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easy to use cameras for seniors

Easy to Use Cameras for Seniors and the Elderly

One of the simplest joys in life is capturing our best memories and special occasions in a photograph. And, then preserving them forever. I know many elderly people who spend hours going through photo albums. They love reliving all those happy memories all over again. Pictures of their wedding day. The graduation day of their child. The birth of their favorite grandchild. Browsing through a photo album is one of the easiest ways for these folks to time travel into the past. So, it is important to find easy to use cameras for seniors. That way, they can continue recording these memories for years to come.

Comparison Table: Best Cameras for Seniors and the Elderly

Photo
TOP PICK!
Sony W800/S 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ43 16 MP Digital Camera with 4X Optical Zoom and 2.7" LCD Screen...
Nikon COOLPIX W100 (White)
Canon PowerShot SX520 16Digital Camera with 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3-Inch LCD...
TOP PICK!
Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera w/ Image Stabilization and Smart AUTO Mode (Red)
Product
Sony W800/S 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ43 16 MP Digital Camera with 4X Optical Zoom and 2.7" LCD Screen...
Nikon COOLPIX W100 (White)
Canon PowerShot SX520 16Digital Camera with 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3-Inch LCD...
Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera w/ Image Stabilization and Smart AUTO Mode (Red)
Mini-Review
Easy mode reduces options for simple operations. Large easy to read LCD screen.
Large screen shows image before taking photo. No automatic settings though based on conditions.
Extremely durable camera with large buttons. Truly automatic photo shooting for great photos.
Bigger, bulkier, easier to hold camera with exceptional zoom and use in low light conditions.
Simple, basic point and shoot camera with built-in features for great photos every time.
TOP PICK!
Photo
Sony W800/S 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
Product
Sony W800/S 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
Mini-Review
Easy mode reduces options for simple operations. Large easy to read LCD screen.
Photo
Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ43 16 MP Digital Camera with 4X Optical Zoom and 2.7" LCD Screen...
Product
Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ43 16 MP Digital Camera with 4X Optical Zoom and 2.7" LCD Screen...
Mini-Review
Large screen shows image before taking photo. No automatic settings though based on conditions.
Photo
Nikon COOLPIX W100 (White)
Product
Nikon COOLPIX W100 (White)
Mini-Review
Extremely durable camera with large buttons. Truly automatic photo shooting for great photos.
Photo
Canon PowerShot SX520 16Digital Camera with 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3-Inch LCD...
Product
Canon PowerShot SX520 16Digital Camera with 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3-Inch LCD...
Mini-Review
Bigger, bulkier, easier to hold camera with exceptional zoom and use in low light conditions.
TOP PICK!
Photo
Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera w/ Image Stabilization and Smart AUTO Mode (Red)
Product
Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera w/ Image Stabilization and Smart AUTO Mode (Red)
Mini-Review
Simple, basic point and shoot camera with built-in features for great photos every time.

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 01:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Makes Cameras Hard for Seniors to Use?

Unfortunately though, not everything is as easy as it was in the past. Some tasks become difficult and more complicated during old age. Using a camera is a great example of this.

Cameras, like many other modern devices, are getting smaller. Settings are more confusing. LCD screens are shrinking. Buttons are tiny and hard to press.

As a result, many seniors find it difficult to use many of the newer digital cameras. They are often frustrated with their inability to use new technology easily. So, many elderly folks simply stop taking pictures of their special moments. This keeps them from enjoying these memories later.  And, it also deprives them of one of the simplest pleasures of life.

However, with a little bit of research and study, most seniors can easily learn to use today's cameras. Especially, some of the beginner-friendly digital cameras that are available.

camera with simple buttons

Choosing an Easy to Use Camera for Seniors

Here are some tips for shopping for an easy to use digital camera. These points should help you buy a camera for your parents or grandparents. Or even for yourself if you are looking for a camera that is more on the simpler side.

  • Look for simple, easy-to-use models without fancy unnecessary settings and features.
  • A Point-&-Shoot feature with an ‘automatic’ mode is the most ideal feature for seniors.
  • Try to find a camera with larger controls as seniors may find small buttons hard to use. Ideally, the top of the camera should only have one button, the one to take the picture.
  • Elders with poor eyesight will prefer a camera with a big LCD screen. That lets them see clearly what they are taking a picture of.
  • Look for a camera which has an easy way to get the pictures out of the camera. Self printing cameras or easy to use memory cards are good ideas. This way they can easily print the photos or transfer them onto a laptop computer or another favorite device.
  • Last but not least, the camera should be sturdy and durable to survive the occasional fall from unsteady hands.

Recommended Simple Cameras

To help you find the best digital camera, I have researched many options. I've also studied a lot of the beginner and easy-to-use cameras available. Here’s my short list of the easiest cameras for seniors and the elderly:

Sony W800/S 20.1 MP Digital Camera

The Sony W800/S 20.1 MP Digital Camera is perfect for shooting great photos and videos. Easy to press buttons and a dedicated movie button makes taking both pictures and videos a breeze. The clear, 2.7 inches LCD screen also lets the user instantly view the images. Movies even play back on this screen too.

  • Easy Mode with reduced on-screen options for simple usage
  • Powerful 20.1 megapixel image sensor takes great looking pictures with lots of details
  • 5x optical zoom takes great pictures even from a distance
  • Compact and lightweight, yet sturdy, camera for easy and secure handling

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 01:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:

Kodak PIXPRO FZ43 16 MP Digital Camera

The Kodak FZ43 is an easy-to-use Point-&-Shoot camera. But it also has enough features to take good pictures without having elders break into a sweat! It’s compact and is easy to take anywhere you want to go. For those who are willing to experiment, the camera also has 23 unique shooting modes. These allow more flexibility in capturing images, depending on the lighting and setting. But using these settings requires more understanding of technology.

  • One touch video recording for easy video recording
  • 4x optical and 6x digital zoom to capture far away images with ease
  • Wide angle view allows a larger area to be photographed. So, the senior will not have to step further away from the subject to get a better picture.
  • 2.7” LCD screen to see the image before snapping the photo

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 01:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:

Nikon COOLPIX W100 13.2 MP Digital Camera

The Nikon CoolPix W100 is a tough camera. Its marketing is targeted for use by everybody in the family.  Right from the kids to the grandparents. It's a chunky looking camera. But, it is easy to operate without many complicated buttons to operate. Also, it is water-proof up to a depth of 30 ft. It is even shock-proof from heights of almost 7 feet and works in temperatures as low as 14 F. 

  • Well-defined and easy to press buttons that make it easy to use for tight arthritic hands and fingers. 
  • The “Still Picture” button and “Video Capture” button are on opposite ends on the top of the camera. This makes it easy to reach both the buttons when holding the camera with both hands.
  • Almost fully automatic camera, perfect for casual photographers who don’t want to experiment with complicated settings like shutter-speed, ISO settings, etc.

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 01:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:

Canon PowerShot SX520 16 MP Digital Camera

The Canon PowerShot is a slightly heavier and bigger camera as compared to the others reviewed in this article. But, it also has the highest zoom capabilities and the biggest LCD screen (3”) of the ones listed here. It has a sturdy build with a slightly textured, rubber grip in the front. This big camera fits snugly in hands of all sizes.

The powerful 42x optical zoom and 24mm wide angle lens allows you to capture images from great distances. No need to be right in the middle of the action.

Overall, this is a good option for those looking for a vacation or travel camera. It has more features than your usual Point-&-Shoot cameras.

  • High-sensitivity sensor and Canon’s special Image Processor ensures that the camera performs very well in low-light conditions. This is a great features for places flashes cannot be used.
  • Image capture button positioned in a slight recession, to prevent accidental clicks
  • Dedicated “Movie Record” button to capture high-quality videos with ease
  • The Optical Image Stabilizer ensures your images are clear and steady at all times.

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 01:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:

Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 20 MP Digital Camera

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 is a convenient Point-&-Shoot camera with a 20 MP sensor to capture excellent still images as well as HD video. The 2.7” LCD screen can playback images and videos. It comes in several fun color choices too.

The ELPH is a great choice for seniors who just want to point the camera and press a button to take a picture. This camera has several built-in features to make sure that photo is a great one. ​

  • Built-in 8x optical zoom and wide angle lens to capture long distance images clearly
  • Superior Digital Image Stabilization to minimize camera shake, resulting in sharper images
  • Smart Auto Mode to select the right settings based on the shooting conditions
  • ECO Mode to intelligently reduce power consumption, resulting in longer battery life, and more shooting time.

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 01:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:

Summary and Recommendations

With a brand new, easy-to-use camera, grandparents can have a lot of fun taking pictures of their grandchildren. Photos they will cherish for many years to come. Photography can even be a rewarding hobby to keep seniors mentally and physically active. Look for cameras that are lightweight and sturdy enough to be carried along on travels and vacations too. It is also important that easy to use cameras for seniors also have only a few buttons. Large screens are also necessary for older eyes.

For seniors who may have a little confusion or difficulty with multiple buttons, I really like the ​Sony W800 because of it's "EASY MODE" that reduces the choices to only the most basic functions. Another great choice for seniors and elders is the Canon ELPH cameras. These are truly point and shoot cameras that take great pictures without having to fuss with the settings.

I hope these recommendations are helpful in releasing the inner shutterbug hidden deep within many elders and seniors. Do you agree with my choices? Or do you have a favorite camera that you like to use? Whatever your choice, share your opinions with me and my readers in the comments below. Questions are always welcome too!

About the Author Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.

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