My daughter will be turning 6 next week, and we have been thinking about gifts. We let her use our own cameras when she wants to take photos, but are cautious about letting her wonder off with them. She seems to enjoy taking pictures and snapping away.

(She was fascinated as my husband tried to explain the cameras with the rolls of films, and was shocked that you could only take a certain number of pictures per roll.)

Is 6 too young for a personal camera? And if not which digital camera would you recommend buying for a young child?

asked 18 Jun '10, 08:25

Emi's gravatar image

Emi
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Oh, this question makes me nostalgic for Polaroids, if the film didn't cost the earth now, wouldn't the magic of watching the photo she's taken develope be a great gift for a little girl who's only ever been exposed to digital?

(20 Jun '10, 06:06) Neen

Ditto Neen, I love the Polaroid cameras, though they seem to be more expensive now than before. (It seems they are considered very hip nowadays)

(20 Jun '10, 20:11) Emi

The film isn't being made anymore, so it's getting more expensive (and trendy!) as the remaining stock runs out!

(21 Jun '10, 04:41) Neen

Hey Emi, I called a good friend of mine who's a professional photographer and he said that six is a great age to get a child who's really interested their own camera. His recommandation is to get her an inexpensive camera (in case of accidents and you need to replace it) with the best resolution you can and the biggest memory card available for it. Because, he says, kids take pictures like professionals do, hundreds of pictures, maybe 10 worth keeping, so you want to be able to blow up the really good ones. Canon has some good inexpensive cameras in his opinion.

(Wouldn't those disposable camera's be a great party favour for a bunch of 6 year olds? Bet you'd get some funny and interesting pictures then!)

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answered 20 Jun '10, 17:37

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Neen
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Thank you so much for the advice Neen! I will check out the Canon cameras tomorrow. She does enjoy taking pictures and we really enjoy looking at them afterwards and talking about what she took and what she saw or tried to capture, so I guess this will be a good move.

(20 Jun '10, 20:10) Emi

After I posted this I clued in that he ownes 10's of thousands of dollars of camera equipment, so I called back to clarify "inexpensive". He said about $100 in North America.

(21 Jun '10, 04:45) Neen

That seems reasonable enough. I will look in that price range. Thanks again !

(21 Jun '10, 07:21) Emi

Fisher-price has kids camera but the picture quality seems to be very low. I would be tempted just to buy an inexpensive point and shoot that has better quality for a 6 year old. It really depends on the child and what she would be able to handle and how careful she would be with a real camera. If you are worried about her breaking it right away then the Fisher-price one might be a good idea. The age recommendation on that one is 3+.

Our plan is to pass on our cameras to our children when we buy a new one. That way if they break it then it won't matter. I am uncertain what age we will give them one but I believe that a 6 year old could be responsible enough to handle their own camera.

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answered 18 Jun '10, 15:20

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nikjoyce
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+1 Great idea to pass down one of our own cameras.

(19 Jun '10, 05:00) Emi

Our daughter is 6 and she's been borrowing our camera every now and then for a couple years. I always remind her that she can only use it with the strap around her neck, and she's good about following that rule. Our old Canon A620 is getting a bit long in the tooth, and when I eventually get around to upgrading I'll certainly let it become hers. In the meantime, she uses it every now and then (and some of her pictures are getting pretty good!), or borrows one of our cameras and takes a few pics.

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answered 22 Jun '10, 01:51

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Ward
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+1 Thanks for your reply, yes we do the same with the wrist strap and she is careful, and as you rightly pointed out some of the pictures can be really good. I have a Leica and enjoy taking photos too, and our previous Casio was given to my parents-in-law!

(22 Jun '10, 05:52) Emi

I think six is a great age for a child to be given her own camera. From my experience photography will foster creativity, as well as skills for analyzing and observing her environment. I would recommend a Cannon PowerShot. Our six year old has been using my husband's old one since she was four years old. It has been dropped way too many times to still be pretty, but the wear and tear has not affected any of its functioning. Some of her pictures are really interesting, and the PowerShot's photos are high enough quality to print. It looks like PowerShots start at about $100, and go up from there. If your daughter is fairly responsible, and you will be around to make sure the camera doesn't go missing, I think the investment would be worth it.

Happy Birthday to your little one!

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answered 23 Jun '10, 17:35

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johearn
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edited 23 Jun '10, 17:53

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Tammy ♦♦
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+1 Thank you for such a nice precise answer!!

(24 Jun '10, 03:44) Emi

It depends on how interested she's in photography. I would advise to give her an inexpensive one or to give her a mobile phone with build-in camera. The phone could then be used to contact you in case of problems. But she is a bit young for her own phone, though. But be aware that you need to make sure she handles it with respect, in a responsible way. Too many young children have misused camera's to take "naughty pictures" of themselves, sometimes out of their own free will and sometimes after encouragements from friends. Even though you might give her her own camera, make sure she can only use it with some supervision. If she does handle her camera respectful and in a responsible way, consider giving her a better camera for her 7th birthday. But first she must prove her worthiness with a less expensive one... Some will consider 6 to be too young. Still, it depends on the character of the child and how she will handle the camera. Spend less than $40 on that camera and promise her a much better one for her next birthday if she proves she can handle it well. It will give her some responsibility, boost her confidence and could be real useful in her education.

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answered 18 Jun '10, 09:23

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user-1076 (google)
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You could make sure that she can only export the pictures from the camera using a computer under supervision, if you are afraid of naughty pictures.

(18 Jun '10, 11:28) brandstaetter
1

When a child is only 6, a computer under supervision should be a constant. Don't let children this age use a computer without any supervision!

(18 Jun '10, 11:39) user-1076 (google)

Of course, that's a given. In that way, a simple cheap camera is better than a phone which would allow MMS to be sent without supervision.

(18 Jun '10, 12:04) brandstaetter
1

Thanks for your response, and in reply, she is very interested and enjoys taking pictures of her surroundings and has surprised us with some very interesting shots. It is without doubt that she would be using the camera with our supervision and would not be involved in the downloading part at all at this stage and age. I disagree about giving her a phone with the camera, because I do not think there is a need, at this young age

(19 Jun '10, 05:08) Emi
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Asked: 18 Jun '10, 08:25

Seen: 4,637 times

Last updated: 23 Jun '10, 17:53