What kid doesn’t love to mug around in front of the camera? Make silly faces, get in every picture they can. They want to take pictures of you too, but do you really want your toddler handling your $400 dollar digital camera? Or in one of my niece’s case, taking her father’s expensive digital camera and throwing it into a kiddie pool? It was ruined, by the way.
One way to get around that, and encourage your budding photographer is to get the Crayola EZ Grip Digital Camera made by Sakur International, Inc. (who has been making electronic devices for 3 decades). It retails for $49.99 and is designed to be used (uh, em, roughed up) by kids aged 3 and up. You can pick either the green or purple version of the camera.
My friend’s 4 year old daughter tested the camera and loved it. The two handles made it easy to grip. She liked that she could see what picture she took right after she took it. At 1.3", the preview screen was smaller than my personal digital camera (I upgraded over 6 months ago to a 3" screen). But since this was my tester’s first real taste of using a digital camera, the preview screen was perfect to her. The buttons on the back of the camera kept it simple. A power button, a left and right facing button, to go backwards and forwards see what you took, and a delete button. Which actually got used a lot!
We liked it for a child because it was easy to use, and so was the software that came to it. Also, it may keep them away from the allure of your expensive camera, since this is "theirs" and costs a fraction of the price. 16 mb of memory is included, which is not a lot compared to the 256 mb my camera has, I wish there was a way to add a compact flash, memory card or secure digital card to add some juice to this baby! But you figure that this is a way for a child to learn how to take care of a camera, and learn how to use a photo program on the computer.
It may not be the camera for your little one to take on a vacation. Unless you are taking a laptop to upload their pictures every night. I also would use rechargeable AAA batteries on it too, the battery power went quickly. I prefer using a rechargeable lithium battery with a digital camera, because I always seem to go through batteries quickly too.
You’ll need Windows 2000 or XP (we ran XP). I also have a Mac, so hopefully future editions of this camera will work on it (I use my Mac for managing all my photos). Comes with a neck strap and USB cord (and the software cd).
The puppet making was fun (it puts any face you take a picture of on a cartoon body) and you can print it out. I liked that you could use the pictures you took to create a story. The 4 year old needed help with using the software, but I imagine a child who is 6 or 7 will not need as much help.