1 Fulla (film camera)
One for the girls, the redeeming features of this non-digital camera are its squidgy jelly feel and the bits and bobs that come with it – album, flower frame, stickers… Other than that, it’s pretty basic and, since we’re being honest, we actually broke it before we even took a picture. Perhaps more to do with our cack-handedness and the fact it’s been at least a decade since we loaded a film, but it put us off nonetheless.
Other colours: No, only pink, and lots of it.
Extras: Flash, photo album, stickers, a photo frame, film and battery provided.
Age range: 3+
From Toys R Us (04 206 6552
2 Lexibook Digital camera with flash (Spider-Man version)
Apart from the presence of the webbed one, this camera felt like the most grown-up piece of kit in our group. It’s even possible to add batteries without the use of a screwdriver. Taking a photo is a little tricky, as there’s quite a delay between pressing the button and the shutter clicking – something little ones may find a bit frustrating. Once downloaded onto a computer (you have to load software), the picture quality even on high-res is disappointing.
Viewfinder: Single viewfinder plus 1.1inch colour LCD screen, 300K pixels.
Memory: Enough to store 24 hig-res, 93 low-res images.
Other colours: Yes, there’s also a pink Barbie version.
Extras: A different clip-on cover and a wrist strap. When connected to the PC, it can also be used as a webcam.
Age range: 3+
From Hamleys (04 339 8889)
3 Little Tikes My Real Digital Camera
This one looks good and chunky, and the kids will love its primary colours and easy grips. The shutter button is on the front, so taking a picture shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for little fingers. While the camera is pretty light, it passed our toddler test in terms of sturdiness, and it’s easy peasy to use with its large buttons and no-nonsense functionality. Once you get used to the delayed shutter speed (wait for the second beep) the picture quality is fine. It’s still a little grainy, but not so your kids would notice.
Viewfinder: Double viewfinder plus 1.3inch colour LCD screen.
Memory: 64MB which, the manufacturers say, is enough to store 1,000 pictures.
Other colours: Yes, a pastel version.
Extras: Neck strap.
Age range: 3+
From Toys R Us (04 206 6552)
4 Vtech Kidizoom
Although very obviously a kid’s camera, this is still a proper piece of technology. It’s the only camera we looked at that takes an SD card for memory expansion, and the only one to have an attachment for viewing images on TV. It’s very sturdy, and would survive the ‘dropping on the tiled floor’ test. At first glance, it may seem rather big and bulky for younger kids to handle, but with the ‘OK’ button on the back as well as the top shutter button able to take photos, even the tiniest of hands should manage.
Our favourite features, though, are the special effects: Add pirate hats and piggie noses, put a frame around the picture, distort the image or add voice and animation. You can do all this just using the LCD, which gives instant hilarity – pretty cool when you’re four years old and have the patience of a gnat. But all the features can be accessed on the computer too, which would save the batteries. It’s easy and logical to use, and while the pictures are not what you’d expect from an adult camera, they’re more than good enough to keep the kids happy. Pricey, but a winner.
Viewfinder: Double viewfinder plus 1.8inch colour LCD screen.
Memory: Enough for about 200 photos or a five-minute video.
Other colours: Yes
Extras: Video, games, TV attachment, SD card option, special effect editing.
Age range: 3+
From Early Learning Centre (04 394 1204) and Toys R Us (04 206 6552)
5 Wizz underwater camera and beach pack
An old-fashioned film camera that comes in clear, waterproof case, this one takes photos up to water depths of three metres. Basic, but what more do you need when running around at the pool? The bag is handy for keeping your phone and valuables dry, and the camera is great for little swimmers who want to play at Man from Atlantis or for taking some cute underwater shots. A bit outdated, maybe, but good ol’ film can still produce some quality shots when in the right hands. At Dhs60 you won’t go off at the deep end if it accidentally gets flung in, well, the deep end.
Other colours: Yes, blue and red.
Extras: A waterproof bag and a pair of matching goggles.
Age range: 6+
From Wizz (04 295 7476)