Back in the olden days you use to be able to go out and by a point, click, and shoot camera; simple top operate and easy to use. It was easy to give a child a camera as a present because they would be able to use it with ease. Today however is a much different story. Picture taking has taken on a whole new meaning; everything has gone digital. Buttons, whistle and bells are on just about every digital camera you can find, so how to you know when to get a child a digital camera? Well, to answer that question you need to first look at the age of your child and how well they have hand-eye coordination and hand dexterity. Even so, there are digital cameras out there for three year olds, to teenagers. You just have to know what you’re looking for.
First things first; in determining when to get your child a digital camera you need to determine their age. If they are younger than three, then I would hold off until they can at least hold it and know what to actually do with it. Secondly, don’t just go out and by a camera because you “think” they’ll like it. If they are young and show no interest in taking pictures, then don’t waste your money on something they won’t use. If however they are showing some or a lot of interest (which most kids these days are because they’ve seen digital cameras all over the place) in photography, then you might want to consider looking for a nice, kid friendly digital camera for them to try out. There are many different kinds of digital cameras to choose from. Here are some digital camera suggestions for different ages.
Three to Seven year olds
•Since this stage is for mostly younger children you want to look for an extremely durable camera. One that can handle being dropped, kicked, and left out in the rain.
•Try sticking with digital cameras that are completely automated; flash, focus, and zoom.
•Look for a digital camera that will hold a lot of photos. These kids will take pictures of everything; literally.
•Digital cameras for this age need to be easy to use and understand. You can find some with larger buttons than you would normally find which makes it easier for little hands to operate.
Two great cameras for this age are the Fisher Price Kid-tough Camera, and the VTech Kidizoom. They are both safe and extremely durable.
Seven to Twelve year olds
•Look for a digital camera with a small user manual; one that won’t take a week to go through.
•A sturdy and inexpensive camera that you won’t flip out about if it’s lost or stolen.
•These kids like to have some control over what they can do with the camera so you want to have some automated features, but allow them to fiddle with things like the zoom, or flash buttons.
•7-12 year olds can also tell the difference between a good picture and a bad one. Don’t go so cheap that the picture is unrecognizable.
•Special effects are also important; captions and clip art are just a couple of examples.
•It’s also a good idea to look for a camera that comes with a case and something to protect the LCD screen.
A few different options for this age are the Disney Pix Clicks camera (more popular among girls) and the Digital World Camera (more popular for boys). Both have a slightly higher picture quality than the earlier two mentioned and give your child the freedom they want to explore their picture taking.
While figuring out when to get a child a digital camera is important, understanding what to look for in a camera is just as important.