Three safe, good cameras for kids this summer

Summer vacations are great times to get children into photography. But there are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a camera for a child:- Don't spend a lot of money.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Summer vacations are great times to get children into photography. But there are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a camera for a child:

- Don't spend a lot of money. Children are clumsy, and chances are they will drop it more than once. - Style is key. Most kids don't want something like most digital SLRs now: boring and black. Children love color. There are also plenty of cameras out there with their favorite cartoon character or Disney star, so consider something that reflects your child's personality and interests. - Don't get something too heavy. You'll end up carrying it.

With all this in mind, here are three models to consider:

Disney Pix Click

This is one to consider for a much younger, complete beginner photographer. The two best qualities to the Disney Pix Click models are their price and aesthetics. Prices start at $19.99. Plus, there's a selection of several different designs to choose from, including Hannah Montana, Tinkerbell and Pirates of the Caribbean. Quality isn't the best, but with a cheap camera marketed towards kids, you shouldn't expect much. This purchase should really be about getting your kids into learning photography anyway. The camera has a 1.1" color LCD screen and 2x digital zoom, but the resolution is very small at 0.35 megapixels. Also note that this camera is only PC compatible. Hands-on reviews at alaTest.com rate has an overall score of 75/100, so it would make a good starter camera.

Two more after the jump:

Casio Exilim EX-Z80

With kids running around and just getting used to handling a camera, shake reduction is a great feature to keep in mind when shopping for a new camera. A lot is packed into this entry-level model, including 8.1 megapixel resolution, 4 x digital zoom, and additional features such as anti-shake DSP and face detection. Most reviews say the biggest problem with this camera is that the pictures aren't as crisp as they should be, but if you're looking for a simple, automatic camera, this should do the trick. There's also a small spectrum of colors for your child to choose from. Prices are as low as $99.

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP

If your child has some photography experience and/or isn't a butterfingers like myself, you could consider spending a little more for a better camera. You'll want something with built-in flash and multiple event settings (i.e. beach, fireworks, indoor, nighttime, etc.). Also, consider models good for outdoor situations with waterproof capability. One model that fits these requirements is the Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP. These candy-colored cameras are built for action, with a long-life rechargeable Li-ion battery and water resistant up to 10 feet/3 meters deep. The design also features a side grip and rubber buttons. DigitalCameraInfo.com notes that aperture range is pretty limited for a point-and-shoot, but it's acceptable for general use. The lowest price for this model right now is $162.95.

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