Best Kids' Digital Cameras iMore 2021
The best digital camera for kids is easy to hold and operate and, most importantly, age-appropriate. The camera that appeals to a 17-year-old will not work for a toddler. The latest iPhone captures spur of the moment pictures, but for those interested in photography, nothing replaces a real camera. For younger children, the Vtech Kidizoom is the best value digital camera for kids. With an easy-to-grip compact body, it's perfect for growing hands and budding creatives. These are our top picks for the best digital cameras for kids this year.
- Best Overall: Vtech Kidizoom
- Best Point & Shoot: Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II
- Best Underwater: VanTop Junior K8
- Best Instant Film: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
- Best Action Camera: GoPro HERO9 Black
Best Overall: Vtech Kidizoom
Kids three to eight will find the Kidizoom easy to grasp and hard to break. This intuitive stills and creative video toy is a stellar choice as a first camera. The Vtech has a large shutter button, an easy-to-operate 4x digital zoom, static and photo effects, plus four built-in games.
The durable Kidizoom shoots 2.0MP stills and has a 4x digital zoom. The specs are dated and unimpressive for adults, but it does the basics well enough for young ones. An included selfie mode detects faces and automatically takes a perfectly timed shot. A video recorder and voice recorder round out this solidly built kiddie cam.
- Kid-friendly handling
- Great viewfinder
- Does stills, video, and voice recording
- Available in pink or blue
- Only 2MP
- No flash
Best Point & Shoot: Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II
If money is no object and you want a camera for an older child, you can't beat the versatile Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II. With 20.1MP and 16x optical zoom, the FZ1000 II shoots near and far with precision. The Leica-branded lens zooms from 25-400mm, so photographers can shoot everything from portraits to birds in flight.
This LUMIX has 5-axis image stabilization, so every photo and video come out tack-sharp. You'll also get 49-points of autofocus under the hood with eye and face detection. The LUMIX also does 4K video and comes equipped with a high-resolution OLED electronic viewfinder and a swivel/tilt touchscreen LCD.
The LUMIX battery is rated for 440 shots per charge and will easily last an entire day. This point-and-shoot is a perfect size, feeling comfortable in hand and yet small enough to tuck in a backpack. Yes, it's pricey. If you have teens that want to learn to shoot or grow their skills, the LUMIX is one of the best digital cameras for kids.
- Leica lens
- Impressive zoom range
- 5-axis stabilization
- Comfortable in the hand
Best Underwater: VanTop Junior K8
The VanTop Junior K8 is the best digital camera for kids who love to explore on land and underwater. Included in this kit is a durable waterproof case, so kids can snap pics and videos while swimming or splashing in the water, plus a 32GB memory card, tripod, card reader, stickers, mounts, and a carry case.
The camera has a 2.4-inch LCD, 8MPs, an LED flash for nighttime pics, and a selfie camera. You'll get excellent stills and videos from this model. The only thing lacking is the battery life. It lasts half an hour, if you're lucky, which is disappointing if you carry this out to the beach or out and away from an outlet to recharge. Aside from that, this is a sturdy little camera that performs well above or below sea level.
- Lots of accessories included
- Shoots stills and video
- LED flash
- Battery life could be better
Best Instant Film: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
This is a feature-heavy Fujifilm that made our list for the best film cameras. It detects brightness automatically, adjusting flash and shutter speeds on the fly, so you're guaranteed a perfect photo no matter what your skill level. A good camera to start with, it's less expensive and has some neat features for you or your child to tinker with. An awesome plus is a double exposure mode that snaps two images and produces them on a single film sheet.
This Fujifilm model comes with a high-performance flash, battery, charger, and manual. The combination of features, quality, and style turn this beautiful retro camera into an impressive piece of technology.
- Fun to use
- Excellent clarity in photos
- Good color replication
- No selfie mirror
- Short battery life
Best Action Camera: GoPro HERO9 Black
Adventurous kids (and adults) will dig the GoPro HERO9 Black, our favorite action camera of the year. The latest iteration has a streamlined design that's pocketable and packable, and oh-so-much-fun to use.
Smooth video, live streaming to social media, and distortion-free wide and SuperView captures are some of the features that make this camera one of the best digital cameras for kids this year. Other new specs include 5K, stabilization, and a rugged, waterproof build. There are also a ton of GoPro accessories out there to up your child's photo game. This is an expensive camera, no doubt, but it's best in class.
- Smooth video
- Lots of accessories
- The price
Selecting the best digital camera for kids depends on your child; consider their age, interest level, and how much you want to spend on equipment. Whether you're looking for a mirrorless camera for older kids or something toddler-friendly, all of the models listed will appeal to budding photographers.
Our favorite starter camera for little ones is the Vtech Kidizoom. It is my favorite pick for young photographers and also the best value for parents. This tough-as-nails camera has two side handles that are easy for children to grip, which makes it both comfortable to hold and also excellent at reducing camera shake in untrained hands.
Available in blue or pink, this is the best first camera for kids and a budget-friendly model that won't break the bank and will last for years. When you want to introduce young children to photography and help them learn to be creative on their own, the Vtech Kidizoom is the kids' camera checks all the right boxes.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
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