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What type of camera is required for the course?

  1. A camera with 8 megapixels or more that allows you to manually control the shutter speed and aperture. This camera needs to shoot RAW files.
  2. Memory card for the camera, at least 4 Gigabytes.

What other supplies are required for the course?

  1. In-person courses require an External hard drive with at least 40 Gigabytes and capable of being powered off of the USB. A flash drive will be too slow. You can find these for around $30 at Best Buy or office stores. Please do some research to find a good brand. Here is a link to one that I like that will give you more than enough space: WD Drive OR  Lacie Hard Drive.
  2. In-person courses will require the purchase of photo paper from the Art Store in the art building. One pack of Epson Ultra Premium Luster photo paper will cost approximately $20 and is enough for the entire semester.
  3. Fully online courses have the option of printing in the photo classroom for select assignments. Please ask the lab tech for paper. If you need more than 5 sheets, you can purchase paper at the Art Store in the art building.

Where can I get a camera?

If you don't already have a camera, be sure to get a hold of one as soon as possible. If you are borrowing one from a friend or family member, be sure that you will have adequate access to it throughout the semester. As a last resort, the library has a limited supply of cameras that can be checked out for 7 days at a time. You MUST ensure that you are checking out a camera that shoots RAW and manual such as the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80. The library’s other cameras, such as the Canons, do not shoot RAW.

What if I want to purchase a camera?

Look for used/refurbished cameras for good deals. I have posted some items from big manufactures but I suggest going to local shops like Schiller's or Best Buy and seeing what they have. This will allow you to handle/test the camera and know it's right for you. Many places have student discounts so ask about it.

Schiller's in St. Louis 9240 Manchester Rd. St. Louis, MO 63144


If you can afford it, a full frame DSLR is wonderful. They start at $450 for a body only but you will pay higher price for lenses. You can start off with a good zoom lens at 24-70 or two primes, 35mm/85mm for example.


For more affordable cameras a crop frame DSLR is recommended. Purchasing in a kit with a standard zoom lens can save money. Most kits come with an 18-55mm or a 24-135/24-70mm lens. The longer lenses (100-300ish) tend to be low quality and aren’t as versatile. If you can buy a body used and save your money for higher quality lenses, you’ll give yourself an advantage.

New Kits: The Canon Rebels like the T5i/T6 or the Nikon D5300/D5500 will work great.

Canon Kit T6 with lens: $349

Nikon D3500 Kit with lens, Refurbished $396

Canon Rebel T7 with lens: $399

Nikon D5600 with lens: $449

Costco: Nikon D3500: $499


You can look for used cameras for less at the links below. You can find a good DSLR for as low as $149. These are rated and guaranteed. Be really careful about Ebay or Craigslist, there are a lot of scams:

Mirrorless cameras are getting better and you can find some high quality Sony mirrorless cameras that still give you the ability to swap lenses. They aren’t as versatile as the DSLR cameras but they weigh less.

Make sure you have the following abilities:

1. Manual Setting        2. Shoots in Raw        3. 8+ Megapixels        4. Viewfinder

Additional lenses

If you are thinking about getting a lens in addition to the zoom lens that comes in a kit with a camera, go with a lens that has a wider aperture-- great for low light and portraits. A 50mm lens that is 1.2, 1.4, or 1.8 will be great and make a huge difference in the work you make. Often, the lens makes the most difference in terms of quality and matters more than the camera.

If you have film cameras laying around (ask parents/grandparents), you may be able to purchase an adaptor that would allow you to put a film camera lens on your digital camera. If you find cameras with Zeiss lens, those are pure gold! Search local shops, BH, or Adorama for the proper adaptor.