It’s really important we do what we can to foster the next generation of photographers, and what better way to do this than to encourage kids and teenagers to discover the creative possibilities of owning their own camera. So this guide to the best cameras for kids, children and teenagers, we’ve found the best cameras to help burgeoning young photographers to reach their full potential. Whether you’re in the market for a camera for a child, or for a teen who’s thinking of studying photography at college, we’ve got you covered with the 12 cameras on this list, as recommended by our highly experienced camera review team.

We’ve put together a mix of different types of cameras here, at a range of different price points. We haven’t always gone for the newest camera on the block, as we know that parents are always looking out for ways to save money (plus, if we’re all honest with ourselves, kids do drop things).

Children often love photography, from the moment they first get their hands on your phone and figure out the camera. A great kids’ camera is the ideal way to let them explore and nurture that curiosity.

How to choose the best camera for kids

When getting a camera for a younger person, think about its size and weight. It needs to be easy for them to hold and shoot, as this will allow even younger kids to get sharp shots. Also, you may want to think about getting a tough camera, i.e. one that is waterproof and can take a few knocks. We all know what kid are like, after all! To that end, picking up a strap for the camera is a good idea too. You want kids to enjoy all aspects of their photography, without worrying about getting an earful if they scratch or scuff it.

It’s also worth thinking about the type of camera you want to get, as you may want to think beyond digital. Instant film can be great fun for kids, as it’s a tactile process that produces more tangible results than files on an SD card. Of course, the downside of this is that it incurs an ongoing expense, as you’ll need to keep the camera topped up with film. That said, younger people with an active social life will really appreciate the instant results – just look at the sales success of the Fujifilm Instax range.

Bright colours can also be a nice addition for very young ones – not only does it make the camera more fun to look at, but can also make it easier to find if your little one is prone to misplacing things. If, however, you’re buying for a slightly older kid or a teenager, you may want to think about more advanced cameras that allow for lens changes and offer room to learn the ins and outs of image-making. Teenagers will definitely not want something that looks too childish or toy-like. Plus, you probably want a camera that’s not too expensive, to soften the blow if it gets dropped, lost or has a glass of squash dumped on it.

We’ve included all the different options in this guide, so let’s get stuck into the best cameras for kids!

1. VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0 – £64.99 / $85.99

Kidizoom Duo 5.0 designed specifically for kids

The VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0 is designed specifically for kids.

At a glance:

  • 5 megapixel camera
  • Dual lens camera
  • Apply special effects to images and videos
  • 4x digital zoom
  • 2.4” LCD screen
  • Voice recorder
  • Available in blue or pink
  • Weight 650g

The VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0 has been designed with the young child in mind. Its robust build and grippy body ensures it won’t slip out of those tiny hands although if it does the rubber outer material will take the impact. Although this camera is marketed for those from 3 to 9 years it will have more appeal to those who are younger.

The 5 megapixel camera won’t win any awards however it is perfect for capturing snapshots moments. The Kidizoom Duo 5.0 also comes with a dual lens system. Where the camera though comes into its own is through its fun special effects which will keep them entertained for hours! Kids can add fun frames and stamps to photos or videos all in camera on the 2.4” LCD colour screen.

Recommended for: young children over 3 years old

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2. Olympus Tough TG-6 – £369 / $499

Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6 in red

At a glance:

  • Waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, freezeproof, and dustproof
  • 12.7MP sensor
  • 4x optical zoom
  • Focal length (equiv. 35mm) 25 – 100mm
  • Super macro mode – Closest focusing distance: 1cm
  • 16 scene modes
  • ISO range 100-12800
  • Weight 253g

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is marketed at adrenaline junkies however we also feel like this model is the perfect accessory for any adventurous or clumsy child! The camera is waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, freezeproof, and dustproof meaning kids can really put it through its paces and have fun at the same time. The added bonus of it being waterproof will also appeal to most children who will be itching to get it wet in the water. It’s hard to think of a more suitable camera for family holidays.

Despite being a compact camera the Olympus Tough TG-6 has many different shooting modes and children will find plenty of use for all the different filters and scene modes. There is also a 4K video option for those wanting to make videos.

Although this camera comes in a little steep it is packed full of features and will appeal to those who are young to teenage and beyond.

Recommended for: adventurous and clumsy children of any age

Read our Olympus Tough TG-6 review

3. GoPro Hero8 – £329.98 / $299

GoPro Hero 8 - great for action

At a glance:

  • 4K video
  • 12MP photos
  • Waterproof to 33ft
  • Compatible with Quik app (GoPro’s image and video organizer and editing app)
  • Tough build
  • Compatible with over 30 mounts + accessories
  • Size 48.6mm x 66.3mm

GoPro has a great reputation amongst vloggers and the adventurous types, which is why we are recommending the GoPro Hero8 for teenagers and older children. The GoPro Hero8 is the cheapest in the latest GoPro range although it still retails at £329.98 directly from GoPro (shop around you’ll get it £50 cheaper from other outlets). There have been many new GoPro cameras released, with the GoPro Hero11 being the most recent, but the Hero8 will work great for kids and is much cheaper.

The GoPro Hero8 is small and agile but more importantly it is waterproof up to 33ft and has a tough exterior build. The amazing 4K videos and 12MP pictures will get great results and teenagers will enjoy the compatible Quik app for image and video editing. There is now a growing market in used GroPro cameras, and you can pick up the Hero8 from reputable suppliers for under £200.

Recommended for: adventurous explorers who want to shoot movie as well as stills

Find out more

4. Nikon D3500 – £499 / $649 (with 18-55mm kit lens)

Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 DSLR is an ideal choice for a teen who’s starting out in photography.

At a glance:

  • 24.7MP sensor
  • Raw and JPEG image file format
  • ISO 100 – 25600
  • Automatic to fully manual shooting modes
  • FullHD Movie mode 1920 x 1080
  • Weight 415g
  • Measures 124 x 97 x 69.5mm

For older children and teenagers who want to take their photography more seriously we recommend investing in a beginner DSLR. The Nikon D3500 is a great model that is small in size and comes with an impressive 24.7MP image sensor. The D3500 has a deep grip on the front making it easy to hold and compose shots even for those with smaller hands.

Its straightforward shooting modes can be easily navigated and they range from fully automatic to complete manual control when they feel ready to progress. There are also some fun scene modes including toy camera effect, miniature effect and selective colour.

When looking at purchasing options you’ll need to get a lens too and the 18-55mm kit lens is a great place to start.

Recommended for: older children and teenagers who want to get serious about photography

Read our Nikon D3500 DSLR review

5. Canon EOS 1100D – £129 / $129 (second hand)

Canon EOS 1100D

A good buy on the second-hand market.

At a glance:

  • 12.2MP sensor
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and compact
  • ISO 100 – 6400
  • 2.7 LCD screen
  • HD video capture

The second hand market is full of budget beginner DSLRs that can be bought for next to nothing. The Canon EOS 1100D is an excellent example. When you’re purchasing second-hand, we recommend buying from established camera retailers rather than privately to ensure the product has been checked and verified to be in working order.

Of course if you are going to get a DSLR you will also need a lens. From a quick shop around you can get the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III kit lens in excellent condition from MPB for £42. This brings the whole setup in for under £150 which is excellent value for money. For any child or teen wanting to learn the art of photography this is a great way to do so without breaking the bank.

Recommended for: older children and teenagers on a budget

Read our Canon EOS 1100D review

6. Fujifilm FinePix XP140 – £149 / $399

Fujifilm FinePix XP140 - tough and waterproof

Tough, shockproof and waterproof, the Fujifilm FinePix XP140 will withstand even the clumsiest kids.

At a glance:

  • 16.4MP sensor
  • Waterproof to 82ft
  • Shockproof to 5.9ft
  • Freezeproof to -10°C
  • Dustproof
  • 5x optical zoom lens
  • Movie mode
  • ISO up to 12800

The Fujifilm FinePix XP140 is the perfect all-rounder kids’ camera, and it can be put through its paces thanks to its waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and dustproof features. It is easy and instinctive to use meaning any child can simply pick it up and shoot with it.

The Fujifilm FinePix XP140 is also compatible with the Fujifilm Camera Remote app, which will be a popular option for teenagers who will enjoy controlling the camera through their phone for some more creative setups.

Recommended for: Adventurous children of any age, looking for a budget waterproof

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7. Polaroid GO – £109 / $85

Best cameras for kids, Polaroid GO white edition

The Polaroid GO is the smallest in the revived Polaroid line-up.

At a glance:

  • Uses Polaroid GO instant film (print size: 3.5 x 2.1 inch)
  • Built-in flash
  • Self-timer and double exposure modes
  • USB charging
  • Weight 242g
  • 105 x 83.9 x 61.5 mm dimensions

Polaroid has been enjoying huge success since the revival of the brand in 2017, and the Polaroid GO is an ideal choice for introducing little ones to the joys of instant film. It’s the smallest and lightest of the new Polaroid line-up – which does mean it requires its own specific film – and with a powerful flash, it’s great for photography in all situations.

Of course, while this is a pretty inexpensive camera initially, you do have to factor in the ongoing cost of film. For that reason, this is a better choice for slightly older children who can understand the concept of photographs costing money!

Recommended for: Teens and pre-teens who want some knockabout fun

8. Sony Cyber-shot W800 – £80

Sony Cyber-shot W800 in black

At a glance:

  • 20.1MP sensor
  • 5x Optical Zoom
  • HD video
  • Sweep Panorama mode
  • Weight 109g
  • Measures 96.8 x 55.5 x 20.8mm

Although the Sony W800 is a little bland to look at and only comes in a sensible black or silver, this camera is perfect for children who want to get creative with their photography. The camera comes with lots of shooting modes and enjoyable features such as the 360 sweep panorama mode as well as the toy camera effect, and soft High-key mode.

Whilst young children can easily control the camera on the fully automatic setting it does not come with any drop proof outer layer meaning it will be more appropriate for those children who are slightly older and more responsible.

Recommended for: responsible children who want to get creative on a budget

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9. Panasonic Lumix G100 – £569 / $647 with 12-32mm lens

Panasonic Lumix G100 in hand

The Panasonic Lumix G100 is good for budding wannabe YouTubers. Photo credit: Richard Sibley

At a glance:

  • 20.3MP image sensor
  • 4K video
  • Free angle LCD touchscreen
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Weight 345g
  • Measures 82.5 x 115.6 x 54.2mm

The Panasonic Lumix G100 is marketed at vloggers, videographers and those on the go due to its small and lightweight design, however this also makes it the perfect camera for older children and the teenage market. Kids will love the flip out LCD screen as well as the abundance of scene modes and creative control you can get with the Lumix G100. For those who are that bit older there is plenty of scope to grow and learn with this camera that can be used in the fully automatic mode through to full manual control.

For a starter lens we recommend looking at the Panasonic 12-32mm Lens for G-Series Camera. They retail around £259 but you can pick one up second hand for under £90 if you shop around on places like WEX and MPB.

Recommended for: older children and teenagers who want to make YouTube videos

Read our Panasonic Lumix G100 review

10. Ricoh WG-80 – £349 / $326

Ricoh WG-80

The Ricoh WG-80 is another capable tough compact.

At a glance:

  • Waterproof to 14m
  • 16MP image sensor
  • Six Macro Lights for close-up shooting
  • Shake reduction
  • 5 x optical zoom. Focal length (35mm equivalent) 28 – 140mm
  • Weight 193g
  • Size 122.5 x 61.5 x 29.5mm

This camera from Ricoh will not only appeal to kids because of its rugged and alternative design, they will also find great enjoyment in its waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof features. The camera comes in orange or black but we’re pretty sure most kids will be more drawn to the bright orange colour. It is also incredibly light to carry meaning those small hands and arms won’t get tired anytime soon. Thanks to its shake reduction feature as well there is more chance of taking a sharp shot too!

For those wanting to shoot movies the WG-80 is capable of recording Full HD (16:9) video at 30 fps, but more importantly it also offers a High Speed Movie mode setting, which captures slow-motion video. Plus it has an Underwater Movie mode for in the water.

Also, while this is the msot recent version of the Ricoh WG series, it’s basically exactly the same as the previous WG-70, which was basically exactly the same as its predecessor, the WG-60. So if you can find either of those cameras cheaper on the second-hand market, go for it. You ain’t missing nothing.

Recommended for: adventurous children of any age

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11. Canon IXUS 285 HS – £199

Canon IXUS 285 HS in purple

At a glance:

  • 20.2MP image sensor
  • Full HD movie mode
  • 12x optical zoom
  • Intelligent IS for steady shots
  • Auto mode with 32-scene detection
  • 3” LCD screen
  • Weight 147g
  • Measures 99.6 x 58.0 x 22.8mm

Although there are cheaper compact cameras on the market, this one from Canon is packed full of features enabling those more ambitious young shooters to get a bit more from the scene. The 12x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 25 – 300mm) is one example of this.

The slimline body can easily be held in any child’s hand however be warned the outer shell is not drop proof meaning we’d highly recommend using a wrist strap to ensure its safety. Its fully automatic shooting modes are easy to navigate and there is plenty to get creative with.
The camera comes in a metallic purple, silver or black.

Recommended for: from 5 years old upwards

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12. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 – £69 / $76

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 - great for kids

At a glance:

  • Print instant credit card size pictures
  • Automatic exposure
  • Integrated ѕеlfіе lеnѕ and ѕеlfіе mіrrоr
  • Comes in Blush Pink, Ice White, Sky Blue, Lilac Purple or Charcoal Gray
  • Easy to use
  • Weight 293g

Instant cameras are incredibly popular with children and teenagers as they love the instant results and the novelty of holding a print in their hand.

Although this camera comes in cheap at £69, just like with the Polaroid, you’ll have to take into account that the film is the more expensive part and sold separately. A box of compatible Fujifilm Instax Mini Film that includes 20 shots will set you back £14.99 making each image around 75p to shoot! This is cheaper than Polaroid, however, so if you want your kids to try instant film but are worried about ongoing costs, Instax is probably the smarter choice.

Recommended for: older children and teenagers

Read our guide to the best instant cameras and printers

Have a look at our latest buyers guides, or if you’re looking to learn photography or improve your knowledge, have a look at our Improve Your Photography series

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