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Cameras reviewed to find best ones for kids

July 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
If there's a young budding photographer in your family, you don't have to hand over your digital camera, because there are lots of cameras made just for kids.

We teamed up with Consumer Reports to check out a few and help you figure out which ones to focus on.

Some kids are real shutterbugs. So when Consumer Reports wanted to check out cameras made specifically for kids, they brought in pint-sized experts.

"Cause it's a fun thing to do, like, I can look back on everything," said one tester, Jessie.

Consumer Reports gave 30 fun-loving photographers five made-for-kids cameras to try out. They included ones from Fisher-Price, Crayola and Lego. They cost between $35 and $60. For comparison, testers had the kids use a regular camera as well.

Things got more scientific in the lab. Testers evaluated battery life, which turned out to be pretty good on all the cameras. They also calculated shutter delay - that's how much time you need to wait between pictures. Most had short delays. Testers also assessed picture quality.

"All the kids cameras were two to three megapixels and they use plastic lenses instead of glass, so the picture quality wasn't good. But that's not a top priority for kids anyway," said Carol Mangis of Consumer Reports.

Most of the tiny testers thought the cameras were easy to use.

Some have special features, like graphics you can add to photos on the $50 one from Disney. The $60 Lego camera lets you build onto it for added fun.

"There was really no clear winner because each of the cameras had at least a few fans," Mangis said.

But the $40 VTech Kidizoom camera produced slightly better photos, and it also has games and built-in graphics that you can add to the pictures.


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