Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday Gift Idea, Round One

Since it's that time of year when we are all scurrying around trying to figure out what to get for out kids, I thought it was a great time to post some ideas for your little photographers. Actually, I only have one camera I am reviewing today for The Parent Blogger Network but hey, one is better than none, right?

Discovery Kids is offering what they are calling the Slide and Shoot Digital Camera. It looks more like a little cell phone than a camera which is probably why my daughter is wild for it. She has yet to get her own phone so anything that even looks like a phone is cool with her. The other plus is the slide feature that gives the camera a spy gadget sensibility. Yet another design perk. My daughter has been taking it everywhere with her, hidden in her purse and pulling it out kamikaze style-- shooting pix of everyone and everything in her path--the hockey rink, her sister brushing her teeth, the shrimp scampi. I think it makes her feel sneaky. And the LCD screen is cool! Small but efficient enough so that you know what you are shooting (no holding up to eye necessary) which is ideal for a stealthy photo spy. Needless to say, it's been a hit.

Now, as far as the nuts and bolts go, it produces the kind of low rez images you would expect from a tiny toy camera. Even the highest resolution setting will only give you an image that will print to 4X6 (barely). I'm not complaining really, I mean, I can't imagine we would want to print anything larger than that anyway. Plus, the upside to the small size is that they are easily shared via email or, um, in a blog post. Ahem.

So, what about the quality of the images? They look great when taken in ideal light situations. By ideal I mean bright light. It's when you're shooting indoors (low light) that you're going to get lots of grain. But like I said over at Picture This this morning, I don't really mind grain much. Especially for play pix. Still, I know some people aren't that forgiving but keep in mind, when you shoot in low light settings you're going to get more grain (or noise) with almost any digital camera. The cheaper the camera, usually the worse it can be so I'm not sure I would use that in a case against this particular camera.

Exhibit A- Outdoor shots look great. This was even taken in the shade and it's pretty impressive for a "toy" camera.

Exhibit B- Indoor (low light) and grainy, or er, artsy.

The camera comes with the easy to use photo uploading software (YAY!) and simple editing software to use with your pix once they are on your computer BUT...when I say simple, I mean simple as in basic. As in maybe a little too basic. I dunno, maybe it's because my kids a photographer's daughter but neither one of us felt compelled to use the editing tools or even the artwork (borders, etc) to adorn her pix. Yawn. And there are no options for true editing anyway except for cropping or red eye removal. Let me put it to you this way, there is no flash on this camera hence you'll never even get a chance to use the red-eye feature. Just a little something I noticed. Still, with that said, my daughter interrupted my complaining with her high drama, tween urgency voice, "Mom, I don't care about the editing tools, that stuff doesn't matter to me. You had better give this a good review and say that I love this camera because I do!" And I think she even referred to it as her baby. More than once. Huh?

I'm thinkin' that's all that needs to be said.

Oh, and that even though I only am reviewing one camera today, I saw a pretty cool little kid camera review round up over at AlphaMom for even your littlest of shutterbugs.


Paige said...

It does seem like a fun spy-like camera. Kind of a bummer that it only comes in pink. I mean, I'm all for girl power, but wouldn't a boy like something like that too?

Stacy said...

Well, she loves it and that is the important part! That looks like a really neat little camera for kids. The grain is to be expected for that type of camera. It's pretty funny that the photo editing has red eye removal...and the camera has no flash. ;)

PeetsMom said...

Well thanks for that Julia! Curtis is sure to want this little spy gadget! But I think I'll go check out that other linky...