If you want to give a gift that is sure to be loved by any child in the three to seven age group, this chunky digital camera and projector combination by Playskool from Hasbro gets our five star review for features, fun and affordability!
It is so easy for little hands to operate. Turn on the camera by flipping the green button on the back of the camera, then choose either picture or projector mode by flipping the lever on the side of the camera.
When taking photos with the camera, the subject is viewed on the two-inch square viewing screen, just like with an adult digital camera. The fun part comes when kids take photos using the stamp, stories and animation feature, activated by pressing the button with the smiley icon beside the viewfinder before taking the picture.
In the settings, there are seven different faces and scenes to make the subject of the picture do things like flying or disco dancing. There are also 42 different animated stamps to you can choose and the way this works is demonstrated really well in the video below.
Fun Animations, Stories and Sounds From the Playskool Camera
These animations are even more fun when using the projector mode. Again, check out the video to see the sort of effects you can get with the projector. The sounds and instant short stories the camera generates to accompany these funny animations are a great feature and sure to delight younger children!
The camera is big, sturdy and has easy to use, large sized buttons for little fingers. It is also robust enough to withstand knocks and drops! It comes in either gray, with black, blue and green trim or white, with purple, magenta and pink trim.
Suggested age range is from 3 – 7 but we feel it is most suitable for kids in the 3 – 5 age range and a great introduction to the fun and enjoyment of digital photography for this group!
Using the LED projector, you will get best results holding the camera about two feet away from the projection surface. Each image only has a file size of about 100kb so any further away and the image will look quite blurred. The focus can be adjusted by turning the camera lens. It would be nice if the image from the projector was a little brighter – however, for younger children, it is quite magical and they will have amazing fun with this feature.
A handy auto shut down feature cuts in if the camera has not been used for two minutes. This preserves battery life. You will need a Philips screwdriver to install the four AA Batteries this camera needs. These are not included with the camera so you will need to order them separately.
There is no need for editing software as the editing effects are all added in-camera when your child takes the picture. The camera will hold up to 1,000 images that can be downloaded to a computer for easy sharing via email or social media.
To do this, you need to connect a mini USB cable to the connection under the camera. The fact that a cable is not supplied with the camera is probably our only gripe about this amazing toy that has been selected by Amazon as one of the top gifts for children in 2013.
The links below take you to Amazon, the camera image takes you to the product page for both the gray and white versions. I have selected an inexpensive mini USB cable option you might want to get at the same time as well as a rechargeable battery pack if you do not already have one.