The best cameras for kids
From early childhood to the student in photography

” Dad, Mom, can I have a camera ?” A few years ago, it was enough to buy a disposable compact for the holidays or to entrust the family camera to his children. However, since the advent of smartphones, everyone has in his or her pocket enough to take pictures. However, a truly dedicated camera keeps an interest, whether it is for its ergonomics more appropriate to the shooting, for its cost, for its optical zoom or, simply, for its image quality still above that of the best smartphones.

For the under 10s: a real robust and easy to manipulate

For young children, choosing a camera comes down to two options. The first is brought by toy specialists: Hasbro through its Playskool brand, Fisher-Price, and VTech. Each one offers its device with the very rounded shapes, the large handles, and the ultra-simplified grip. However, we do not recommend any because, beyond their nauseous communication ” blue device for the little boy, a pink device for the little girl,” with their sensors of 2 Mpx and their digital zooms, they get closer to recycled webcam than real cameras.

The second solution is offered by Nikon, the only photographic manufacturer to provide a device designed for children: ergonomics simplified, design rounded, waterproof to 10 meters, shock resistant. Unlike the toy above cameras, we have to do with a real camera, with 13MP CMOS sensor, 3x optical zoom, Full HD video and creative filters for the latest iteration, the Coolpix S32. Under 90 €, it is the only product on the market that will be suitable, other waterproof APNs not under 200 €. Eventually, if your budget is tight, you can save 10 € by opting for the Nikon Coolpix S31, but it has a CCD sensor of 10 Mpx.

For (pre) adolescents aged 10 to 16 years

  • Bridging lovers of selfies

Far from us the desire to encourage self- love – aka self-portrait aka egoportrait – to the point, but it is clear that for the college students, the self-portrait to be shared on the social networks has been elevated to the rank of the Olympic event. Let us give them something to satisfy their passion. Moreover, even when taking pictures, as much done in style and winning in quality compared to a smartphone.

  • Encourage budding photographers

The value does not wait for the number of years, so do not hesitate to help youngsters who were very early in love with the joys of photography to cultivate their passion. To do this, there is, of course, the possibility of bequeathing them an old family camera or even acquire one. Yesterday’s stars, such as the Canon A-E1, Nikon FE, Pentax P30 or Minolta SRT101, are easily available and in working order between $ 50 and $ 150. To discover the photography silver, nothing is worth a good small hybrid or a little reflex, to begin to understand the notions of focal length, opening, and speed. It takes no more to be happy.

  • Photographing at the best value

There are also teenagers who do not have to make selfies, who do not want to become photographers, and these are the majority. As a result, a versatile and handy device will suit both daily and vacation. Their cameras do not necessarily need to be waterproof or particularly resistant to shocks: at that age, they know how to take care of their belongings (although, I remember, when I was 14 years old). We have retained three cameras: a compact Olympus at the present price unbeatable, a small Canon which is our favorite zoom of the moment, and a bridge Panasonic that undoubtedly displays the best value for money in recent years.

For the future students in photography

Past 16 years, it is time for summer jobs and pocket money. Your children are well enough to save money after their pennies and know which device will suit them best, especially if they have previously been testing the Numerical tests or using our Assistant dedicated to the NPC. Some of these young people will even be tempted by a photographic training in one of the many specialized schools that dot France, walking in the footsteps of your servant, but also Celine and Arthur. In addition to rereading the folder dedicated to “Training to Become a Photographer” on Focus Digital, it will be necessary to invest in a dangerous apparatus that will allow them to follow their school curriculum at the best and then to accompany them in their first years of professional activity, during which time they may not necessarily have the means to invest directly in their equipment.

The acquisition of a good upstream camera is, therefore, both an investment in the long term and a pledge of serenity. Tip-off savings quickly turn out to be a miscalculation. A good camera for a student in photography is necessarily interchangeable lenses. It can be a hybrid or a reflex, but must necessarily include a viewfinder (which will, therefore, be electronic or optical) and PASM modes. He must, of course, be able to work in RAW. Finally, as the video is becoming more and more important in the trade, serious skills are recommended. Note that these tips are also valid for students in fine arts, cinema, and architecture.
Secure values for less than $ 700

Whether you choose the Nikon D5300 or the Canon EOS 700D, it does not matter; these two SLRs are equivalent on all planes: same footprint, same budget, same photographic capabilities, even video potential. You will choose one or the other depending on the school where your child will be registered, as some are rather equipped with Canon and others in Nikon. Despite their quality, we can not suggest Pentax models, because too small in the video.

  • The best of the APS-C up to 1400 €

By stretching the budget a little more, two cameras stand out clearly: the Canon EOS 70D and the Fujifilm X-T1. The first is the big brother of the EOS 700D and the second is simply the best in APS-C sensor hybrids, with amazing picture quality, excellent lenses, all-weather protection and an in hand very pedagogical with its many right adjustment wheels. If the school itself is equipped with Nikon, you can opt without risk for the D7100, just as well but more traditional.

  • Outsiders who can make a difference

We are going to stretch the budget a bit to offer two very different options that are not lacking in charm. On the one hand, the Sony Alpha 7 will do wonders with its 24 x 36 mm sensor and its virtually universal compatibility with almost all frames, revealing some old manual lenses of the time of the silver and affirm its writing. On the other hand, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 is, quite simply, the king of video. Attention: in addition to the cost of the device, it will be necessary to provide a budget envelope for the objectives.