As summer winds down, it’s time to get back into the swing of school. Maybe you’re planning on becoming a professional photographer someday. If you’re leaning towards a photo major, or a photojournalism major, you need to know what camera to buy for your upcoming high school or college photography classes. The camera should be affordable, reliable, uncomplicated, and able to take a beating. And since you’re definitely hip and stylish, you want a camera that looks good too. So let’s get to it. Here are three fantastic cameras for the photo major.
Nikon D5600- There’s a lot to say for buying into a well-established system if you’re a photo major that’s going to be taking your camera to classes or workshops. Nikon is, of course, one of those systems, and the mid-range D5600 will fit a photo major just right. The D5600’s 24MP sensor is capable of great-looking JPEGs and excellent Raw image quality in terms of both dynamic range and low light performance. It’s a fairly compact camera, but controls don’t feel fiddly. Autofocus performance for viewfinder shooting is at the top of the class. Simply put, it’s a highly capable camera that will continue to deliver good results for many years to come even after you become a professional photographer.
Canon EOS Rebel T7i- The Canon EOS Rebel T7i from Beachcamera.com fits well in the hand and features a surprising level of direct control points, though there’s only one command dial. The guide mode is excellent, helping to teach the photojournalism major how to operate the camera once that guide is disengaged. The camera also offers a similar level of performance whether shot with the viewfinder or the rear screen, which is unusual for a DSLR. The Canon EOS Rebel T7i is one of the easiest-to-shoot DSLRs a photojournalism major or photo major will ever encounter. It’s great for beginners, great to grow into. Autofocus through the viewfinder is good, with a large number of AF points and a broad spread of coverage but it’s the AF in live view mode that’s really impressive. Photo majors will find the camera’s JPEGs very good, with attractive color and tunable sharpening. The sensor’s performance is very good in terms of noise and dynamic range. A digital IS mode helps when shooting hand-held video. But it’s the Dual Pixel autofocus that helps make the T7i one of the easiest cameras to shoot good footage with. It may not be the cheapest, nor the newest, but the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is still the best DSLR for beginners and photography majors. From autofocus to shooting speed to battery life, it has one of the most approachable user interfaces of any camera. But perhaps the best thing about it is that it leaves you with some room to grow into. Photo majors won’t find themselves longing for a better camera after becoming a professional photographer.
Nikon D3500- This compact DSLR offers a simple control scheme for photographers picking up a DSLR for the first time. If that isn’t enough, it also has a guide mode built into the camera that explains different functions in an easy-to-understand way. While the controls are simple, the image quality is excellent considering how little the camera costs. With a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, the D3500 from Beachcamera.com can capture images that are much better than smartphones that cost twice as much. The 5 fps burst speed is faster than the competing Canon Rebel T7’s 3 fps. The autofocus system, likewise, has more points than competitors at the same price point. As an entry-level model, the D3500 has a simpler menu and control scheme compared to pricier Nikons. That, combined with the low price, makes it an excellent option for first-time DSLR buyers and the photojournalism major, with potential to grow into a more advanced camera down the road without starting that lens collection from scratch. The Nikon D3500 fits the criteria needed for the beginning photo major to the professional photographer.
These cameras provide everything that most high school teachers and college professors insist their photo major students’ cameras offer, while being affordable, quality machines. Take a look, pick the one that suits you best, and get shooting!