Like all good parents – we want our kids to live-out our dreams. If you are looking to impose photography on your first-born or favourite secondary child, you might wonder if this affordable, kid friendly digital camera is up to the job? With 1080p video, photo filters and a tiny price tag – lets take a look.
What is the Children’s Digital Camera
The Children’s Digital Camera does not come with a fancy name or an impressive model number such as the Photon Pro Lapse 2000 mark 2 – it is simply “Children’s Digital Camera”. The CDC is compact, light, and comes in Pink, Blue and Green. The CDC is yours for less than $40 NZD/ $25 USD.
The CDC records full HD video (1080p), captures 4:3 1.2 megapixel photos and records its files to micro-SD cards (like those found in smartphones). The CDC can be connected to your PC or Mac via its micro USB port for simple drag-and-drop file transfer.
Taking photos with the Children’s Digital Camera
I like how the CDC resembles a traditional SLR camera and is surprisingly comfortable to hold. A textured rubber surface provides plenty of grip and the included wrist strap serves as extra security.
The shutter-release is well placed and falls under finger. The back of the camera features a generously-sized screen (relative to the CDC’s price point) and five buttons. One for power, one for settings and another to toggle between video, photo, and review. On photo mode, the two remaining buttons scroll through filters or flick through videos and photos in review mode. Both buttons are redundant in video mode. Overall, the CDC is quite simple to use though a switch would be more instinctive to children than its hold-and-release power button.
In photo mode, your children can toggle between different filters such as sepia and black and white or frame their image with novelty pictures. This is quite fun and something that should demand at least a few seconds worth of attention from most pint-size dictators. Sadly, the filters are not available in video. Interestingly, the CDC does come packed with a few games reminiscent of Nokia’s old Snake game but unlike the seminal Snake, these games are as awful as they look.
Image Quality and Performance
Unfortunately, the CDC does not fare well here and serves poorly as a means for your child to document their own childhood. The 1080p video is awful and whilst it has the pixels, real-resolution is extremely poor. It’s more of the same in photo mode and the overall effect will remind you of the early days of camera phones.
It feels rather mean measuring the CDC on these terms and to do so is perhaps missing the point. As just another toy or as a gateway into the healthy addiction of Photography, the CDC is an affordable, practical place to start. Whilst Olympus and Nikon (among others) offer adults indestructible cameras that are also marketed as cameras for kids – the CDC is genuinely a camera for kids and considerably cheaper than anything Nikon, Canon, and co offer.
The CDC cannot be considered a good camera but if you consider the CDC a toy camera that actually shoots real pictures and videos, the dynamic changes and the CDC becomes everything it needs to be. Parents looking for a genuine creative/journalistic tool for older kids will be better off looking at ‘real cameras’. For info on ‘real cameras’ you may find this article useful