Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera ($40)1 of 10
Made for kids as young as 3, the Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera gives youngsters the feel of working a camera. The camera features a two-eye viewfinder and a 1.4" color screen for viewing photos once they've been taken. Made to resist drops, the Kid Tough Digital Camera takes up to 2,000 pictures and has a 4X digital zoom.
V-Tech Kidizoom Action Cam ($92)2 of 10
Like a GoPro for kids, the V-Tech Kidizoom Action Cam is compact and can go anywhere your child goes. The bundle comes with a waterproof case, flat and bike mount so your child can attach the camera to any equipment they have and document all the ways they're active. The camera comes with stop motion, timelapse and multishot options and has a rechargeable lithium battery and expandable memory up to 32GB with a micro SD card.
Canon PowerShot D30 ($250)3 of 10
A step up from the toy models, the Canon PowerShot D30 offers more shooting capabilities but still can handle the rough wear and tear of child use. Shockproof from up to a 6.5-foot drop, water proof down to 82 feet and able to resist freezing temperatures, this camera can go the distance. The PowerShot D30 12 MP resolution has a 28-140 mm F3.9-4.8-lens equivalent with 5X optical zoom. This point and shoot camera is also capable of capturing 1080HD video at 24 frames per second, and it has GPS.
Fujifilm FinePix XP70 ($175)4 of 10
The Fujifilm FinePix XP70 is similar to the Canon PowerShot D30, but it has a slightly more affordable price tag. It's also waterproof, shockproof and freeze-proof and has a 24-140 mm lens equivalent with 5X optical zoom. One difference is this camera has Wi-Fi connectivity, which makes it easy to share photos and video to other devices. It has a higher resolution at 16.4 MP.
Olympus Stylus SH-2 ($399)5 of 10
The only point and shoot on our list capable of shooting Camera Raw photos, the 16MP Olympus Stylus SH-2 has a sleek, old-school camera design and is 1.7 inches thick, making it excellent for travel. Able to push to more telephoto capability with a 24–600mm lens equivalent with 24X zoom, this camera is capable of shooting quality stills and full 1080 HD video. Plus, it provides more shooting modes than the previous models, with a nightscape mode that will help shooting in low light and features a quick touch automatic focus on the LED screen. It also has built-in Wi-Fi.
Sony Alpha Nex-5T ($350)6 of 10
Mirrorless cameras provide photographers with the ability to change lenses and are much lighter than DSLR models, which makes them a great option for older kids who are becoming serious about photography. While there are more expensive models, the Sony Alpha Nex-5T is an entry-level camera that is affordable and capable of getting your child into more advanced photography techniques. The 16 MP camera comes bundled with a 16–50mm lens and has ISO capabilities up to 25600, making it able to shoot in low light. Featuring a fast hybrid phase detection automatic focus, this camera is sure to produce sharper images. It also features Wi-Fi connectivity like previous models and can shoot up to 10 frames per second.
Panasonic GM1 ($500)7 of 10
Giving more control to the shooter, this mirrorless 16 MP camera allows both manual and auto focus. Bundled with a 12-32mm lens, this camera is small and lightweight but packs heavy performance. Its large sensor enables it to shoot high-quality images, and it can record full 1080 HD video. While this camera has no viewfinder, it does have a 3-inch LCD screen and has a popup flash despite its small size.
Nikon D3200 ($447)8 of 10
If your child is older and photography has become more than just a hobby, or if you are looking for a higher quality camera the whole family can use, it might be time to upgrade to a DSLR model. DSLR cameras give you a plethora of lens options. However, due to advances in technology, the image quality, ability to focus and shooting speed between mirrorless and DSLR cameras are comparable depending on the model you buy. The entry-level model for Nikon, the D3200 with 24.2 MP resolution, comes bundled with an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens. Equipped with a more powerful sensor and higher ISO capabilities, this model will produce higher image quality and can shoot up to five frames per second, which is excellent for the low price.
Canon Rebel SL1 ($500)9 of 10
Possibly the most lightweight DSLR on the market, the Rebel SL1 or 100D is an entry-level Canon model with 18 MP resolution and a hybrid phase automatic focus, which makes for fast, accurate autofocus. Smaller than most DSLR models, the SL1 still boasts amazing image quality and comes bundled with an 18-55mm kit lens. It can also shoot full HD 1080 video at 30 frames per second.