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What Digital Camera Should I buy my Child?

Olympus-Stylus-720-SwDarren, my son 7 year old son has been showing increasing interest in photography but I’m nervous to let him use my Nikon D80 for fear of it ending up getting damaged. Can you recommend a more suitable digital camera for a 7 year old? – Bill

It sounds like you might have a budding little photographer on your hands Bill.

There are quite a few cameras that might suit your son (with more being released every few months).

I’d recommend that you go for something that is both rugged and easy to use.

One such camera that I had a chance to play with for half an hour was the Olympus Stylus 720SW.

While you’ll find cheaper cameras than the 720SW, this camera is much tougher and is built to withstand being dropped by as much as 1.5 meters. It’s got a rugged metal casing and a lens mechanism that is all built into the camera itself.

Not only this – the Olympus Stylus 720SW is waterproof to a depth of three meters (around 10 feet) and is dust proof.

Olympus also make a nice camera in terms of shot quality as well as ease of use so your son should be able to take some nice shots in Auto mode but also grow into using some of this camera’s more advanced features. It’s got a 7.1 megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom and comes in three fun colors (blue, pink and silver – OK, two fun ones and silver).

As I say – it’s not a cheap camera and won’t suit everyone’s budget but if it’s robust nature saves you having to replace it every year – in the long run it’ll save you some cash.

If your son loses interest in photography – it’ll also make a nice second camera for you as it’s a reasonably slim and portable one that you’ll find handy on those days when you don’t want to haul around your DSLR.

What digital cameras have DPS readers bought for their children? Do you go for the cheaper ones that you don’t mind getting broken or pay a little extra for a ‘rugged’ one?

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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