BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
 

Camera for a Child


My 4-year-old son has expressed a real interest in photography. I guess the poor kid gets dragged in front of mommy's camera so much, he would like to experience the other side. Is this too young for a child to start? And are there simple digital cameras that would be more suitable for a youngster? Thanks.


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6/5/2005 5:10:58 PM

 
Mary McAllister
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/10/2004
  While I couldn't recommend a camera, I will say that if he's inspired to be as creative as mommy ... keep the spark you've created within him alive. Your images are wonderful: It's no wonder that he wants to follow in your footsteps.


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6/5/2005 6:08:04 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Karen, I see from your gallery, that you have gone through several cameras on your way up to the 1ds Mark II. I doubt you'll outgrow that one too quickly! Look at the ones that you have outgrown: Do you think any of them would be simple enough for him to operate?
My oldest son just turned 8, and I gave him my old Casio QV-3000EX 3.3MP.
Fisher-Price used to make a really great 35mm camera for kids. It was made like a Viewmaster with two eyepieces, since it's tough for some little kids to get the hang of winking one eye. It just had a shutter button, and a dial to wind the film. I would love to see them convert that design into a digital.
There are a couple of digital cameras on the market that are intended for kids, but I've seen some really bad reviews on them.


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6/5/2005 7:00:38 PM

 
Laura Clay-Ballard
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2005
  I bought my 3 grandchildren point and shoot disposable cameras at Target and let them have fun with them on Mother's Day (see my gallery of pics of my 3 year old grandson following in his grandma's footsteps!) The two boys (ages 3 and 6) got Spiderman cameras, and Amy (age 4.5) got a Hello Kitty.
Now, the output quality was poor .. okay? LOL BUT .. what was important about the entire photo shooting day, is that they had a blast! and grandma laura shared their first experience(s) with them and taught them the basics. For an enjoyable day, and if you are not interested in pristine quality, this is a great way to teach them how to see the world differently. As they get better and show an interest, then I will research for a better camera.
HOpes this gives you some more insight into this special realm! LOL


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6/7/2005 1:28:43 PM

 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
  Hi Mary and Chris,
Mary, Thank you so much for your generous comments, I really appreciate it!
Chris, I appreciate this great advice, I was able to find one of those Fisher-Price cameras on Ebay for $10. I think this will be a great starting place! Thanks so much, I would have never known this camera existed had it not been for your considerate reply :)
Cheers,
Karen


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6/7/2005 1:28:50 PM

 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
  Hi Laura,
Thanks so much for taking time to respond! You are absolutely right, it's not so important how the pictures turn out, but that the kids have fun, and feel they are part of what is so special to us. I am so excited to go out on a shooting expedition with my son, I think it will be great fun for us both :)


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6/7/2005 1:33:14 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Any digital camera is suitable for a kid. Real men use film cameras.

Take that Chris and Brendon! LOL
Bookmark? Sheesh


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6/7/2005 1:37:35 PM

 
Monica M. Ford  
 
 
my son is 3 1/2 and I bought him a child's camera for the same reason you specified. I was always taking his photo and he wanted to try mine, so I got him one.
i can tell you that it is red with two handles, I think I got it from constructiveplaythings.com, its like $18 or so.
he loves it!!!
monica


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6/7/2005 1:46:10 PM

 
Monica M. Ford   my son is 3 1/2 and I bought him a child's camera for the same reason you specified. I was always taking his photo and he wanted to try mine, so I got him one.
i can tell you that it is red with two handles, I think I got it from constructiveplaythings.com. when I bought it it was $10 or so, I am not sure what it is now all I know is that he loves it!!!
monica


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6/7/2005 1:47:02 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Karen

I agree! No wonder he wants a camera, he has a great teacher!!! There are some amazing photos in your gallery, and obviously BP.com also agrees with all your finalists!


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6/7/2005 5:14:32 PM

 
Joyce Morrell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/1/2004
  You have an amazing eye! Your son can learn alot from you and it actually makes him a better subject once he understands more about photography. I don't think 4 is too young at all. My son is now 6 and has been shooting pics since he was 3. I do let him use my camera. He's shot with a Pentax K1000, Canon G3 and over the past 1 1/2 years with my Canon Digital Rebel. I've taught him about composition, lighting, how to respect and operate the camera. He loves it! In fact, he took the picture of me that's on my website. He does his own photo books now. I haven't yet bought him a camera but I'm thinking when I upgrade, he can use mine :-)


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6/7/2005 10:32:39 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Usually, the jokes can be pretty goofy. But Kerry Walker came up with a pretty good one there.


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6/7/2005 11:36:54 PM

 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
  Hi Monica, Natalie and Joyce,
Thanks so much for your feedback and information, most appreciated :)

Kerry and Gregory,
Real men do not feel the need to insert themselves uselessly, in order to make a dumbass remark :)
Cheers,
Karen


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6/8/2005 5:37:52 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Okay, I thought of several good replies to that one, but this is a family forum.

Kerry & I trade barbs all the time about film vs. digital. We're just trying to keep things fun.

I promise you, Kerry & Gregory are some of the good guys around here.

Have fun,
Chris


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6/8/2005 5:47:51 AM

 
Linda B. Parker   Hi Karen - this is a great age to learn, have a great time and save wear and tear on YOUR cameras that he probably wants to use! I got my grandson an Olympus Camedia D-535 last year at age 4. He's now 5 and he has loved it. (There are definitely limitations with the camera, but it's small, easy to handle, and does well in most situations. I got it on E-Bay -it still was a little extravagant for a 4-year-old, but after all, what are grandparents for! And there's no cost for film.) See one of his photos on Worldphotoday.com - go to search function and type in Justin or mybabybrother in key word space. Have fun!


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6/8/2005 6:09:08 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Karen, it really was just a joke. After al the rancor caused here lately by an unnamed source, it is nice to get back to the fun. I really don't hate digital. I just prefer film. Yep, I'm a film shooter - and redundant, repetitive, etc.


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6/8/2005 6:16:34 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   BTW, it wasn't meant to be a dumba** remark. It was meant to be a smarta** remark.


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6/8/2005 6:40:45 AM

 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
  Hi Kerry,
No offense taken at all, it's just my twisted sense of humour :)
Cheers,
Karen


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6/8/2005 9:39:41 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   No offense taken. My sense of humor resembles a pretzel.


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6/8/2005 1:21:15 PM

 
Lee Klusky   I too bought the same Fisher-Price camera for my five-year-old daughter (the red one with two handles). She has taken a few rolls. But she's used to seeing me shoot with my digital, and is already used to the immediate feedback. I'd be interested, too, in finding a very inexpensive, simple digicam she can play around with.

I mean, she's a pretty smart kid. Too smart for film.


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6/8/2005 10:42:44 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   "I mean, she's a pretty smart kid. Too smart for film."


NOW I know why I shoot film.


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6/9/2005 6:31:19 AM

 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
  Hey Kerry,
Thanks for the morning guffaw!!! You do have a great sense of humour, love it :)

Karen


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6/9/2005 7:15:07 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   My wife says that's the only sense I have. LOL


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6/9/2005 7:17:03 AM

 
Lee Klusky   I'm told I get my sense of humor from my mother, which is why she doesn't have it any more.


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6/9/2005 7:20:03 AM

 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
  HA HA HA! Lee, I can really relate to that one!!!


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6/9/2005 7:33:44 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Hey Karen I saw a really neat digital camera at wolf around christmas time my son saw and wanted really really bad for christmas. It was only 30 bucks but it was really neat and easy to work. He is eight so my husband and I decided to buy him a nicer camera for christmas. But I bet this camera would be perfect! I really like digital for the kids-thats what I got my son. He sees the pictures right away. I find he doesn't even care to print the pics. He just likes to see the pics on the camera! I would highly highly recommend digital for a child. Kids love immediate feedback and they just don't have the patience for the wait. My son has actually taken great photos and really gets into it with me! We have thrown ants into a spiders web together and snapped away together-you can see my pic on my site. This is such a bonding process I can not tell you! He loves to show me his pics after he takes them-he is SO proud!


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6/9/2005 3:42:33 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Oh yea! I forgot! I have a wacom board and he draws on his pictures and I have taught him adobe photoshop. These kids are really really quick to learn! I loaded one of his pics in adobe and he cloned and did all sorts of stuff! He just turned eight. But my six year old can play with it too. Digital is definately the way to go with kids. They are NOT afraid of the computers. They pick them up sooo fast!


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6/9/2005 3:46:17 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  They still have it: but I was wrong it doesn't have an LCD. But you can still download them fast. They have other kids cameras that do have LCD's but, they are more expensive.

http://www.wolfcamera.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10101&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&productId=13035173&bct=t1003%3Bc114177


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6/9/2005 3:51:22 PM

 
Lee Klusky   I looked up reviews of that camera after I saw your original post, and it seems to have had universally awful reviews from users, both in terms of usability and picture quality. I saw similarly bad reviews for competing "kids cams".

I think what I might end up doing is just finding the least expensive regular ol' digicam I can for my daughter's enjoyment. She's never known me to shoot anything but digital. Heck, she could probably do just fine on my wife's little Nikon Coolpix.


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6/9/2005 4:27:14 PM

 
Karen Beri
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2004
  Hi Lee,
You can't beat a Coolpix, one of the best cameras I ever owned. I foolishly sold mine when I went to an SLR, and have regretted it at every family outing since. My new camera is sooo heavy, it is an endurance test to take it anywhere :(


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6/9/2005 5:51:11 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Darn, because that camera looked really neat. Sorry to recommend a bad one. Glad you caught that.

The camera that I ended up buying my son was the kodak easy share cx7300. He loves it and it stores over 200 pics with the card it came with. I put it of course on the lowest quality. He has 'loved' this camera. It seems to be pretty imbomitable sp? He has droped it etc and it still works great. The frount lens is protected a little because it is inset. He has thrown it on the counter and even tossed it in the toy box and this thing still takes good pics. His three year old brother picks it up and takes pics with it too-to his brothers disatisfaction. It is a 3.2 mega pixel and it is absolutely perfect for him. But what is great is that it takes just standard AA batteries! Now this is a great feature! It has a built in flash too. I can't remember what we paid but I know it wasn't that much.


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6/9/2005 6:16:22 PM

 
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