As a professional photographer, I often get asked about the perfect starter camera for children. In this post I want to help you in choosing the right camera for your child and find that perfect gift for Christmas. What better gift than a camera?!
If your child has recently started showing an interest in photography and you are thinking about buying their first camera, there are a few things you need to consider. As a parent you probably know that a kid’s interests can change tomorrow, next week or even next year but the good news is that you can still support their new hobby without breaking the bank.
Here are my top 7 tips for choosing a camera for your child.
- Choose a camera that will enable your child to learn the basics quite quickly. Make sure that the controls and buttons are manageable and that the size of the camera is suited to the size of their hands. The menus should also be logical, easy to read and have intuitive icons that are easy to understand.
- Children love to experiment and tend to learn faster when they can do so. An entry-level DSLR camera will allow them to adjust exposure settings such as ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Interchangeable lenses are also a great learning tool but definitely not essential as a beginner. If you don’t want to purchase quite so high you might look at a nice point and shoot that allows you to manipulate the manual settings. Make sure it has M as one of the modes in the setting dial at the top and that you can adjust the manual features. If you have a little little one, I think getting a cheaper point and shoot and letting them start exploring how to use a camera in general is a great option. For these much littler ones you could put it on straight auto and let them go to town, see the world from their 3ft view. I bet you’ll view some amazing picture you never imagined getting before they had a camera.
- When deciding on a camera for your child, take a look at the screen. It should be large, bright and have great color reproduction. It should also be easy to use both indoors and outdoors as there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to see your images clearly on the screen due to bright sunlight.
- Ensure that the sensor resolution is good enough and meets your specific requirements, especially if you want to print larger size images. In most cases a 10-14 mega pixel camera is a sufficient for an entry level photographer.
- As a first time photographer, your child will want to keep practicing so it’s important that you are able to extend the camera’s memory using a SD/SDHC memory card.
- Next come the accessories. Your child will want to download their images from the camera onto a computer for editing so a USB cable will be an essential accessory or I would check to make sure you have a slot on your computer for the SD card. Most of the entry level cameras now take the SD cards so you’ll want to pick up a couple extra of those. You can get the smaller sized memory for pretty reasonable, especially right now with all the holiday sales.
I have always been a Canon girl so if you love Nikon, I am so sorry! I know they have some great options out there as well, I am just not familiar with them. Sony even offers some good options for a point and shoot. Below are a couple of Canon cameras I would look into depending on the skill level and price that you’d like to spend. The first is an entry level DSLR that’s a good option for a more skilled child that might want to work with learning about lenses and how to manipulate manual mode. The second is a fairly nice point and shoot camera that you are able to use in Manual mode. The extent of changes might be a little more limited but it’s a great start to get them comfortable with ISO, Shutter speed and Aperture.
If you aren’t sure that a brand new camera is the best route to go as your child pursues their interest in photography you can also look at buying a secondhand camera instead. Ask around because many photographers may be willing to sell an older model camera or look on Amazon, Canon or Nikon’s sites for refurbished gear. Be sure to find out about all the camera’s features and any extras that it might come with before making the purchase to ensure that it meets your specific requirements.
As your Katy Houston family, newborn, maternity and children photographer, you can always contact me if you have any questions on what camera features would be best for your child to start off with, I’d be glad to help get your little one off on a path to learn about capturing the world around them, day by day.
Happy shopping this holiday season!
Kelly of Lifetime of Clicks Photography is a Houston family photographer located in Katy, Texas. Kelly creates modern classic images of maternity, your newborns, and the families that love them. Serving Houston, Katy, Sugar Land and surrounding communities.