Table of contents:
- See the world through the eyes of children
- What are the kids taking pictures of?
- Fun for child photographers. Stories in pictures
- Create a set of facial expressions
- Studying animal behavior
- Young Pathfinders
- Organization of exhibitions and shows
- The passage of time
- Advice to parents
- Memory expandable
- 5-8 years: VTech Kidizoom
- Nikon Coolpix S3
- 8-10 years: Pentax WG-10
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TF1
- Older kids: Olympus TG-4
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50
- IPod Touch
A digital camera for a child has many uses. It enables adults to see the world from the perspective of children. It is also a useful learning tool to help toddlers expand their vocabulary, hone their storytelling skills and enrich their research skills.
See the world through the eyes of children
So why can digital cameras revolutionize research on children and enrich parents' understanding of a child's inner world? Some do not trust high-tech toys. But the history of the appearance of a camera for children began with digital cameras. They made everyone happy, even those who worried that electronic toys and games were stifling the creativity of the younger generation. Digital devices eliminated the need to develop film, making photography accessible to children. This is a revolutionary change, but it takes some time to realize the full implications.
For the first time since the invention of photography, it was possible to give even young children a camera and let them dowhatever they want. The results are intriguing. A camera for children is a real storehouse of rich material about their inner world. We see what is important to them. We can see the world through their eyes. If this sounds like an exaggeration, then you should be aware that cameras are used by researchers who want to understand what children are looking at. Experiments were carried out when cameras were installed on the heads of babies. Some creative researchers have created a visual ethnography of children by giving them cameras and analyzing the results.
What are the kids taking pictures of?
This was decided by European researchers. Small representatives of five different countries, belonging to three age groups - 7, 11 and 15 years old, were shown how to use real cameras. Children were not taught photography or aesthetics. As the scientists examined the images, they noticed several patterns:
- 7-year-olds were more likely to take pictures at home, and they took more pictures of their possessions (like toys).
- Compared to older and younger children, 11-year-olds took more pictures without people. They photographed outdoors and took fewer staged photographs.
- In general, 11-year-olds took the most artistic or unusual pictures. They also took the most exhibition-quality photos.
- Older children (11- and 15-year-olds) were more likely to take humorous or silly shots.
- Teens were the most focused on their social world. They took a lot of picturespeer groups.
- Children value spontaneity. Older children consciously preferred unplanned photos.
- Older children (aged 11 and 15) experimented with various photographic effects, such as unusual angles.
So a digital baby camera provides many opportunities for play and exploration. What else can you do with it?
Fun for child photographers. Stories in pictures
Children can use photographs to illustrate their own stories, the researchers note. Children can start with their pictures and write stories to accompany them. Or vice versa, first write a story, and only then photograph.
For preschool children, it is proposed to compare pictures with text. You need to invite them from the whole set of photographs taken for each page of the text to choose the best one, and then explain their choice. If nothing matches, choose another picture.
Conversely, you can give the children a set of random pictures and ask them to make up a story from them.
Create a set of facial expressions
Help the children create a set of "emotional" photos - pictures of people with different emotional facial expressions. If you print them out, you can use them in educational games.
Studying animal behavior
There is a reason why zoologists take photographs. Snapshots allow you to capture details that are either difficult to understand or analyze inreal time. Therefore, wildlife (and even domestic animals) are photographed not just for beauty. It is a scientific research tool. And with a zoom lens, kids can discover that animals are more interesting than they thought.
You can take a camera for children for walks in the park, nature and the zoo. And let the children decide for themselves what to photograph: the paws of a dove, ants or a dog's nose. Children choose these objects because they are already interested in them. And the results will likely provide more learning opportunities than any standard, well-composed "postcard" image.
Spotting animal tracks can help kids sharpen their analytical and spatial skills. The camera for children allows them to save the footprints they find and view them again and again. You can show the children how to place a coin or other object in the picture to give the viewer a sense of scale. And let the children keep a record of their findings.
Organization of exhibitions and shows
Creating photo shows and photo collections is very interesting in itself. Children should be encouraged to save photos in scrapbooks or scrapbooks. And your favorite, special high-resolution pictures can be projected onto the wall.
The passage of time
How does your family cuisine change throughout the day? What happens to an ice cube when it melts? Photography helps children capture change and reflect on the passage of time. Here are some examples:
- Use a kid's camera to capture how a flower (such as morning glory) opens at dawn and closes at night.
- Place the plant near a source of sunlight and photograph it daily. You can fix the process of phototaxis - the growth of a plant in the direction of light.
- Try shooting the same landscape in different weather conditions.
- Take a picture of your house being cleaned or renovated.
- Make lollipops and place them in sugar syrup, taking pictures daily to record the process of sugar crystal growth.
- Place cookies or other food by the ant trail and take pictures every few hours.
Advice to parents
Suppose you agreed on the need to purchase a camera for children. Real digital. What's next? Here are some tips.
Let the children use the camera unsupervised. If parents want to see the world from their child's point of view, then they should be left alone. This needs to be done because adults are changing the way children use cameras. They have their own ideas about what children should photograph. Parents teach their children about the camera and tell them how to take good pictures. And even if you do not interfere, the mere presence of adults can affect the result.
In one study, children were given cameras and compared two groups. One of them filmed in the presence of an adult, and the other was left unattended. Although the adult did not give the children any instructions about what to photograph,his very presence had an effect: children were limited to ordinary objects. The second group took very different shots. These were mostly nooks and crannies, such as hallways, cubbyholes, and bathrooms. And the subject was more pronounced (such as photos of naughty children).
No one wants to give their children an expensive camera and leave them unattended. But in finding the right model that's both durable and affordable, you should be careful about skimping on features that will make your child's camera a really useful learning tool.
Many digital cameras for children, i.e. specially designed for them, often have a low resolution - 1.3 megapixels or less. This may be sufficient for the primary purpose, especially if you do not plan to print photos. But many, including preschool children, complain about poor image quality. If you are going to print pictures of normal size (for example, 10 x 15 cm), then you will need a camera with a resolution of at least 4 megapixels. And if you need a larger increase, then you need a sensor with more than 5 megapixels. Technology is constantly changing and different people may have different standards. It's better to check the quality of the pictures yourself.
Optical zoom is better than digital. Why? Digital zoom simply enlarges the pixels, so there is more "snow" and "noise".
Must haveadditional memory card. The kids take a lot of pictures. And if there is no desire to free up space on the card every hour, then you need to worry about its sufficient capacity in advance.
Some cameras run on AA batteries, which is extremely convenient. You can use NiMH batteries or disposable power supplies. The charge, however, runs out quickly, so you should always have a supply of charged batteries on hand. Depending on how many shots can be taken with one set of batteries, it will be too much of a hassle.
Alternatively, you can buy a camera with branded batteries. They work longer. But there are two problems:
- if the battery runs out at the wrong time, you will need to recharge it before continuing to shoot;
- Original batteries will eventually need to be replaced - they are expensive and may not be available if the camera model becomes obsolete.
For these reasons, when purchasing a camera, some people buy an extra battery.
A real camera for a 3 year old would be premature: batteries are not edible, memory cards can cause choking, the camera can cause harm if thrown at people, etc. Below are the best camera options for kids sorted by age range. Many models are not specifically designed for young amateur photographers, but with obvious cautions they can be used.
5-8 years: VTech Kidizoom
Buying a camera for a 6 year old is probably not spending too muchwant. The durability of the camera is also important. The device should be light so as not to break on the first fall, and the simpler it is, the better.
The first camera for a 7 year old needs to be sturdy and inexpensive, and the VTech Kidizoom Connect fits the bill. This rugged 1.3 megapixel toy camera comes with 128MB of internal memory, 4x digital zoom, and can also capture video. The more expensive plus model has a 2MP sensor, 256MB of internal storage, and an SD card slot for kids who are out of their mouthful age. Power is provided by 4 AA batteries. There is 1.8 inch LCD display.
Nikon Coolpix S3
Kidizoom is a toy, but the waterproof Nikon Coolpix S33 is a real entry-level camera designed specifically for use by a child or family. Its wide-angle 3x optical zoom lens (30-90mm equivalent) only offers digital image stabilization, but durability and ease of use are key features of this 13.2-megapixel camera. The Nikon Kid's Camera is 120 cm drop resistant. And it can also be submerged in water up to 5 m deep (or used in the bath or shower). There is also an underwater shooting mode, a tilting simulator (Diorama mode) and a single color isolation function (color highlight mode), which allows the baby to be more creative.
S33It shoots 1080p video and the 80-1600 ISO range means kids can keep shooting even in low light. Power is provided by a lithium-ion battery.
8-10 years: Pentax WG-10
A camera for children of this age still needs to be durable, and there are several cameras that may be suitable for elementary school students. All models are available in a variety of colors that younger children will appreciate and provide a degree of manual control useful for older children as they already want to learn more about photography.
Most 8-10 year old boys probably love the style of racing cars, and the ring of LED lights that surround his 5x zoom lens (28-140mm) Pentax WG-10 will further increase his "toughness". Waterproof and shockproof 14MP baby camera can withstand 10m diving, 1.5m drop, and 100kg impact, while being frost and dust resistant.
WG-10 allows you to shoot 720p video, but so far only offers digital image stabilization. The ISO range is generous: 80–6400. The five LEDs operate in "digital microscope" mode, which is essentially a macro mode. There is no manual control, but there is no shortage of shooting modes - 25 options include auto programs, panorama, underwater photography and filming. Features a 2.7-inch rear LCD screen and Li-ionbattery.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TF1
Equally rugged yet slightly more stylish, the Cyber-Shot TF1 has a lot to offer. Sony's automation is one of the best on the market, and the durable TF1 will be interesting to use for young photographers. It offers an optically stabilized lens with 4x zoom (25-100mm), 16MP sensor, water resistance (up to 10m), shock resistance (1.5m), frost resistance and dust resistance.
Kids will love Panorama mode, which has underwater settings as well as a range of retouching options (Toy Camera, Partial Color, Beauty Effects). The ISO range of the camera covers values from 100 to 3200. You can shoot video at 720p resolution. It should be noted that TF1 writes data to MicroSD and MicroSDHC cards. Therefore, you should be careful, as they are quite small and can be dangerous for young children. Features 2.7-inch LCD screen and Li-ion battery.
Older kids: Olympus TG-4
Sturdiness may not be as important for this age group, but it depends on the child. Here are cameras for those children who have learned not to throw valuable things. They give a little freedom for the growth of the child from automatic shooting, if he becomes more confident in his abilities.
For fidgets or those who drop expensive electronics, the Olympus TG-4 is a good choice. It's well-made, responsive, full-featured, and takes great pictures with its 16MP sensor. The device has automatic shooting modes, but it opens the worldmanual exposure for older kids who are ready to take on more serious photography. Other features include numerous creative filters, Full HD video recording, and support for fisheye and telephoto lenses. The camera has a very good battery life, which is enough for a whole day of filming. The TG-4 is waterproof to a depth of 15m, can withstand drops from a height of up to 2.1m, has an impact resistance of 50N and frost resistance down to -10°C. There's Wi-Fi for quick sharing of shots, and a GPS receiver allows novice photographers to see where they've been taken on a map.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50
For a child who can be trusted with a more fragile camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 is offered. It's a great vacation camera thanks to its telephoto 24-720mm (30x) lens and ultra-compact body. The camera focuses quickly and shoots continuously. The frame can be tracked on the 3-inch LCD monitor or in the small electronic viewfinder. The camera can record Full HD video with image stabilization to help reduce device shake.
The ZS50 offers more advanced manual controls than the TG-4, so if you need to teach a promising photographer how to work with aperture and shutter speed or manually focus, the ZS50 is the camera that can do it.
Although it may be too early to buy an iPhone for kids, you can prepare for the inevitable by getting an iPod Touch. It's essentially an iPhone without a phone, which means access to hundreds of thousands ofapplications, many of which are related to taking photos, sharing pictures via Wi-Fi and other things that have made iPhones the most popular phones in the world.
iPod Touch has a CMOS sensor, 8 MP resolution and f2.4 29mm lens, as well as a front camera with a lower resolution for selfies. The device has the functionality of a "regular" camera, there are impressive auto-HDR and panorama. The iPod Touch can also record video in Full HD resolution with slow motion and time lapse options. The screen is a dream come true, as the 4-inch Retina display is truly excellent. You can even add extra lenses from Olloclip.