Do your children enjoy taking pictures with your camera or camera phone? Are you on the search for the best digital camera for kids? VTech toys, creators of a variety of educational toys for young children, as well as the developers of a new unique tablet for kids, the InnoTab, has also developed a kid's digital camera called the Kidizoom. The Kidizoom comes in a variety of colors (blue, pink, orange), and allows children to take both pictures and video. Children can edit their imagery directly on the camera and play 3 integrated games. The digital camera runs on 4 “AA” batteries and takes a 1.3 megapixel image.
-Large grips on camera are easy for young hands to hold
-Recommended for kids ages 3-8
-Choose between a 1.3 mega pixel or .3 mega pixel resolution
-4x digital zoom
-Comes in colors blue, pink, orange
-Camera takes still pictures
-Video Camera included
-Photo Editor directly on the camera
-3 hand held games included
-128 mb of built-in memory (stores 1000+ photos)
-Connects to the computer or television (PC and MAC compatible) via USB cord
-4 “AA” Batteries required
-Wrist strap included for carrying
-Color LCD screen on the back of the camera
-Photo editing software available for download on VTech website that adds silly frames and special effects
-Photos can be downloaded and viewed on the VTech Innotab kids tablet (sold separately)
Once the camera is turned on after the batteries are installed, the camera is immediately ready for use. There is a digital zoom, which allows the buttons to be pushed up to 10 times to either focus close up, or zoom back prior to taking the picture. Pictures can be taken in 2 ways. First, hold the camera up in front of both eyes. The view finder is similar to that of binoculars. Press the button on the top right of the camera and a picture will be taken. If the child prefers to hold the camera out in front of them and use the LCD screen to focus, the OK button on the back of the camera will also allow a picture to be taken. If you hold down the button for any length of time it will not take rapid pictures. If the child repeatedly pushes the button, there is about a 4-5 second delay between pictures.After the picture is taken, the picture will then show up on the LCD screen for viewing on the back of the camera.
I like the back of the camera, and it’s similar to that of a video game controller. There is a cross shaped selecter that allows the operator to toggle between a few different options. The options include modes such as settings, photo editor, playback, games, movies and camera.
In camera mode, the child can take multiple digital pictures. With photo editor, stamps, silly hats, new backgrounds and all sort of features can be added onto the pictures. There is a video function, allowing kids to take short videos with sound.
In games mode, there are 3 included games: Photo Swirl, Penguin Path, and Puppet Show. The Photo Swirl takes existing photos from the camera and swirls a portion of the picture, use the selector to rotate the image to look like the original photo. The Penguin Path is a memory game. View the sequence of the arrows, remember it and move the penguin to the correct location and he will add fish to his basket and keep score. The last game is Puppet Show. Take a picture of a person and then it will be added as the face of a puppet. By moving the keypad, make the puppet dance and move to earn points.
The settings feature allows the volume to be changed, resolution changed (1.3 mega pixels versus .3 mega pixels), check how much memory is available, set the date and time, change indoor light frequency, and select the language (English, French, Spanish).
Overall, the kids I have used this with mainly 2 and 4 year olds, have easily learned the concept of pointing the camera, pushing the button and taking the picture. They all appear to enjoy the camera clicking sound when they take the photo. For younger children who do not keep the camera still when taking the picture, the end product is often very blurry and off center. However, despite this younger children haven’t seemed to mind, for them it’s more about the process rather than the end product. This could be a great travel product for a short vacation away, considering the integrated games, as well as the ability to take basic family memories through photo and video. There is not an internal flash, and it is best to use this camera in well lit situations. Two batteries are stored in each side of the camera, and the compartments open fairly easily with a simple pull on a lever, which could make it easy for small children to open. I have used regular "AA" batteries and taken over several hundred photos without having to change the batteries frequently. I would suggest, with all electronic toys these days, investing in good rechargeable batteries. Though you won’t get the highest quality images considering the low resolution, it’s a great product for young children who want their independence with having a camera to explore taking photos on their own.