* Prices may differ from that shown
Whilst browsing on line a couple of years ago, I spotted this discounted at Amazon to £24.99 and although I had finished my Christmas shopping, I decided this was too much of a bargain to miss so purchased one for me daughter.
The camera is widely available in most toy shops, on line and has a recommended retail price of around £60 which I feel is quite expensive. I have spotted it on offer quite a lot so I would recommend shopping around before you purchase. The camera is available in two different colours, blue or pink and is suitable for children over the age of 3.
- What I like about the camera is its design, it is quite chunky and Lauren found it very easy to hold.
- The camera is quote robust; it has been dropped a few times (once on a hard tiles floor) and this has not caused any damage.
- The casing to the camera is a little rubbery which I think not only protects it from impact, it also helps grip.
- Just like my camera, this one has a LCD display (measure approx 1.8inches) so Lauren can focus on what she is taking a picture of/filming
- If you take any films, these can be replayed back easily through the TV or uploaded to our PC to be viewed or printed out. Whilst I would say this is a good point, it is not one we have used much but I can image as Lauren gets older, this may be a function we use more.
- It has a built in memory of approx 256mb, this doesn't sound a lot but it does hold quite a lot of photos before I have to start deleting them. You can also insert a memory card are record straight to that, this is not included however you can pick these up for a few pounds now.
- The button to take the photo/film is situated to the back of the camera which means we have had very few instances where Lauren has photographed or filmed her fingers!
- The problem I find with the product is that with is having no built in flash and only a 2mega pixel camera, the quality of the photos she takes are very poor (not only because she hasn't got a steady hand). When taking any photos inside, especially with little daylight, the photos are really distorted and dark. On the few times she has used the camcorder element, you have to keep you hands as still as possible or if you are following around, do so really slowly otherwise the film is really jumpy. As you can imagine, this was quite frustrating for a 4 year old (especially one which is quite impatient)
- The camera is operated by 4 x AA batteries which are included however they don't have a very long shelf life. I found that within the 1st day of using, these needed replacing. We have replaced with good quality rechargeable and they have faired a lot better.
- RRP high
The main concept of the product is that it is a camcorder however Lauren likes to use it more as a camera. The design of the handle means it is really easy for her to hold.
There are lots of other functions available on the camera such as adding animation and there is also a games facility, at the minute, Lauren doesn't really play with these.
Although I have stated that the picture quality is not great, for a 4 year old, Lauren has never complained!
Overall, for the price I paid, this has proved a good toy and it has had quite a lot of usage, I would be a little disappointed if I would have paid full price as the quality is not fantastic therefore I would give 4 out of 5 stars.
Thanks for reading
Last year I was looking for inspiration for Christmas presents for my then three year old son when I discovered that Amazon were selling this Vtech Kidizoom video camera for half price at just £29.99. I was still undecided whether he might be too young for it when a near miss with my own Lumix camera and my enthusiastic budding photographer made my mind up!
The camera has been very well designed by Vtech to meet the demands of your average clumsy pre-schooler. Available in either blue or pink, this is recommended for children over the age of four and comes with a completely rubberised protective coating which surrounds everything from the handle to the camera section itself. My son has tested this to its limits and dropped this on numerous occasions. Fortunately, the camera has proven to be totally resilient and has not even resulted in any marks or noticeable scuffs or damage of any kind whatsoever, even when dropped on the pavement outside. The camera itself feels sturdy and comfortable to hold and manages to balance being robust enough to withstand drops and rough play whilst being light enough for a young child to carry about comfortably. This is helped by the clever shape of the camera itself which has a chunky shaped handle to keep a firm grip of, as well as the inclusion of a wrist strap.
Using the camera itself is both relatively straightforward, as well as being pretty confusing at times! With the target age range in mind, Vtech have kept the number of buttons and controls to a minimum. This is great in terms of being able to turn the camera on and off and take simple photographs, as this works as both a fully functioning standard digital camera as well as a working video camera. Trying to use some of the many other features can prove a little complicated, however, as the basic layout means that a child (or a confused adult) has to navigate around the menu system to access the different picture add-ons and other settings.
This does come supplied with a fairly easy to understand user manual, but it can be a little frustrating for a youngster when Mummy needs to refer back to the instructions when he wants to do something! My son was slightly under the recommended age when he first received this, however. My oldest son (at eight) was able to navigate his way around the camera and its menu system without any difficulties whatsoever although the obvious 'kiddy' design would put me off purchasing one of these for a child of his age. I'd say this would be best suited for a child between four and six years of age and they should be delighted to receive one.
Like an adult's digital camera, this comes with a clear if small LCD display giving the child a view of the images that they are taking. Once the camera 'shutter' has been pressed, the picture is shown briefly which is my son's favourite bit. The camera comes complete with a built in memory which is actually pretty generous for a 'toy' camera and can store well over 100 pictures at any one time (or a combination of photos and video clips.) To make this even better, it also has its own memory slot which can hold an SD memory card. In all honesty, we've never needed to do this as my son takes most of his pleasure from the actual process of taking the pictures and viewing them immediately afterwards and, surprisingly, shows little interest in going back to look at the pictures he's already taken.
On a similar note, this versatile and well designed camera comes complete with leads so that any images can be either viewed on a TV screen or even uploaded on to a computer and printed out. I have only bothered to do that the once as, again, my son was not overly interested in viewing the results of his photographic endeavours! This may be a feature that would be more appealing to slightly older children. It is certainly a useful feature with gives the user the potential to get hard (or digital) copies of their handiwork, so could be a fun memento of holidays or days out.
One of the other reasons why I've been less diligent about transferring my son's snaps over to my own laptop is, to be brutally blunt, they aren't particularly good! That may be partly down to the camera quality which boasts a fairly modest 2.0 mega pixel resolution alongside a 2x zoom. The main culprit is my son's impatience as he often moves his hand at the same time as taking a photo, meaning that the end result is slightly blurry. The camera does not cope particularly well with moving subjects, either, as there is a slight delay in capturing the image once the button is pressed, so my little one's attempts to capture his siblings on camera are generally pretty poor quality. The pictures do also come out very dark, especially when used indoors.
Again, my son is certainly not put off by the quality of his pictures. His favourite feature is the ability to add images, frames and other little extras to the photographs he has taken, similar to some of the features included on a DSi console. His ultimate favourite is the 'pie in your face' feature which adds the image of a custard pie being splatted in the unfortunate subject's face. This is the main thing that we spend ages navigating the menu system for as neither he nor I can readily remember how to get on to that particular setting. The images also include silly sound effects too, in this particular case the sound of laughing.
Despite being marketed as a kids' video camera, my little boy rarely uses the video recording function on this toy. I think he lacks the patience to wait for a video to be recorded and prefers the immediacy of a simple 'point and click' approach. With the video recording, it is again operated by a simple press of a button but my son tends to press it again seconds later resulting in pointless video clips that are barely more than a few seconds long. The playback quality of the videos he does take is relatively good although, again, they do tend to be a little blurry and distorted as he moves around during filming.Sound quality is surprisingly good with the results being quite clear if a little on the quiet side.
The final feature that ensure my kids prefer playing with this to stealing Mummy's boring 'real' camera is the inclusion of a few fun but simple games. The 'Crazy Kitchen' game involves capturing the image of the player's face which is then incorporated into the image of a chef which is silly enough to entertain my little one. He is less interested in the matching game which jumbles up one of the stored images on the camera, ready for the player to rearrange them correctly. One of the main disadvantages of this game is that it uses the pictures that the child themself has taken. In my son's case, most of his snaps are so dark and blurry and of pretty random miscellaneous objects that it is pretty much impossible to try and rearrange the sections back into their 'correct' place. For that reason, he tends to ignore that game and prefers a pretty basic but entertaining game involving spotting a little rabbit that keeps disappearing and reappearing. All of the games have a range of difficulty levels, helping the toy grow with the child and ensuring that even very young children can play without getting frustrated.
One of the few drawbacks to the camera is that it takes four AA batteries (although a demonstration set are included) and it can get through them fairly quickly, certainly if your little one is pretty enthusiastic with it.
The other disadvantage is the relatively high RRP of around £60, which is pretty much the current selling price of this camera on Amazon. As always, I would recommend shopping around for this kind of toy. A quick online search reveals that this is available at Argos for a more reasonable £49.99 and at Toys R Us for just £39.99. I did get a very good deal with the £29.99 that I paid, especially considering the ongoing play value and the fact that this is virtually indestructable!
We decided to buy this for my son when it was half price on amazon so we brought it for an amazing £29.99. It is originally priced at around £60 which for a toy for a child is really high. We had seen rubbish reviews for the camera versions of this toy but as this seem to have been upgraded as we think it is fantastic!
The camera itself is very sturdy as it is designed for heavy handed children my son has bounced his of the floor many times and as it has a rubber protection there is not a scratch. There are very simple buttons therefore making it child friendly. The on/off button is on the right hand side of it.
On the back of the camera is a lcd display like a real digital camera and this is where the child operates the camera. There is a zoom button and on the left hand side is the menu button. When this is pressed it gives different options to take a picture edit create with a picture, video record and to play a game.
Picture taking is very simple as it had a 2mp camera there not brilliant but for a child's camera it is surprisingly good. The pictures are often dark and as you zoom they loose focus a little but again for a child's camera it is fine. You can also add funny extras to your photos you can pre load a clown picture and then take someone's photo as them as a clown. There are a few different images you can add in and my son loves this aspect of the camera as he giggles away and it is all done by one push of a button in the menu
Video recording is selected from the third option in the menu and it is as simple as push the button and record it has an impressive memory and records for about 8 minutes.
The memory great you can record for around 8 minutes or store about 115 photos. But you can add a micro sd card to it to increase the memory. For a 3 year old I find the storage ok as he can just delete photos and retake more. There are leads to connect it to the computer provided so any work your budding photographer takes can be transferred and kept.
The editing option is where the children can add animations to pictures they have taken a little like the option while taking a photo but there are a few more options to choose from. They can add waves to roll over a picture or curtains shutting great fro their imagination. You can add boarders and stamps funny faces there are many different animations to keep you little one interested.
The games option is probably my sons favourite option there are 2 games that my son loves one where he has to rearrange mixed up pieces of a picture to create the original whole one one. There is a chef game where the child takes a picture of someone's face and a chefs hat is added to it. They then have to move back and forth across the screen collecting food that drops from above. They are told to collect a certain food like an apple but pizzas and other things will be thrown in and the children have to avoid these. My son thinks its brilliant watching his sister run back and foth across the screen as so this has been a major hit!
My son is only 3 and can easily operate the camera although recommendation is 4 years plus.I would recommend it to anyone I believe £60 for a toy is high but when I have seen the hours of fun my son has already enjoyed It is definitely worth the high price. It comes with batteries and has a try me function so you can get a quick idea of what the camera is like before you purchase. It is an easy to function fun yet educational toy. It comes in blue and pink so colours for boys and girls.
Easy operation child's first video camera.