The Journalism Department requires all students taking JOUR 3280 to have their own video camera with accessories and a laptop for editing. Here are more details. READ CAREFULLY before making any purchases.

Camera Option 1. The best, most versatile option is a DSLR camera or a mirrorless camera. It MUST HAVE a microphone input. These cameras have a much better image sensor and lens than a consumer camcorder. It would also be a good camera for photojournalism and future classes in multimedia/multi-platform reporting. The most affordable cameras in this category are the Canon EOS M50 Mark II (mirrorless camera), Canon Rebel SL3Nikon D5500/D5600 and anything in the Canon Rebel Ti line. WARNING: The regular Canon T6, T7 and T8 do not have a mic input. Only the models with the “i” in the name (T5i, T6i, T7i, T8i) have the mic input, which you must have!!!

Camera Option 2. A video camcorder that records HD video and has microphone and headphone inputs. There are lots of options, starting around $200 (some refurbished models are as cheap as $150). Look for one that records video in .MP4 or .MOV format on SDHC/SDXC cards. And I highly recommend getting one that has an “accessory shoe,” which is a small bracket above the lens. This is where you can attach small LED lights and other accessories.

Camera Option 3. A smartphone with HD camera and a microphone input. The best options are the iPhone (11 or higher/newer), Pixel 6 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. You will also need to buy a camera rig/cage that can support your smartphone, such as the Beastgrip Pro. This will allow you to mount the phone on your tripod and attach an LED light. You CANNOT just bring your phone without these essential accessories. There are also some smartphone camera apps that I will recommend when the semester begins.

You MUST also have these accessories:

  • External microphone – The best option is a lavaliere mic, which you can attach to the subject’s clothing for recording interviews. Most reliable lav mics connect to your camera or smartphone with a short cable. There are also several wireless mics — including Bluetooth mics — that might work with your camera or smartphone.
  • Whichever mic you buy, make sure it has the right kind of connector for your camera or smartphone. Usually, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and consumer camcorders have a 1/8″ (3.5mm) mic input, which requires a mic with TRS connector. Smartphones vary depending on the model, so check to see if you need adapters. Mics with a TRRS connector are designed to work with most  smartphones.
  • Tripod – a lightweight, fluid-head will work fine. There are some really cheap options, but they are not very durable.
  • Headphones/earbudsheadphones are better because they block out more noise. You’ll need these when recording audio and editing.

DSLR/mirrorless camera WARNING: Only a small number of high-end DLSRs have a headphone input (several Nikon models and a few Canons). If you don’t have a headphone input on your DSLR, you can use some adapters to send audio from the camera’s A/V output to your headphones.

  • SDHC memory cards – If you’re using a DSLR/mirrorless camera or camcorder. Make sure you buy class 10 cards with a read speed of at least 45 MB/s.
  • Laptop – with Adobe Creative Cloud software, which includes Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing. Here’s a link to Adobe’s student pricing page:
    • VERY IMPORTANT to get a laptop with at least the minimum required components for Adobe CC video apps.
    • Minimum laptop requirements
      • RAM – 8GB minimum, 16GB is recommended
      • CPU – Intel 6th generation or newer, or Apple Silicon (M1, M2)
      • GPU -2 GB of GPU VRAM
      • Operating System – Mac OS 11 (Big Sur) or higher. Windows 10 (64-bit) V20H2 or later
      • Display Resolution – 1920 x 1080 minimum
      • Recommended Graphics Cardslisted here

What about buying used equipment? Yes, that’s an option as long at it meets our minimum requirements. Several reliable businesses sell used and refurbished gear. It’s always a bit risky, so check to see if they offer warranties. Here are a few that have good reputations:
KEH Camera
B&H Photo Video

Need-based request for technology assistance
If you have a serious financial need, you can request assistance from the Journalism Department. Talk to your instructor about the process to apply for assistance.

Grady College Equipment
Students in JOUR 3280 will also have access to LED light kits and wireless mics that can be checked out from the Field Equipment Supply Room (FESR) on the 1st floor of the Journalism Building (room 119). If you want to check out Grady equipment, you MUST read this: FESR policies and procedures. You must also sign a Statement of Responsibility. Download the form, type the information, print the form, sign the form and return to your instructor.

In addition to the FESR equipment policies, here are a few other rules to follow when using Grady College equipment:


  • Inspect equipment before leaving the FESR area to go on a shoot.
  • Inspect equipment before returning it to the FESR.


  • Leave equipment unattended.
  • Leave the FESR without inspecting equipment after check-out

Grady College camera accessories for JOUR 3280.