Do you have a little Steven Spielberg on your hands? Does your little one love to “help” you video tape on the holidays? Or do you think your tot would just really love to make movies just like mom and dad?
If you are looking for a great holiday toy for your preschooler, then consider the Fisher-Price Kid Tough Video Camera. It’s a real working video camera designed with your rough and tough preschooler in mind. I know we won’t let our preschoolers hold our family video camera in fear that it will immediately be dropped. Well, the Kid Tough Video Camera can survive drop…after drop…after endless drop…and it keeps on working!
The Kid Tough Video Camera is a perfect size for little hands with sturdy, dual hand grips for a steadier shot. Notice we didn’t say “steady” shot? Come on it’s for a 3-7 year old – steady shouldn’t really be in the description!
The Video Camera sports large, easy to press buttons that don’t require any reading. Our 3 and 5 year old testers figured out what each of the 6 buttons did very quickly. The record button is easy for your little one to press on and off with their thumb while holding the camera for the shot. A little, red, record button shows up in the 1.4” color TFT screen to let your child know recording has begun. Plus, the color screen is great for your child to instantly view their masterpieces immediately after shooting.
The viewing screen will also show a variety of icons when appropriate. For example, a trash can appears when you hit the delete button. And an orange picture of a video camera appears when the memory is almost full. A red video camera icon appears when the memory is totally full. Plus, there are battery icons for 10% and 5% battery left. We are happy to report that the video camera does not suck batteries like the Kid Tough Camera. Our testers have been able to use the video camera on and off for a couple weeks without us changing the batteries. (We have to change the regular Kid Tough Digital Camera battery every other day!) Plus, the video camera will shut down to save batteries if it hasn’t been used in a few minutes.
Setting up the camera the first time was so easy! Put in 4 AA batteries and your little director can start filming. The camera can record up to 15 minutes of video. If you add a SD card (sold separately) you can expand the memory (recording time) and enhance the quality of the video.
Now, we know you are curious to know about the video quality. We were a little hesitant before we tried the video camera because we honestly didn’t think the video footage was going to be all that good. Considering the Kid Tough Camera just takes sub-par pictures (not that our kids care!), we thought we were going to get grainy, poor quality video. We were absolutely wrong! Now, it isn’t HD but it’s pretty darn good!
The video resolution is 320 x 240 QVGA (without SD card) and 640 x 480 VGA (with SD card – not included and sold separately). Now, of course, it’s a good idea to get an SD card if you want your child to take the best quality videos possible, but the standard resolution is still good. Our testers took video inside and out and, of course, outside with more light was better. But in a well-lit, inside room, the video was still good. We suggest having the room lit as much as possible for your little director to get the best videos indoors. Plus, an SD card is a good idea because 15 minutes of video can go fast when your child starts taping.
The only problem our testers found was that when they are talking to their subjects/actors while holding the camera and taping, since they are so close to the microphone, the sound isn’t as great. It’s a bit muffled.
Setting up your computer to download the videos is extremely easy as well. Fisher-Price.com has a video software that you download (took us less than a minute with high speed internet). The software will then allow you to easily download the videos. It took about 6 minutes to download 15 minutes of video. Since I have Windows Media Player, I didn’t even have to use the Fisher-Price software if I didn’t want to. I just copied the videos from the camera onto my PC. It took about 5 minutes for 15 minutes of video. Once the video is downloaded, you can view it on your computer or edit the video on a program such as Windows Movie Maker. The files download as .avi files.
If you would like to watch the video on your TV straight from the Kid Tough Video Camera, you can do that too! Just insert an AV cable (not included with the camera) in the slot on the side of the camera, and you can watch the videos on TV.
One addition we parents would like to see is a headphones jack added. When our kids want to watch the play back of their video (over and over and over), we would appreciate a headphone jack especially since there is no volume control. When our 5 year old videos the 1 year old crying, the last thing we want to hear over and over is that footage! So, a headphone jack and possibly a volume control would be a great addition!
Overall, we are really impressed with the Fisher-Price Kid Tough Video Camera. The camera is well-made so it can withstand everything our preschoolers do to it. Throw it down during a tantrum? Toss it across the room to avoid brother getting it? Drop it down the stairs? Let it fall out of the car door? Yep, it can take it all! Plus, the quality of the video is much better than expected! Our testers loved it! And parents will love not having to explain why we can’t “share” our family video camera!
The Fisher-Price Video Camera comes in two colors (pink and blue) and retails for $60.