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Cameras for high school photo program - recommendations needed



I am a high school teacher building a photo program from scratch. Does anyone have any recommendations of what would be a good setup to purchase for students that would last for years to come.  Something that can shoot both video and stills.  I’m interested in the R series moving forward.  Maybe the R10.  I even thought about the M series. Budget will come into play.  I have large classes around 25 students.  I though about starting with 5 bodies that students can sign out week by week.   Right now most students use cell phones.  Any teachers out in the community?

Thank you!



Your statement, "...a good setup to purchase for students that would last for years to come" makes the R series the only practical answer. Do not consider the M series, it is dead already. The current DSLR or EF series can be a good buy but again it is at life's end. However, it "would last for years to come"

My school, GEHS USD 231 uses Rebel cameras. But we bought them a few years ago. They have served us well. The kids are instructed on how to care for them thoroughly before they check the out.



I would opt for the new R series models of which the R10 is a good choice.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


If I was buying new for myself (so to speak) I agree with Ernie - the R10 is a good choice. New with a wide range kit zoom lens it is priced at almost $1400.

You said budget is a consideration; you didn't state what your budget is. Your use case is students who won't necessarily develop any affinity for the hobby or the product line. You just want a tool that you can use to teach the basics of photography. If they decide they want to progress everything they learned will be transferable to the latest out there - Canon or otherwise.

You can pick up used Rebel series cameras from a place like Keh camera for much less money.  The Rebel series are reliable. The basic operation is the same for all versions, even though specific feature sets may vary. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


Thank you both for the quick reply.  I have not met with my admin to establish a budget.  It seems like Canon is heading in the RF direction.  I have encourage kids that are looking for their own gear to check FB marketplace for some good used gear.  There are some good deals on the Rebels.  I bought a brand new m50 creator kit for $240 marketplace.  It’s a great camera for the price.


If you buy used make sure there is a "try it" period and a return option.  Rebels are good cameras but they need certain careful handling so the used market is a way for folks to get rid of faulty equipment. Places like KEH, B&H Adorama, and some others, all have excellent customer support so that makes them great sources for used gear.

I don't know if I would say starting out with used cameras for HS is a good way to go. In a year of kids using it you will have used gear! You can save a little money by selecting off brand lenses. We have Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 and Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 zoom lenses. All the Rebels were purchased new, as were the Sigma lenses.

Schools typically don't like buying things twice that is why I still think going with the R series is a good strategy. Perhaps more expensive in the beginning but less in the long run. School boards always think we did that once why do we need to do it again.


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


Thanks for the info.  I met with our Audio video teacher today and overviewed some things.  We want to move into the use of video as well so that will play into what we purchase.   I think I am going to ask for 3 R cameras to get started and see what happens.  Also, our library has morphed into an enrichment center so we discussed today about building a cyc wall there.  

The school is pretty progressive with tech, they bought a motion capture system for over 5K last year and we do a lot with live stream.  We have the funds, so if I can justify the reason, the school board should be pretty supportive.

Thanks for the help!



Good luck.

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