Camera For A Photography Student


Old 10-03-05, 02:25 PM
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Camera For A Photography Student


My daughter's just started college and is studying photography. I'd like to buy her a good digital camera for Christmas but am really not sure what to look for.

Does anybody have any idea of the kind of specs a photography student would need? I can spend up to about 400 so hope that's enough for a decent camera.

If anybody can give me any advice I'd appreciate it.

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Old 10-03-05, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: United States
Posts: 2,535
First, make sure she really wants to major (or minor) in photography.

Then ask her advisor for a recomendation.

At the very least she'll need a digital SLR, a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens. For a digital SLR, there is the Canon Rebel XT for around $900 US. A little cheaper alternative is the Nikon D70.
But, if she is really serious about photography, in a year she'll be moving up to the higher proved Canon and/or Nikons, where the body alone exceeds $1400 US.
Old 10-06-05, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 39
If she is studying photography she will need a camera that will go fully manual. I agree with the previous post, check with her instructor or advisor for suggestions. They may start with film before digital. With that said, the Nikon D70s is a new camera out that she would love even if photography turned out to be a hobby.
Old 10-06-05, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,628
A different angle.


I would suggest that your daughter will need a camera that is fully adjustable, but going to an single lens reflex "like" camera may be a better choice for now.
Eventually she will need an SLR with a bag full of lenses but your budget would not near cover even the basics of an SLR set-up.
Even if she is required to start with a film camera, quality classics can be found for next to nothing these days and a digital will let her take a pile of pics without the cost of processing.

I wanted all the bells and whistles, especially a long telephoto but had a paupers budget and went with a Nikon 8800.
There are many point and shoot cameras out there that offer full adjustment capabilities and are reasonably priced.
What would really force her to learn is to not purchase the dedicated flash made for the camera.
As long as you purchase a Wynn safe-sync as protection, you can use the camera with an old style strobe on manual settings and set the dials, just like in the old days.

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Another good one:

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I'm sure there are other models that would be suitable.
One last suggestion is that you make your purchase at a camera store that still sells film cameras and professional photo equipment.
I found that the pro camera store had prices that were not much different from the department stores and the sales people are all very knowlegeable.
Plus, if you needed any dedicated accessories you would likely have to go to the pro camera shop anyway.

Good luck and let us know what you get.
Maybe your daughter might have some questions of us.
Old 01-06-06, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 995
Yes, definitely check with her instructor/advisor first. You'd hate to make that investment and then have a camera that won't help her in her classes.

Back when I learned photography, the only real way to learn it right was with a manual camera, like a Pentax K1000, or if you were rich, a Canon F1. These are very plentifully available on eBay if you need to go this route.

Now, I'm like Greg. I got out of photography when the industry went digital. I didn't feel like keeping up anymore. So I mothballed my high-end Nikon SLR film cameras, and bought the Nikon 8800 for personal use only. It'll do everything I need a digital SLR-type camera to do. I did get the teleconverter for it, too, so I can really reach out and touch someone.

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