My daughter loves seeing the pictures we take on the back of the camera and on the computer. In fact, the toughest thing about getting pictures these days is that I can only snap two or three pics before she is jumping up and asking to see them on the LCD screen on the back of the camera.
She also love playing with her pretend cameras. She points them at me and says click (for the ones that don’t click) and then looks at the back, whether there is a pretend screen there or not and then says things like, "Oh, that’s a good one," or "Oops. Your eyes were closed."
A very important parenting skill is encouraging your child’s creativity. Not surprisingly, we are thinking about getting her, her own kids digital camera for her birthday present. I started looking at digital cameras for children online and noticed some things right away that I thought I would pass along to Moms and Dads looking to buy a child digital camera for their son or daughter.
First, watch out for the Megapixels rating of the camera. While it is true that the digital camera specification wars have all but made megapixels meaningless as a way of judging quality on adult cameras, they are a very useful tool for weeding out junk toy cameras sold as real digital cameras for kids.
Let me put it this way. My five year old cell phone has a camera that takes 2 megapixel pictures. They aren’t the world’s greatest pictures, but from a cell phone that old, they are good enough. Just don’t ever plan on blowing them up or printing them out as anything other than a little 4×6 snapshot and it is all good. So, why in the world do some of these kid’s digital cameras come with the ability to take 0.3 megapixel pictures?
That is 0.3, not 3.0. In other words some digital cameras like the Little Tikes Kids Digital Camera takes pictures that are not half as good as my cell phone pictures, not one-quarter as good as my cell phone, but almost 1/10th as good as my cell phone! In other words, total crap. The only thing a 0.3 MP picture is good for is looking at on that tiny 1-inch screen on the back of the camera.
Look, we all know that these are kids toys and that they have to take a beating. We also all know that for $50 we aren’t going to get Canon’s top of the line digital camera. However, I think we can expect that even a child’s camera should come with a camera at least on par with the cameras you get in the free cell phones that companies give away to get new customers.
In other words, leave the 0.3 megapixel toy cameras rotting on the shelves, and find one that has at LEAST 1.0, and realistically 2.0 megapixels. If you can’t afford that one, wait for a sale, because the other one is a waste of money, and you and your child would be happier just using your imaginations instead.