All Ages

9 Best Travel Cameras for Kids

Girl with a Camera; Courtesy of Evgeny Bakharev/Shutterstock.com
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Putting a camera in the hands of your child makes them a visual storyteller of their travels. Of course, their storytelling will become increasingly sophisticated with age, but even little kids can have some big photo adventures.

There are many factors to consider when buying a travel camera for kids. Is it small enough to put in a backpack or even a pocket? Is it relatively inexpensive, lightweight and durable? The hardiest of kids cameras can be dropped, left out in the rain and snow, and covered in dust—but still work!

Which factors to consider in a camera will really depend on the age of your child, and the sophistication you are looking for in a camera. Decide if lens quality, dynamic range, video capabilities, or battery life are most important for your child’s camera needs. Of course, being able to transfer photos from your camera to a smartphone through Wi-Fi connectivity is also crucial for sharing on Instagram and other social media platforms. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money to find a good starter camera.

Here are our picks for the best travel cameras for kids of all ages.

VTech Kidizoom Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

1. VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Toddlers

The VTech Kidizoom is super durable, fun, easy for young kids to use, and inexpensive. It is a 2.0 megapixel camera with a 4x digital zoom. And with a games feature, it’s far more than just a camera. Scroll through a menu and choose to take pictures or videos, review your creations or play four different games. Your child can also use creative tools, like a voice recorder, photo editor, stop motion animation maker and, yes, a silly face detector (the detector rates photos you take for silliness or funniness). For a selfie, turn the camera toward yourself and it will detect faces automatically.

Your child can also have fun choosing different frames for their photo—like a carnival or jungle scene or a scene underwater. They can add stamps to the photo (like a laughing guinea pig!) and then choose how large and where they want that guinea pig to appear on the screen. Kids can also create photo collages and add fun effects like snow.

The Kidizoom is made of super durable hard plastic with a protected battery case. Its base acts like a stand and grips to make it easier to hold, and photos can be stored on the computer or with a micro SD card (sold separately).

Canon Ivy Cliq Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

2. Canon IVY CLIQ Instant Camera Printer

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Toddlers

The Canon IVY CLIQ does double duty as a camera and instant printer. That’s right, you simply “cliq” and it will instantly print out a 2×3 or 2×2 print that can also be a sticker. Unlike the IVY CLIQ+, it doesn’t talk to an app, so it’s perfect for younger kids. And the instant gratification will definitely appeal to toddlers. It has a selfie mirror and a micro SD card slot to upload photos to a computer. The IVY CLIQ comes in fun colors and is fairly inexpensive.

Nikon Coolpix Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

3. Nikon Coolpix W100

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Little Kids

The Nikon Coolpix W100 Camera is a great first digital camera for younger kids. It still has the fun factor of the Kidizoom, but it’s much more durable with more features and better image quality. For example, your little one can choose the sound the shutter and button makes—like the sound of a dog or a chick. You can add custom frames, like panda bears or clouds, and it has big, easy-to-use buttons so it’s simple to use. It ups the fun factor by allowing you to shoot underwater (down to 33 feet) so it’s perfect for the pool or the beach. It’s also freezeproof, and kids can drop it (from 5.9 feet) and it won’t break.

All of this fun also comes with better shooting potential. The zoom range, which is true optical zoom, is 30 mm to 90 mm so kids can shoot anything from landscapes to close ups of their friends. It has a 13.2 MP CMOS image sensor and is capable of full HD video (1080p resolution). The camera also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so your kiddo can connect it to an app and transfer pictures to a phone and then share them on social media.

Fujifilm FinePix Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

4. Fujifilm Finepix XP140

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Big Kids

Another good choice for a first camera is the Finepix XP140. It’s rugged, easy to use and affordable. It will help kids transition from a simple point-and-shoot to a more complex model. This camera is waterproof (down to 82 feet), shockproof (up to 5.9ft), freeze-proof (to 14 degrees Fahrenheit) and dustproof. So kids can drop this camera, get it wet, swim with it, ski with it, or leave it in a car in below zero temperatures, and it will still work!

The camera is also equipped with a 16.4 mp, back-lit CMOS censor and has a FUJINON lens with a 5x optical zoom (28 mm to 140, 35 mm equivalent) and a 10x digital zoom. It is equipped with face recognition and smile detection, and is Bluetooth compatible. And it has 4K video shooting!

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

5. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Big Kids, Tweens, Teens

Th Fujifilm Instax Mini camera takes a different route. It’s a film camera that will print pictures in about 90 seconds, so immediate gratification is ensured! It’s fun, easy to use, lightweight and inexpensive.

The Instax Mini has a mirror next to the lens so you can see yourself while taking a selfie, and has an automatic built-in flash. It has a brightness adjustment dial that automatically lights up the best setting you’ll need for the right light. And although it has a minimum focusing distance of 60 cm, you can use the close-up attachment (that comes with the camera) to shoot 35 to 50 cm, if you want to get closer to your subject.

This camera comes in several fun colors, and includes a wrist strap, close-up lens attachment and two batteries. (Film is not included.)

GoPro Hero7 Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

6. HERO7 Silver Go Pro

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Big Kids, Tweens, Teens

The GoPro HERO7 is a more video-focused camera. This digital action camera is durable, waterproof, easy to use, small and lightweight. It weighs just over 4 ounces, so the same weight or lighter than a smartphone. Younger kids can use the short clips setting to take 15- or 30-second videos simply by hitting the shutter button. And teens can navigate between photo and the 4K video options and experiment with their shots! They can also use time lapse for great videos of sunsets.

This GoPro has many other cool functions. It has an intuitive touch screen. You can use voice commands to get it to take a photo or start recording a video. It has video stabilization, so you can ski, snorkel, kayak or hike without shaking the image. GPS performance stickers can be added to videos in the GoPro app to show off how far, how fast and how high you went.

Ricoh Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

7. RICOH WG-60 

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Tweens and Teens

The Ricoh WG-60 is a rugged outdoor waterproof camera designed for harsh conditions that will appeal to kids who like outdoor adventure. The latest camera in the WG series, it has a transformer-like, sporty design and can withstand dust, water (it’s waterproof down to 45 feet), freezing temps, and being dropped. It can fit in a pocket. It has a 5x optical zoom lens, which is equivalent to 140mm in 35mm format to capture action at a distance. And its 28 mm wide-angle lens is perfect for landscapes and selfies. The video has full HD quality, and it has a 1/2.3-inch sensor, which is about a 16 megapixel back-lit CMOS image sensor.

The Ricoh WG-60 is easy to use, with more than 20 scene modes so tweens and teens can experiment with taking pictures in different conditions. For example, an “Auto Picture” mode automatically identifies the subject type and chooses the appropriate mode. A Landscape Mode allows kids to take vivid shots of green trees or blue sky. A Surf and Snow Mode works well for brightly-lit beaches or mountain snows, or use a Sports Mode for shots of fast-moving subjects. The camera also has a digital microscope mode—so you can get close ups as little as 1 centimeter away!

Olympus Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

8. Olympus Tough TG-5 

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Tweens and Teens

This point-and-shoot Olympus Tough TG-5 waterproof camera is uber rugged, sporty-looking and unbreakable. It has a 4x optimal zoom lens (equivalent to 25-100mm) and a 1/2.3 inch 12 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. And it shoots 4K video at 30 fps. The beauty of this small camera (it can fit in your pocket) is that it’s not just durable, but it also performs well, and under some pretty harsh conditions. Capture a whitewater rafting trip, take it swimming with the dolphins or go hiking in a snowstorm.

The Olympus Tough TG-5 also has double-locked rubber-sealed doors, so your battery and cord will stay protected from dust and moisture, and it has a removable ring surrounding the lens so you can take it off and replace it with an optional fish-eye lens, ring LED light or telephoto converter. This rugged camera also has other features like a compass, GPS and thermometer.

Canon EOS Rebel Camera; Courtesy of Amazon

9. Canon EOS Rebel T6

Best Kids Travel Camera For: Teens

This DSLR camera is perfect for someone who is interested in all facets of photography, wants to take better quality pictures than they can with their smartphone, and wants to learn about the world of interchangeable lens and the technology behind their camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 has the largest sensor of the cameras highlighted here—with an 18.0 megapixel Canon CMOS (APS-C) image sensor—so it will give you the best image quality. And it has full HD video up to 1080p resolution. But this comes with a trade-off of greater size, weight and price.

This Canon EOS has a few automatic modes for quick-and-easy shooting. It has Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity, so teens can upload pictures to social channels or a computer to edit them. It has some cool features, too. With its Food Mode, for example, your teen can intensify the color and brightness of food, so the images are ready to be shared on Instagram or other platforms. Users can also share images using different filters such as Fisheye, Toy Camera, Miniature and Soft Focus.

 

Diana Ballon is a Toronto-based travel writer who documents all her trips with words and pictures. Her photography experience began in the late 70s with a Kodak Instamatic X-15. She took pictures judiciously because back then, film was expensive to print. Her first family photo featured, well, her family, and a coffee pot covering about a third of the frame in the foreground. It has all been uphill from there. Find Diana’s work on her personal website and follow her on Instagram, @dianamaryballon.

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