Program Equipment Needs

Equipment needs for first week of classes in fall 2010

  • Start with one good-sized equipment bag that is padded on the inside.  It will help protect your investment (approximate cost of bag $40).  Record all your serial numbers, and put name labels on all your gear. Ensure your property insurance will cover your kit in the event of theft, or damage.
  • One portable hard drive 160 gigabytes or larger. A Western Digital hard drive is preferred (though others can work) because it works equally well with MAC and PC computers, and we have both on campus. Other brands you might consider MUST be compatible with MAC and PC, and have a minimum speed of 5400 rpm (approximate cost $120). The portable hard drive provides space for storage and file backup for all your work.
  • One digital audio recorder (approximate cost $100).  SONY model number ICUX70R with plug-in USB or an OLYMPUS WS-331M are preferred because they both work well with our system.  Students will use the recorder to conduct interviews throughout the program.  And with the recorder you should also have:  
    • One audio headset or earbuds (approximate cost $20).
    • One clip-on omni-directional microphone (approximate cost $40). Nexx Tech is one brand name you could consider.
  •  One digital SLR photo camera and a standard kit lens.  Students will use the camera for their course work in print and on the web, and for their work experience semester. A dSLR camera has the level of sophistication required to do professional level work. Fixed lens or ‘point and shoot’ snapshot digital cameras, and/or phone cameras, do not meet the standards the program expects, and are not acceptable alternatives.  
    • The recommended brands are Nikon D90 or Canon T1i Nikon D5000 (with video) and the Canon XSi (some of these models can shoot small amounts of video as well). The standard kit lens sold with these cameras may vary from store to store but should be in the 18 to 55 or 18 to 70 zoom range.  The program recommends the above models for two reasons: (1) they are more likely to be of use to the student both in the program and after graduation and (2) we have a range of lenses available for students to borrow that fit only Nikon and Canon cameras.  
    • Some students might prefer a less expensive model to begin with, which they may later want or need to upgrade, dependent upon their career goals.  The Pentax K200D is an acceptable alternative. Though a reminder that our in-house extra lenses will not work with a Pentax camera body (approximate dSLR cost is $700 to $1400).
    • If you have camera questions you can contact photojournalism instructor Paul Coates before you make a purchase – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (403) 440-6975.
  • One media card for the dSLR camera at least 1GB or larger (approximate cost $40) in size and a card reader (approximate cost $30). Media cards and readers such as the SanDisk brand are suitable.
  • Textbooks: costs vary, and are mostly for General Education courses: and pens, notebooks, CDs/ DVDs etc.  Approximate cost is $200 - $300 per semester.

For first week in winter semester January 2011

  • One dSLR camera flash such as the Nikon SB600 or the Canon 430EX (approximate cost $250-$300). These are basic models. The Nikon SB900 or Canon 580 EXII both have more features, and may better suit students with a broad interest in photography.
  • One tripod such as the Velbon CX586 (approximate cost $130).  You could spend a lot more for a tripod, and you might find one a little less expensive. But be careful not to buy a tripod that is too flimsy, and test that it does not sag or slip when the legs are extended.  It has to support your newly acquired dSLR camera, or handycam, and you don’t want those damaged!
  • The program makes video handycams available to students, but we have a limited number of them. Therefore, we recommend students have their own handycam. If a student has a digital handycam at home, that uses either mini-DV tapes or digital cards to record, we suggest you add it to your kit.  You could also consider purchasing a handycam. Panasonic has a SDRS7KSD “palmcorder” (approximate cost $300) that uses Secure Digital (SD) cards instead of tape. Canon has a series of model FS100 Flash card cameras (approximate cost $360-$400).  Movie Pix camcorders are another possibility.
  • One or two Mini DV videotapes (approximate cost $10 each). You will need these tapes if using one of the program’s handycams.
  • Textbooks: costs vary, and are mostly for General Education courses: and pens, notebooks, CDs/ DVDs etc. (approximate cost is $200 - $300 per semester).
In the second, third and fourth years of the program equipment needs will be much less demanding and less costly. The student might need to replace items on the lists above that are lost or broken, and there will be an ongoing need to purchase textbooks, video and/or audiotapes or cards etc.

Should you have any overall equipment questions please contact the program chair Terry Field at the number or email at the end of this letter.


Terry Field
Associate Professor and Chair
Bachelor of Communication - Journalism
Faculty of Communication Studies
Mount Royal University
E:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
B:  403.440.6189
F:  403.440.6563
M: 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB. Canada, T3E 6K6
www.calgaryjournalonline.ca