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. 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 2. You could get DSLR camera that has a microphone input. These have a much better image sensor and lens than a consumer camcorder. It would also be a good camera for photojournalism. The most affordable cameras in this category are the Canon Rebel SL2/SL3, Nikon D5500/D5600, and anything in the Canon Rebel Ti line. WARNING: The regular Canon T5, T6 and T7 do not have a mic input. Only the models with the “i” in the name (T3i, T4i, T5i, T6i, T7i) have the mic input, which you must have!!!

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. A small “shotgun” mic is not as good for interviews, but works great for natural sound.
  • Whichever mic you buy, make sure it has the right kind of connector for your camera. Usually, DSLRs and consumer camcorders have a 1/8″ (3.5mm) mic input.
  • 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 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 – 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
      • GPU -2 GB of GPU VRAM
      • Operating System – Mac OS 10.15 (Catalina) or higher. Windows 10
      • Display Resolution – 1280 x 800 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.