When Finley turned four in March, I gave him a very special present. His very own camera. And not child's toy or cheap one... a moderately priced "grown-up" camera.
I spent considerable time figuring out which one to buy—it had to be fairly easy to use with settings and navigation that he could understand. I decided on a Canon Powershot SX170 IS, partially because it looks like a miniature version of my camera (a Canon 5D Mark II) with a similar arrangement of dials. You can manually set your speed and aperture and it is lightweight with the grip and shutter button arrangement good for small hands.
Of course I was a bit wary of letting a newly-four-year-old boy have access to such an expensive object, but he has always shown respect for "his" iPad and his toys. He has always shown an interest in photography and had been documenting things with the iPad (which is really quite awkward to take photos with, especially for a child). When I'm using Instagram, Finley always has recommendations for what filter to select.
His affinity for photography and his interest in the camera and how to use it has been fantastic. It's so much fun to have a photography buddy and to see the world as framed from his perspective. He has a definite point of view and will direct his subject in order to achieve what he wants in the picture. (I guess he was learning from me all along!)
Here are some photos we've taken together, from both of our perspectives.