So your kids want a GoPro! And you’re wondering how the heck you’re supposed to navigate through all the different models, prices, accessories, and safety measures involved in a purchase like this.
Just relax! It’s not as difficult as it seems, and we’ve done most of the research for you. In this article, we cover the top action cameras for kids on the market and all the necessary info that accompany them.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
1. Ourlife Kids Waterproof Camera
Your kids are gonna love that this one comes in three different colors: blue, navy, and pink. Parents are gonna love that it’s made from environmentally friendly materials and is both non-toxic and exceptionally durable. A neck strap is included, as well as two different mounting accessories that enable it to be strapped onto a hat/helmet or a bicycle/scooter, and so forth.
It also has settings and filters kids will enjoy, like 7 different colors for videoing and 6 cool frames for still photos. It’s a great starter camera for kids ages 4 through 12.
On the downside, it has far fewer features than either the Vtech action camera or any of the GoPros. It’s smaller, and therefore even more portable than the Vtech, but this makes it awkward for small hands. They might have trouble with the touchscreen buttons. Complaints have also been made about the waterproof case affecting the quality of the audio.
- Available in different colors
- Built with environmentally friendly materials
- Unbeatable price
- Fewer features than other cameras
- Small size may be awkward for kids to handle
- The waterproof case may reduce audio quality
2. Vtech Kidizoom Action Camera
This brightly colored camera looks like a professional, rugged tool for a super cool kid, all at a super cool price! They’ll be able to take both videos and photos on land, sea or air since it’s waterproof up to six feet and can be used with the matching bike, skateboard, or helmet mount that come with the camera – whereas the GoPro brand sells these items separate from their cameras.
The on-camera memory holds 32GB of 640 x 480 video or 278,400 photos. Prepare to sit and look at each and every one of them as we all know how proud your kids will be!
Although this camera option is delightfully budget-friendly, it does have some downsides. Users have reported that after a few months, the camera won’t take a charge anymore. It also isn’t the best when filming in low light situations. So if your kiddo wants to get some spooky campfire footage, it probably won’t turn out well.
- Rugged case
- Comes with accessories
- Doesn’t handle low light well
- May lose charging ability after only a few months
- Quality of photos/video not as high as other cameras
3. GoPro Hero Session
Here we have a wonderfully lightweight camera: it scales in at only 2.6 oz, making it perfectly easy and comfortable to mount and go. Its one-button control also contributes to its ease-of-use, and has excellent audio – users have even said its audio is better than some of the more expensive GoPro models. It’s also more affordable than other GoPros and is well suited for newbies just starting off in the action camera game.
Many other GoPros require special casings to ensure they’re waterproof, but this one is good all on its own, up to 33 feet. This does, however, mean that the battery is non-removable. Replacement batteries are relatively inexpensive, but still, it can be inconvenient. There’s no LCD display either, which is disappointing but perhaps not surprising given the low price point.
- Small and portable
- Great for first-timers
- One button control
- Non-removable battery
- No LCD display
4. GoPro Hero+ with LCD
This is a model not sold directly from GoPro anymore but still with impressively high ratings. You’ll find that when you order this item from Amazon it will come without a few of the usual accessories but does still include the waterproof casing. The LCD screen is 2” in size and its touchscreen capabilities make selecting modes and settings a breeze, especially for kids who are very familiar with using screens. It also comes with a convenient Smart Remote for even easier settings adjustments, and it’s WiFi and Bluetooth compatible.
Since this camera isn’t being manufactured anymore, its $190 price tag seems a bit high. As with the Hero Session, the camera is fixed permanently in its casing, meaning the battery on this GoPro is non-removable. It’s a good fit for kiddos to start with, but it lacks the extra features and sophistication of other, more expensive action cameras.
- Wifi and Bluetooth compatible
- Convenient 2” touchscreen
- Comes with remote and voice control
- No longer made by GoPro
- Permanently fixed in its casing
- Can’t be used with drone accessories
5. GoPro Hero 5 Black
Your kiddos will love using this one in the pool! Even without a special casing, the GoPro Hero 5 Black is waterproof up to 33ft. It has single, burst, and time-lapse modes as well as a Quickstories feature that allows footage to be sent to a smartphone and automatically turned into a perfectly edited video. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Surprisingly, there’s no charger included with this model. It’s also missing a few other features you’d expect, such as touch zoom and HDR photo. It does have a 2” touchscreen, but some have complained that it’s not as responsive as it should be. And we all know what happens when touchscreens don’t work for kids… they push harder until it breaks. So beware!
- Quickstories feature is super easy for kids to use
- Waterproof without external casing
- Effective image stabilization
- Charger not included
- Touch zoom, HDR photo features missing
- The touchscreen may not always be reliably responsive
“My kid asked for a GoPro for Christmas but I have no idea what that is!”
Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! GoPros and other action cameras have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years and many people are left scratching their heads, unsure of how these are different from the digital cameras and camcorders of yore.
GoPro is actually a brand name. Just like many people use the term “Band-Aid” when they really just want an adhesive bandage, people also use “GoPro” when referring to any brand of compact camera that can be mounted somewhere to film action shots from the first-person perspective. It’s often mounted on someone’s head or to a piece of sports equipment, like a bicycle or boat.
They’re often considered synonymous with extreme sports; if you simply search for “GoPro videos” on YouTube, you’ll be flooded with exciting videos about swimming with sharks, surfing, mountain biking, white water rafting, etc. Check these guys out – are they crazy? Yes. Did they capture some incredible first-person footage of their dangerous antics? Also yes!
Uses for Action Cameras
These action cameras aren’t just for sports enthusiasts, though. They have loads of other uses, like installing them in your car to record your (or someone else’s) driving. This could come in very handy if there’s an accident where there’s a disagreement about which driver is at fault. You could also attach a GoPro to your four-legged friend to see life from their perspective. Just imagine how cute that would be! This site even suggests using it to see inside of a beehive (but this can be extremely dangerous, so proceed with caution)!
Many professionals use action cameras, too. Realtors often use them to film home interiors. They can even be attached to a drone or quadcopter to film the home’s exterior and entire property from a birds-eye view. Miners or archaeologists might use them to film as they’re digging and exploring.
GoPros are even a popular choice for an everyday point-and-shoot camera. In fact, Business Insider lists the GoPro Hero5 Black on its list of the best point-and-shoot cameras on the market. Its small size and the waterproof casing are fantastic for families who like to be outdoors and especially for those who like the water. These cameras are incredibly rugged. They can withstand water, sand, snow, dirt, small tree branches (don’t drop a whole tree on it!), and lots more. Their night modes are pretty great, too, and they have amazingly wide angles.
Kids and Technology
Back to your kid though, the one who asked for an action camera for Christmas. Is it really a good idea to give a complicated piece of technology to such a young human? The bottom line is this: as long as kids are taught to respect technology and use it carefully, they can combine fun and education in a cool and unique way.
If you’re worried about what will happen when they want to upload their video creations to the social media universe, take some tips from this article by NetSanity. Weigh the option of signing a “contract” of sorts with your kids, discuss the dangers involved with exposing themselves online in this way. Lead by example, and use any and all parental controls that you see fit. Safety is important, but so is resisting the urge to stifle your children’s dreams and creativity.
Making videos can even be good for kids! It allows them to explore their creativity, to express themselves, and boost their self-esteem. They can learn about the technical side of video production, including lighting, audio, editing, etc. Or they might become interested in scriptwriting and pursue writing goals. In the end, film is simply another way to tell a story, right?
It can help them learn to be critical of the movies and television they watch or inspire them to think carefully about how their favorite shows are made. Being curious and critical are telltale signs that your child has a future in film making.
What to Consider When Shopping for a GoPro
As with any large purchase, especially a tech-related purchase, you should always do your homework. GoPro themselves have several different models on the market, plus their older models that are still available from certain retailers, and all the off-brand models out there.
Since the focus of this article is GoPros for kids, let’s consider the requirements of a camera for younger consumers.
Likely you’ll have to buy a lot of accessories, too – it’s almost never just the camera. There are many to choose from, but some of the most popular ones for kids’ use include chest harnesses, head straps, wrist mounts, selfie or extender sticks, and tripods. A floating handgrip is also a good tool if you or your kids plan to use the camera in the water.
This is a highly rated chest mount that should fit your young ones, but be sure to test it out and make sure it fits securely before purchasing. And here is a head strap specifically made to fit the circumference of your little genius’ noggin. The best hand and wrist strap for your kiddos will be this one as it is easily adjustable and will fit securely onto tiny wrists.
Since tripods don’t necessarily need to be smaller in size just because they’re being used by children, there are several quality options on the market. This one is a reasonably priced option that users have found stable and reliable. If you’re just looking for a mount to add to a tripod you already have for another camera, try this one. You’ll be delighted by the price tag! This handgrip is perfect for your kids’ waterway adventures. It has a comfortable handle for a solid grip and also features an adjustable strap so that it can easily be secured to his or her little hand.
If you buy your youngster a GoPro brand camera, consider also subscribing to GoPro Plus. Not only does it offer the usual stuff like repairs, exchanges, and unlimited cloud storage, but it also includes access to a soundtrack library and discounts on mounts and accessory purchases – up to 50% off! Just ordering one accessory could save you the cost of a yearly GoPro Plus subscription. And we all know that your kids will take advantage of the unlimited storage since they tend to film anything and everything with very little editing!
Popular Action Camera Brands
Founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman, GoPro has gone on to sell more than 26 million cameras around the world. GoPro is the camera and the company that invented the action camera and kickstarted an uber-popular phenomenon. They are the top name in the industry and had a reported revenue of $243 million in the first quarter of 2019.
Established in 1967, Vtech manufactures and distributes consumer electronics around the world. Their headquarters is in Hong Kong, there’s a manufacturing facility in mainland China, and there are employees and operations in 13 other countries, including Canada and the U.S. As of September 2018, Vtech was worth HK$22.7.
Herm Fisher joined forces with Irving Price back in 1931 to create Dr. Doodle and Granny Doodle, two adorable duck toys. Since then, Fisher-Price has become a household name that provides quality, recognizable toys like Power Wheels, Little People, and Thomas & Friends. Fisher Price’s goal is to “keep enriching the lives of young families,” and to “keep bringing joy to generations.”
Q: How are GoPro cameras different from regular cameras?
A: GoPros and other branded action cameras are built for exactly that: action. While standard video cameras, smartphones, and even tablets can be bulky and shaky when the user is trying to film their own activities, GoPros are held steady. They can also be used with special accessories to allow them to film from angles that average video cameras can’t.
Q: Is GoPro safe for my kids?
A: Absolutely! The footage your young videographer is stored on either the camera itself, an SD card, or on the cloud via GoPro Plus. Either way, no one will see these videos except you, your child, and whoever you share them with. It’s only if/when these films are uploaded onto the internet that you need to worry about safety. As mentioned above, talk to your kids about the dangers lurking online and set firm rules for what is and isn’t okay in your household. And have fun!
Q: At what age will my kids be ready to use a GoPro?
A: Kids as young as 4 or 5 can be eager to use cool techy tools like cameras and GoPros, but whether or not they should be allowed depends on how much you trust them with these pricey objects. If you purchase the Vtech Kidizoom, which retails for around $40, then you know that it’s specifically built for the wear and tear that kids will put it through. More expensive devices may be even more durable, but not specifically for kids. Talk to your children about what will happen if the camera breaks and maybe test them with less expensive items first (like an old smartphone). Some little ones will be more careful than others.
Q: Do GoPros come with good warranties?
A: Yes. All GoPro brand cameras and accessories are covered by a one-year warranty, as stated on their website. All manufacturing defects are covered. Their products also come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and you can return them for a full refund. Other action cameras may have different warranties or programs.
Q: When is a good time to buy my child a GoPro?
A: If your youngun’ is constantly swiping your smartphone to take long, drawn-out videos or expresses an interest in how their favorite television shows are made, a GoPro might be a good idea. If they often ask to use the family GoPro to film their crazy antics, consider buying them their own. Basically, if your child seems to be interested in making movies, support them! They make a fantastic birthday, Christmas, or graduation gift!
If it’s your younger kids, ages 4-8, who are wanting to use an action camera, go with the Vtech Kidizoom. It’s a great price and is easy to use so your kiddos will have no trouble mounting it and making crazy movies. It’s cheap enough so that if they continue to enjoy the movie-making experience, you can upgrade them to a more professional camera in a few years and not have wasted money on their starter camera.
If, however, your kids are a bit older and already adept at handling sophisticated technology then we suggest that you get them the GoPro Hero 5 Black. It’s a great camera with impressive specs and abilities that your kids will easily figure out. They’ll be making Netflix-worthy documentaries in no time.
We hope you enjoyed our article covering the best action cameras for kids!