Things to Consider Before Buying a Digital Video Camera for Kids
Thinking to buy a video camera for your little one? Looks like a great idea for the upcoming holidays or just as a birthday gift. But choosing the right one it is not an easy task.
Below are some tips I learned myself the hard way.
Just remember that you are not buying a toy but a electronic device that is useful in many ways: it records memory for a lifetime, and it teaches your kid to operate these kind of gadgets at an earlier time.
What to consider when looking for a video camera/camcorder for kids:
- Social media uploads
- Technical features
- Battery life
- Chargeable battery
- Expandable memory
- Easy to operate
The age of the child that would use the camcorder is your first clue.
How old is he or she? Can she/he perform basic tasks like turning it off and on, using different light settings, charging the battery or focusing on the subject?
Also determine if the child had any prior experience in using any kind of camera and what was the result.
After you answer these questions determine if a simple, automated camcorder would better then one that requires more knowledge and attention.
A camera that works just by a push of a button would do great with littler kids.
A more sophisticated one is good for children ten and up that have had a prior experience.
The next question is how would the camera be used? When, how often and which weather condition?
Some kids have a burst of interest in some new devices and once they figure it out how it works they tend to turn their attention to something else, forgetting their gadget or toy in a corner of a drawer to collect dust. If that’s your child, then just go for a simple inexpensive video camera as it not make sense to invest a great amount of money in an impulse interest.
If, on the other side, the child is really interested in capturing live events then go for a good one so he or she can use it for a longer time.
Also, consider the weather factor. Most cameras are waterproof but is good to check to make sure the camcorder you wish to buy has this feature so you don’t have to worry if it rains or if it falls on the lake (considering you can dive to recover it).
this is a very funny video some kids took under my deck. They used a Camileo camcorder from Toshiba with pretty good results.
This category is the next very important one, after age.
Here are few things to consider:
Media uploads - is your child engaged in any social media sites and likes to share videos or photos with others? If your answer is yes then look for a camcorder that has the the ability to upload direct to the media site like YouTube or Facebook.
Memory - the chosen camera needs to have plenty memory for your child’s first experiments, the least.
When given such a tool, kids tend to wander around with the camcorder on, recording everything in their way, including but not limited to your most private moments. It can go on for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, multiple times per day. Imagine yourself downloading the images so many times....because you may not be able to erase them.
So, you need to get a camera that has higher memory or, the list, a memory that can be expanded through an extra memory slot.
Battery - the above case apply to the battery, as well.
The best way to go is to get a camcorder that works with a high capacity battery or, the least, rechargeable battery. Avoid the ones that come with regular batteries as over the time you’ll find they cost you more then the camera itself.
Easy to operate
The more sophisticated the camcorder, the more expensive it gets.
Unless you know exactly your child's level of expertise, do not get a high end camera. If the features are too technical for the kid, he/she may give up using it, being discouraged by so many buttons or procedures to remember.
But the good news is that most camcorders, for all ages, are made for dummies. Easy to use one-button-does-it-all video camera is the best choice for curious kids through age 12.
And as a final tip: look for the return policy and warranty. The longer the warranty the better as it may be necessary more than you think. As for return policy consider duplicate gifts, upgrading or downgrading the camcorder or simply choosing something else.
Why is a camcorder a good gift for holidays or birthdays?
Here are some reasons:
- records memories for a lifetime
- gives the children the opportunity to learn to use it, which is great benefit for them
- it is not a toy, it is a useful device
- it can be used by you, as well, with your child’s permission.