Kids and teenagers of today love taking pictures of practically everything. Hand your phone or tablet to your child, and he’ll soon go snapping away. If your little one is like this and you think he has the potential to become a good photographer someday, then nurture and unleash this hidden talent as early as now by giving him a camera of his own.
Children can learn a thing or two from photography. Most importantly, it helps them stimulate and express their creativity. So, if your child is passionate about it, help him get better at it while he is young—even if that means you will have to shell out some cash to get him a camera that he can use to practice photography.
Photography terms and camera features can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming. As a responsible parent, you won’t go buying a camera without knowing first which one is right for your kid’s specific needs. The best camera for teens, for example, is different from the ideal one for younger kids.
Here’s a list of things you should consider before buying a camera for your child:
Types of camera
Before doing anything else, you have to identify the type of photography your kids want to pursue. This will help you to identify the type of digital camera that’s perfect for your child.
Here are the different types of camera that you can choose from:
If you’re looking for a digital camera with basic features that your kid can handle in any situation, check out point and shoot cameras. Point and shoots are so portable, they can even fit in a pocket. These tiny devices are perfect for kids who need a camera to practice on as they are starting with their photography journey.
If you are looking for a simple digital camera that is easy to use, the Nikon COOLPIX P900 digital camera is one of the greatest options out there. This point and shoot comes with built-in Wi-Fi for easy transfer of photos to a compatible smartphone or tablet and quick sharing to social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
Portable, sleek, and stylish—these are just some of the pros of owning a mirrorless camera for your little one. Perfect to use when travelling, mirrorless cameras are compact and light, so they can be easily taken out of the bag and slipped back in. They are versatile, easy to use, and great for shooting in places that are not well lit.
For the more serious teen photographer, a great choice is the Canon EOS M10 that allows more control and produces better image quality than the regular point and shoot.
If you have a teenager who is ready to upgrade to a more sophisticated camera and is serious about improving his photography skills, it is time to get him a DSLR camera. Look for entry-level models because these cameras are built with the beginner’s needs in mind.
A DSLR is bulkier than other digital camera types, but with the quality of photos it can produce, your teen wouldn’t mind the extra weight. A good entry-level model to consider is the Canon EOS 100D that is portable and budget-friendly.
Does your child love to document his outdoor adventures (such as biking or skateboarding)? An action camera will be perfect for capturing such moments. With this tiny gadget, you do not have to worry about it getting wet or dropping because it has a waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and snowproof protective case.
One of the best action cameras today is the GoPro Hero 5. Unlike the older models, it does not need a protective case anymore because it remains waterproof up to 33-feet deep. It can also take 4K-quality videos that can be turned into great family home movies.
Essential camera features to look for
Once you have identified the camera type that is ideal for your young photographer, make sure to consider these features as well:
Size and weight
The ideal camera size and weight depend on how much your child can carry. For example, kids who are 7 years old and younger will have a hard time using a DSLR that is too big for their tiny hands to handle. For smaller and younger kids, the size and weight of a regular point and shoot are good enough.
As you choose a variety of cameras for your child, check if his fingers can properly reach the buttons and if the weight of the camera will not bother him at all. It is a crucial decision to make because if the camera is too heavy and too big, it can easily slip from your kid’s hands.
If you have kids with ages ranging from 5 to 8, get a camera that is rugged and made of sturdy materials that can survive occasional accidental drops and water spills. Look for cameras that are tough, shockproof, and waterproof, as well as those that come with a neck strap or wrist strap that will keep the camera from falling to the ground as your child uses it.
Ease of use
So that your aspiring photographer gets to learn more quickly, make sure that you get a camera that is easy to understand and operate. Look for cameras with a bigger and higher-quality LCD screen (for easy photo composition), fewer and bigger buttons, and simple settings.
It would also be nice if the camera you’re going to invest in consists of features that makes the gadget more useful and easy to operate. Some of the great features available in the market are the wireless transfer of photos via Wi-Fi or NFC (near-field communication).
You can also look for a camera that has an image stabilisation feature. This is useful if your kids love goofing around while taking photos of the family. This will make sure that the photos will come out perfectly fine without any blurred parts.
Another great additional feature is the ability to take photos in a panoramic shot. This is great if your kid loves the capture moments like the whole family having fun while having a barbeque party in the backyard.
These features can add a little to your budget, but they are definitely worth the extra penny.
Apart from giving your child the opportunity to learn photography, isn’t it heartwarming to see your little one toting a camera? It is an adorable sight, not to mention that it is interesting to know how your child views the world through the photos he will be able to take with his new camera.
Post written by Shane Haumpton is a contributing writer for several websites and blogs. She has written on a variety of topics, ranging from lifestyle, photography, travel, and arts and crafts to gadgets, social media, and internet safety. This self-confessed coffee addict and shutterbug manages to do all these while enjoying life as a nomad.