IMPORTANT TIP FOR BUYING CAMERA GEAR: AMAZON PRIME!
Before buying any gear, you should get Amazon Prime (free two-day shipping) for six months FREE: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200444170
You will need a camera that has manual settings, or at least Aperture and Shutter Priority modes. You may check out one of the school cameras (for four hours at a time) or buy your own camera. This Point-and-Shoot will work nicely, and you can still use it travel, once you do get a DSLR.
1. BEST POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA for under $200 – This one has Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes and takes great shots:
Canon Powershot 500 – Only $159 – 12 mp Camera with Aperture Priority Modes and Full HD Video
2. GREAT DSLR CAMERAS for entry and intermediate levels. If you can afford it, I recommend you get a DSLR when you take this course, so you can learn how to use it! Note, I own both Canon and Nikon, and they are both great. You may want to choose a brand based on what your family/friends shoot with, so you can share lenses and tips:
A. Canon T3 with 18-55 lens for $399
B. Canon T3i with 18-135 lens for $768
(We just purchased 10 of these T3i Kits for students to check out: Sweet camera – Sweet lens, but with only 10, they won’t always be available when you need one. There will usually be enough point-and-shoots on hand to check out. You don’t have to buy a camera, but if you can afford it, the time is now to get a DSLR, so you can learn to use it and practice with it)
C. Nikon 3100 with 18-55 lens for $476
D. Nikon 5100 with 18-55 lens for $660
3. Get a high speed, reputable storage card:
Class 10 SD Storage Card – 8 gb for $8 (or 16 gb for $14)
4. Get a camera bag to protect your gear. This bag is a bargain and perfectly adequate for the DSLRs shown above… if you want a compact bag.
Zeikos Camera Bag for $8 – holds the basic gear without being bulky