The Best Waterproof Camera for Kids

Nikon S30 is a Great Underwater Camera for Kids

The rugged camera market has exploded in recent years, with everything from cheap disposable underwater cameras to high-end digital cameras that are waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, freezeproof, and will set you back about $500. Most people don't want to spend that kind of money on a kids camera. But you can get a good waterproof camera for kids for a little more than $100. The Nikon Coolpix S30 is waterproof and shockproof, takes 10 MP photos and HD video, and is perfect for both kids and adults. In my family, both my 5-year-old and 11-year-old use this camera with great results. Here's my Nikon s30 reviewand why the Coolpix S30 is my choice for the best waterproof camera for kids.

Nikon S30 Takes Great Photos and is Easy to Use

Nikon is marketing the Coolpix S30 as a camera for "the youngest children to grandparents and great-grandparents." Indeed, it should appeal to both groups. Kids who want to take photos of their friends and siblings in the pool, at the beach or just around the house will undoubtedly love the fun features like digital photo frames and the ability to add a voice message to a photo, while grandparents who still remember black and white film cameras will enjoy the simplicity of design. You don't need to be a techno nerd to take great photos with this camera.

Though it comes with cutting-edge technology like HD video and a respectable 10 MP resolution with 3x zoom, the Nikon S30 is easy to use. The shutter button and video record button are both placed on top of the camera, separated by the on/off button in the middle. That leaves the back of the camera free for menu and playback buttons, making it easy for just about anyone to easily figure out which buttons to push to shoot a photo or record a video. Even my 5-year-old quickly figured out how to use it.

All other functions are on the back of the camera and accessed by displaying the menu on the 2.7-inch LCD. The menu itself is colorful and easy to read; you won't be squinting to read tiny text or decipher tiny icons, as the menus are larger than many of the top rugged cameras on the market.

The only thing I don't like about the design of the S30 is the battery/card door. To open it, you need to slide a lock one way and push the door the other way, an operation that takes me two hands to complete. The feature virtually ensures that small hands won't accidentally knock the door open while underwater or elsewhere, but it's much trickier to open than he single knob on Nikon's pricier waterproof AW100.

But Nikon has added enough fun features to this well-priced camera to make you overlook shortcomings such as the door. To make picture taking more fun, the S30 has a number of in-camera special features. Users can create in-camera slideshows and albums, put one of 5 digital frames around their images, add special effects such as starbursts or soft focus, or even add a voice message to any photo. In addition, the camera is equipped with time lapse mode, continuous shooting, a a smile-activated shutter and other features that will help users capture great photos every time.

Certainly there are other waterproof, shockproof digital cameras on the market that have higher resolution, are waterproof to greater depths and shockproof to greater heights, but you won't find any priced as competitively as the S30. This is the perfect Nikon for kids and an excellent choice for anyone who wants an affordable underwater camera.

Easy Controls Make the S30 a Good Waterproof Camera for Kids

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