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Best cameras for kids: recommended by real parents

Ever seen the world from your child’s perspective? Whether they’re three or 13, cameras designed specifically for children can help them capture memories, have fun and embrace their creativity.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Mar 25, 2022

Child using a camera

Whilst integrated cameras on phones and tablets have made photography for kids more accessible than ever, a specially designed device to help your child snap away can be just the thing to help them develop their creativity and photography skills.

Whether you are looking for a simple first camera for your five-year-old, an action one for bike rides and swimming, an instant option for a party or sleepover or even a video camera for a budding vlogger, our list has got you covered.

We know that choosing tech for your child can be tricky, especially when you need to factor in longevity and the risk of damage little ones might cause, so we took to the Mumsnet forums to find the cameras real parents have tried, tested and loved. We also thoroughly researched recommendations from tech experts, and spent extensive time analysing balanced consumer reviews to bring you the top 12 cameras, with options for every age and budget.

Here are the best cameras for kids for 2022.

1. Best overall camera for kids: VTech KidiZoom Duo 5.0

VTech KidiZoom Duo 5.0

Price £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“They are fab. My children got them when they were three and still use them years and years later. They love taking photos of themselves, making little videos, using the photo editing tools etc. The quality is ok and they are rugged!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user elaeocarpus)

If your little one is always grabbing your phone and handing it back to you with dozens of blurry pictures clogging up your memory, the VTech KidiZoom Duo Camera is a great alternative to help them channel their creativity.

Specially designed for younger ones (suitable for three- to nine-year-olds) the new, improved KidiZoom Duo 5.0 has a brightly coloured design, large sized buttons and simple menu navigation. Great for peace of mind, it also has a rugged, shockproof shell that allows it to stand up to even the clumsiest of preschoolers. 

On the tech front, it has both front and rear-facing cameras, captures high-quality photo and video and even includes built-in, easy-to-use editing software to allow your child to add fun frames, filters and effects. 

With five built-in games including fast paced road racing, a classic brick game and a memory challenge at the crazy cafe, there’s also plenty to keep children entertained during travel or holidays.

Although the five megapixel camera isn’t as high-definition as some of the cameras on our list, lots of Mumsnetters have found the KidiZoom to be a great option for children who are just getting started. Just don’t forget that you’ll need to buy disposable batteries to keep it charged up.

Pros

  • Super easy to use 
  • Robust and sturdy to protect against drops 
  • Frames, filters and effects add some extra fun 

Cons

  • Quite bulky and more ‘toy-like’ in appearance 
  • Image quality reduces significantly when filters are applied 
  • Older models of the KidiZoom have 2.0 megapixel resolution so make sure you get the latest model 

Key specs

  • Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
  • Megapixels:
  • Lens: Fixed plus digital 4 x zoom 
  • LCD screen size: 2.4 inch
  • Max video resolution: 320 x 240
  • Waterproof: No 
  • Battery: 4 AA Batteries required (included) 
  • User level: 3 - 9 years 
  • Weight: 200g

2. Best budget camera for kids: ITSHINY Kids Camera

ITSHINY Kids Camera

Price £34.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Whilst it would be great for manufacturers to realise that not every child wants products in pink or blue, the ITSHINY Kids Camera is a great budget-friendly option for a child’s first camera. At just £34.99,  you can help your child begin to explore photography without needing a large investment.

Recommended for children aged three to 10 years, this kid’s camera is super lightweight and portable, with a sturdy, shockproof shell to protect against drops and falls. 

Offering additional functionality to make it feel a little less like a toy, the ITSHINY Kid’s Camera comes with an extra large LCD screen for easy shooting, captures images in a range of quality levels from three to eight megapixels and records high quality HD 1080p video. A positive for parents, it is also fully chargeable by USB, so no scrabbling around hunting for batteries.

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Large LCD screen 
  • USB chargeable 

Cons

  • Pink or blue colour choices are a bit of a cliché
  • No zoom feature 

Key specs

  • Sensor: Unspecified 
  • Megapixels: 3, 5 or 8
  • Lens: Fixed
  • LCD screen size: 3.5 inches 
  • Max video resolution: 1080P/720P 
  • Waterproof: No 
  • Battery: ‎1 lithium ion battery required (included), but charged by USB 
  • User level: 3 to 10 years  
  • Weight: 110g

3. Best instant camera for kids: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Price £69 | Buy now from Amazon

My DD got one for her birthday and they are amazing! Buy lots of film packs and get something for her to use to display the pics!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Onceuponatimethen)

With kids getting more screen time than ever before, you might be thinking about photography options that don’t rely on yet another digital device. The Instax Mini 11 is a fun instant camera option for kids to create pictures they can hold on to forever. 

After taking a photo, this camera can instantly print a 54 × 86mm snap, providing a nice memento of the special moment for friends to share, pop in an album or display in their bedroom.

With a dedicated selfie setting to help capture close-ups, the Instax Mini also offers automatic exposure and flash to make sure no one gets lost in the gloom. 

These nostalgic style cameras come in a choice of five muted colours with two customisable shutter buttons to allow your child to really express their personality. It’s worth taking into account though that the camera doesn’t come with film included. You’ll need to purchase the required Instax Mini Instant Film separately, and it’s fair to say it doesn’t come cheap. 

Pros

  • Instant prints are great for parties or special events
  • Customisable design to express their individuality 

Cons

  • Instant film can be expensive 
  • Not the highest quality images

Key specs

  • Sensor: Unspecified 
  • Megapixels: 3.7MP 
  • Lens: Optical with selfie mode 
  • LCD screen size: None
  • Max video resolution: None 
  • Waterproof: No
  • Battery: 2 AA batteries required(included)
  • User level: Tweens and teens 
  • Weight: ‎436g

4. Best polaroid camera for kids: Polaroid 9030 Instant i-Type Camera

Polaroid 9030 Instant i-Type Camera

Price: From £90.65 | Buy now from Amazon

“Three of mine have them. They are taken out on occasions and especially if there is a sleepover. Mine love theirs.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Nutsabouttopic)

Another popular instant camera choice for kids is the Polaroid 9030, a Polaroid ‘point-and-shoot’ camera that captures sharp, vivid colours.  

With an integrated auto-focus, flash and self-timer, this camera is ideal for capturing instant selfies and group photos of friends, even offering double exposure options to frame two moments within the same shot. 

Available in seven different colours, the Polaroid 9030 is a bold, bright statement camera that is practical as well as fun but, as with any instant camera, the cost of film can considerably increase the running costs. 

It’s also worth knowing before you embarrass your child with a rendition of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ and ‘Shake it like a Polaroid picture’ - you no longer have to shake the images to help them dry!

Pros

  • Double exposure option for really unique pictures
  • Great for sleepovers or fun with friends 

Cons

  • Cost of film is high
  • Less portable for on the move

Key specs

  • Sensor: Unspecified 
  • Megapixels: None (analogue) 
  • Lens: Dual-lens system
  • LCD screen size: None 
  • Max video resolution: None 
  • Waterproof: No 
  • Battery: 2 AA batteries required (included) 
  • User level: Age 6+ 
  • Weight: 436g

5. Best action camera for kids: GoPro HERO 9

GoPro HERO9 Black

Price £327.49 | Buy now from Amazon

I bought one recently as an early birthday present for my adult daughter. She loves it. She got a pet harness and if my daughter comes out on a dog walk with me, the dogs take turns wearing the GoPro!” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Palominoo)

Are your kids non-stop outdoor adventurers who want to be able to video and share their latest daring exploits? If you’re looking for an on-the-go action camera, then GoPro comes with a great reputation. 

Weighing in at a compact 147g, the GoPro HERO 9 is packed full of impressive features - capable of taking close-up images, shooting 20 megapixel pictures and recording ultra-sharp 5k video. 

With video stabilisation to prevent shaky footage during stunts, it has a touchscreen, voice control to take pictures and is waterproof to boot. The wind noise reducing microphone could even get action-packed footage suitable for a young vlogger to include on their YouTube channel or TikTok.

While certainly an investment at over £300, GoPro is the must-have action camera brand for even the biggest of kids (including the adult variety). Whilst it comes with a mounting buckle, it's important to bear in mind that if your child wants to use it as a ‘body worn’ camera with a harness, you’ll also need the attachments that are sold separately.

If your budget won’t quite stretch to the GoPro HERO 9, you can still pick up older GoPro models at a lower price, or even opt for the KidiZoom Action Cam HD - a cheaper action camera aimed specifically at children that attaches to a scooter or bike. 

Pros

  • Captures high-quality action shots without blur 
  • Waterproof up to 33 feet
  • Records high quality 5k video footage 

Cons

  • Costly
  • Additional accessories can be expensive

Key specs

  • Sensor: Unspecified 
  • Megapixels: 20 megapixels 
  • Lens: Detachable 
  • LCD screen size: 2.27 inches
  • Max video resolution: 5120 x 2880 
  • Waterproof: Yes 
  • Battery: 1 lithium ion battery required (included and rechargeable)
  • User level: Best for teens and above 
  • Weight: 147g 

6. Best DSLR camera for beginners: Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500

Price: £527.30 (with lens) | Buy now from OnBuy

For beginners I’d recommend a Nikon D3500. My friend bought one not long ago and she's very happy with it.” (Brand recommended by Mumsnet user Tavannach)

If you have an older child or a teen who is starting to focus more on photo quality over simply having fun, it may be time to invest in their first DSLR - a camera that offers full control over their photography and can produce beautiful, high-quality shots.

Simple to use for beginners using auto mode, your child can gradually learn the full scope of this camera's settings including aperture, shutter speed and ISO as their confidence grows.

The Nikon D3500 comes with a lens set included to help your child capture everything from portraits to landscapes and offers built-in image stabilisation to help keep images crisp, clear and free from blur. 

Capturing 24.2 megapixel images and full HD movies even in low light environments,  the Nikon D3500 also links to a phone via bluetooth, allowing your child to quickly and easily share their snaps with family and friends. 

Pros

  • Produces high quality 24.2 megapixel imagery
  • Choice of auto or manual use

Cons

  • Costly
  • Less portable for everyday use

Key specs

  • Sensor: 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor
  • Megapixels: 24.2 
  • Lens: Lens included (AF-P 18-55mm VR Lens)
  • LCD screen size: 3 inches 
  • Max video resolution: Full HD 1920 × 1080p
  • Waterproof: No 
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion EN-EL14a included (chargeable)
  • User level: Older tweens and above 
  • Weight: 365g or 565g with lens 

7. Best beginner camera for kids: AbergBest LCD Rechargeable HD Digital Camera

AbergBest LCD Rechargeable HD Digital Camera

Price £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Is your child ready to take their photography to the next level? If you’re looking for an easy-to-use camera that takes impressive images, the AbergBest is a budget-friendly camera that is ideal for beginners.

With a slim, lightweight design, this camera is simple to operate with minimal buttons and settings.

It offers an impressive 21 megapixel resolution for capturing high-quality imagery and a large LCD screen to allow a quick review or playback. In addition, it comes with a night shooting mode and built-in flash, ensuring picture quality doesn’t suffer, even when the sun goes down. 

With helpful aids such as an 8 x digital zoom, anti-shake and smile-detect technology, children will love becoming more confident behind the lens. 

Pros

  • A more grown-up looking camera, ideal for tweens 
  • High image and video quality
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Need to purchase a separate SD card 
  • Not as robust as some other kids' cameras

Key specs

  • Sensor: Unspecified
  • Megapixels: 21  
  • Lens: Fixed plus 8 x digital zoom 
  • LCD screen size: 2.7 inches 
  • Max video resolution: HD 720P
  • Waterproof: No
  • Battery: 1 lithium ion battery required (included and chargeable)
  • User level: Recommended from 6 years 
  • Weight: 309g

8. Best first digital camera for kids: Sony DSCW800 Digital Compact Camera

Sony DSCW800 Digital Compact Camera

Price £109 | Buy now from Jessops

If your child is showing an interest in digital photography and you want a great specification at a relatively low price, the Sony DSCW800 Digital Camera is a compact and portable option, small enough to slip into your child’s coat pocket. 

A great option for teens, this camera offers a 5x optical zoom, wide angle lens and a dedicated movie button for fuss-free shooting. It even has a unique party mode that automatically adjusts to its surroundings to capture all the action in vibrant, colourful detail. 

With a range of built-in picture editing effects (without the need for additional software) this easy-to-use ‘point-and-shoot’ camera is suitable for both special occasions and everyday use. 

Pros

  • Compact (fits in a pocket)
  • Point-and-shoot for ease of use

Cons

  • Not waterproof 

Key specs

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 20 
  • Lens: Fixed 5 x optical zoom 
  • LCD screen size: 2.7 inches 
  • Max video resolution: 720 HD 
  • Waterproof: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable battery pack NP-BN
  • User level: Tweens and teens
  • Weight: 109g

9. Best camera for young kids: Oaxis myFirst Camera 2

Oaxis My First Camera 2

Price £62.60 | Buy now from Amazon

There's only about £10 difference between kids’ cameras and cheaper adult ones, but I think my DD prefers the appearance of this kids’ one!” (Brand considered by Mumsnet user MakeMineALargeProsecco)

The Oaxis MyFirst Camera 2 offers a fun, block-like design that is not only super appealing to kids, but can be fully customised with the stickers included. With USB recharging, an eight megapixel definition and full HD video, it's a great all-rounder camera for younger children.

A welcome feature for holidays and travel, it also comes with a unique waterproof case, allowing it to be taken for a half-hour dip in the pool or sea at a depth of up to three metres.  

The included neck lanyard and silicone case make it 100% beach-ready, whilst the two-inch colour screen means that their fun, poolside videos can be played back there and then.

Pros

  • Waterproof case ideal for holidays
  • USB charging
  • Customisable block design 
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Parents will need to check waterproof case is securely fastened before use in water
  • Older kids may find the design too babyish

Key specs

  • Sensor: Not specified 
  • Megapixels: 8 megapixels 
  • Lens: Single
  • LCD screen size: 2 inches 
  • Max video resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Waterproof: Yes (in case)  
  • Battery: 1000 mAh rechargeable battery 
  • User level: 3 years and above
  • Weight: 67g

10. Best underwater camera for kids: Fujifilm FinePix XP140

Fujifilm FinePix XP140

Price: £149 | Buy now from Currys

If you’re heading off on holiday and want your kids to be able to capture some really unique shots, a waterproof camera may be a good place to start, offering the ability to capture fun shots both in and out of the water.

The Fujifilm FinePix XP140 is a lightweight yet sturdy camera, making it ideal for travel. Waterproof up to 25 metres in depth, it is also freeze, shock and dust proof, meaning your child can capture some impressive photos wherever their adventures take them. 

With a high 16.5 megapixels image quality even in low light, image stabilisation to avoid blurry pics, auto-focus and smile detectors, this camera also has the ability to capture 4K Ultra HD video with slow motion and time lapse effects.

Finally, when your kids get home and want to share their images, the built-in wifi and bluetooth makes it really simple for them to download and share. 

Pros

  • Waterproof up to 25 metres 
  • 4k ultra HD video capabilities

Cons

  • Only available in one colour (blue)

Key specs

  • Sensor: 1/2.3" / 6.17 x 4.55 mm CMOS sensor
  • Megapixels: 16.4 
  • Lens: Fixed with 5 x optical zoom 
  • LCD screen size: 3 inches 
  • Max video resolution: 4K Ultra HD 3840 x 2160p
  • Waterproof: Up to 25 metres 
  • Battery: Lithium-ion NP-45S (included) 
  • User level: Ages 6+ 
  • Weight: 470g

11. Best video camera for kids: VTech KidiZoom Studio

VTech KiddiZoom Studio

Price £51.87 | Buy now from Amazon

Does your child love to be creative by making videos? The VTech KidiZoom Studio comes with everything they need to be creative and bring their videos to life, including a HD video recorder, mini tripod, wrist strap and green screen. 

Offering a high quality 720p HD video recording capability and a large 2.4 inch colour LCD screen, it also has a flip-up lens for recording in selfie mode, so kids can record a wide range of fun video footage. 

With built-in, easy-to-use video editing, children can choose from 20 different backgrounds for their videos, including TV show sets, beaches and outer space scenes. They can even create illusions or green screen effects using the sheet included. 

It’s worth noting that whilst it does come with some internal memory, it fills up pretty quickly. If you're buying as a gift, we recommend you buy a separate SD card to avoid disappointment. 

Pros:

  • Fun video effects and green screen options
  • Portable tripod 
  • Good value
  • Great for younger kids

Cons:

  • Separate SD card recommended to expand the internal memory
  • The instruction advice that the camera should only be charged via a laptop and not through a standard USB

Key specs

  • Sensor: Unspecified
  • Megapixels: 5.0
  • Lens: Unspecified 
  • LCD screen size: 2.4 inches 
  • Max video resolution: 720p
  • Waterproof: No 
  • Battery: ‎1 lithium ion batterie required (included and chargeable)
  • User level: 5 - 12 years 
  • Weight: 680g

12. Best drone with camera for kids: DEERC D20 Mini Drone for Kids

DEERC D20 Mini Drone for Kids

Price £42.49 | Buy now from Amazon

Whilst capturing photographs from the ground can be fun, taking aerial photos can be really exciting and allow your child to explore the world from a completely different perspective.

Whilst there are some stipulations about when and where you can use a drone outside, the DEERC D20 Mini Drone for Kids is an affordable option that can capture high-quality, dramatic 720p video footage of the scenes below. 

Easy to use via either voice control or a one key stop and start, this remote control drone can recognise hand signals to take spectacular selfies and also do an impressive loop the loop for unique action shots.

Pros

  • Relatively low price for a first drone
  • Aerial photos and videos captures angles like never before 

Cons

  • Each battery will need recharging after 10 minutes of flight 
  • Not recommended to use outside on a windy day
  • Supervision required, plus you need to make sure you're meeting official safety requirements while using 

Key specs

  • Sensor: Unspecified 
  • Megapixels: Unspecified 
  • Lens: 80° wide angle
  • LCD screen size: N/A 
  • Max video resolution: HD1280 x 720P
  • Waterproof: No 
  • Battery: ‎2 lithium ion batteries required (included)
  • User level: 8 years + (supervision required) 
  • Weight: 420g 

How to choose a camera for your child

As with many tech products, the world of cameras comes with a bewildering range of different features. Thankfully, specially designed cameras for kids strip away some of these complications and, if you choose the right one, it will focus on the most important thing – having fun.

Here are some things to consider when making your choice:

  • Age - Some models are brighter, more toy-like and harder to break, and these can be suitable for children aged three and above. Preschooler cameras might not have the most powerful definition, so older children who want higher quality photos may need a higher spec.
  • Is it a toy? - Cute-looking kids’ cameras and ‘toy-like’ designs can include built-in games and funny filters, but they might not shoot pictures that are as sharp as you are used to seeing on the average modern smartphone. If you’re looking for something more serious, there are models aimed at beginners that would be more suitable as a kids’ camera for older children.
  • Cost -  As a general rule, the more sophisticated features on offer, the more you will need to spend. If your child is dabbling in photography and simply wants to have fun, you don’t need to break the bank. If you’re looking for HD video, high resolutions and zoom capabilities, you may need to spend a little more.
  • Is it portable? - Some cameras are small and compact, fitting in a pocket like a smartphone, whereas others are more bulky and substantial in size. Smaller cameras are more suitable for travel and outdoor use, whereas dimensions are less important for use in the home. 
  • Does it need video? - Most (but not all) kids’ cameras can also shoot video, but the quality can vary substantially from one camera to the next. If they’re keen to capture action shots and high-speed videos without blur, you may need to spend more for HD 5k video capabilities.
  • Does it need to be waterproof? - A waterproof camera is not only great for peace of mind, but allows your child to capture some really unique images on holiday or at the pool. The depth they are waterproof to also varies from one manufacturer to the next, so make sure you read the specifications to avoid breakages.
  • Photo output - What will they want to do with the photos after they’ve taken them? Some digital kids’ cameras have easy-to-use photo editing software, enabling the photos to be transferred to another device. Another option – which can be great fun – is a camera that prints physical pictures instantly.
  • What extras are required? - Extras can be costly – whether it’s batteries, memory cards, film or special tripods and mountings. Take into consideration not only the cost of the camera, but the ongoing running costs and additional purchases you may need to make.

What’s a good first camera for a child?

The right first camera for your child will depend on what age they get started with photography. We think the Oaxis MyFirst Camera 2 is the best beginner camera for kids aged three to eight years old.

The AbergBest LCD Rechargeable HD Digital Camera is a great option for older children (six-plus) thanks to its more powerful features including the 21 megapixel capability which makes it possible to take more sophisticated shots.

What’s the best camera for kids?

The Vtech Kidizoom Duo Camera 5.0 is the best camera for kids on the market right now. Parents highlight its fun filters and say that it’s given their children hours of fun – with the included games being an extra bonus.

It has a kid-friendly design, a shockproof case, easy-to-hold handles and great usability, as well as front and rear cameras and an impressive three-inch screen. It also takes pictures up to five megapixels – enough to spark the imagination of a young beginner.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from parents

Because we know that there’s nothing like a recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to our forums to find out which cameras discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their kids. We compiled a list of cameras they recommended, noting how effective they found them, and what ages they thought they were suitable for.

Experts' best buys

We then did significant research across the wider web, looking at which kids’ cameras had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites including Amazon, Jessops and Currys as well as trusted, independent print media and tech specialist sites.

Honest customer reviews

Lastly, we thoroughly researched online review sites and authentic consumer reviews on retailer sites. We looked out for positive and negative reviews and dug deeper to identify any consistent pros or cons of each. 

Having collated all that information, we picked the cameras we thought would make the best buys for kids in several interest categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.