Ages 3 to 7
Digital Blue U-Turn Camera ($50; toysrus.com) By swiveling the shutter, little ones can shoot self-portraits and view on a 2.4-inch LCD screen. Built-in settings add a funhouse-mirror effect.
Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera ($55; toysrus.com) With rubberized side grips and a two-eye viewfinder, this camera lets even wobbly tots capture the moment. And if it ends up in the pool? No sweat—it’s waterproof.
Argus Bean 3.2 ($60; arguscamera.com) At three inches wide with a carabiner clasp, this 5-megapixel camera is perfect for tiny hands and book bags.
Ages 8 to 12
Olympus Stylus 550WP ($199; olympusamerica.com) Waterproof, with all the bells and whistles of its dry-land counterparts. Digital image stabilization and instant red-eye removal make aces out of amateurs.
Nikon Coolpix S220 ($150; nikonusa.com) Thanks to its continuous shooting mode, action-minded tweens won’t miss a moment of any stunt.
Kodak EasyShare M380 ($180; kodak.com) As advanced or simple as you make it. For bumpy rides, there’s blur reduction; for budding landscape photographers, there’s the Panorama mode, which stitches three images into one.
Sony Cyber-Shot W230 ($200; sonystyle.com) Scroll through the shooting menu, and an explanation pops up at each setting. With 12.1 megapixels and a 4x optical zoom, it also takes the highest-quality photos in this price range.
Fujifilm Finepix Z30 ($180; fujifilm.com) Über-connected teens can instantly upload pictures and videos to Facebook and YouTube with the Dual Blog function.
Panasonic Lumix Fs7 ($160; panasonic.com) The ultimate error-free point-and-shoot: Press the Intelligent Auto button and four different functions kick in to adjust and correct settings.