In this article, we are particularly looking at buying a camera for a child in the eights and over age group, although there are now digital cameras available for children as young as two years old! If you have a young preschooler who wants a camera, chances are you are not going to buy a big-budget item! There are so many models on the market for this age group so here’s a little help with choosing one that will be lots of fun without breaking the bank!
One thing I have noticed with little children and cameras is, that they just love taking pictures. By this I don’t mean they love spending ages framing a shot and getting everything just right before pressing the button, they just love snapping pictures of everything in sight – it is the taking of the picture that seems to be the most important thing, not the actual subject matter!
Thankfully in this digital age it no longer costs money to see the results of our children’s first steps in photography. We don’t have to wait for films to be developed and pay for a whole series of unrecognizable ‘blurs’ in the hopes of getting one or two little gems from those first tries at being the next ‘David Bailey’!
Older children (usually in the eights-and-over age group), will have lots of fun organizing family, friends and toys to create the shot they want to take. They will be wanting a slightly more sophisticated model that will produce reasonable quality images to record trips and outings and to take pictures to illustrate school projects and so on.
Children of this age often get quite a flare for editing their images too, adding captions, special effects and so on. For this reason, a camera with good editing software and easy upload to a computer is a good choice.
I have found that with even quite young children, it is not long before they have mastered all the features on a camera and are soon showing grown-ups how everything works. It can certainly be a big confidence boost for a shy child to be able to show Dad or Granddad how they achieved a particular effect and this sort of interaction between child and adult is a lovely way of sharing an interest.
Choose a Model With Enough Features To Keep Them Interested!
Although automatic features are very useful and do help when a child is first starting, I have found that they quickly want to learn more and master manual features such as using flash, different settings and zoom or macro. This gives a real sense of achievement to a child and is likely to help them develop and grow their interest in photography as a hobby.
Mostly, older children want to just get on with it – they want a camera that is easy to understand, with enough features to keep them interested but which they can use without having to have supervision all the time.
Many children of this age group could perfectly well use an adult camera but just because they have the technical mastery all sewn-up, doesn’t mean they aren’t going to act their age when playing and perhaps drop or treat the camera roughly. Models designed for children are much more robust and will stand up to this rough treatment – they also tend to be cheaper than adult models – so choosing one of these is a win-win situation!
Pay Attention To Picture Quality And Image Storage Capacity
The quality of the images taken by camera for the eights-and-overs is far more critical than for a pre-schooler. For this reason, because images will be taken at higher resolution, it is very important to ensure that the model you choose has a large enough memory to be able to store lots of images before the need for downloading to a computer. Additional HD memory cards are pretty inexpensive now, so a camera which has an HD slot to enable more images to be taken is also a very good idea.
Once a child has his or her first camera and is having fun with photography, this provides lots of ideas for birthday and Christmas presents. There are editing software packages, various printing options, digital photo frames, and lots of camera accessories to help your child develop their hobby.
For ideas on camera models to choose, please pay a visit to author Alison Graham’s site, Kids Digital Camera Reviews. You will find lots of models reviewed there and the category for childrens cameras under $100 is particularly relevant when thinking of buying a model for a child in the eights-and-over age group.