VTech Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera
Buy online at The Toy Shop
Initial thoughts: Flea was pretty excited when this camera arrived, and didn’t even really mind that it was pink, which is a testimony as to how much she liked the idea of having her own grown up camera – and I was relieved that I no longer had to watch nervously while she held my digital SLR. The camera is nice and light with just a few buttons, making it seem pretty easy to use. It comes in pink and blue versions.
We liked: The camera itself is nice and sturdy and the 16MB memory means there’s plenty of room for pictures on the device – which can be viewed on your TV or downloaded to your computer for editing (note, if you have a Mac, you can move the pictures to a PC for backup but you can’t edit them). There are also some very simple games on the camera – Tic Tac Toe and Pairs – which Flea really enjoyed playing.
We weren’t keen: The reservations on this were mostly mine, I must admit. It seemed ridiculous that the camera doesn’t use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Instead, you have to use four AA batteries which have to be put into two separate chambers, which are tricky to open and close (make sure you have the world’s smallest screwdriver to hand). The battery life isn’t impressive – after two days of playing the games, we had to replace the battieres – and at a fiver a packet, this makes for a seriously expensive toy.
And the picture quality? There’s no getting around it – it’s rubbish. I don’t think you’d ever print a photo taken on this camera, it’s not even the quality of my old mobile phone camera. Everything was dark, grainy and a bit blurred.
Overall: If you take this as a toy, then I think younger children of 2+ will have fun pretending to take pictures like Mummy and Daddy. But if you want a camera for kids, there are much better on the market. And if you want a game to keep the kids entertained, buy a Nintendo DS, would be my advice.
[Sally, Who’s the Mummy]