Best camera for teachers?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by MickybD, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. MickybD

    MickybD Member

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    Hi all.

    I am seeking recommendations for the best camera to buy for primary school teachers.

    I'm now working as the business manager in a small Primary School. My role is quite diverse and I've enjoyed many opportunities to use my photography skills at school events. However, I can't be at everything (and ideally would spend less time on photography, as much as I enjoy it), and so we also need to rely on our teachers to take photos. I have lifted the standard of our photography, but that has also served to highlight the gap between good photos and those generally taken by our teachers. Our Principal is keen for the general standard to be lifted, and so I will be running a little photography workshop to talk about some basics in composition, lighting, shutter speeds etc.

    We'd also like to invest in some better cameras. Our current cameras are basic tiny sensor older compact cameras that don't cope well in low light. So, I am seeking recommendations for new cameras.

    I'm thinking something with a larger sensor - perhaps a 1" sensor at least, but ideally a 4/3 would be good. The bigger the better! Don't care about megapixels. I'd love to see our teachers shooting in raw, but that's not practical, so something that going to produce good jpgs out of the box would be good. My Sony A7 III has "Fast, Faster" (etc) settings for shutter speed when using auto-ISO (ie it can be set to choose shutter speeds fast than simply 1/focal length), and I reckon something like that would be good if it's available in a compact camera to help minimise motion blur in lower light.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. 2SHY

    2SHY Member

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    What is your budget ?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    MickybD

    MickybD Member

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    Sadly, as little as possible... We have a tight budget. :( But, I want to get something that will do that job well. No point getting another second-rate option that will produce the same dodgy pics. (I realise, of course, that most of the issues will be with the people using the tool not the tool itself, but if we can get a good tool then I can work on educating the users.) I want to get recommendations for makes/models and then I'll consider the price. A bit backwards for a business manager I know, but I am keen to know what it will cost us to get what I ideally would like. We're not talking Leica though! Recommend away and I'll consider all recommendations.
     
  4. power

    power Member

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    just get an entry level DSLR with the kit lens.

    used can be had for peanuts.
     
  5. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

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    A Sony RX100 model in your price range will do a good job. They have the simplicity and compactness of point and shoot Cameras, but have a larger sensor, fast autofocus, good quality zoom lens and great in low light/indoors without needing flash.

    IMO, No point going for a big clunky SLR with a terrible kit lens, and no one will know how to use to get the best out of it.
     
  6. 2SHY

    2SHY Member

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  7. OP
    OP
    MickybD

    MickybD Member

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    Thanks. That's certainly a good option for quality, but I should have specified that compactness will be important, as these cameras will need to be easily taken on excursions etc.

    Thanks. Yes, I was going to look at the RX100, as I wondered if it has the same auto-ISO options as the A7III.
     
  8. TheBear21

    TheBear21 Member

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    Another vote for the RX100.

    We all know a DSLR will give the best results in the right hands. But these are not the right hands. A point n shoot will be your best bet.
     
  9. ArmoureD

    ArmoureD Member

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    Canon g7x mk2 or mk3...
     
  10. theicemagic

    theicemagic Member

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    My wife was a teacher before we had a baby, and I can honestly say that despite all your teaching, most of the teachers won't be interested in the technical aspects, short of telling them the differences in modes most will find the mode they like and stick with it. I'd stick to telling them to stick to Tv mode for almost everything, and letting the camera work out the rest for them.

    I see lots of recommendations for the RX100, but I'd steer clear of that for several reasons. It's not a camera that's designed for the average person, it was from the outset for pro's who can't carry their pro gear somewhere, and sony's menu systems are still atrocious and difficult to understand including their clunky touch interfaces on their new cameras... This is coming from a Sony/Canon/P1 user. You won't always be there to help the teachers get out of a sticky situation.
    Finally, they're incredibly expensive really for what is ultimately a point and shoot.

    I'd also steer clear from entry level DSLR's too, while it'll allow some of the more capable users the opportunity to work a little harder for the right image, most of the people will be intimidated by it, and won't like the view finder (we're in the age of mobile phones), that said, mirror less isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd say look at the Canon mirror less range, simply because they have by far one of the most intuitive menu experiences, and they actually respond nicely. It'll still allow for the more capable photographers to shoot really well, but doesn't need a different lens if you're shooting normal stuff. For 649 from JBHifi, it comes with the kit lens and leaves change when compared to every RX100 except the first gen.

    Having an RX100 (original) and my wifes Canon M3, I'd prefer the m3 any day of the week for photographs.

    If compact, I'm with ArmoureD, the G7X series.
     
  11. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    out of box idea here. but modern phones will take just as good a picture as the fancy camera in the hands of a noob.

    and unless you (as the resident expert) want to provide support to everyone forever more (for free), leave them with their phones.
     
    supasaiyan likes this.
  12. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Big issues with teachers taking photos of students on their phones. Considering most people have auto-upload to cloud services turned on, it becomes another layer of problems, as (at least in QLD) storing images/data about students on non-approved cloud providers is a huge no-no
     
  13. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Good point, I hadn't considered that.

    My point however was, OP is gonna end up with a lot of extra work, supporting everyone with no passion for photography for the same quality that you get now from them.

    buy whatever cheap P&S that's somewhat rugged for them.
     
  14. Raptor_Eye

    Raptor_Eye Member

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    I'm far from an expert, but would not Mirror less based Camera's make a lot of sense for this? e.g. Canon M50 (which i have)

    Not too big and heavy, not expensive, takes good photo's and you can get a large lens if you wish, plus you can of course shoot in raw if you so wish.
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    MickybD

    MickybD Member

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    Thanks all for your replies. I really appreciate the discussion around this and apologise for taking so long to come back to this thread. I've been working ~70 hour weeks between two jobs over the last few weeks and it's left me with little mental energy for much else.

    I'm thinking I'm going to go the way of purchasing a Canon G7X II to trial, and if that works well we may get another. The idea will be that it will be centrally stored (rather than allocated to a particular teacher) and then accessed as needed for key class events.

    You are correct that teachers are not photographers, and won't want to be photographers, but the reality for all of our staff working as we do in a small independent primary school is that we are operating in a very competitive market and all need to play our part in the marketing of the school, and good photography is one thing that our parents enjoy and are coming to expect. And whilst I do mean good quality photographic output, I am also talking about effectively capturing moments of engagement by the kids. That is, capturing those special moments where kids are engaged and enthused in their learning. So, my instruction to them will not just be about the technical aspects of taking a photograph for the photograph itself, but for what that photograph can record.

    Having a better camera with a larger sensor that can get better photos at higher ISOs in lower light, for example, can help to mitigate against the blurry images our current rubbish cameras are capturing with longer shutter speeds. Modern cameras routinely intelligently apply minimum shutter speeds at varying focal lengths, but our old cameras are not that capable, and their tiny sensors do not have the capability of getting good images in all but the most ideal lighting situations.

    Thanks again for the thoughts and the time you each put into recording them here.
     
  16. boneburner

    boneburner Member

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  17. OP
    OP
    MickybD

    MickybD Member

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  18. lionman

    lionman Member

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    Use a phone. Most people wont be interested in using a camera, some probably scared of using one.

    Most teachers will already have decent camera phone anyway.
     

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