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DS turns four next month and would like a digital camera. I am undecided about which to buy. Toysrus has the FisherPrice kids camera on sale right now for $50 (regularly $70). I like the fact that it is virtually indestructible (so they say). However, many reviewers have complained that the photo quality is very bad. Some even said that you sometimes can't even recognize what you took a picture of. I'm a little concerned that DS will get bored with it quickly if he can't take recognizable pictures.

My other option is to buy a used, basic, adult digital camera. I can get a used Kodak model that is pretty basic with few buttons, so I don't think DS's little hands would have a problem. It is 3 MP, so the quality of the photos is good. I'm just concerned that DS will drop it and break it very easily, which would be a wasted $50.

So, my question: Which would you choose? Does a four year old really care about seeing the pictures, or just the act of taking them? (If the latter, the Fisher Price camera would be fine.) And could I really teach a four year old to handle a real camera carefully? (If so, the Kodak would probably be the better choice.) Any thoughts?

Cyclemama
 

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We bought a cheepo for our dd. Didnt work.
So we took it back and got a $100 camera that works great and take decent pictures.

She is learning to use all the functions with our showing her how or simply pushing button to find out what happens.

Its pretty sturdy as her 2 yo sister had played with it.

Now I have to remember what kind it is
 

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We love our FP digital camera. DD cares more about taking the pics than looking at them, but she has taken good pics with it, too. It's not great quality, but we haven't had anything that was unrecognizeable, just a little fuzzy. It IS indestructible, and I like that. It's fallen down the stairs, been chewed on by her little brother, etc. It works like new anyway!
 

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My mom bought the FP one for my son's 4th bday, and it wasn't worth it. The photo quality is awful and the software sucks. He'll be 5 in January and I am considering buying him a regular camera, but for now, he just uses mine when he wants to take pictures. BTW, my camera is tough. My toddler threw it down our stairs TWICE and it still works. It's a Kodak Easy Share, although there are many models and I've heard not so great things about some of them. I have found that the only buttons my son bothers with are the power button and the picture-taking button. He doesn't use zoom, although he probably could. He doesn't delete because he likes all of his pictures of the floor, his hand, etc.

Also, his photography skills have really improved in the 8 mos. since his birthday, and while the FP camera seemed age-appropriate at the time, it definitely doesn't now. I would suggest it for a 2 or 3 yr. old, not 4.
 

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:

my dd really wants one too (5), but I'm reluctant to get her a grown up one bc of possibility of breaking it AND her little sister breaking it. Fisher price doesn't seem to have that problem......
 

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i read on a blog where a mama would keep disposable cameras around the house so LO could take pics whenever they wanted and the fear of them breaking an expensive item was a non issue
 

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Pbjmama, thanks for that link that compares kids cameras! I'm now actually thinking of getting a "real" camera for my 5-year old as he is getting to be a pretty good photographer. Some of those kids cameras cost almost as much!
 

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We have the vtech one and it's picture quality is pretty good and it seems indestructable. The only problem at our house it that it's really easy to hit the wrong button and delete photos by mistake. That's not an issue with my 4 year old but it is an issue when her 2 yo sister uses it.
 

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I think a real Digicam is fine for a 4-5-6 year old. I remember using my parents old cameras at that age and was much more impressed I was using an 'adult' camera then a kids.

As for durability..... my sister is 24 and you should see what her cameras go through! (Bar trips, camping, etc.) and she has just worn out her 5 year old Fuji.
 

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Here's what I'm doing for Christmas- I'm buying myself a new digital camera and wrapping up my old one (in the box of my new camera) for the kids. I bought the same brand, looks simliar but more mp and zoom.
 

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we have the FP for DS, and the quality is terrible. DS loves to use it though. he also uses our regular digital camera, and is pretty good with it - never has dropped it or anything. so, depends on your purpose - if you want DC to get the experience, go with either, if you want the pictures, go with something with higher quality.
 

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I don't know anything about the software which comes with the cameras, but both the Fisher Price and the Vtech have USB cables, and when plugged into my mac the cameras appear as disk drives, and iPhoto easily imports the pictures (or the files can be copied to the hard drive manually)- they make JPGs.

DO budget in at least a small SD memory card (hard to find actually small ones. I got 256MB cards at Walgreens for $10 each), because otherwise you lose everything in memory if the batteries run out!
 

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Now you guys have me thinking. We have friends that have the FP camera and my big boys love it so much. They all asked for one for Christmas. I bought three of them at $70 a pop. Since they're 4, 4, and 6, now I'm wondering if I should return them and get a cheaper regular camera? I'm really excited about the durability of the FP cameras though.

To what age do you all think the FP would be good for? They just like taking pictures. We don't have a printer or anything.
 
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