Once you’ve decided to take a photography course, you’ll need to invest in some new equipment. However, with so many options available, finding the best camera for photography students can feel daunting. Our tips will help you to make the best choice, whether you’re a beginner taking weekend courses to learn photography basics, gaining specific skills with workshops and online courses, or an advanced enthusiast enrolled on a college course. Whichever you’ve signed up for, we’ve got advice and recommendations for any budget.
When you’re researching cameras for a course, the process is similar to choosing the perfect cameras for photography beginners. Good cameras for college students should include particular features to get the most out of your educational experience and to ensure you finish with the right tools to take your skills to the next level.
It’s essential that the camera you decide on offers the ability to shoot in a variety of modes, including Manual Mode, as this allows you to take full control of settings whenever you need.
While there are amazingly capable compact point-and-shoot cameras, a better option is an interchangeable-lens camera, which allow you to switch lenses. This is vital if you want to experiment across a range of subjects at different focal lengths, for example, a wide-angle lens is better suited to landscapes, cityscapes and grand scenes than a standard lens, which is ideal for portraits and street photography.
Budget is also a consideration, with the sky being the limit. Bear in mind that you’ll need a camera body, lens and some vital accessories from the outset. These include a spare camera battery, one or two memory cards, cleaning equipment and a camera bag for all of your new gear.
Although some photography courses are specifically aimed at film cameras and the art of developing film, digital cameras offer a number of distinct benefits for students. The biggest advantage is the ability to capture more photographs (or movies) onto a memory card, rather than being restricted to fewer shots on expensive film rolls. You’ll also be able to review your images immediately, rather than waiting for film to be developed.
Digital cameras also include features which makes it easier to get great shots while being more simple to use overall. Many digital cameras include advanced autofocus systems, in-body stabilisation and better metering capabilities for accurate exposures. You can also use photography software to edit digital files and push your creativity further through post processing.
The biggest camera brands tend to make the best choice for students, as they offer more lens options, easy-to-use features and a broader range of photography accessories. Because of this, most students will choose between Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm cameras, although some enjoy the compact nature of Olympus and Panasonic cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds system.
Choosing between a DSLR and mirrorless camera is the hardest choice to make and often comes down to personal preference. Both systems offer the ability to switch lenses, shoot in various Modes and provide a scalable platform to grow with your skills, which is why they are most commonly required on photography courses.
Mirrorless camera systems are the fastest growing with new models being released regularly. Unlike DSLR cameras, there’s no reflex mirror in a mirrorless camera, which means light hits the image sensor directly, providing a number of benefits. Not only do they tend to be smaller and lighter, buy they use an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical one, have better autofocus systems and often include more advanced video capabilities.
Mirrorless cameras make a great choice for students as they come with plenty of the latest technology, as well as providing a user-friendly and versatile shooting experience. The Nikon Z Fc Mirrorless Camera With Z 16-50mm lens kit is an affordable option, packed with features and the bonus of a super-stylish design. Despite being slightly older, the Canon RP with RF 24-105mm lens kit is also a great option, delivering a full-frame sensor at around the same budget as the crop sensor Nikon.
For exceptional features in a compact body, check out the Sony A6400 with E 18-135mm Lens Kit or Fuji’s retro-chic X-T30 II camera with XC 15-45mm Lens. Sony and Fujifilm cameras are particularly well known for incorporating advanced technology into compact bodies.
Many photography students understandably need a budget-friendly camera for their course and there are a handful of economical new mirrorless and DSLR options available. Another route is to choose a used camera, which gives you access to more advanced features than an equivalent price new model.
If you are considering buying used, it’s important to know How To Buy a Second-Hand Camera so you get the best deal. Make sure you find a reputable company who give honest, accurate information and offer a warranty on second-hand equipment.
Choosing the best camera is essential to get the most out of any photography course you’ve enrolled on. Most students decide on a DSLR or mirrorless camera from one of the most popular brands, which provide the flexibility they need to learn different techniques. Embark on your creative journey by exploring our huge range of cameras today, with options for students from the best-loved brands at some of the most competitive prices you’ll find anywhere in the UK.
By Park Cameras on 04/05/2022
Trade in your old equipment
Fast and easy trade in service ensures your old gear is collected efficiently and you are paid quickly! It's very simple to trade in your unwanted photography gear. Just head over to our dedicated Sell or Part Exchange page, fill out the details, and we'll get back to you with an offer for your old gear. Take the cash, or put it towards the cost of your new gear. It's up to you! Find out more