Written by: Kimberly Lavoie
Is your child always asking to use your camera? Is your memory stick full of blurry shots obstructed by small chubby fingers? When our oldest got interested in using our point and shoot digital camera we decided it was time to get her a camera of her own. The vtech Kidizoom camera fit the bill. With only 1.3 megapixel resolution it is not suitable for taking high quality photos, but for a child’s first photography lesson, it is a great start.
- handgrips on both sides of the camera for steady shots
- binocular viewfinders so they can keep their depth perception while framing the photo
- a small preview screen centered on the back of the camera
- two different options for the shutter button so they can choose which is easier for them
Pros: The buttons are all large and easy to push. Overall the camera is pretty intuitive to use and with a little guidance from you your child should be shooting photos in no time. The design is very sturdy. We have had ours for three years now and with moderate usage it is still in fine working condition. The games make a nice alternative use for the camera and are not so addictive as to overly increase your child’s screen time quota. The camera comes in a variety of colors (pink, blue, green, and orange). When we bought ours a padded case was included. While not necessarily inexpensive, compared to your child potentially dropping your nice camera, the Kidizoom price point is just about right.
Cons: The built-in flash on the camera is pretty worthless. Really to take a decent photo your child will need to be in a well-lit room or outdoors. You can see from the typical photo at the left that lighting is probably the weakest point for the camera. The child will also need to be fairly close to their subject. The battery life is decent, but it does chew through 4 AA batteries, and our experience with rechargeable batteries is that they don’t last very long. It wouldn’t matter if the batteries were easy to change, but since the camera is marketed to 3 years and up the battery compartments are closed with screws (you know the tiny kind that require a special screwdriver) so you don’t want to be changing these all the time.
If your child is starting to show an interest in photography this is a fun way to encourage their skill and learning. As long as your expectations are not too high, and you remember that this is a functional, but toy, camera you’ll have fun seeing what your child can create.