These happy snappers are durable, fun, and easier to use than ever. Our panel of junior judges rated these digital cameras best in show.

By Alison Goran
January 26, 2011
Credit: Courtesy of Argus Camera LLC

Ages 3 to 7

Digital Blue U-Turn Camera ($50; 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; 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; 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; 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; Thanks to its continuous shooting mode, action-minded tweens won’t miss a moment of any stunt.
Kodak EasyShare M380 ($180; 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.

Ages 13+

Sony Cyber-Shot W230 ($200; 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; Über-connected teens can instantly upload pictures and videos to Facebook and YouTube with the Dual Blog function.
Panasonic Lumix Fs7 ($160; The ultimate error-free point-and-shoot: Press the Intelligent Auto button and four different functions kick in to adjust and correct settings.