their pictures, make collages and albums, or create online scrapbooks or photo blogs.
Naturally, you can let your older child take pictures completely unsupervised. They are highly unlikely to need any assistance – in fact they may get the hang of the settings quicker than you would!
What makes the best camera for pre-teens?
The best camera for kids in this age group should still be easy to use, with straightforward settings, but the instructions can be a little more detailed than for a pre-schooler’s digital model.
Durability remains a key factor. Older kids may not chew, kick or throw their possessions, but you can bet they will drop them more than once! The tougher the better, so that what you have so carefully chosen, stands the test of time.
Go for a model with a lot of automated features, but with some elements of user control, such as manual flash and zoom settings. This lets your child have more involvement in the picture taking process, and lets them experiment with different settings.
Good resolution is important, because you want the pictures to be clear. Your child will be more impressed with clear images than a pre-schooler will. At the same time, do not sacrifice storage space for extremely high resolution – you still want to be able to store lots of images.
Fun special effects like captions and frames let your child customize their pictures.
Customizable accessories, such as cases and straps, make nice added extras for a fashion-conscious child!
Last but not least – price. What should you expect to pay for the best digital camera for kids of this age range? As a very rough guide, aim for the $50 – $100 range. You really shouldn’t have to spend more than $100 on a digital camera for a pre-teen.
The best camera for teenagers
What about when your child becomes a teenager and wants to use a more advanced camera? At this stage they won’t want to use anything resembling a “toy”, but are they really ready to get their hands on your digital camera? If you don’t think they are quite ready to use it, you can pick up a “grown up” looking digital model at a very reasonable price. This gives your teen more control over flash, zoom and possibly other settings and will have expandable memory options, but won’t break the bank!
Durability has still got to be a consideration when you are looking for the ideal camera for teenagers, because as much as you would hope your teenager will treat their digital camera with the care it deserves, you cannot guarantee it. So you need to go for a model that is tough enough to survive in a teenager’s hands!
Whether you are buying for a pre-schooler, a pre-teen or a teenager, compare different products so that you make an informed decision. Remember that your child may not be typical of his age group, so bear this in mind too. If you are buying a camera for more than one child to use, you might want to go for one that is suitable for your eldest child, who can supervise and help his younger siblings to use it too.
There are always lots of great bargains available, so you may be surprised to see what is available within your budget. Our reviews will help you find the best camera for kids of your child’s age and experience.