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A camera for the kids

DXG has a budget-priced camera pointed squarely at the Facebooking, Myspacing kids of today.

Kids these days don't know how good they've got it. When I was a kid, you were lucky to get one megapixel in your camera, and that megapixel would be written to a single 3.5-inch floppy disk. We didn't have MP3 players or pocket camcorders or any of those fancy things. The only moving pictures we had were on our CRT monitors. And don't get me started on the regular ritual of taking the mouse ball out of your beige mouse and picking lint out of the rollers.

Today, kids have their Facebooks and Myspaces and all that fancy stuff. As young as five years old, they're taking pictures on digital cameras. Now generic camera company DXG has announced a digital camera aimed squarely at the tweens and teens of the market. The DXG-506V is an inexpensive 5-megapixel camera described in DXG's press release as "geared for [the] youth market." DXG-506V isn't a very appealing name for the young'uns, but maybe the X, G, and V stand for "Xtreme," "Gnarly," and "Very."

The DXG-506V tries to do a little bit of everything, for a price that won't scare away parents. It's a 5-megapixel camera, a VGA camcorder, an MP3 player, and a voice recorder all rolled up into one AAA battery-eating package. Catch-all devices like this tend not to do any of their jobs very well, and this doesn't seem like an exception. A tiny 1.7-inch LCD screen and a complete lack of optical zoom make this camera strictly for the children, but it comes in four youth-friendly colors, and has a suggested price tag of just $150. It might not seem like an amazing camera, but at least the price is just right for keeping the kids out of your hair for a while.