Orchard Electronic Toy Reviews
VTech Kidizoom Plus Multimedia Digital Camera
For my son's sixth birthday I was looking for gift ideas when I stumbled across the vtech kidizoom plus camera. I was aware that a couple of my friends had purchased them for their children and that they were pleased with the product and so I bought it for the reduced rate of £30.00 from my Littlewoods catalogue. ==What is ... it?==
The kidizoom plus is a digital camera which is designed for use by children aged from three years. It comes in both a blue and a pink variety and it was the blue one which I bought for my son.
The camera itself is quite chunky and around twelve centimetres I would say at a guess in length. The ends of the camera are wider than the middle part and make the camera very easy for small hands to hold on to. I like the fact that it has this as I feel that children can take a more focussed photograph if the can hold the camera with two hands with ease.
The front of the camera features the vtech name as well as the kidizoom plus name. The camera has stars and different coloured blue stripes which make it look a little more child friendly and fun. We are told that the camera is a 2.0 mega pixel and has a 2x digital zoom as well.
The back of the camera features lots of buttons and can look a little over bearing but you soon get used to the features and will tend to use some buttons more than others. The main buttons for use are the power button, the function button, the flash, the zoom and delete for all those awful pictures than your child takes of you!
There are two viewfinders on the camera so the child could use either side for this or they can also use the digital screen to see what they are going to take a picture of. My son always uses the screen rather than the viewfinders purely because this is what he sees me doing with my camera I think. There is also a dial on the top of the camera which is similar to those used on some other digital cameras which can be used to switch between the modes available on the camera.
As well as being able to take pictures on the camera you can also use it to record movies, edit your photos and play games.
My son was very excited when he opened his present to find this camera inside. He was keen to have a go with the camera immediately and so we needed to remove all of the packaging. It comes packaged in one of those plastic packs which are incredible difficult to open but we got there eventually with some scissors and perseverance!
My son was able to take pictures with the camera easily from the onset. He was able to work out how to use the zoom function too. Now, the pictures are never going to be exceptional quality and some of them can be slightly fuzzy and lack focus but for a child's camera I think that it isn't all about the photo quality and that a lot of focus must be placed on the fun and independence they get from taking them. My son is happy with the pictures he takes and it gives him a sense of pride in his work too.
My son's favourite feature of the camera is the function button. This is represented with a "M" on the camera and with this feature you can add stamps, frames or funny faces to the screen and you can ensure that you take the picture in the perfect place for the added feature rather than mess about adding them on later. My son loves to take pictures of us using the funny face templates as he can give us fat faces, distorted features or alien heads to name just a few! He also likes to add us different hats and things and is always amused by the results he gets! It is very simple for my son to view back his pictures as he just needs to push the arrow up on the back of the camera and it switches from camera mode to photo album mode and it is here where he can delete photos he does not want anymore.
The movies function is something that is used regularly by my son and he often does this when you are not looking so you really need to watch what you are doing or saying! He has caught a few people out saying something embarrassing whilst he sneaks along using this feature! The videos are quite clear to watch to be honest and the sound quality is really good.
There are five games built in to the camera and these are as follows:
Dance with me
The games are quiet basic but my son does like them regardless. He particularly enjoys bounce around whereby you need to clear bricks by bouncing a ball against them. The addition of games to the camera is a good feature and particularly useful for when we are travelling and have taken the camera with us as it helps to entertain my son in the car or whatever.
Although you can insert a SD memory card to the camera it does actually have a build in memory of 256mb and apparently this allows us to store up to 500 photos so as yet we have not felt the need to purchase a memory card and I don't think that we will bother to be honest.
The batteries provided with the camera have lasted around six weeks with my son using the camera occasionally and so I would advise getting some rechargeable batteries as it needs four to work and this would become quite costly if you were to have to replace them quite frequently.
The camera can be connected to your TV or computer using the included camera leads but we have not connected it to the TV yet. It is simple to connect to the computer and once you have done this you can also use the software provided on a CD-ROM to edit your photos and such like. The CD-ROM is easy to install as you just need to follow the instructions on the screen. It is rare that we connect the camera to the computer but it is a useful tool to have just in case we want to use it.
Although I have always allowed my son to take pictures using my digital camera I am still pleased that I purchased the kidizoom plus for him. The reason for this is that I have seen the fun my son has had with the camera but also the sense of achievement he has when taking pictures of whatever he likes, whenever he likes. I do not delete the pictures from my son's camera like I would from my own so he knows that it is all his property and I think he likes that. My son is looking forward to taking his camera to London when we visit in the summer and I am looking forward to seeing what grabs his attention whilst we are away!
The camera can be bought for around £24.00 from amazon and I think for the camera and all the added extras that are included that it is a really good price which most children will enjoy using in my opinion.
Thank you for reading my review!
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VTech Kidizoom Plus Multimedia Digital Camera
I bought this camera for my 4 year old's Christmas present last year as she was always fascinated by my camera. I was attracted by the different functions and the fact that it claims to be durable, and thought that at around £60, it was well priced. The camera features two viewers and soft handles on either side so that ... children can hold the camera and see easily. It can be tricky for young ones to learn to close one eye and focus through a tiny viewer, so V-Tech have cleverly solved this problem. The camera also looks fantastic - the chunky design and bright colours are very appealing to children, and the camera comes with two front plates that can be altered whenever your child fancies a change.
The camera has loads of fun functions. It can stretch the subject into a range of shapes, although this can be a bit scary for little ones - seeing Daddy's face stretched into 'The Scream' can either be incredibly funny or rather upsetting depending on your child's personality. There are a number of different frames too. These range from just pretty flowers or gems to prison bars and even a dinosaur's mouth. These functions will keep your child amused for hours.
The camera also has a video recorder setting and has several games. And it is indeed very durable - even my 18 month old son hasn't managed to break it yet.
The only downside is the terrible picture quality. It's quite disappointing for a child to have so much fun taking the pictures to only see a dark, grainy image when they view them.
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VTech Kidizoom Plus Multimedia Digital Camera
Since my daughter has been able to grab things she has been obsessed with digital cameras and has often tried to play with mine, frequently leaving greasy finger marks on the lens. So last year, with her being older and more in control (she was 3 at the time) we decided to buy her a camera for herself. My husband wanted to buy her just ... a cheap 'adult' digital camera but I felt she would not get as much enjoyment from that as she would from a child orientated camera. So I did a bit of research and found that the Vtech Kidizoom Plus would be the best option. RRP is £49.99 but I managed to get it on offer from Amazon for £35.
Reviews on this camera were very mixed and they ranged from people saying they were wonderful to others saying they were complete rubbish so I was not quite sure what to expect, but overall I have been really pleased with my purchase and would definitely recommend to other parents of children who love to take pictures - lets be honest most under 5s are not too bothered about the end result, they are more interested in pressing the buttons.
A 2 megapixel camera with a zoom function, video option, 5 mini games, photo editor where you can warp the photos or add stamps or frames to your pictures. It has a dual viewfinder, a bit like looking through binoculars (so your child doesn't have to close one eye), a colour screen, built-in flash, 256Mb of internal memory (can store up to 500 photos), and an SD card slot for extra memory if you need it. Included with the camera is a USB cable, a TV cable, and software for editing on the computer, and also 2 changeable face plates if you feel like a change of look.
So that is the basics of the camera, if you wanted to know what you get for your money.
The camera is obviously designed with children in mind, it's bright and chunky and has soft easy to grip handles at either side, it's the perfect size for little sticky hands. The dual viewfinder is a great idea but my daughter does not use this, she just prefers to use the screen. I think it must have also been designed with 'dropping' in mind because ours has been dropped quite a few times on our laminate floor and has not fallen apart, it hasn't even been damaged, it just tends to bounce. The buttons are all a good size and located within easy press-able reach for children.
On the rear of the camera are 9 buttons plus a dial/wheel selector which allows you to easily select the mode you want.
The dial has 6 functions - camera, video, view pictures, settings, games, and photo editor.
The 9 buttons are as follows - On/Off, delete, OK, Flash, 4 way direction button, Mode, Volume, Zoom in and Zoom out. These are all pretty self explanatory and it is easy to determine once you are using the camera which button does what. My daughter quickly found her way around the camera, and to be honest most of the buttons on the back she does not tend to use, unless she is playing a game.
There is a large capture button on the top of the camera to take photos with, but you can also use the OK button on the back and I have often seen my daughter using this OK button in preference to the one on the top, I guess it's just easier that way.
Well to be honest, the picture quality is not the best, most of the shots tend to come out blurry, but I find the reason for this is because it is difficult for a 4 year to grasp the fact that they have to keep the camera still before and after pressing the button in order to get a clear picture. We do get the occasional crystal clear photograph, but this is quite rare and is usually when I have taken the picture.
What adds to the blurriness is the fact that you can press the capture button and there is at least 1 second before the picture is actually taken, so my daughter will press the button and expect the picture to appear straight away, but whilst the camera is processing she meanwhile has moved onto something else, and the photograph just ends up being a blur of where she has moved the camera to and from. But this is not with every photo she takes, depending on her mood she sometimes has patience and sometimes doesn't. Her better pictures are usually from when she is photographing her toys, a still subject is better that a moving one in my opinion!
The flash is also not particularly good, most of the time it doesn't even activate, even in a dull room, and when it does activate it tends to white out the complete photograph so you end up with just a white screen. So it's probably a good thing that it doesn't work most of the time.
However, despite the vast majority of the photographs being poor quality, this has not bothered my daughter in the slightest. I actually uploaded about 200 of her pictures to the computer recently (most of them being of me in close range or her toy dogs) so she could look at them, and she looked at about 3 pictures and soon lost interest. For my daughter, it is all in the act of taking the photographs rather than the end result, although sometimes when she takes a funny photo (more on this later) she does enjoy looking back on it and having a giggle.
The video option is lost on my daughter; it's just too much for her to understand. I think this is because the screen still looks the same as when she is about to take a photograph, she cannot grasp the fact that she is taking a video so ends up pressing the button over and over again, taking several 1 second long videos, and then getting frustrated when nothing is happening like she thinks it should be. I think perhaps if there was a large video icon that showed up on the screen once a video was in progress might improve this feature for me daughter. As it is she doesn't use it.
My favourite part of this camera is the fact that you can alter and modify images whilst they are still on the camera. There are a few ways you can do this; first of all there is the face warp. This is where you can alter the shape of someone's head, there are several different shapes you can use and to be honest it's the most fun I have had in a long time, forget my daughter, I would buy this camera for myself on the sole basis of this feature! You can either modify a photograph after you have taken it, or you can have the shape on the screen while you are actually taking the photograph, so you really can get the perfect shot. I now have numerous photographs of my husband with an oversized head, or obscenely large mouth and nostrils, or even a squashed face. Unfortunately, he doesn't find it as funny as I do.
You can also add stamps or frames to your pictures; the stamps are in the form of funny hats, glasses, moustaches, you get the idea, and the frames are just different patterns around the edge such as hearts, flowers, sea life, and even jail bars!
I think this adds an interesting angle to the camera, and it adds a bit of extra fun for the kids (and the adults) when they get bored of taking normal photographs. Things such as this are always a good extra when something is aimed at the younger market.
There are 5 mini games included on the camera which are all really simple, but have varying levels of difficulty for young children, I don't know the exact names of the games but they are as follows:
Jigsaw - a basic shape matching game - very easy
Fast Match - matching moving symbols - very easy
Chicken Shot - taking pictures of moving chickens - easy
Dancing - pressing arrows in the correct sequence - quite difficult
Ball - catching a ball with a moving plinth to destroy bricks - very difficult
My daughter loves to play all of these games, but she really struggles with the dancing and ball games, these require quick reflexes which she just has not quite got the hang of yet. But the other three games she loves to play and because they are very simple she does not need any assistance from me and will sit for 5-10 minutes at a time quietly playing on her own.
I wasn't sure whether I liked the fact that games were included with the camera, but since we've had the camera I've changed my mind because once the photo fun is over for the day, she can then get more use out of it by playing the games, so I think it just means you get more for your money.
I really like this camera and so does my 4 year old daughter. The entire camera is easy to navigate and most things are pretty self explanatory, not once has my daughter come to me to sort something out (apart from when she gets angry with a game). Everything she needs is easily accessible from the jog-wheel, and the face warps (a most used feature) have a shortcut from the 4 way direction button and she knows how to activate this.
Although the picture quality is not all that great, it doesn't seem to matter because my daughter doesn't often go back to look at the photographs anyway, all the fun of the camera tends to be in the actual taking of the photographs rather than the end result, I don't think my daughter is aiming to take the perfect picture. Unless she has been face warping everybody, and then she has usually spent more time taking the photograph anyway so these particular photos usually come out quite good, and she does tend to look back on these and have a giggle.
I would definitely recommend this camera to parents of children who like to mess about with digital cameras. It is definitely a better option than buying them a cheap standard digital camera. First of all because the Kidizoom is bigger and easier to handle, so less likely to get fingers in front of the lens, and it also doesn't break when dropped. The games and photo editing also add novelty value to the camera and it is definitely value added because it not only allows a child to be creative, and improves concentration, but it also makes them think about the actual photograph they are taking, rather than being snap-happy taking pictures of anything and everything - we have about 100 pictures of our fish tank thanks to my daughter!
One of the downsides is that I find myself saying 'CHEEEEEESSEEEEE' several times a day.
Available in blue or pink
RRP £49.99 but shop around to see if you can get it cheaper. It is available on Amazon and Toys R Us.
Takes 4 x AA batteries included with the camera. The first set ran out after a couple of weeks (due to constant use) but the second lot have lasted a lot longer due to more sporadic use.
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Orchard Electronic Toy
Brand: VTech / Electronic Toy / Age: 3 Years+ / Available in different colours. - Easy operation child's first camera.
Manufacturer: Orchard Toys / Electronic Toy / Age: 2+ - Use these bright progressive jigsaw puzzles of favourite farmyard animal pictures and begin to count first numbers. Each jigsaw contains different numbers of pieces so they get progressively more challenging for a child. Links to Early Learning Goals.
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