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AS/A level Art - why do they need the SLR camera?

(16 Posts)
DMspecial Wed 09-Sep-09 21:48:33

We have been warned that "access to a SLR camera" is required for part of the Art course. We don't have an SLR camera and can't immediately think of anyone who would loan one. We do have a digital camera that has more options than we know how to use and in the right hands (not mine) produces good quality photographs.

Why do they need the SLR camera?

Bibithree Wed 09-Sep-09 21:50:57

Surely there will be some available through the school if they are a requisite of the course?

madlentileater Wed 09-Sep-09 21:53:52

DD got an A and didn't have an SLR, but a decent digital is quite important iI think.

DMspecial Wed 09-Sep-09 21:55:31

Possibly. However past experience suggests that sharing anything means a lot of delays and fuss.

CaptainNancy Wed 09-Sep-09 22:03:56

SLRs are cheaply and easily available second hand- if its not a digital SLR they need.

mumeeee Wed 09-Sep-09 23:31:04

DD1 got an A in As art. She did need a camera as she had to take photos of various things for projects, But she just used her normal camera not an SLR,

DMspecial Thu 10-Sep-09 09:45:46

The letter home was very imprecise. It didn't say when they would need it or if a digital SLR camera would be preferable. I have sent a letter in with a request for more information. A sample of the sort of photograph the child takes with our camera was included. They have used it up to now when they needed to photograph their art work. It was better quality than the school's digital cameras.

I don't understand why a modern photography course doesn't concentrate on digital imaging.

DMspecial Thu 10-Sep-09 09:47:04

I should have said that they have a photography module as part of the course so it isn't just to photograph coursework.

RustyBear Thu 10-Sep-09 09:52:02

I would think they probably mean a digital SLR (ie a digital camera which uses a mechanical mirror & pentaprism)as opposed to a compact digital camera - SLRs are supposed to be better for accurate previewing so a lot of photographers prefer them.

DMspecial Thu 10-Sep-09 09:57:05

Thank you. Most digital cameras have a display at the back so why is a preview necessary?

millenniumfalcon Thu 10-Sep-09 10:16:24

the important bit of an slr is that you can manually control exposure and aperture, which are the basics of photography (digital as well as wet process). it sounds as though they're learning about photography, rather than just using the camera to take pictures, iyswim.

film slrs are available on ebay for around £50-£100, and if you take care of it you should be able to sell it on after the course for pretty much what you paid for it.

definitely clarifiy with the school first though - unlikely they'd be doing any darkroom work, but possible i suppose, in which case it would have to be film rather than digi.

olympus om10 and pentax k1000 are two of the models we used to recommend (worked in photography education) that i can remember off the top of my head, can dredge up other options if you need.

BertieBotts Thu 10-Sep-09 10:20:41

Not sure about A Level art - my sister took it (didn't do any photography but may have been a different exam board?) but I did a BTEC Diploma in Graphic Design and we had a proper wet photography module for which we needed a film SLR camera, I loved it Would love to have access to a darkroom to do it again. We bought the camera from a local camera shop. (Ie like Jessops but an independent one)

millenniumfalcon Thu 10-Sep-09 10:21:42

btw a course that gives a proper understanding of how photography works (and therefore how you can manipulate the different variables involved to get a desired effect) needs to include aperture/exposure which usually (but not always, some digi compacts have these options too) = slr. film slrs are arond 10x cheaper than digi, which is why they're often used for students.

also film photography completely rocks

millenniumfalcon Thu 10-Sep-09 10:24:56

bertie you can do a lot with just a bathroom - i deveop my own films but then scan the negs so i don't need enlarger or blackout (load dev tanks under the duvet ) can get prints hand done by post if needed.

DMspecial Thu 10-Sep-09 15:26:04

Thank you all. I hope they will now tell me if they need a film SLR or a digital version but I suspect I need to ask my child to speak to someone in the year above and see what they did. However the staff have just changed so they may do things differently.

makingamove Fri 25-Sep-09 10:36:21

With slr's you can change lenses. So you can see the massive difference aperture and focal length of lenses make. you just can't do it the same with the compact digitals (even if some of them have loads of options and produce good pictures). If you want to work as a photographer you would need to be able to use different lenses etc.
you can pick up non-digital slrs for very little money now - eg look on ebay.

i imagine they will cover digital imaging too?

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