Back to school photo buying guide

Spring semester begins at Suffolk County Community College and below you’ll find a back to school photo buying guide.

I am looking forward to a great semester.

back to school photo buying guie

Canon DSLR Cameras

Canon Rebel T6

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The Canon Rebel T6 is a well-priced entry-level DSLR camera. Specification highlights include an 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a DIGIC 4+ image processor, FULL HD 1080p/30 fps video recording, 3 fps shooting rate, expanded ISO 2800.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

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The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is one of the smallest DSLRs available from any manufacturer, measuring 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7 inches. This camera is ideal for the photographer who always wants a camera on hand. Specifications include a 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a DIGIC 7 image processor, native sensitivity of ISO 51200, 5 fps continuous rate, and full HD 1080p/60 fps. Live view is available.

Canon Rebel t7i

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Like the Canon SL2, the Canon Rebel t7i has 24 MP APS-CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 7 image processor, along with ISO up to 51200, full HD 1080p/60fps recording. This camera has a 45-point all cross type phase detection autofocus system, which is faster than the 9-focal point system of the Canon SL2.


Canon 80D

back to school photo buying guide

If you are serious about photography and want to purchase a prosumer camera, a camera that has more pro features than the cameras mentioned above, then consider the Canon 80D which comes bundled with a 18-55 mm kit lens.

Canon Lenses for APS- C format (those above)

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens

Back to school photo buying guide

This is a great prime macro lens and well priced. The wide aperture will be a bonus to your photography.


Nikon offers two cameras that I recommend for the student. 

Nikon D3400

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The Nikon D3400 is a great buy for the entry-level student and it is priced well and available in a few bundle options. I selected this kit because it is so well priced (click picture for hyperlinks)  and includes two lenses: the 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens and the 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED lens. The Nikkon D3400 camera specification highlights include a 24 MP DX-format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 4 image processor, 5 fps, and native ISO sensitivity to 25600, full HD 1080p/60 fps. It also includes an 11-point autofocus system. Two standout benefits plus for students are the dedicated guide mode and an LCD display option illustrating shutter speeds and apertures visuals.

Nikon D 5600

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The Nikon D5600 is a more advanced camera and therefore I added only one of the lenses that are available in kit packages. The second lens, the 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED lens that is bundled with the Nikon D3400 is a good price. But if you are willing to spend more money, go for the more advanced Nikon D5600.

The camera features  24 MP, 39 autofocus points, and a wide ISO range from 100-25600, enabling shooting at most times of the day. The Nikon d5600 also offers HD video at 60 fps, a touch LCD, wifi, and Bluetooth. Both the Nikon D3400 and the D5600 offer shooting rates at up to 5 fps.

Digital film

SanDisc 64 GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Memory Card 

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External Storage

Lightroom is a critical component of the Intro to Digital Photography curriculum. The class meets in a Mac computer lab and we will be using Adobe Creative Suite CC 2018. Portable storage is necessary and I have highlighted a few good choices with a budget in mind. First, having a flash drive on hand always makes sense.


USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader (UDMA 7)


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SanDisk 64 GB Ultra USB 3.0


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The external hard divs I recommend are based on the five important features discussed below. 

G-Technology 1TB G-Drive

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This 1TB portable hard drive is rugged and great for anyone on the go. You can drop it six feet, it floats in water, and addresses the five external features I detail below. Most important the write speed of 7200 rpm.

G- Technology 1 TB G-Drive Silver

A slim portable, bus-powered external hard drive with a fast write speed of 7200 rpm. It comes formatted for Mac and can be formatted to read both windows and mac. If you purchase this external har drive, consider adding the following rugged case.

back to school photo supply guide


Epson Inkjet Paper

back to school photo buying guide

We will be using Epson printers in class and it is best at the introductory level to use Epson paper for best printing results. There are many wonderful paper surfaces, but for this class, I recommend either glossy or matte and consider buying both.



Dorskind_headshotCheryl Machat Dorskind, a three-time best-selling author, and beloved fine art mentor. She is also a New York Times acclaimed photo artist, a workshop instructor, a college professor, an online photo educator, colorist, and speaker.