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Best cameras for kids 2021: Give your child a camera of their own from just £36

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Get your child creating from just £36 with our roundup of the best kids’ cameras

Finding the best camera for your kids is a great way to get them engaging creatively while having fun – and it’s never too early to start! With a camera in hand, children are free to explore the world around them and create memories that can last a lifetime.

Picking out the best camera for your child can, however, be trickier than it may at first seem. You’ll find a wide range of kids’ cameras available, some designed specifically for younger children, and some ideal for older kids to grow into. We’ve tried, tested and scoured the internet for the best cameras for kids, at the best prices, to help you decide which camera will best suit your child.

Before our rundown of the best cameras for kids, you’ll also find a buyer’s guide to help you decide what types of features are important when picking a new camera for your child.

Save £10 on the Polaroid Now instant camera

The Now is Polaroid's modern take on their iconic instant camera. It features exposure compensation, a self-timer and of course, it produces Polaroid's classic white-bordered prints. The Polaroid Now carries an RRP of £120 but you can usually pick it up for around £105. Right now, however, it's down to just £95.
Amazon
Was £105
Now £95

The best kids’ cameras: at a glance


How to choose the best camera for your child

While on the surface shopping for a kids’ camera is not all that dissimilar to buying a camera for adults, there are several aspects and features that set child-friendly cameras apart from the competition.

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Look out for ease of use

First and foremost, any camera for kids should be fun to use. The last thing a child wants is to be bogged down with menus or held up by clunky controls, so the ability to simply point and shoot is key. In our roundup, we’ve tried to include cameras that are easy to set up and good to go nearly straight out of the box. We’ve also included a recommended minimum age to help you pick from the most appropriate options.

What additional functions are worth considering?

Beyond standard picture taking, most digital cameras also offer up the ability to record video clips, a feature that may be well worth considering.

Many of the entries on our list also feature some child-specific functions such as the ability to toggle simplified menus, fun built-in photo filters, and some even manage to pack simple games, too.

Is durability important?

Kids have a tendency to push products to their limits, so it’s important to make sure that any camera you choose is capable of standing up to whatever your child can throw at it. While older children may be fine with more delicate tech, for younger kids it may be worth considering shockproof and waterproof devices for maximum peace of mind.

READ NEXT: The best tablets to buy for children

What about add-ons and extras?

While many entries on our list are ready to shoot straight out of the box, some may require additional purchases over time. Digital devices often use rechargeable batteries, making an SD card the only extra required. Other cameras may need specialised batteries or film that you’ll need to keep on top of.

The best kids’ cameras to buy in 2021

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11: Best kids’ camera for instant fun

Price: £69 | Buy now from Amazon

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 11 makes instant photography easy and accessible for all. Available in a range of six different colours, this round-edged camera is perfect for smaller hands and produces attractive prints.

The camera is completely automatic, with the only user control being the ability to engage an optional selfie mode. Selfie mode drops the minimum focus distance down to an arm’s length 0.3m, and there’s even a little mirror next to the lens to make sure you’re in the frame.

The credit-card sized prints take around 90 seconds to develop and are great for collecting in albums or sharing with family and friends.

Read our full Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 review for more details.

Key specs – Recommended age: 6+; Format: Instax mini; Battery: 2 x AA; Weight: 293g


2. VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0: The best first camera

Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon

Designed specifically for younger children, the Kidizoom Duo is the perfect first camera. It features front- and rear-facing 5MP sensors, a 4x digital zoom and built-in effects, and it can even record videos.

The Duo’s controls are intuitively laid out, with large buttons on the grips for the shutter release and lens selector, while a wheel on the back initiates the zoom. Shots can be framed using either the binocular viewfinder or the 2.4in LCD screen.

The menu system is also simple and easy to navigate, granting access to a range of different filters and effects for photos, videos and voice recordings. There’s even a selection of built-in games.

Easy to operate and fun to use, the robustly built Kidizoom Duo 5.0 is the ideal pick for kids aged three and up.

Key specs – Recommended age: 3+; Stills resolution: 5MP; Video resolution: 320 x 240; Zoom: 4x digital; Battery: 4 x AA; Weight: 558g


3. Canon IXUS 185: Best compact camera for kids

Price: £105 | Buy now from Canon

Compact cameras have had a rough few years, with the entry-level market all but eaten away by camera phones. However, coming in just shy of £100, the Canon IXUS 185 is a highly competent point-and-shoot that can compete with pricier smartphones.

Packing a 20MP sensor, it’s able to produce nice high-resolution images, and with an 8X optical zoom it can obtain an impressive level of reach, too. As it’s an entry-level compact, it’s not exactly bristling with features, but it’s well specced for the price. It features a smart auto mode, face detection autofocus and an impressive minimum focus distance for close-up macro shots.

Given its slim, lightweight design, it isn’t the toughest camera on our list and so wouldn’t be ideal for younger children. But if you’re looking to equip your teen with a decent dedicated camera that’s ideal for holiday snaps, the IXUS 185 will certainly do the trick.

Key specs – Recommended age: Teen; Stills resolution: 20MP; Video resolution: 1,280 x 720; Zoom: 8x optical, 16x digital; Battery: Rechargeable; Weight: 126g

Buy now from Canon


4. Canon EOS 2000D: Best first DSLR for kids

Price: £450 | Buy now from Amazon

Canon’s EOS 2000D is ideal for budding photographers looking to invest in their first “real” camera. A true DSLR, the 2000D packs an optical viewfinder, manual controls and compatibility with Canon’s complete EF lens lineup.

For beginners there are fully automatic modes, including intelligent scene settings for food photography, night photography, sports and more. For users looking to expand their creativity, there are also manual modes and onboard creative filters. The 2000D also offers Full HD video recording and can connect to your smartphone over Wi-Fi using the Canon Connect app.

The included 18-55mm kit lens zooms from wide angle to short telephoto, allowing it to cover landscapes, portraits and everything in between. There’s also built-in image stabilisation to reduce camera shake and smooth out videos.

For teenagers looking to get serious about their photos or study photography, the Canon EOS 2000D is an excellent choice.

Read our full Canon EOS 2000D review for more details.

Key specs – Recommended age: Teen; Stills resolution: 24.1MP; Video resolution: 1,920 × 1,080; Zoom: 3x optical; Battery: Rechargeable; Weight: 690g (with lens)


5. Apple iPhone 8 (Refurbished): Best camera phone for kids

Price: From £162 | Buy now from Amazon

With smartphone camera tech improving with each new generation, the best compact camera may actually be a phone. While it’s no longer the flagship, Apple’s iPhone 8 was top of the heap when it launched, and still produces cracking photos and videos.

It features a 12MP main camera, a 7MP selfie camera, and can record video at up to 4K. As an iOS device, it also has access to a whole world of photo applications on the App Store, and photos can be easily shared online.

As the iPhone isn’t quite as robust as some of the other entries on our list, it’s better suited to older children, though there are plenty of tough cases available to protect it.

The hardware may be a few generations old now, but the iPhone 8 still receives software and security updates and, given the current price of refurbished examples, it’s really tough to top for the price. If you were already considering picking up a phone for your child it’s a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Read our full Apple iPhone 8 review for more details.

Key specs – Recommended age: Pre-teen and up; Stills resolution: 12MP and 7MP; Video resolution: Up to 3,840 × 2,160; Battery: Rechargeable; Weight: 148g


6. Harman Reusable 35mm: Best budget film camera for kids

Price: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

Out with the disposable, in with the reusable. The single-use camera has been a kids’ holiday must-have for decades, and while you can still pick up a classic disposable, prices have been creeping up of late. Enter the Harman Reusable.

It operates just like a standard single-use camera, the only difference being that it’s reloadable. Made entirely from plastic, it’s lightweight and easy to carry but still feels robust enough to hand to a child. Feature-wise, it really couldn’t be any simpler; there’s a shutter button, a wheel for winding the film, and a switch to toggle the flash. That’s it, point and shoot.

For around the price of two regular disposables you can pick up the Harman along with two rolls of film and a wrist strap. The included film is black and white Kentmere film (which can be harder to get processed unless you have a darkroom at home), but the camera is compatible with any 35mm film, black and white or colour.

Key specs – Recommended age: 6+; Format: 35mm film; Battery: 1 x AAA (included); Weight: 100g


7. Nikon Coolpix W150: Best waterproof camera for kids

Price: £149 | Buy now from Jessops

With a shock- and waterproof design, intuitive controls and a range of bright colours to choose from, Nikon’s Coolpix W150 is an excellent option for kids of almost any age. It shoots 13MP stills, records full HD video and packs a 3X optical zoom.

What really sets the W150 apart is its user-friendly control layout. With a large shutter button on the right and a record button on the left, anyone can get up and running almost immediately. The menus are easy to navigate too, with creative presets for night, food and macro pictures, as well options for filters, effects and borders.

Images and videos are stored on an SD card, which you’ll need to purchase separately, but with pictures averaging 7MB even a modest-capacity card should suffice. The W150 is also compatible with Nikon’s Snapbridge app, so you can transfer the files to your smartphone instantly.

Key specs – Recommended age: 6+; Stills resolution: 13.2MP; Video resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Focal length: 30-90mm (35mm equivalent); Zoom: 3x optical, 4x digital; Battery: Rechargeable; Battery life: 220 shots; Shockproof: 1.8m; Waterproof: 10m; Weight: 177g

Buy now from Jessops


8. Polaroid Now: Best Polaroid camera for kids

Price: £105 | Buy now from Amazon

The iconic white-bordered Polaroid print has decorated the bedrooms of teenagers for decades. While other instant cameras available, none quite matches the cool aesthetic of the original.

The Now is the latest Polaroid to hit the market and the only modern iteration to feature autofocus. It offers basic controls for exposure, flash and double exposure, but, in practice, it’s an easy-to-use point-and-shoot.

The instant pictures are exactly what you’d expect from a Polaroid – dreamily soft, colourful and oozing with nostalgic style.

The only thing to keep in mind is the cost of the film. Polaroid i-Type film can be a little costly, and so this camera is best suited to older children who can pace their shots.

Key specs – Recommend age: Teen; Format: Polaroid i-Type; Battery: Rechargeable; Weight: 594g


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