We had a question e-mailed to us last week about purchasing a camera that a kid could use. I think that this is a great question so I’m going to answer it this week as Tuesday’s tips. I used to work in a camera store, and a long time ago, I was on a TV show talking about what camera to buy (There may be a few of you chuckling at the memories of that one). I’m certainly not an expert, but I’ll do my best to give you some guidance.
First, what is needed in a camera for kids?
I think that the ability for the camera to survive a fall is important. It needs to be able to withstand spills. It needs a shutter button that is easy for small hands to press. Overall it needs to be lightweight and “grip-able.” It needs an auto mode, a large screen and in my opinion an optical viewfinder.
Does this camera exist? Nope, but there are a couple that come close.
My favourite is the Pentax Optio “W” line of cameras. Ella has used the Pentax WP, one of the originals in the design. The current models are the Optio WG cameras. They’re great for adults too as they are waterproof, shockproof, crushproof and a few other proofs as well. I love the WP for rainy days, kayaking, swimming at the pool and lots of other outdoor activities. It’s been a great little camera for me, and now sometimes for Ella.
Another camera is the Olympus Tough series of cameras. They too are shock and waterproof, so they almost fit the bill. My problem with them is that the lens is right in the top right corner, exactly where little hands need to grip the camera. The Pentax’s lens is right in the middle, so in my opinion, little hands are less likely to be covering the photograph.
Canon, Nikon, Panasonic as well as a few other manufacturers have waterproof, shockproof cameras on the market. These cameras are relatively new, so I haven’t seen them or heard how good or bad the image quality is.
It’s just my personal opinion, but if you’re wanting your little one to take photographs, go with the Pentax WG. They’ll love it and you’ll love it too. The only downside, it’s a little bright:
Good thing it’s available in black.
Happy shooting, Eric