Shaw Scientific gave me a lend of this Tuff Cam that they are thinking about selling. They also gave me some spare batteries and it was a good thing that they did. The Tuff Cam is made by a company called TTS that make affordable but solid educational technology. They are the company behind one of my favourite tech-toys, the Bee-Bot. So, what’s the story with the Tuff Cam?
Well, this is a tale of two stories. There’s good news and bad news. Tuff Cam is designed to be an easy to use digital camera and camcorder for kids. The child simply turns it on, shoots and that’s it. They can then easily download the photos and movies using either the supplied free software or any other graphics editor. The good news is that the Tuff Cam is really easy to use. I tested it out with a group of 6-9 year olds and they had no trouble with it. They found it fun to use too.
The photos are decent quality and they look pretty good for a 3MP camera. The video is good quality and saves as an AVI file which is compatible with YouTube and most video editors.
Unfortunately the bad news almost ruins things for the Tuff Cam. It’s the battery life. In the space of twenty minutes I went through two full battery changes. That’s a very very expensive way to take photos and videos. If I had some re-chargeable batteries, I might have got better use out of this, but sadly I don’t think 10-15 minutes use from a set of batteries is acceptable.
Another minus point is the software is incompatible with Windows Vista but everything is incompatible with Windows Vista so I’ll forgive that.
Overall, this product is a super idea but would be much better with a lithium based battery or a longer normal battery lifespan. Oh well, back to the normal camera.
Last Update: August 22, 2017