UC Blue Ash College

DSLR Camera Requirement

All students entering the following Media Communications and Technology programs – Associate of Applied Science Degree in Applied Media Communications, Professional Certificate in Electronic Media Technology and Media Criticism and Journalism One-Year Certificate) are required to have a DSLR camera meeting the technical specifications below.


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:

  • Minimum of 10 megapixels
  • Full manual control of aperture, shutter speed, focus and flash
  • Capability for interchangeable lenses
  • Zoom lens (18mm-55mm minimum) (up to 135mm preferred)
  • Photo tripod
  • Memory card 16 Gb (SDHC)
  • HD Video Recording capability (preferably with an audio input jack)

Common “point-and-shoot” and smartphone cameras with fixed lenses (lenses that may not be removed and changed for other lenses) are not acceptable for course use, as they do not typically offer manual control of basic camera functions or adequate range of aperture control. This lack prevents users of such cameras from completing required course assignments.

While you may choose to use a digital camera not on the list, please make sure any DSLR camera selected has manual control of aperture, shutter speed and focus. In addition, the instructors cannot possibly be familiar with the wide range of cameras that may potentially be selected, and therefore may be unable to help you with the camera controls and menus if you do not also have the instruction manual for the camera.

Technical Support

Please note that technical support is not provided on campus but in the event of an equipment malfunction, students may borrow cameras or tripods from the department for a 24-hour rental period as needed. Questions about this are welcome through email.

Estimated Cost of Recommended Cameras

Estimated Cost Range: $399+

The estimated retail expenses for DSLR cameras start at approximately $399. Most retailers will offer extended service contracts and/or drop-damage agreements for an extra cost. Tripods start around $20. Any additional lenses such as wide angle or macro are not required, but have additional lenses provide greater versatility and flexibility, expanding the student’s ability to record a wider range of photographic images. Download our guide to DSLR Cameras for more information.

Optional Peripheral Recommendations

The following hardware items are not required but are recommended for specific courses to facilitate flexibility, usability and protection of your camera. It is recommended that any purchase of these items be deferred until after consulting with the appropriate department faculty members on the use and applicability of these resources.

  • Neutral density filter - starting @ $15
  • Skylight or UV filter (Highly Recommended) – starting @ $7
  • Carrying case – starting @ $12
  • Spare Battery – starting @ $10
  • Extra SDHC memory cards – starting @ $6
  • Photo tripod – starting @ $20

Rationale for Camera Requirement

All students matriculated in Applied Media Communications programs are required to take at least one photography course (Photography I) in order to meet graduation requirements. Students purchasing a DSLR camera that also has high definition video recording capability permits the use of the camera for other required courses such as Video Production I. Having your own cameras also affords the flexibility to permit students to continue working on deadline-driven projects at home in their own time, and the expanded access and portability for production use in the field.

Questions About Recent Camera Purchases

If you already own a DSLR camera, we suggest contacting department technical staff to discuss the specifications of your existing camera to see if it can be effectively utilized for your classes and to complete program requirements.

Additional Downloadable Guides


Contact Information

William Boyle | Studio Lab Manager
Phone: 513-558-8294
Email: william.boyle@uc.edu