Seckton Children’s Digital Camera review: The best $40 you’ll ever spend as a parent

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Kids love to take pictures. Just ask parents, caregivers, or anyone who’s ever had to pry a newly-smudged and crudded-up iPhone out of their preschooler’s hands. Little fingers are quick to take hundreds of selfies given the chance, a practice researchers say(opens in a new tab) is indicative of just how delighted kids are with themselves. (They also like seeing all the ways they can move their faces.) 

Strangely, though, the kid-friendly camera landscape has long been lacking. Offerings from companies like VTech and Polaroid have seemed either too expensive or too gimmicky, with so many accessories that the cameras skewed more toward tablets than picture-taking devices. Lower cost options were available — something particularly alluring considering kids’ butterfingers — but they often produced photos that were so low res that they looked like they were taken on a Motorola Razr circa 2005. 

Cameras for kids don’t have to produce Canon-quality images — kids, after all, are generally more concerned with quantity than quality when it comes to their snaps — but as a parent you still like to feel like you’re getting some bang for your buck, especially if you secretly hope your kid is the next Annie Leibovitz. 

The Seckton Children’s Digital Camera(opens in a new tab) seeks to solve all those issues, offering decent-quality images, a select amount of kid-friendly features, and overall durability, all for around $40. (It even comes in different colors, lest a pink-loving princess be forced to sully themselves by owning something in any other hue.) 

Having heard the hype, I snagged one to test out with my twin 4-year-olds and found myself pleasantly surprised. Here’s what I learned after putting the handy little camera to the test.

small pink camera in the palm of an adult man's hand

This thing is definitely child-sized.
Credit: Marah Eakin / Mashable

What makes this camera so great 

You really can’t argue with the price. At just $40.99 on Amazon(opens in a new tab), the Seckton Digital Camera is relatively in line with the rest of the kids digital cameras on the site, save a few with far worse customer reviews. It’s also cheaper than other popular options for kids, like Polaroid’s Instax and Now cameras, both of which will require you to pony up for more packs of film down the road. Kidamento’s camera(opens in a new tab) is adorable and popular, too, but it’s also almost twice the price of Seckton’s and the resolution isn’t as good. 

Speaking of resolution: The Seckton Children’s Digital Camera says it offers 8MP resolution, which is about what most modern security cameras use as well. That means the photo quality is pretty good, especially when you consider half the pictures your kids will take will be of their fingers or angled up their noses. You won’t be able to blow anything from this camera up to canvas size without it looking pretty blurry, but you should be able to order some decent 4×6 prints, should you want to create an album or a gallery wall. 

close up of young child's face

Example of an up-the-nose photo my child took.
Credit: Marah Eakin / Mashable

With just six buttons total, the Seckton Children’s Digital Camera is also pretty easy to operate. There’s the shutter and the power button, of course, a set of up-down arrow buttons to toggle through the camera’s various screens and options, a timer button, and a button to switch from the front-facing to the rear-facing camera. All the camera’s menus are fairly straightforward and easy to navigate, meaning that even if your kid gets a little button-happy and presses everything a bunch of times, you won’t find it too hard to put things right again. 

When my twins got ahold of the camera, they were particularly thrilled with a few things. First, of course, were the 28 different filters, stickers, and frames that the shooter can apply to the picture. They’re right there on the screen, so your kid can easily take pictures of themselves or others looking like princesses or firefighters, aliens or clowns. The frames are as well, and they’re all pretty straightforward.

little girl with digital princess sticker over her

My daughter got to turn herself into a princess with this camera.
Credit: Marah Eakin / Mashable

My kids also liked how light the camera was (about two ounces), the handy strap, and how easily it fit in their hands. My daughter in particular picked up all the settings instantly and was roaming around the house taking pointless photos of door jambs and cabinet knobs almost immediately. She’s used it for hours, making it a great value compared to other toys or trinkets we’ve brought home that she’s thought were fun for a couple of hours before shelving them and walking away. It’s small enough that I can throw it in my purse, too, so we’ve taken it to the park, to Zoo Lights, and to the airport, where it kept her occupied during a two-hour delay at the gate. Hallelujah. 

All those hours of play were made possible by the fact that the battery life is also pretty good. Seckton says the camera can “continuously take photos for one to two hours” on a full charge, but I tend to believe it’s even a bit better than that. When I plugged the camera in after my daughter’s marathon sessions, I would still see plenty of charge left, meaning that even if I had forgotten to charge the little snapper, it would have been good to go for the next outing.

two kids with digital frame around their photo

My kids loved playing with the different frames and stickers.
Credit: Marah Eakin / Mashable

What could be better

Honestly, there’s not much I didn’t love about the Seckton Children’s Digital Camera — most cons were things I could live with, like the resolution. I was a little annoyed with the camera’s timer function, which is accessed via one of the buttons on the device’s back and allows the user to hit the shutter button and then wait two, five, or 10 seconds before the camera actually takes the photo. It would be great for group shots or posed selfies, but when my daughter was taking pic after pic of me, for instance, it just meant that I’d have to hold poses for a weirdly long amount of time. 

My other minor quibble is with the photo offloading process, which is a little more involved than I’d like. Every picture my kids took was stored on the camera’s 32GB micro SD card, which is included with your purchase and might seem tiny but can actually hold quite a lot of photos. The camera also comes with a USB cord, which I assumed could also be used to offload the pictures directly onto my computer. Sadly, that turned out not to be the case, as the cord appears to work only for charging purposes. Luckily I had a card reader and a larger SD card already, meaning I could use those when I wanted to grab the (literally 700) pictures my daughter took, since my MacBook Pro doesn’t come with those kinds of ports.

Is the Seckton Children’s Digital Camera worth it? 

In a word: Yes. As a parent of two, I’ve bought more than a few kid-centric digital cameras in my time and I’ve always been underwhelmed by the picture quality and usability of each one. I had none of that with the Seckton(opens in a new tab), which I found to be easy to use, fun to mess around with, and even surprisingly durable. 

More than anything, I thought it was a great bang for my buck. I can’t get out of Target these days without dropping $40 on stuff my kids say they absolutely need but really don’t. In contrast, the $40 you’d spend on this camera can give kids not just hours of fun, but also creative direction and thoughtful play. Kids may appreciate a family trip more, say, if they’re excited to take pictures when they get there. Even my daughter’s random excursion to urgent care was made a little more tolerable because I made the split-second decision to throw the camera in my purse on my way out the door. I can’t say that I kept the 300 or so photos she took of the exam room ceiling, waiting room TV, and me (all from horribly unflattering angles), but it kept her busy and she loved doing it. And in the end, that’s all that really matters.



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