UC Blue Ash College

Applied Graphic Communication Camera Requirement

For Spring term freshman year – for CODE 1100 - Photo Design I – all AGC students are required to have a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera with full manual control of aperture, shutter speed, depth of field and focus functions. Like your computer, you will use this camera throughout your college career and beyond if you take care of it.

Camera Specifications

A DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) is a digital camera that has interchangeable lenses and full manual control of aperture, shutter speed, depth of field and focus functions. The required DSLR camera should meet the following criteria:

  • Full manual control of aperture, shutter speed, focus and flash
  • Minimum of 18-24 megapixels
  • Maximum ISO at least 1600, preferably 3200 or 6400
  • Capability for interchangeable lenses
  • Manual and Automatic exposure controls and focus
  • Video capability
  • Instruction manual 

Nikon and Canon are the two most popular brands of DSLRs. There are several brands which will have similar features and prices, but we would recommend shopping around. Big box retailers often have camera bundles which include a body and two lenses. One lens is sufficient, but if you plan on buying two lenses it is more economical to buy them this way. 

You should buy the best you can afford with your budget. If you are not buying new, you can buy used, borrow one from a friend or family member and if needed you could share one with a classmate.

Common "point-and-shoot" cameras with fixed lenses (lenses can’t be removed) are not acceptable for course use, as they do not offer the necessary range of manual control. No phones or cameras with fixed lenses will be accepted. 

New and used cameras can be purchased at:

Used cameras can be purchased at:

Required Camera Accessories

  • Photo tripod (about $20)
  • Memory card 16 Gb (SDHC)
  • Skylight or UV filter for your lens – Make sure to get this. It is clear but will protect your lens from scratches or damage. The mm size of the filter must match the lens so that it fits on and covers the area of view.
  • 1–2 directional lamps (for at-home studio)
  • Fluorescent 100 watt (daylight) lightbulbs
  • SD Card Reader (optional, but reccommended if your computer does not have a built-in card reader)

Estimated Cost Range for Camera & Accessories: $500-$700

Technical Support

Please note that technical support is not provided on campus but in the event of an equipment malfunction.

Rationale for Camera Requirement

All students matriculated in the Applied Graphic Communication program are required to take at least one first-year photography course (CODE1100 Photo Design 1) in order to meet graduation requirements. In subsequent courses students will use their cameras and skills learned in Photo Design 1 to conduct design research, complete projects with original photography, and document their design work for portfolios.


Contact Information

Art & Visual Communication Department 
Email: baacdsup@ucmail.uc.edu