Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera (Pink)
A fully functional 'kid-proof' digital camera for young girls
- Kid-proof design, waterproof up to one metre, gloriously pink
- Sub-par image quality, expensive, could cause injuries if thrown
The Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera provides an ideal introduction to photography for kids. While the image quality could be better, it will keep kids occupied for hours on end. All in all, a decent effort.
Price$ 149.99 (AUD)
The pink version of the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera is a fully functional toy camera for the My Little Pony set (colloquially referred to as ‘girls’). While it’s certainly not the first digital camera to be aimed at kids, its one of the only products of its ilk that takes the concept semi-seriously. The pretty-in-pink unit contains all the essentials that a mini-Annie Leibovitz needs, including an inbuilt flash, 8MB of onboard memory, an SD card slot for additional storage and a 1.6in LCD viewfinder.
It’s also waterproof to a depth of one metre and can be thrown without damaging the casing (people who get in the way are a slightly different story). Although it suffers from poor image quality and a slightly cumbersome design, the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera remains a fun introduction into the world of digital photography. Young girls are sure get a kick out of it, along with vacuous pink-loving Miss USA Pageant contestants. (Miss California, we're looking squarely at you.)
The Fisher-Price Kid-Tough’s main claim to fame is probably its durability. Designed to withstand the rigours of roughhousing kids, it can be chucked in the mud, dunked underwater and thrown down staircases without breaking a sweat. Consequently, there’s no need to strictly supervise your tot’s photography endeavours — even if they wanted to break this thing, it’s unlikely that they could.
Unfortunately, all this ‘kid-proofing’ comes at a price, and we’re not just talking about the inflated RRP. The ultra-durable casing is hard and bulky, which could cause some serious damage if hurled at someone’s head. (Telling a child “no” while they have this in their mitts is probably a very bad idea.) We feel that Fisher-Price should have rounded off the edges and used softer rubber. Then again, maybe I just have unusually violent kids.
When it comes to design, the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera is as about as ‘girly’ as you can get. If Paris Hilton crashed her convertible into a fairy-floss factory, the results wouldn’t be half as pink as this. Thankfully, a boy-friendly blue version is also available, although there’s no ‘gender-neutral’ option for mixed siblings. (In other words, you’re going to have to buy one for your son and daughter, instead of making them share. Tch.) Apart from the different colour schemes, both models are identical in terms of specifications and pricing.
Like its boy-flavoured counterpart, the Kid-Tough Pink requires four disposable AAA batteries to run. This is bound to get expensive over time, and it’s something else you'll need to remember on your shopping list. Hopefully the next Fisher-Price Kid-Tough will come with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery like a proper compact camera. We feel the added cost would be well worth it.
The Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera also suffers from a dubiously designed shutter release. In addition to being needlessly small and hard to press down, it’s also located on the front of the camera; away from the photographer’s view. This means that kids will need to grope around for the button whenever they want to take a picture. (Curiously, all the other buttons — including the ‘photo delete’ button — are huge and in plain view.)
As mentioned, the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera comes equipped with an SD card slot (cards of up to 1GB are supported), as well as 8MB of inbuilt memory. This may seem low, but with a maximum resolution of 640x480, each photo takes up just 100KB. It’s therefore possible to store up to 60 images on the Kid-Tough without using the SD card slot.
In addition to being knock-proof, the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough is waterproof to a depth of one metre for a duration of 30 minutes. This is a great feature for bath-time, beach outings and days at the pool. Your kids will love taking underwater photos, even though the results will usually be a blurry, indistinct mess. In fact, this is a criticism that can be leveled at the camera both in and out of the water. Simply put, its imaging performance is well below the standard for an entry-level compact camera.
With a resolution of less than one megapixel, its low-grade sensor is ill-equipped to cope in dim environments, despite the presence of an inbuilt flash. Even in optimum lighting, our test shots appeared soft and noisy (although interestingly, standard-sized prints look better than the previews on the LCD screen). Of course, most children are a lot less critical than their grumpy killjoy parents — so long as you make the appropriate noises of encouragement, they’ll think their fuzzy photos are the best thing since sliced bread. And therein lies the rub: despite its flaws, the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough is a toy that kids will doubtlessly fall in love with. Isn’t that the important thing? If you love your kids, the answer is yes.
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