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Looking for a camera for my six year old. We have one of the V-Tech child cameras, which he loves, but the pictures it takes are amazingly awful. Basically I am looking for a rugged point-and-shoot.

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See also: photo.stackexchange.com/q/2585/21 –  Rowland Shaw Dec 13 '10 at 10:10
    
I used to have a fisherprice film camera, when I was that age... such nostalgia. –  Ria Jan 27 '12 at 7:29

6 Answers 6

The Olympus Tough-8010 is the most indestructible camera there is. It is point and shoot, shockproof, drop-proof, waterproof and freezeproof. My baby even managed to take a picture of herself with the predecessor model (Tough-8000) after biting it for a few minutes! Here's a funny commercial for an older model, it gives you an idea of the 'tough' part.

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It will really depend on how mature your kid is. Even at 6 some kids could be trusted with a full SLR setup. I was. Thats why I am doing what I do today. If the kid is good with their toys, do not be afraid to get them something with a bit more bang. I bought 2 Canon PowerShot 1300s for my niece and nephew that are not much older. Its a great hobby for them when they travel to document the trip. If they get broken, it can be replaced. But so far the kids have taken good care of their cameras.

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Totally depends on the kids... or rather the parents ;) but that's a discussion for another SE forum ;) –  glenneroo Dec 16 '10 at 2:04
    
@glenneroo heh, and I'm fairly sure if you asked it over on parenting.SE I'd migrate it right back here. ;) –  cabbey May 20 '11 at 16:29
    
Very important to notice in this context is, that DSLRs became a lot heavier than simple SLR used to be (see IS). Nothing is sadder than a kid running around with daddies DSLR unable to properly focus it on the intended motive, because the camera is too front-heavy. –  Leonidas Jun 16 '11 at 13:43
    
Just a follow up. I wanted to get my 3 year old a better camera than a toy. A friend had a Canon Powershot SD870IS. She loves it and has been getting some great photos. We installed an EyeFi card that uploads directly to her own SmugMug site. We have a budding photographer on our hands. –  Doc Walker Feb 26 '13 at 14:19

I'd agree with Chris. My daughter, now almost 12!, has been using my Canon 40D, with battery grip and 70-200, for a year or so without drama. Although I couldn't stretch to another DSLR for her for Christmas, she is getting a SX120 as a stepping stone.

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The SX-series is the best one to learn photography on the cheap. If the question didn't ask for a rugged camera, I would have suggested one of those. I know some young kids you managed with one of those. Then again, my eldest daughter did not. She got a camera at 6 and it fell to the ground 3 days later, the lens barrel shattered. We were told it was more expensive to fix than buy a new camera. So, it depends on the kid. –  Itai Dec 14 '10 at 4:38
    
Depends on the kid for one (at 12, I think most kids should be mature enough to handle a camera). And on luck/bad luck for another. You can be as mature as you want, accidents do happen. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Dec 14 '10 at 19:52

I simply got a refurbished older model point and shoot for my 5 year old. The pictures aren't great, but they're worlds better than the V-Tech camera quality. For a little less than $50, it's not quite expendable, but it is replaceable, and she's been very responsible with it. It's been a year, and it's still working.

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+1 for anything that has better IQ than the v-tech's 1/4 vga sensor and non-optical grade plastic "lens". AND at ~$50, it's less than 1/2 what you'd pay for a vtech. –  cabbey May 20 '11 at 16:32

I know this is an old question but I wanted to add one aspect that hasn't been touched on in the above.

Consider how accessible the controls (and other stuff) are to the child. Children develop so-called "fine motor skills" at different ages and some of the controls on cameras can be very fiddly. I have an old Kodak Easyshare which I let my eldest (7yrs) use, but the mode-select method is via a manual dial which is very hard for him to turn correctly.

Also, his vision is not 100% so the size of the screen makes a significant difference for him.

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I think the Recesky Twin Lens camera is a great option.

It is a plastic film camera. I built it with my little son. It does not need batteries to operate. My son can learn how the focus, aperture and shutter works. He could see the image shown on the top of the camera. We learn a lot about optics and physics by the simple handy toy.

See how we built it - http://daddiest.com/model-camera-diy-with-kids/

Samples of the photos taken.

enter image description here

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