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
    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 Staples and look at the 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 or Pentax either as they both have great dslr's as well!) The brand that feels most comfortable to you should be the one that you purchase. Another deciding factor should be 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.
    Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ
    Staples, Best Buy, or Costco.
    (Surprisingly, 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.
    My Suggestions for DSLR's
    Canon DSLR:
    *We use Canon brand in my classroom. 
    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.
    Recently, Canon started making T8's and T7's. 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:
    D5200, D5100, D3200, D3100
    The 5200 is the newest, D5100 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 your student 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*
     If you want a great way to compare DSLR cameras, go to: www.camerarocket.com - trust me!
    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 thirty+ 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 shop at the following stores: 
    Check the used dept. online at bhphotovideo.com, uniquephoto.com, or adorama.com
    Go to NY Camera in Princeton or NJ Camera is Lawrenceville and check out their selection of used cameras. Ask the person at the counter any questions you have. 
    You may even get lucky and be able to buy one at a garage sale! (but in this case, it's harder to tell if it works if you don't have the experience/knowledge)
    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
    **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
    Everyone loves fujifilm's instax cameras! (Similar to the old polaroids!)
    Extra, Fun, Photo-Related gifts can be found at www.photojojo.com
    I personally, REALLY LOVE Jo Totes is you are interested in purchasing a fashion forward camera bag: www.jototes.com
    (I have the Georgia Plaid Style and absolutely love it!)
Last Modified on September 16, 2019