10 best cameras for kids 2021

16 February 2021

child with polaroid camera

Ever wonder how your child sees the world? Whether they’re three or 13, you can get a glimpse of their perspective with the help of a camera designed specifically for children.

Cameras have been integrated into more gadgets than ever before – from phones to tablets. But, sometimes, 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 want a simple first camera for your five-year-old, an action camera for bike rides and swimming, a Polaroid for a party or a video camera for a budding vlogger, our list has got it covered. There are options for every budget and age.

Here are the 10 best kids' cameras for 2021.

1. Best overall digital camera for kids: Vtech Kidizoom Duo Camera 5.0

“My DD has a Kidizoom camera and loves it. She loves the games and all the funny filters she can put on.”

“My DD (just turned seven) was gifted a Kidizoom and absolutely adores it. It comes into its own more as time goes on and she understands it more. It has given hours of fun!”

1. Best overall digital camera for kids: Vtech Kidizoom Duo Camera 5.0

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 could be a great alternative to channel their creativity.

It’s specially designed for younger ones (suitable for three- to nine-year-olds) with a brightly coloured design, big simple buttons and a shockproof shell that can stand up to your preschooler's butter fingers.

On the tech front, it has front- and rear-facing cameras, and built-in easy-to-use editing software to add fun frames and effects.

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

Key specs

  • Age range: 3-9
  • Weight: 560g
  • Battery: 4 x AA batteries

2. Best budget camera for kids: Vaternick C3 Kids’ Camera

2. Best budget camera for kids: Vaternick C3 Kids’ Camera

Looking for something to gift your budding photographer without breaking the bank? With its fun blue and pink design options and clever camera functions, the Vaternick C3 camera is well worth a look.

It takes pictures up to five megapixels, and will record video in full high definition (known as 1080P). You’ll find a 32 gigabyte memory card included, and you can hook it up to your computer to recharge it and transfer files – ideal for when their last masterpiece has been judged worthy of being printed and stuck on the fridge.

It even includes games and puzzles to keep them amused while there’s nothing interesting to photograph.

Key specs

  • Age range: 3-9
  • Weight: 66g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

Price: £23.65

Buy now from Amazon

3. Best value camera for kids: AbergBest LCD Rechargeable HD Digital Camera

3. Best value camera for kids: AbergBest LCD Rechargeable HD Digital Camera

Sometimes a more grown-up camera is what they need. This option has all the bells and whistles of a regular compact digicam, but strikes a balance to make it easy enough for older children to handle, with its more mature design complemented by advanced settings such as a self-timer, anti-shake functionality and 8x digital zoom.

Of course, there’s a lot more to photography than just pointing the camera and pressing the shutter. With this in mind, the AbergBest also comes with photo editing software – a worthwhile addition, given the camera can take higher definition pictures than many others on this list (up to 21 megapixels).

The bigger picture files also mean you might want more storage – the AbergBest takes a memory card of up to 64 gigabytes.

Key specs

  • Age range: 9+
  • Weight: 64g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

4. Best beginner camera for younger kids: Oaxis MyFirst Camera 2

“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!”

4. Best beginner camera for younger kids: Oaxis MyFirst Camera 2

The Oaxis MyFirst Camera 2’s funky design, USB recharging and eight megapixel definition with full HD video make it a great all-rounder.

It comes with a waterproof case, which means it can be taken for a half-hour dip at a depth of up to three metres, either in the pool or the sea. The included neck lanyard and silicone case make it 100% beach-ready, and the two-inch colour screen means that any new videos of sandcastles can be played back there and then.

Key specs

  • Age range: 3+
  • Weight: 65g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

5. Best beginner camera for older kids: iShare 20MP

“My dad worked in photography and he chose this for our nine-year-old. We'd read reviews of kids’ cameras before and been really unsure, but this is great.”

5. Best beginner camera for older kids: iShare 20MP

With anything techy – like cameras – there’s a bit of a tipping point where something stops being a ‘toy’ and starts being a beginner’s version of the real thing. The iShare 20MP camera is a great option for beginners who want to start taking their pictures with a camera that’s a little bit more grown-up.

The 20-megapixel camera and 8x digital zoom give the iShare a lot more power than some models aimed at younger children. Not only that, but it’s packed with other features too, like HD video, USB charging, an anti-shake setting, a timer and smiling face detection to help get those group photos just right.

It’s definitely not as cutesy to look at as some of the other cameras we’re recommending – but if your older child is starting to take their photography more seriously, perhaps that’s a good thing.

Key specs

  • Age range: 8+
  • Weight: 180g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

6. Best all-rounder for older kids: Nikon COOLPIX W150

“My nine-year-old has one. It’s really easy to use, shockproof and can take pictures underwater – so handy for holidays.”

6. Best all-rounder for older kids: Nikon COOLPIX W150

This camera is a great all-rounder – so much so that you might occasionally feel the need to ‘borrow’ it from your child to take some photos of your own.

It takes pictures up to 13.2 megapixels, has full HD video, and is waterproof up to 10 metres, so there aren’t many things it can’t capture. It even has a 3x optical zoom, making it easier to get sharper pictures of things a bit further in the distance – ideal for nature photography in the back garden.

The three-inch screen makes it easy to review pictures, and the included USB cable can be used to recharge the battery and transfer pictures onto a computer. The connectivity options don’t stop there though – Nikon’s SnapBridge software means pictures and videos can be transferred using wifi or bluetooth, so your child’s creativity can be shared with the rest of the family.

Key specs

  • Age range: 9+
  • Weight: 177g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

7. Best action camera for kids: GoPro Hero7

7. Best action camera for kids: GoPro Hero7

Are your kids non-stop outdoor adventurers who want to be able to video and share their latest daring exploits with you? If you’re looking for an action camera for them, the GoPro Hero7 could be the one.

Weighing in at a compact 117g, the lens on the GoPro Hero7 is capable of taking close up images, shooting 10 megapixel pictures, recording ultra-sharp 4k video and offering video stablisation to get rid of shaky footage – so no stunt should go unrecorded. It has a touchscreen too, 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 channel.

While not the cheapest – coming in at almost £200 – GoPro is the go-to action camera brand for even the biggest of kids (including the adult variety). Bear in mind that if your child wants to use it as a ‘body worn’ camera, using a harness, or mount it to a helmet, the attachments are sold separately.

Key specs

  • Age range: 8+
  • Weight: 117g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

8. Best video camera for kids: ProGrace Camera

8. Best video camera for kids: ProGrace Camera

Kids who love to explore the world will love this small yet functional device. At only 50 grams, it’s really lightweight, so you can simply attach this to your child’s bicycle, scooter or helmet to help them make movie masterpieces while they’re out and about. The ProGrace camera comes with a tight-sealing waterproof case too, so your child can use this while swimming – up to 100 feet deep!

As well as the full HD video, it takes pictures up to five megapixels with a 4x zoom. It does have a built-in screen to watch videos back, but at 1.7 inches, it’s a bit smaller than some. Videos and pictures can be transferred using the USB cable though, which also recharges the battery.

Key specs

  • Suitable for ages 5-12
  • Weight: 50g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

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

“I got my now 11-year-old one of these a couple of years ago and she loves it. It prints instantly – she’s built little photo books from it.”

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

With screens everywhere, you might be thinking about photography options that don’t just rely on yet another digital device. The Instax Mini 11 is a fun option for kids to create pictures they can hold on to. After taking a photo, the camera can print a 54 × 86mm snap straight away, giving a nice memento of the special moment.

It has a dedicated selfie setting to help with close-ups, and the automatic exposure and flash should mean no one gets lost in the gloom. You’ll need to buy film separately though as it’s not included with the camera.

Key specs

  • Age range: 9+
  • Weight: 294g
  • Battery: AA batteries

10. Most fun camera for kids: Polaroid Originals Now Instant

“It's a lot of fun, particularly to watch children work out how to take pictures/use a view finder. I was at a family celebration last week and handed it over to a couple of teenagers, but smaller children have had fun with it. It was nice to take a picture of a child and then hand it over to the parent.”

10. Most fun camera for kids: Polaroid Originals Now Instant

The Polaroid Originals Now Instant camera has a cool retro design that should win big style points with older children and teens. Just remember to ask before you borrow it!

As with the classic Polaroid camera you might remember from your childhood, it prints analogue pictures instantly – well, after a bit of shaking, at least.

The auto-focus should mean the snaps are sharp, and it also has a modern twist on the classic Polaroid tech with functions such as a self-timer, instant double exposure for creative photographers who want to capture two superimposed images, and a rechargeable battery/USB cable.

Key specs

  • Suitable for ages 11+
  • Weight: 434g
  • Battery: USB rechargeable

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.

1. Consider their age

Your child’s age will play a big part in helping you choose the camera that’s right for them. For instance, there are models that are more colourfully designed and harder to break – and these can be suitable for children aged three and above.

Pre-schooler cameras might not have the most powerful high definition though, so you can think about trading up to something with a bit more oomph (and perhaps a less cutesy) if your kid wants to channel Brooklyn Beckham’s budding photography career.

2. Think about what they'll use it for

Most (but not all) kids’ cameras can also shoot video, and there are models designed for the rough and tumble of action photography, or even being underwater.

You might also want to consider what they will 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.

3. Is it a toy?

There are some great, cute-looking kids’ cameras available to buy no matter how old your child is. But while the more ‘toy-like’ designs can include built-in games and funny filters, 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 suitable as a kids’ camera for older children. It’s possible (although not essential) to spend a lot more on these – and, if you do, there will be a whole range of more sophisticated features on offer, from HD video to zoom capabilities, and a wider range of settings including ISO. But you probably won’t want to break the bank if you think the novelty might wear off after a couple of weeks.

4. Look for extras

You’ll also want to think about whether the camera you choose needs any extras – these can be costly – whether it’s batteries, memory cards, film or special tripods and mountings.

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, while the iShare 20MP Camera is a great option for older children (8+) thanks to its more powerful features – like 21 megapixel capability – that make 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, with a shockproof case, easy-to-hold handles and great usability, front and rear cameras and a 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

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

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which kids’ cameras had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.

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

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