Photos

Pricey camera for kids, but packed with fun

Making cute, child-friendly versions of tech gadgets seems to be the premise behind the myFirst collection from local firm Oaxis.

These gadgets, which include smartwatches, headphones and cameras, are designed to take more than a few knocks and drops.

Take the Oaxis myFirst Camera 3, which has a sturdy body (available in pink or blue) made from a mix of plastic and silicone.

At just 82g, it is handy and lightweight while its compact body is perfect for smaller hands.

This third iteration adds a 16-megapixel (MP) front camera for selfie shots and LED flash for low-light shots and upgrades the main camera from the previous version's 8MP to 16MP.

However, it does not have a waterproof case like its predecessor. Instead, the myFirst Camera 3 comes with a shockproof case for added protection.

A dedicated button switches on the front selfie camera while the LED flash automatically comes on when the environment is dark.

But the camera still has seven buttons in total, which is perhaps one too many for younger users.

Some functions, such as the macro mode and the video recording function, require users to press and hold a button. In fact, I still made mistakes after using the camera for an hour.

While its 16MP cameras have a megapixel count to rival some high-end smartphone cameras, the resulting photos were not any better than the ones from budget camera phones.

  • FOR

  • • Lightweight and rugged

    • Preloaded frames

  • AGAINST

    • Mediocre photos and videos

    • Control scheme can be confusing

  • SPECS

    PRICE: $99.90

    PHOTO RESOLUTION: Up to 16 megapixels

    VIDEO RESOLUTION: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

    DISPLAY: 2-inch colour IPS screen

    BATTERY CAPACITY: 1,000mAh

    STORAGE: microSD card up to 32GB

    WEIGHT: 82g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 3.5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5

    OVERALL: 3.5/5

Photos were noisy and videos were shaky due to the apparent lack of video stabilisation. The camera also seemed slow to focus on subjects.

But these issues did not bother my seven-year-old daughter, who was more engrossed with taking black-and-white photos or adding cartoonish fat lips and moustaches to photos of me via the camera's preloaded photo frames.

Unsurprisingly, she soon filled up the 1GB microSD card included with the camera, which supports microSD cards with storage capacity of up to 32GB.

At almost $100, the myFirst Camera 3 is not cheap, given its middling camera performance.

But my daughter did not seem to mind.

And, for me, it was satisfying enough to see the world through her eyes, even for a bit.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2019, with the headline 'Pricey camera for kids, but packed with fun'. Print Edition | Subscribe