The Vtech Kidizoom Duo is an affordable and robust 5-megapixel digital camera for kids. And as a kids camera, the Kidizoom Duo is jammed with child-friendly features such as frames, filters, and games.
But as a consequence of its rich feature set, the Kidizoom Duo is a little complicated to use. With no less than 12 separate control points, the Vtech Kidizoom Duo risks alienating the lower end of its aged 3 to 9 audience. So, is the Vtech Kidizoom Duo the perfect camera for kids? To find out, I snuck into my daughter’s bedroom and borrowed hers.
What is the Vtech Kidizoom Duo
The Vtech Kidizoom Duo is a fully functional digital camera for children aged between 3 and 9. Inside its large robust body is a 5-megapixel camera sensor fronted by a fixed lens with 4x digital zoom.
Around the lens is a control ring for cycling between the Kidizoom’s different filters. These include Sepia, Black and White, and many more.
On the rear of the camera, there’s a separate 0.3-megapixel camera for selfies. A simple optical viewfinder provides a bare-bones alternative to the 2.4 inch LCD screen.
Like all cameras these days, the Vtech Kidizoom Duo records videos. Specifically, the Kidizoom can record 320×240 videos for up to ten minutes.
Connectivity and Power
In terms of connectivity, the Kidizoom Duo features a smartphone-style USB Micro-B 2.0 port for dragging and dropping your photos onto your computer. As the price point suggests, there’s no Bluetooth or wifi.
Amazingly, and unlike thousand-dollar cameras, the Kidizoom Due features its own onboard memory. Whilst it’s only 256MB, it’s good to go as soon as you’re able to dig out 4 AA batteries. But in the long run, 256MB is not enough and you’ll need to invest in a card for Kidizoom’s Micro SD slot.
As a children’s camera, the Kidizoom Duo is loaded with kid-centric features. For instance, there are many photo filters beginning with simple sepia and black & white effects to humiliating body and face distortions. The kaleidoscope effects are good fun as are the shake-shake effects which become more prominent the more you shake the camera.
For when you’re not taking photos, there’s a photo editor in which existing photos can be tweaked and 5 surprisingly fun video games.
Is the Vtech Kidizoom Duo 5 any good?
In itself, the Vtech Kidizoom Duo is a well-made product with a very generous feature set. I also get the feeling a lot of love went into its design. However, the Kidizoom Duo does have some problems.
First of all, its image quality is functional but poor; even when you factor in its price. Furthermore, its 320×240 video resolution is below that of VHS tapes.
Of course, you might be saying – it’s a kids’ camera, man, what are you on about! Well, I agree and that leads me to the next problem.
The Vtech Kidizoom Duo is not an easy camera to use. For instance, the Kidizoom is burdened with multi-tier menus and 12 separate control points – some of which integrate multiple functions. As a result, the Kidizoom Due is no easier to use than my wife’s Sony A5000.
Therefore, there’s a risk that the Kidizoom is too complex for young children whilst lacking the sort of image quality and design that might appeal to older children. Of course, all children are different and you know yours better than me.
In my case, we bought a Kidizoom Due for our 5-year old daughter and she loves it despite barely being able to operate it. In contrast, when my son was around the same age, he inherited an old Canon Powershot A620 – a vastly superior camera which in my opinion – is easier to use.
And then there’s the bare-bones kid’s digital camera I reviewed years ago. Although it suffers terrible image quality and lacks the Kidizoom’s extensive feature set, it’s smaller, cheaper, and far easier to use.
Nevertheless, the Kidizoom is a nice product and my daughter loves it as she does all new things. Therefore, as a present and a toy, it succeeds.
The Kidizoom Duo is a well-built product with a huge feature set. Unfortunately, its rather complicated user interface risks alienating younger children. On the other hand, older kids will likely be turned off by Kidizoom’s cartoonish design, poor photo quality, and abysmal video resolution.
If you have a very young child, this basic kid’s digital camera is cheaper, smaller, and easier to use. And if your child is older, an affordable point-and-shoot will be no-less complex to use whilst producing superior results to look back on.
Overall, the Vtech Kidizoom is a nice product made with good intentions and a great toy overall. But as a camera, it does not fit well with either side of its aged 3 to 9 audience. And as a result, you may be better looking elsewhere.