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My daughter has been asking for a camera for a long time, but the main problem that made me cautious about buying one is that she doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to looking after her toys - always dropping them, leaving them on the floor to be stood on, or forgetting to bring them in for outside. When I saw an advert on TV featuring this Kidizoom camera being chucked about by a toddler, I decided that perhaps this might be good for my daughter.
It came in one of those annoying plastic packets that require scissors to open, and along with the camera, there was also a disk to install software, an A/V cable and a USB cable, and the instructions and warranty .
The camera requires 4 AA batteries, which were included mand already installed - I was relived as the compartments for the batteries (one on either side of the camera) require one of those tiny little cross headed screwdrivers that I know I own but can never find.
Don't worry about the cables and the disk - they're not important until later . And actually, the instructions are not that important either - although clear and well written, the camera itself is so simple, and laid out in such a common sense manner, that my daughter was taking photos and shooting movies within minutes with a minimul amount of help from me .
The design of the camera is very good - the slight rubberising of the outer handles and their curved nature makes this easy to keep a good grip on, and the buttons and dials are large and clear, and don't feel loose or fragile . I particularly liked the spinning dial used to change modes . The camera has two choices for viewing what you are photographing - two little eye holes at the top, or alternatively on the little 1.8" TFT screen on the camera itself.
At 2 Megapixels, this isn't going to set the world alight with brilliant photographs, but actually I found they do come out really clear, and quite detailed. Sure, there are a few blurs where my daughter has tried to capture something that is moving, but overall the photos are good enough for my daughter to be very impressed with them - especially as she can add borders, stamps, and other special effectts. She was very chuffed with her kaleidescope photo of the guinea pigs, and laughed her head off when she managed to put mummy in prison . I'm pleased that the camera has an inbuilt flash, which helps in darker environments. Video shooting was just as easy, with the camera easily picking up movement and recording sound .
The camera has 16mb or internal memory, which I found got full quite quickly as my daughter really enjoyed shooting movies . However, this wasn't a problem, as once the software for the camera was installed on my computer (an easy and painless process) data could be easily trasferred to my PC via the USB cable and stored there, so she never loses her photographs or videos .
There are also some games on the camera - making it great for taking on holiday to keep her amused on otherwise boring game journeys. She loves having her own games console, and particularly enjoyes one of the games that is very similar to dance dance revolution .
Overall, my daughter has been very happy with this camera - and if my daughter is happy, then I'm happy . She's dropped it no end of times, and it shows no signs of wear or tear, barring a small dent in the rubber on one side. This camera currently costs 43.99 from amazon.co.uk, and is available in pink and blue . Perhaps my one criticism of this camera is that for those families with more than one child, who may wish their children to share a camera, there is no unisex colour scheme .
A great toy for my daughter, decent enough pictures and a sturdy toy . 4 stars