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Best digital cameras for kids

Kids' digital cameras

If you want to foster a child's interest in photography without worrying about them breaking a new iPhone or a thousand-dollar camera, you're in luck. There's a variety of different reliable digital cameras out there specifically crafted for kids.

The feel, design and price tags vary based on the available features, but each one brings something new to offer a budding photographer.

Are these cameras real or just toys?

Yes, they're real cameras. However, some cameras for kids have more “game” features. It depends on how the child is going to use it. All the cameras function as real cameras and take pictures, but some do so more seriously than others.

Digital camera FAQ

How waterproof are waterproof cameras?

A. It's important to read the fine print when picking out waterproof cameras. Some waterproof cases are only meant to be splashed, while others allow for the camera to be completely submerged in water. Either way, it's best not to leave waterproof cameras underwater for too long. Leaks can still occur, damaging the camera itself.

What is an SDHC memory card?

A. This is a memory card designed to store more content. It's often purchased for digital cameras to increase the number of pictures the camera can take beyond the internal storage max. Some kids' cameras accept them, but it's important to check before buying one.

What's the difference between digital zoom and optical zoom? 

A. A digital zoom magnifies the picture you've already taken, while the optical zoom adjusts the lens as you're taking the picture to make the image appear closer.

What does the number of megapixels actually affect?

A. Megapixels matter based on how big you want to be able to make your photo. The more megapixels there are, the more detail your image will have and the larger a photo can be blown up.

Best cameras for kids

These cameras are fun to use, even if they don't take top-grade pictures. They're more about the child engaging with the camera itself and fostering creativity.

Best overall

Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera

What you need to know: This is a durable, easy-to-use camera with 0.3-megapixel image quality, four times digital zoom and the ability to store over 2,000 pictures.

What you'll love: This camera is designed to survive being dropped repeatedly. It's great for toddler-aged children and older, has a simple user interface and includes downloadable software so kids can add special effects to their creations.

What you should consider: The picture quality is mediocre and this camera is on the pricier side. There's no flash, and the camera doesn't include batteries.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best for the money

VTech KidiZoom Duo DX Digital Selfie Camera with MP3 Player

What you need to know: This camera is durable and comes with a ton of games and filter features to inspire creativity.

What you'll love: Designed to survive rough use, this camera also has parental controls for limiting how much time your child spends gaming. There are plenty of fun filters to try out on the LCD screen. It includes front and back-facing cameras for selfies plus a micro-USB cable that allows you to upload music.

What you should consider: Batteries are not included, and some users have reported that the battery panel is a little loose.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Digital cameras for adventurous kids

For kids who are growing up and always on the go, opt for something waterproof and mobile to keep up with the action.

Best overall

VTechKidizoom Action Cam

What you need to know: A durable action camera that can be mounted on bikes or selfie sticks for pictures on the go.

What you'll love: This waterproof camera has a 1.4-inch LCD screen. It's rechargeable and capable of taking photos and video, even while the camera is in motion.

What you should consider: The memory card is sold separately, and waterproof capabilities are pretty limited. It can only take pictures up to 6 feet underwater.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best for the money

Ourlife Kids Waterproof Camera

What you need to know: This 8-megapixel waterproof camera has multiple frame effects and video filters.

What you'll love: The waterproof case allows you to take pictures up to 30 feet below water. The camera takes decent pictures, has a timer, tripod bracket for mounting and a lanyard for carrying it around.

What you should consider: It can be more temperamental than other kids' cameras.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Cameras for teenagers

Some cameras made specifically for kids can get pretty expensive. If you're looking to buy one for a teenager and want to start them off with their first adult camera, you might consider something more sophisticated that still won't break the bank.

Best overall

Sony W800 Digital Camera Bundle

What you need to know: This sleek, 20-megapixel camera comes with five times optical zoom and a telephoto lens.

What you'll love: Takes quality pictures and video while remaining easy to use and comes in at a decent starting price point for kids who want “adult” cameras. It's great for travel. This particular set also comes with a 64-gigabyte memory card and a microfiber cleaning cloth.   

What you should consider: It has fewer bells and whistles than an SLR camera.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best for the money


What you need to know: This is a compact, 16-megapixel camera with multiple shooting modes and five times optical zoom.

What you'll love: Shoots 720P HD video and features a 2.7-inch LCD screen. It's rechargeable, easy to use and much cheaper than comparable cameras with similar features.

What you should consider: The autofocus is not always reliable and the instruction manual is not straightforward.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Emily Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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