We did a lot of research before finally deciding on a camera for her. We wanted to get her a real camera, that would take good enough quality pictures that they would be worth getting prints. But we also wanted to get her one that would survive ownership by a preschooler. We settled on a "sport" camera, the Panasonic Lumix, which is waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof.
When she opened her gift, she was so excited that she dropped the camera. She gave us this horrified look, as if to say, "Oh no, you gave me a camera, and I broke it before I even got to take a single picture. You're never going to buy me anything nice ever again!" We smiled and told her, "Guess what? We bought you a special camera that won't break when you drop it!" Relief spread across her face, and she started right into taking pictures of random, awesome things that four-year-olds find worth photographing. We knew we had made the right choice.
The biggest problem with Valerie having a camera is that the number of photos I need to sift through before uploading has now increased exponentially. Not only does Valerie take hundreds of pictures of things that are interesting to her, but we take her camera along with us on outings when I normally would have left my camera at home. Not to mention the fact that I don't want to apply *my* artistic eye, such as it is, to the pictures that my daughter chose to take. So, while I am carefully wading through my pictures, carefully choosing my favorites, and carefully cropping them to my satisfactions before uploading them, I have had to develop a simpler system for Valerie's photos. It goes something like this: Copy all of them to a new folder, skim through and delete any that are absolutely terrible, and upload the whole folder.
So, consider this my apology, internet, for all of the bad photos, nearly identical photos, photos of giant, blurry fingers, and undecipherable photos that have recently been flooding your tubes from my corner of cyberspace. I'm just trying to respect the artistic integrity of a four-year-old. Oh, and I'm lazy.