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The Best Nikon for Kids: the Waterproof Nikon S30

Updated on December 26, 2013

Why the Waterproof Coolpix S30 is the Best Nikon for Kids

Nikon is one of the top names in camera manufacturers, so many parents who have budding shutterbugs and who want to get the best camera for their kids know that Nikon is a name they can trust. But what's the best Nikon for kids? With the spring 2012 release of the Coolpix S30, Nikon has provided a perfect answer - a waterproof, shockproof camera that shoots great photos and HD video at an affordable price. Here's what you should know about this camera designed for both kids and adults.

(Photo by Lisa Howard)

nikon for kids
nikon for kids

3 Reasons Kids & Parents Will Love the Nikon S30

An affordable waterproof camera for the whole family

1. It's tough enough for kids

One of the reasons the Coolpix S30 is the best Nikon for kids is due to its rugged design. In our house, the camera has already fallen out of a pocket, been dropped on the ground, and been knocked around quite a few times. And it's still working just fine. The S30 is waterproof to 10 feet, shockproof to 2.6 feet and able to withstand the challenges of living with a child (or children!).

2. It's more fun than regular cameras

The Coolpix S30 isn't just cool on the outside. Inside the bright blue, pink or white exterior is a digital playroom that lets you have more fun with your photos. You can add digital frames, create special effects such as starbursts, soft focus or fish-eye effect and create albums. You can also change the color of the background menu and the sounds the camera plays when it performs certain actions. For instance, you can make it bark like a dog or chirp like a chick when you shoot photos or hit the replay button.

Adults may tire quickly of some of these features, but the camera also comes with shooting modes that both kids and adults can use, such as a special setting for fireworks or for shooting underwater. It also offers continuous shooting, time lapse and smile shutter modes.

3. It takes great photos and videos

Of course, no parent wants to spend money on a product that doesn't work well, and, fortunately, you won't have to worry about that with the Nikon Coolpix S30. The 10 MP CMOS sensor takes excellent photos, and the 720p HD video is clear and crisp. Of course, kids will still need to work on their photo taking skills to get the best results. As you can see from the photos taken by my 5- and 11-year-old kids (below), the camera alone won't make your child's photos ready for National Geographic. They'll still need to learn basic photo skills. But, unlike some low-resolution, low quality cameras made for kids, the Nikon S30 can produce excellent photos, so you and your kids will be able to see the results in the images as your kids become better photographers. That's what makes this a great beginner camera for kids.

With a price tag of about $120, the Nikon S30 is not only the best Nikon for kids, but it's also one of the most affordable waterproof cameras with HD video on the market, making it a great choice for anyone who wants a good underwater camera at a decent price.

The Best Nikon for Kids - The Nikon Coolpix S30 is available in blue, white or pink

The Nikon S30 is designed to appeal to families with members of all ages. It's a great first camera for kids because it can grow with them, but adults will like it, too, for its great quality of photos and HD video.

Nikon COOLPIX S30 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 3x Zoom Nikkor Glass Lens and 2.7-inch LCD (Blue)
Nikon COOLPIX S30 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 3x Zoom Nikkor Glass Lens and 2.7-inch LCD (Blue)

Kid-friendly features of the Nikon S30:

- waterproof to 10 feet

- shockproof to 2.6 feet

- full of built-in creative effects

- easy-to-use buttons

- HD video

 

Special Effects in the S30 - Before and after photos showing built-in special effects

Click thumbnail to view full-size
An example of the diorama effect.The "before" photo of a pinwheel.An example of the highlight color effect. You can select any color in a photo to highlight, while the rest of the image is converted to black and white.An example of the starburst effect.An example of the fisheye effect.The "before" photo of my son.An example of the soft focus effect.An example of one of the in-camera borders.The "before" photo of my daughter in front of a miniature Victorian house.
An example of the diorama effect.
An example of the diorama effect.
The "before" photo of a pinwheel.
The "before" photo of a pinwheel.
An example of the highlight color effect. You can select any color in a photo to highlight, while the rest of the image is converted to black and white.
An example of the highlight color effect. You can select any color in a photo to highlight, while the rest of the image is converted to black and white.
An example of the starburst effect.
An example of the starburst effect.
An example of the fisheye effect.
An example of the fisheye effect.
The "before" photo of my son.
The "before" photo of my son.
An example of the soft focus effect.
An example of the soft focus effect.
An example of one of the in-camera borders.
An example of one of the in-camera borders.
The "before" photo of my daughter in front of a miniature Victorian house.
The "before" photo of my daughter in front of a miniature Victorian house.

The S30 is the best Nikon for kids because it's waterproof, shockproof and takes great photos and videos.

Easy Controls Make Nikon S30 Easy and Fun for Kids - See how easy it is to operate

I created this video shortly after I got our Nikon S30. It walks you through all the menu options and shows you some of the fun features included in the camera.

Photos Taken by My Kids - Sample photos shot by a 5-year-old and 11-year-old

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Our cat Callie, taken by my 5-year-old daughter.Our dog Garbo, taken by my 11-year-old son.The kindergarten mascot, Cupcake the Dragon, taken by my 5-year-old daughter.A photo of my daughter taken by her 11-year-old brother.A waterfall at the local miniature golf course, taken by my 11-year-old son.
Our cat Callie, taken by my 5-year-old daughter.
Our cat Callie, taken by my 5-year-old daughter.
Our dog Garbo, taken by my 11-year-old son.
Our dog Garbo, taken by my 11-year-old son.
The kindergarten mascot, Cupcake the Dragon, taken by my 5-year-old daughter.
The kindergarten mascot, Cupcake the Dragon, taken by my 5-year-old daughter.
A photo of my daughter taken by her 11-year-old brother.
A photo of my daughter taken by her 11-year-old brother.
A waterfall at the local miniature golf course, taken by my 11-year-old son.
A waterfall at the local miniature golf course, taken by my 11-year-old son.

More Waterproof Shockproof Digital Cameras - Cameras for all ages

The Coolpix S30 is the best Nikon on the market for kids because of the quality of photos, the special features, and the kid-friendly design, but it's certainly not the only waterproof camera on the market. There are plenty of others that are also rugged enough to withstand the abuse of kids or affordable enough to be used as a kids camera. None of them combine the features and pricing of the Nikon S30, but if you'd like to see other underwater cameras, here are some of the available models.

Nikon S30 Underwater Video Sample - See it in action underwater

The weather isn't warm enough yet for the kids to take our new camera in the pool, so here's a video shot by someone else showing the S30 in action underwater.

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Photo taken with a Nikon S30. Copyright Lisa Howard

Do You Think the S30 is the Best Nikon for Kids? - Please share your thoughts

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    • profile image

      PhotoGuide 3 years ago

      Thanks a lot for posting this information regarding the best Nikon for kids. It seems that this model is ideal for very young photographers. You can also find out more at photographyskills.net.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      I certainly appreciate your recommendation, as I'm looking for a gift for a 6-year old budding photographer. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Now that's called good marketing... Nikon has won kids heart...

    • jeremecausing profile image

      Jereme Causing 5 years ago from Philippines

      Hi I like your review :)

    • jethrosas profile image

      Jethro 5 years ago from Philippines

      I'm glad that there is a camera like this. I love this one esp. the effects you can use on the photos. :)

    • profile image

      corporaldjono 5 years ago

      for $120, I wont let my kids take this camera outside the house without supervised.

      It might get stolen or left somewhere.. you know, kids now days..

      But I agree, this camera is fun for kids..

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      Perfect for summer.

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      Perfect for summer.

    • profile image

      yogita01 5 years ago

      hm.. nice one ...after reading this lens i can think about the Nikon digital camera's .

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice lens i found your lens so interesting and deserve thumb up.

    • profile image

      etelectronics 5 years ago

      great idea for holidaying with the kids so they can take their own photos and memories and you don't have to worry about them dropping it in the pool.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Lovely! I like the idea of it barking like a dog when you take a photo!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Looks like a great camera for kids. The waterproof feature definitely has me sold.

    • profile image

      GeekySocket 5 years ago

      nice to get kids involved! :)

    • ferginarg lm profile image

      ferginarg lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for this information, I've been looking for a decent camera for children, the normal "kids" ones are all really low on mp's and picture quality.

    • food monkey profile image

      food monkey 5 years ago

      nice lens :)

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      I love nikons! Nice lens, thanks for sharing!

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      What a coincident I have just bought for my kid exactly same camera.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations on receiving your purple star

    • aksem profile image

      aksem 5 years ago

      Thank you for gift idea

    • jholland profile image

      jholland 5 years ago

      This looks like a great option for the next birthday.

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      Wow nice clear pictures under water too, great information about Nikon S30.

    • CCTVwebmaster profile image

      CCTVwebmaster 5 years ago

      Great information! Will try one of these for my kids!

    • profile image

      AngryBaker 5 years ago

      Looks like a great camera... it might even be tough enough for me to use...