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Best cameras for kids 2024: Give your child a camera of their own

Get your child creating from just £32 with our roundup of the best kids’ cameras

Finding the best camera for your kids can be 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, creating memories of the people they meet and places they visit that can last a lifetime.

Picking out the best camera for your child can, however, be trickier than it may at first seem. You will 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 will also find a buyer’s guide to help you decide what types of features are important when picking a new camera for your child.

Best cameras for kids: 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.

Look out for ease of use

First and foremost, any camera intended for a child 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.

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 will need to keep on top of.

How we test cameras for kids

To make sure that we provide you with the best buying advice, all of our recommendations have been tested by one of our resident experts. When it comes to finding the best cameras for kids, we test to ensure that the devices we recommend are durable, easy to operate and fun to use.

Testing a Fujifilm Instax Mini instant camera

We snap sample pictures under varying lighting conditions to check that the camera’s resulting picture quality is consistently up to scratch. We also perform comparative tests to make sure that the overall package represents good value for money.

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The best cameras for kids you can buy in 2024

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 12: Best instant camera for kids

Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 12 makes instant photography easy and accessible for all. Available in a range of five 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 “close-up” selfie mode. Close-up 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 12 review

Key specs – Recommended age: 6+; Format: Instax mini; Battery: 2 x AA; Weight: 306g

2. VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0: Best first camera for kids

Price: £70 | Buy now from John Lewis 

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. Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo: Best hybrid instant camera for kids

Price: £174 | Buy now from Amazon

Fujifilm’s hybrid Instax Mini Evo offers all the fun of instant photography with none of the traditional unpredictability. An instant and digital camera rolled into one, the Evo captures 4.9MP photos that can be printed onto Fujfilm’s credit card sized Instax Mini film, saved to a computer or shared to social media using a smartphone app.

While most other instant cameras begin printing as soon as the picture is taken, the Evo allows images to be checked on the rear LCD display first – this avoids wasting pricey film on misfires or shots where someone had their eyes closed. It also allows for the same image to be printed more than once and for pictures to be taken even if there’s no instant film inside the camera.

There are loads of filters and effects built in, allowing for plenty of creativity. And, if paired with a smartphone it can share printed images straight to social media and even be used to print photos that have been taken on the phone.

Read our full Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo review

Key specs – Recommended age: Teen; Format: Instax mini; Stills resolution: 4.9MP, Battery: Rechargeable; Weight: 285g

4. Canon IXUS 185: Best compact camera for kids

Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon

Compact cameras have had a rough few years, with the entry-level market all but eaten away by camera phones. However, 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

5. Canon EOS 2000D: Best first DSLR camera for kids

Price: £599 | Buy now from John Lewis 

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

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

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

Price: From £122 | 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

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

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

Price: £32 | Buy now from Harman

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

Buy now from Harman

8. Polaroid Now: Best Polaroid camera for kids

Price: £96 | Buy now from Amazon

The iconic white-bordered Polaroid print has decorated the bedrooms of teenagers for decades. While the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 (also featured on our roundup) is a slightly more accessible instant option, few cameras can quite match Polaroid’s timeless aesthetic.

Keeping true to Polaroid’s OneStep lineage, the Now is a simple-to-use point-and-shoot instant camera. It offers autofocus, automatic exposure with exposure compensation and packs a toggleable flash and an optional double exposure mode. The pictures are exactly what you would expect from a Polaroid – dreamily soft, colourful – if slightly unpredictable – and oozing with nostalgic style. The prints are also significantly larger than what you would get from one of Fujifilm’s Instax Mini cameras, making them ideal for displaying.

The only thing to keep in mind is the cost of the film. Polaroid i-Type film can be a little costly, 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

8. Photo Creator Kids Digital Camera: Best budget instant-print camera for kids

Price: £70 | Buy now from Amazon

The Photo Creator Kids Digital Camera is a fun, budget-friendly way to get your young one creating. It packs both front and rear-facing cameras, a selection of built-in filter effects and it can even record video. The photos and prints are saved to a microSD card – a 4GB card is included – and can be easily transferred and saved to a computer.

What sets the Photo Creator apart is its built-in, ink-free thermal printer. Unlike more traditional instant cameras, like Fujifilm Instax Mini 12, the Photo Creator prints onto rolls of paper, rather than sheets of film. While this limits the camera to contrasty, black-and-white prints, it makes the camera significantly cheaper to run. The camera includes paper for over 250 prints, while a refill pack, with enough paper for over 700 prints, is available for just £10. The paper prints can then be coloured in, adorned with stickers, glued into scrapbooks or shared with friends.

Key specs – Recommended age: 8+ Format: Digital with thermal instant print; Stills resolution: 12mp; Battery: Rechargeable; Weight: 200g

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