Each year I receive many inquiries about camera's and equipment - what my suggestions are, where to buy, etc.
    Although a camera is not a necessary purchase to make to be in a photography course at MHS many students enjoy having the luxury of owning their own camera to complete projects for class as well as for personal use. Of course, I support any students wishes to become more active in photography so I have made this page to answer the questions I am commonly asked. I hope it helps! As always, feel free to contact me with additional questions.
    Ms. Heather Palecek
    I'll start with gift ideas and then get into cameras and software!
    Everyone loves fujifilm's instax cameras! (Similar to the old polaroids!) Your student will LOVE this gift! Make sure to get them film too!
    Extra, Fun, Photo-Related gifts can be found at www.photojojo.com
    A fashion-forward camera bag is a great gift!
    There are amazing and artsy camera straps on etsy.com
    Analogwonderland.com has a great selection of film related stickers and enamel pins

    Check out lomography.com and see what fun and funky toy cameras they have!
    A workshop gift certificate to Unique Photo is always great! They have so many amazing workshops!
    Many people ask, "What's better? Canon or Nikon?" and to that my answer is that they are equal. They are each others biggest competitors and therefore are both equally as good. My suggestion to better help answer this question for yourself is to go to a store like Unique Photo in Fairfield, Best Buy or Costco and look at both a Nikon and a Canon - focus on the computer system and button layout of each brand and decide which one you like best. (Don't forget about Sony, Fuji, and Pentax either as they both have great dslr's and mirrorless cameras as well!) The brand that feels most comfortable to you should be the one that you purchase. Another deciding factor I tell students: if someone in your immediate family already has a canon camera with multiple lenses and is willing to share or has a canon film camera with lenses then you should maybe get a canon camera as well so that you can share and interchange the lenses. It will save a lot of money in the end.
    Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ & Philadelphia, PA
    Staples, Best Buy, or Costco.
    (Costco has really great prices and the best deals!)
    When purchasing through Amazon or online - please be careful for scams. Pay attention to WHO you're buying from and what their reviews are. Don't get a gray market camera and make sure it comes with a warranty.
    NY Camera in Princeton, NJ
    Rutherfords in Doylestown, PA
    The Photo Center in Brick, NJ
    Allens Camera in Levittown, PA
    Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ
    My Suggestions for DSLR's
    Canon DSLR:
    *We use Canon brand in my classroom. Students have access to borrowing the school's Canon lenses.
    Eos Rebel T8i, T7i, ot T6i. Make sure you get a "kit", which is a combination package including camera body and lens.
    The T8i is the newest, T7i is a slightly older model and T6i even older. Purchase the one that's within your budget. They get slightly better with each new model, but just because you're purchasing one that's a year or two old doesn't mean it won't be a great starter camera! It'll still be good quality.
    Recently, Canon started making T8's and T7's (without the "I"). The price difference means a difference in features. i.e. the T7 is cheaper than the T7i, but has less features and less megapixels. Therefore you get what you pay for. With that being said, they're both great cameras for a beginner, so choose the one that fits your budget.
    Nikon DSLR:
    D3500, D5200, D5100, D3200, D3100
    The 5200 is newer than D5100, which is slightly older. D3200 is newer than the D3100.
    Once again, purchase the most expensive one that's within your price range to have the most features and best quality.
    Eventually you may want a new lens. A zoom or telephoto lens is great for portraits, sports, wildlife, and if you are a photographer who prefers to keep a distance from your subject matter or get a closer view. A wide angle lens is great for landscapes, cityscapes, and if you're a photographer who prefers to work up close to your subject matter or be able to get a wider view. 
    When/If you would like to purchase an extra lens for your Canon or Nikon you can search through the specific brands selection OR the cheaper alternative is to purchase either a Sigma or Tamron lens. Sigma and Tamron are companies that make lenses that work on Canon and Nikon DSLR's. Their lenses are excellent quality and you will find that you like their prices better!
    *Make sure that when purchasing a Tamron or Sigma lens that you make sure it is designated for the correct brand of camera*
    My Suggestions for Film Cameras
    *In school we use MANUAL 35MM Film Cameras. If you plan to purchase one for use on school projects, it must be manual. 
    To my knowledge there are no more companies manufacturing 35mm cameras. You must purchase used. This is a good thing though - the cameras they made 30+ years ago are the best! I suggest getting an older model Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax or the like. (One that's made of metal, dating back to the 1980's or 1970's and still in working condition would be perfect!!!)
    ***My favorite one for students is the Pentax K1000!***
    To find an older 35mm film camera look at the store suggestions I have above.
    If you want to be able to develop your film in the lab at MHS you must purchase black and white film that is NOT C-41.
    My suggestion would be to purchase Kodak TMax or Tri-X.
    If you want to purchase color film and will develop it outside of school you can purchase this film at:
    Unique Photo
    Amazon (but be careful of which Amazon seller)
    **Some ShopRites, Walmarts, CVS's, etc. still sell C-41 Color film, but you can't develop this film in the lab at MHS.
    At MHS your student uses the Adobe Creative Suite, particularly Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
    To purchase the Adobe Suite for your student to use at home, one of the best places to get them at a discount is: www.journeyed.com
Last Modified on Friday at 9:33 AM