To find the best digital camera for kids, you’ll need to determine the features that are right for you or your budding photographer. We recommend that you favor cameras with a compact, lightweight design weighing in the 14 oz- 2lb range, and which feature sensors capable of resolutions of at least 8 megapixels and which also feature video shooting capabilities of at least 720p and 30fps. We also recommend at least 4x zoom functionality and some degree of water resistance, as well as easy device and computer connectivity.

After analyzing hundreds of reviews amongst a multitude of products with varying price points and features, we’ve determined that the Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is the best digital camera for kids you can buy on the market today. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more and select the best digital camera.

Top 10 Best Digital Cameras For Kids

 #1  Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Digital Camera for Kids

Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof Digital Camera

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Waterproof, shockproof, compact design with deep optical and digital zoom options and a 16-megapixel sensor for rich, detailed images in a sleek, easy-to-use package.

Pros
  • 5x optical and 10x digital zoom
  • Optimized modes for underwater shooting
  • 16 million pixel capture sensor
Cons
  • Smaller-than-average LCD screen

The Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is a full-frame 35mm digital camera designed for young but experienced users that is especially well suited to low-light, nighttime, and underwater shooting for both still and video. Its advanced 16.4 MP BSI-CMOS sensor captures excellent still and up to 1080p, 60fps video footage in dark, and difficult to frame scenarios. It’s waterproof to 20 feet, shockproof to 5.4 feet, dustproof, and freezeproof, making it also excellent for extreme weather and other rugged outdoor shooting.

Its reflection-free LCD screen, Optical image stabilization technology, numerous zoom options including 10x optical zoom lens, high-speed continuous shutter still shooting capacity, and other precision features combined with built-in WiFi and mobile device connectivity make it another feature-rich workhorse at a very modest price point. It’s more camera than first-time photogs may need and its learning curve is higher than some in its class, but for low-light, extreme, and even underwater shooting, it’s a top pick. For more advanced features, our best medium format digital camera is another great option.

 #2  Nikon D3500 DX-Format DSLR Digital Camera for Kids

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Medium-format richness, detail, and resolution in a heavy-duty but fairly lightweight point-and-shoot camera perfect for young photographers looking to get serious about their craft

Pros
  • Shoots in professional 120 size film
  • Auto mode for easy professional results
  • Telephoto modular lens included
Cons
  • Higher price point than many in class

The Nikon D35000 is a medium format/DSLR camera designed for serious young photographers and casual users looking for professional-grade results with easy point-and-shoot functionality. Its sensor captures beautiful, rich 24-megapixel images, and its press and hold auto shoot function is capable of shutter speeds of 5fps for ultra-fast action shooting.

Its extremely high performance and professional-grade results come at a considerably higher price point than other models designed with young, beginner, or casual users in mind. However, for the hobbyist looking to take their photography to the next level or a young enthusiast looking to hone their craft, it’s a go-to choice for an easy to use camera that will provide years of professional results.

 #3  Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Digital Camera for Kids

Award: BEST INNOVATIVE DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: A versatile, compact, and sleek-looking hybrid of digital and Polaroid-style instantly printable cameras that’s simple to use and lightweight, but offers a plethora of fun functionality.

Pros
  • Light and compact at 1lb
  • Large 3” LCD screen for easy previewing
  • Instantly create Polaroid-style prints as you shoot
Cons
  • Not water-resistant and slightly more fragile than some models
  • Raw digital photos are slightly lower quality than some
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 uses an unusual square format that creates larger than full-format prints in a compact design. As a digital camera it stores image files in a separate format and lets you print images instantly via its Polaroid-style format and add filters, vignettes, and other modifications to images before printing, making it a unique hybrid of a vintage-style instant camera with all the extra choices that digital offers.

With its unusual design and features comes some compromises- stored raw digital images are of slightly lower quality than comparable full-format kid’s cameras. Its instant print feature also means that it’s not waterproof and is somewhat more fragile than other models on the market. But for a fun and interesting marriage of digital and vintage-style film, it’s a great option at a good value, as long as its quirks fit with your needs.

 #4  VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0 Deluxe Digital Selfie Camera for Kids

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: With a colorful but durable design, fun features like a built-in mp3 player and mobile games, and photo optimization technology, it’s a great value for a first camera for younger kids.

Pros
  • Dual viewfinders for easy shot composition
  • Built-in games feature parental lockout option
  • Photo optimization takes multiple shots and finds the best
Cons
  • 5-megapixel images

The VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0 is a 5mp digital camera built with fun and ease of use in mind for younger kids. It features a built-in mp3 player so kids can listen to their favorite music while they snap selfies and hang out with friends and also includes a selection of fun games with a parental lockout option when it’s time for homework or less distracting use. Its dual viewfinders and photo optimization tech makes taking great shots and selfies easy for first-time users.

Its 5-megapixel images aren’t the most detailed of kids’ models, but for social media activity they’re more than sufficient and their small file size means fast uploads for kids’ busy social media lives. It’s a great value for a starter camera with extra fun features to keep kids busy and engaged while they learn photography.

 #5  KODAK Smile Instant Print Digital Camera for Kids

Award: BEST COMPACT DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: Super compact and light but full-featured and easy to use, this hybrid camera can print great photos instantly for fun on-the-go action with all the features of a normal digital camera.

Pros
  • Ingenious gliding design for durability
  • Extremely light, at just 1lb
  • Full pull-out LCD screen for easy functionality
Cons
  • Kids with larger hands may find it somewhat more difficult to use

The KODAK Smile Instant Print Digital Camera is a hybrid film/digital instant camera that prints out 2”x3” images on ZINK Sticky-Backed Photo Paper so kids can make stickers out of any photo they take. It takes detailed 10-megapixel digital images and features a built-in photo editor, auto flash, fixed focus mode, recharges with a mini-USB cable, and can print up to 40 instant photos per use.

Its extremely compact design and small LCD screen may make it harder for kids and adults with larger hands to use as easily. But the lightweight and impressive portability along with its hybrid design and list of fun, easy-to-use features make it a great option for kids and snap-happy adults who want something tiny enough to fit in a pocket but still capable of great images as well as fun instant photos.

 #6  Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Digital Camera for Kids

Award: BEST FOR OUTDOOR USE

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ambitious and adventurous young photogs will find its extremely high durability, completely waterproof design, five underwater shooting modes, and impressive continuous shutter speed great for shooting outdoor and underwater action.

Pros
  • 20 fps continuous shooting
  • Waterproof up to depths of 50 feet
  • 4K/120 fps video capability
Cons
  • Higher price tag than many

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is a waterproof digital camera designed for rugged outdoor, sports, and underwater photography with young users looking to upgrade their toolset in mind. It features a back-illuminated CMOS Image Sensor like those found in professional cameras at much higher price points that captures high-resolution images with an F2. 0 lens and a maximum 8x zoom.

It’s a tough, high-performance camera designed for underwater shooting up to depths of 50 feet featuring 4 different underwater shooting modes and capable of clear images up to one centimeter from the lens. This performance and durability come at a significantly higher price point than most cameras designed with young users in mind, but for outdoor, sports, and underwater photography in a user-friendly, intuitive package, it’s hard to beat in its class. For more advanced outdoor shooting options, you can opt for the best binocular camera.

 #7  GoPro Hero7 Black Digital Camera For Kids

Award: BEST FOR FILMMAKERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Image stabilizing technology and 4k video capture ability along with high detail 12mp still images, modern features like voice command, and an ultra-tough build makes it great for young users wanting to catch the action with near professional-quality results.

Pros
  • 8x slow-mo recording at 240fps
  • Waterproof up to 30 feet without casing
  • Livestream 720p 60fps video
Cons
  • Somewhat higher price point in class
  • Purpose-built more for video than still photography

The GoPro Hero7 Black is a 12mp digital camera designed with high-quality, professional-feature video graphing in mind for the serious young photographer and filmmaker as well as for casual and hobbyist use. Its 12-megapixel high-end sensor captures rich, detailed still images while also being capable of 4k, 60fps video, and even live streaming at 720p. Its host of modern features include image stabilizing technology allowing for steady high res footage in extreme and high-motion conditions, 16 hands-free voice commands for video and still camera operation, patented Hypersmooth image stabilization technology for capturing smooth footage no matter what the shooting conditions, and more.

The high performance and plethora of modern features come at a somewhat higher price point than some models in this class, and it’s definitely purpose-built leaning somewhat toward video rather than still photography, but it’s a stellar performer at both and an excellent choice for an easy to use, kid-friendly camera that excels at handling extreme shoots. For more advanced filming options, you can also choose the best digital camera for filmmaking.

 #8  Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 Digital Camera for Kids

Award: BEST VALUE

WHY WE LIKE IT: A 20-megapixel sensor for professional-grade images supplemented by a well-rounded variety of modern features like hi-def video, lens emulation, and wireless connectivity make it a reasonably priced all-around workhorse.

Pros
  • Auto function finds settings based on environment
  • Android, iOS, and wireless internet connectivity
  • Scene Modes emulates various lenses and techniques like Fisheye
Cons
  • Not waterproof or as well weather-sealed as many in class

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is a full-frame (35mm) digital camera designed to be full-featured and deliver professional results and modern features while still being easy to use and learn for young and inexperienced users. Its CCD sensor works with Cannon’s DIGIC 4+ Image Processor to deliver rich, detailed photos with a lithium battery capable of taking up to 190 shots on one charge in normal power mode.

Its list of modern features includes a 10X Optical zoom lens and Optical Image Stabilization for maximum control in difficult shooting situations, 720p 60fps video capability, connectivity to Android and iOS and related mobile apps, built-in WiFi, Scene modes that emulate lenses and techniques like Fisheye and monochrome, and a Smart AUTO function that can determine optimal camera settings based on the environment. While it lacks the waterproof and weatherproof design of many models in its class, its very modest price point makes it an incredible value for one of the most feature-packed, high-performing digital cameras available to young and beginning users.

 #9  Nikon COOLPIX W100 Digital Camera for Kids

Award: BEST FOR BEGINNERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 5.9 feet drop, and freezeproof down to a temperature of 14°F, with a 13.2 mp sensor for high-res images, it’s a great paired-down but nearly indestructible choice that still delivers great pictures at a great price point.

Pros
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Fully weather sealed and coldproof design
  • NIKKOR 3x optical zoom glass lens with 6x Dynamic Fine Zoom
Cons
  • Max 30 fps video capture
  • Not as feature-rich as some models

The Nikon CoolPix W100 is a high-quality entry-level digital camera using full format 35mm with a 13.2mp sensor that delivers excellent, detailed images with a paired-down, very easy to use bright design ideal for a first high-quality camera. Waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 5.9 feet, and freezeproof to 14°F, it’s also one of the most durable models in its class and price point, and despite its paired-down features overall, it does offer modern connectivity options for mobile devices and built-in WiFi great for social media uploads.

Its video capabilities max out at 1080p and 30fps, making it less suitable for face-paced video use than many similar models, and its paired down design may not offer enough control for more advanced users. However, its extremely modest price point combined with its near-indestructible build, high-quality image production, and very low learning curve make it an excellent choice for a first “serious” camera for kids interested in pursuing photography. It’s the best digital camera for beginners on our list.

 #10  FujiFilm FinePix XP130 Digital Camera for Kids

Award: BEST FOR INDOOR SHOOTING

WHY WE LIKE IT: Its 16.4 MP BSI-CMOS sensor excels in low-light, night time, and even underwater locations, and its advanced reflection-free LCD screen and high-end video capabilities make it a perfect choice for difficult-to-frame shots and high-speed action even in dark settings.

Pros
  • Multiple zoom options, including 10X
  • Full HD 1080p and 60 fps video capture
  • Includes camera strap and cleaning kit
Cons
  • High learning curve

The Fujifilm FinePix XP130 is a full-frame 35mm digital camera designed for young but experienced users that is especially well suited to low-light, nighttime, and underwater shooting for both still and video. Its advanced 16.4 MP BSI-CMOS sensor captures excellent still and up to 1080p, 60fps video footage in dark, and difficult to frame scenarios. It’s waterproof to 20 feet, shockproof to 5.4 feet, dustproof, and freezeproof, making it also excellent for extreme weather and other rugged outdoor shooting.

Its reflection-free LCD screen, Optical image stabilization technology, numerous zoom options including 10x optical zoom lens, high-speed continuous shutter still shooting capacity, and other precision features combined with built-in WiFi and mobile device connectivity make it another feature-rich workhorse at a very modest price point. It’s more camera than first-time photogs may need and its learning curve is higher than some in its class, but for low-light, extreme, and even underwater shooting, it’s a top pick. It’s one of the best Fujifilm cameras for novice photographers.

How We Decided

We preferred lightweight, compact 35mm digital cameras built to be durable but comfortable to use, weighing no more than 2lbs, with sensors capable of a minimum of 10-megapixel resolution and at least 4x manual zoom functionality. We appreciated a maximum of computer, storage, and mobile device connectivity options like MicroSD card slots, mini USB and USB-c ports, and iOs/Android compatibility.

We liked water-resistant and waterproof cameras capable of shooting video at a minimum of 720p and 30 frames per second and that could achieve fps shutter speeds of at least 3fps for continuous, fluid, point-and-click shooting. We also looked for designs that were shockproof to drops of at least 5 feet and dust and freezeproof to at least below 20 degrees.

Finally, we liked cameras that were easy to use for beginners and included features like precision, fast auto-focus, underwater shooting capability, LCD touchscreen controls, large viewfinders for easy framing, adjustable built-in straps, and bright, colorful designs that kids would enjoy. We also appreciate included accessories like camera straps, cleaning kits, and extra battery packs, cushioned carrying cases, in the case of hybrid instant film/digital models, extra print packs.

Best Digital Camera For Kids Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Durability and Weight
    Kids just starting photography need a digital camera that can withstand the abuse it’s likely to take, including accidental drops and exposure to water and dirt, but high-rigidity, bulky alloy bodies are likely to be too heavy and unwieldy for small hands. Many starter cameras built for kids are made with highly durable plastic bodies that are also lightweight- a typical weight being 1lb or less, although some combine light metal and plastic parts for extra durability. Many models are even built with a waterproof case or are even capable of underwater shooting. Finding the right balance of weight, compactness, and durability will require looking carefully at product details and deciding what’s right for your child.
  2. Resolution
    Many consumer and professional digital cameras have sensors capable of capturing images with resolutions up to 50 megapixels or more, but a lower-cost starter and kid’s cameras don’t necessarily have to produce significantly lower quality images. Though 10-megapixel sensors are common, there are plenty of models available capable of upwards of 20-megapixel resolutions that can produce rich, detailed images rivaling those of pricier models.
  3. Shutter Speed and Zoom
    Whether or not they’re developing a serious interest in photography or are just looking to snap selfies are pics with friends, kids will tend to take lots of quick pictures rather than taking time to compose and frame each shot in painstaking detail. Shutter speeds on par with professional-grade cameras aren’t necessary, but it’s good to look out for cameras capable of reasonable frames per second of shooting- 2 FPS is a good number to look for. Additionally, a lot of zoom lens functionality is ideal for getting closeups on the fly, so look for a minimum of 4X zoom capability- though 5x optical zoom is about an average

Digital Camera For Kids FAQs

Do cameras made for kids produce good pictures?

While the quality of images produced by lower-cost digital cameras and digital cameras designed with kids and young users in mind can vary a fair amount, the short answer is that most digital cameras available to consumers in 2020 can produce fairly high-quality images compared to cameras and cell phones of previous generations. Even a camera whose sensor captures 8-10 megapixel images can produce good results, especially for web viewing. But there are plenty of models available at reasonable price points with upwards of 20-megapixel sensors that can compete with some prosumer models in terms of resolution.

What are the limitations of digital cameras for kids?

Digital cameras have come a long way over the years in terms of quality vs. cost ratios and general build quality. That means lower price point cameras and cameras built with young and beginner users in mind are much higher performers than those of previous generations and that some can even compete with some prosumer models in terms of image quality. That said, cameras made with kids in mind do tend to somewhat sacrifice the ultra-durable alloy construct of higher-end consumer models for more compact and lightweight builds, often made with primarily plastic bodies. These cameras can still offer plenty of durability, however, and plastic-cased cameras often have the advantage of increased water resistance.

What are the advantages of digital cameras for kids?

Conversely, the compact and lightweight builds of digital cameras made for kids make them easier and more comfortable to use not only for kids, but for beginner and casual users, and users with small hands. Moreover, many kid’s cameras' plastic builds provide increased water-resistant qualities and even underwater shooting capabilities that more expensive, metal alloy-constructed consumer models can’t provide unless they’re purpose-built as underwater cameras.

What’s the best digital camera for kids?

The best digital camera for kids will have a compact, lightweight design weighing in the 14 oz- 2lb range, and which feature sensors capable of resolutions of at least 8 megapixels and which also feature video shooting capabilities of at least 720p and 30fps. Waterproof and shockproof action camera designs with underwater shooting capabilities and mobile device/WiFi connectivity are also common in this class and are features to look for. These cameras typically store via an SD card and can shoot both photos and videos.

Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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