posted on Jun 22, 2009 at 5:56AM
Head-2-Head Review: Kids Cameras Compared
Spotlight: Digital Blue SnapBy Emily Raymond
Digital Blue Snap Digital Camera
The first thing I noticed about this camera is its size: it is incredibly small and light. It is by far the smallest camera in this review; it’s about the size of a bar of soap. Come to think of it, its rounded edges give it the shape of a bar of soap too. Unfortunately, it is just as slippery as one too.
The tiny Snap digital camera has a slick plastic finish that makes it tough to grip. The camera doesn’t come with the kid-proof features of the other three in this review: no rubber grip and no chunky handle. I doubt this featherweight would survive the same kind of falls as the Kid-Tough, the Kidizoom, or the Npower cameras.
Like the Npower “Diego” camera, the Digital Blue Snap camera has a tripod socket on the bottom (not that there are any kids that would actually use this). However, the Snap camera has trouble staying upright atop that socket. Its rounded edges and slick material don’t help; because of this issue, you have to either lay it on the lens or the LCD screen, both places that scratching should be avoided.
The Snap camera’s LCD screen measures only 1.4 inches diagonally, making it even with the Diego camera but smaller than the screens on the Kid-Tough and Kidizoom. The resolution is about the same as the Diego and Kid-Tough cameras but not as good as the big Kidizoom.
Of the four cameras in this review, the Snap camera is the only one to have any sort of zoom (the Kidizoom is just a name; apparently it doesn’t have anything to do with a zoom lens). It has 4x digital zoom, which makes the picture quality look awful, but at least it’s a choice. There isn’t a smooth zoom like one would expect, but instead there’s a jerky 1x, 2x, 3x, or 4x – nothing in between.
The Snap camera is suited for older kids. My 4-year-old understood how to take a picture – the shutter button is big and on top – but it was hard for him to hold. He stuck his fingers over the lens more than once too. The camera’s pink flowery front makes it look like a gift for a 6- or 7-year-old girl. It is very easy to use – just point and shoot.
The images from the Snap digital camera had the most resolution of any of the cameras we reviewed and in absolutely perfect conditions, there were even a few images that I’d consider printing. Absolutely perfect being outdoors under a partly cloudy, but bright, sky. The flash completely whitens subjects that are within about five feet of the camera. The flash on this camera can be adjusted; it is set to automatically fire, but does need to be manually turned off at times. No four-year-old will figure out how to do that or when or why they would need to do it. That’s why I think this camera belongs in an age group a notch above the rest.
The Snap digital camera comes with a photo editing program on CD that installs in a few short minutes. While most of the other programs are compatible with Windows and Mac, the Snap software only works on Windows XP and Vista. When opening pictures, the program only searches in the Windows “My Pictures” folder. My pictures were in a folder on the desktop so I had to move them in order for the program to recognize them. Once opened, the photos can be manipulated in several ways. There are lots of easy-to-understand icons that make the software good for the age group of the camera. Stamps, paint, and text can be added, and exposure can be adjusted.
The Digital Blue Snap digital camera isn’t as kid-proofed as the other cameras in this review but it’s also a lot cheaper at just $30. The camera takes decent pictures – as long as there is great lighting and nobody’s moving. If your kid can refrain from throwing the camera on the pavement, burying it in the sandbox, and standing way too close to subjects, then this is a good option.