Camera for Kids!

Cobra DC150 digital camera review

Inexpensive and simple camera for young children. Available around $20 or less. Comes with driver and software for Windows, Mac driver available online.

The camera (in different colors):

CBDC150BL.jpgCBDC150RD.jpg

SPECIFICATIONS

Output Resolution: 352x288 Pixels (Hi) or 176x144 Pixels (Low)
Image Sensor: 100K Pixel CMOS Sensor
Internal Memory: 2MB (SDRAM)
Image Storage: 19 to 76 Pictures depending on resolution chosen
Shutter Speed: 1/6-1/15000 second
Viewfinder: Optical
Menu Screen: LCD on back of Camera
Auto Functions: Shutdown/Exposure/White Balance
3 in 1 Mode: Digital Camera/PC Camera/Camcorder
Camcorder: 10 Second Video Clip
PC Camera: 15 Frames/Second
Interface: USB ver 1.1
Power Source: AAA 1.5V X 2 (not included)
File Format: JPEG AVI
System Requirements: Win 98SE/2000/ME/XP

Sample photos:


IMAG02223.jpg Photo008.jpg

IMAG02021.jpg


original downloaded size 640X480 pixels
16apr10022.jpg

Comments:

The photos are surprisingly good for such a small, simple camera. The output resolution at 'HI' is listed at 352X288, but they are up-sized to 640X480 when the images are downloaded. There is some blurring around the edges, and the camera's capability to accomodate shadows or bright areas is poor. While I certainly wouldn't want this 'tunnel' blurring in my good camera, I don't mind it here, in fact it is pleasantly old-fashioned looking.

Operation: The 'beep' that tells you that the shutter tripped is hard to hear, thus it is hard to tell if you got a picture. There were some 'mystery' shots in my photos that were because of easily tripping the shutter accidentally. Might be difficult for children in this regard.

I think this would be a wonderful camera for school use with young children with some basic training. It is a great way to introduce them to photography (and observing their world) with a 'real' camera. You can come back to the computer lab and download the photos and share them, maybe having a slide show, or by printing, an art show.

NOTE: I haven't "kid-tested" this camera; I'll upload the results when I do. I might venture a guess that maybe 1st through 4th graders would be a good range. This kid (me) sure got a kick out of it!


Software/Driver for Macs is available for download at:

http://www.kids-camera.com/support.htm

I got my camera at: http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPage/CBDC150RD.html#Overview But you can google in 'Cobra DC150' for other sources.

Manufacturer website: http://www.cobradigital.com/