Since I take pictures for a living, it was not a surprise when my own 5 year old asked for a camera for her birthday. Honestly, I was flattered. I want her to learn to be able to see the beauty in the small things at an early age.
In fact, one day I was finishing up an email when I had to stop to capture this sweet little moment between her and her sister on my phone.
And while I would love to say that I don’t know where she got her photo cues from… the truth is… I’ll say anything to my kids to get those real smiles! 😂
After posting this video to my page, I got TONS of inquiries about what is the best camera for kids, what camera would I recommend for teens, and even what camera’s I would recommend for adults! So, I decided to write this post to give you my opinion on the best camera for every age and stage and why! BONUS: if you are looking for a DSLR camera and aren’t sure which camera is right for you. At the bottom I created a free magazine-style quiz that is only 10 questions that will give you the answer you’ve been looking for in 2 minutes or less— saving you TONS of research time!
babies (0-3 years old)
Every kid should have a camera… babies included! And these two cameras are PERFECT for any and every baby!
1.) Mini Wooden Camera ($10)
This portable, light way camera is perfect for your sweet baby. It comes in blue, pink, gray, turquoise, purple, and white! Plus… does it get much cuter than this! The answer is no… lol.
Did you ever have one of those cameras or binocular toys that you put up to your eyes, click a button and the picture changes! Well that’s exactly what this does! This toy was originally introduced in 1968 and has stuck around for a good reason!
Littles (3-9+ years old)
Hands down my favorite camera for this age group is the VTech Kidizoom Duo Selfie Camera. This camera comes in fun designs like pink flowers, blue modern design, and even a hunter green camo. But my favorite thing is that this camera is DURABLE making that accidental tumble down the stairs NO. BIG. DEAL. 🙌🏼🙌🏼
One super cool feature that your kids are sure to love is that your child can take both photo and video forward-facing or rear-facing making it perfect for taking selfies. It has hilarious photo effects like collages, cartoon filters, and other super fun things resembling a snap chat filters and even funny voice changing filters for video. And it has a decent flash in case your kid needs to take photos in a dimly lit room.
Bonus, it has 5 games on it making it perfect for waiting in restaurants, road trips, or hanging out around the house.
This camera produces decent quality images too! You are able to download them to your computer and share them with family and friends. While this camera is *NOT* rechargable (it utilizes 4 AA batteries), I have been pretty happy with the battery life that my child gets out of it and she uses it A LOT.
Tweens (9-16+ years old)
When it comes to tweens and teens the things I took into consideration were Price, Interest Level, Easy-to-use, features, size, and sharing options (because we all know that it didn’t happen if it wasn’t posted about 😜). And here is what I came up with!
Do you remember those old-school polaroid cameras? Well… like all trends… THEY ARE BACK. But of course in a more cool, upgraded version! ;)
This camera comes in TONS of fun colors and just like a polaroid, it prints the photos right on the spot! This obviously means you have to buy film for it but honestly, this is so much fun and your kid is going to love it!
It also has a selfie mirror next to the lens ensuring that your kid will come out with the perfect selfie, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It has lens attachments that you can purchase that allow for close-up shooting.
While it shoots in automatic mode (meaning that the camera picks all the settings for you based on the environment) it does have a “high-key mode” which allows you to adjust the brightness level as needed.
This camera is a great middle of the road camera for your tween or teen! It has 8x Optical Zoom and 20 MP ensuring excellent quality images. It shoots in automatic mode (meaning that the camera picks the settings based on its surroundings) and has image stabilization meaning that your kid gets good images even when they aren’t being still.
teens & Young adults (13+)
If you’ve got an teen that is itching for their very own DSLR camera (the fancy cameras that “professionals” have that can change lenses). I recommend these two models.
This camera is a DSLR camera, meaning that it has the ability to change lenses. It takes high-quality images as well as Full-HD Video. This camera is a great beginner camera because it is easy-to-use because it has automatic mode as well as some pre-determined settings as well as full manual mode (meaning your child picks all the settings for the camera). I know that a couple hundred dollars seems like a lot of money for a hobby, but when you compare it to musical instruments, competitive sports, etc. It doesn’t seem so bad! ;) It also has a rechargeable battery so no need to switch them out.
Plus, they will be able to use this camera for YEARS TO COME! There are always things you can do to continue learning and growing on DSLR cameras since they have the ability to change lenses.
2.) Nikon D3500 ($400)
As a Nikon user myself, I’m here to tell you that whether you choose between Nikon or Canon, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you learn how to use the camera you choose and what it’s capable of (which I teach an online course on here.)
This DSLR is perfect for that tween/teen who is serious about learning photography. This camera has 24.2 MP which makes super high-quality images and has great auto-focus capabilities (making your photos crisp and clear). It’s great in low-light and also has the ability to take awesome fast-action images. Like the canon equivalent above, it has a rechargeable battery and the ability to take Full HD Video including time-lapse and slow-motion videos as well.
Plus, this camera comes with SnapBridge. A super cool feature that allows you to automatically transfer your photos to your smartphone or tablet without hooking anything up.