Camera Buyers Guide: Film Download

If you want to use your own film camera for the class, here are some options...

Ask your friends and family
The first thing I recommend is asking your friends and family and see if they have an old "SLR" or "35mm" film camera (the kind that allwos you to change the lens). It doesn't matter how old it is, in a lot of cases older cameras are better than some of the newer versions. If it dosen't work, check the battery -maybe replacing it will make the camera work.

Check a camera out from school
We have cameras avalible at schoo that can be checked out overnightl, but the numbers are very limited. Here's how it works: Sign up for a camera during class, pick it up after school, bring it back the next morning BEFORE your first class.

Local Photography Stores
Looking Glass: 1045 Ashby Ave, Berkeley, CA (510) 548-6888
Mike's Camera: Dublin Place, 7192 Regional St, Dublin, CA 94568(925) 829-3670
One of the best camera stores in the Bay Area. They have great customer service, deal with A LOT of students, and have good prices. They sell new and used!

Keeble and Shuchat: 261 / 290 S. California Avenue, Palo Alto, 650.327.8511 Palo Alto
Adolph Gassers: 181 2nd Street, SF 415-495-3852

Find a used camera online
Search for the cameras listed below You can search locally and look up specific cameras. Just type in the camera brand and model you are looking for and sift through all of the ads. Please go with an adult when you buy the camera and do not go into their home. Meet at a public place like a coffee shop. (be careful and check their feedback, no negatives, and see if they have a return policy) - They have a used section
Best Buy (new only)
Wolf Camera (New only)

Cameras to look for: ($50-$150 with a lens)
Used All Manual: Pentax K-1000 (a camera classic! I have seen these for as little as $40)
Nikon FM, Nikon FM2, Nikon FE, Nikon FE2, Nikon F3, Nikon EM, Nikon FG, Nikon FA, Canon AE-1, Canon AT-1, Canon A-1, Canon F-1, Canon T90, or Olympus OM 1, Minolta SR-T 101 or 201 (the red ones are MrB's favs, look for these first!)

LENSES: A 50mm or 35mm lens is a great start. Some used sellers include a lens, others sell it separately. Zoom lens are convenient but are not as bright unless you buy a REALLY expensive one. It is great to start with a single fixed lens like a 50mm or 35mm. They need to be the same brand to list their compatibility!

Manual and Auto Focus: Nikon N55, Nikon N70, Nikon N80, Nikon N90, Nikon F100, Canon Rebel, Canon Elan

New and under $250: Nikon FM10 (All manual. $224.95 w/ lens)
Canon Rebel (Manual and Auto focus $149.95 no lens) +Canon EF 50mm f1.8 lens ($74.95 or as a kit from Bestbuy with a zoom lens for $219.99) N55 35mm SLR Autofocus Camera Kit with Nikon 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 G-AF Lens ($199.95)

A note about the Canon Rebel. These cameras are nice auto focus and exposure cameras, but they are a little hard to use in manual mode. It can be done but they don't make it as easy as an older camera would be. BUT if you plan on ever buying a digital SLR you can use the same camera lens that you would use on the Rebel. Old Canon manual lens will NOT work on the modern cameras they make but Nikons will.

Used cameras from a dealer like B&H will be more expensive but you get the some security from them not being a private party. You might also try places like Bestbuy, Wolf and Ritz. They will probably sell a modern basic kit like a Nikon or a Canon Rebel with a small zoom lens. These stores are all over so it is the most convenient. But I think you can get a better price and camera online or in the used market.

Please, please, please, feel free to contact "Mr. V" if you have ANY questions about a certain camera. I wish someone had walked me through this process when I first started. Send me an email with a link if you want to bring in a print out I can take a look. And remember you can always sell this camera at the end of the year to the new students or back on eBay or Craigslist!