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What kind of camera for photography school?

Carrie Barbash , Oct 08, 2007; 02:27 p.m.

Hi -- I hope to start a photography program next fall, maybe a shorter certificate program at a place like Hallmark or CDIABU or maybe a master's program at somewhere like NESOP. What kind of camera would people recommend that would be good for these types of programs? I am a beginner with DSLRs but I am fine with buying a camera that is not necessarily for beginners. I was thinking of buying a Nikon D80 -- is this a good choice for this type of program? I can probably afford to buy something a little more expensive than this too. Is there any lens/lenses that I should buy to start? I can always buy more later, but I just want to know what the very minimal basics I would need to start...thanks for your help!


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J Anon , Oct 08, 2007; 02:37 p.m.

You probably need to find out the requirements of the school of course you attend first, and then think about brands and models. Don't get the cart before the horse.

Carrie Barbash , Oct 08, 2007; 02:47 p.m.

Hi J Anon -- Thanks! Yeah, that makes sense; I guess I just didn't want to wait until I am accepted to a school (assuming that happens) to start taking photos and I am not ready to apply just yet. So I was hoping some people on the forum might be able to tell me what camera was likely to be acceptable/used in this type of program. It is more likely that I would do a certificate program than a master's program and as I mentioned, I can probably afford something a little more expensive than a D80. Maybe I will contact a few schools and ask them as well...

Rajat Chopra , Oct 08, 2007; 03:18 p.m.

you need to ask the school .... Hallmark will not accept any cameras, but rather gives you the camera of their choice to use ... it's part of the tuition cost and what they told me was that if you want to use another camera other than the one they provide you, you have to make a very strong argument

the other schools have a list of acceptable cameras - so you really have to call and ask

Stephen Lewis , Oct 08, 2007; 03:41 p.m.

Nothing wrong with buying a camera now and shooting with it...just don't count on being able to use that camera in school. Like others said, each school has its own policy. Also, you're talking about a consumer digital, and they may want you to learn something about film first, particularly if they have a comprehensive program.

Carrie Barbash , Oct 08, 2007; 04:11 p.m.

Thanks, Rajat and Stephen! I will check with the schools.

Stephen -- I actually have an Olympus OM-2 film camera and a Konica Autoreflex TC film camera (hand-me-downs) that I can use for film instruction (unless I need something else), but I was thinking I would also like to have a digital SLR.

Stephen Lewis , Oct 08, 2007; 10:34 p.m.

The OLY is a great camera with some really sharp lenses available. The problem with digital is that models are so quickly superceeded because of technological advances. For many film users who convert there is a high frustration level learning to use post processing software. If you really want to get into digital before your school of choice gives you a definitive answer, the camera you proposed would do fine to get you started, but recognize that in short order you will probably want to trade up to a model with more features and a collection of lenses (cosing more $). It's called NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome).

Keith Emmerich , Oct 09, 2007; 08:00 a.m.

at CDIABU www.cdiabu.com you can use any digital SLR, we have people using 20D's all the way up to Mark 2's and I have seen Nikon D40 and D200...they have many lenses you can also check out and use while being a student...Im glad we dont have to buy a medium format camera or a large format camera...when I graduate and if I need to shoot medium format I will just rent it or the day....save me lots of money.

Keith Emmerich , Oct 09, 2007; 08:02 a.m.

I would say keep the D80...what does it not do, that you need it to do?

Lynn Jones , Oct 24, 2007; 03:50 p.m.

The business is mostly digital now and by 2010 it well be ALL digital so don't buy anything untill you enter the school and its requirements. Digital changes so fast that a year from now it will be obsolete.


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