We have a Canon Power Shot A550 for each of our art rooms. I've been very happy with them.
Personally, I have had problems with each Kodak camera I've owned. Lenses sticking shut, battery doors that break then won't stay shut, lots of little issues. My current home camera is a Sony that is 4 years old now, and still working great, the only issues I have had are pure abuse from my kids, not a defect with the camera.
The things I would NOT be concerned about are a big zoom lens. MOST pictures do not need that, and it seems the more zoom you have, the more problems with lenses, not to mention the size of the camera, my personal one has a 12x zoom lens, and the lens is FAR larger then the camera, actually making it awkward to carry around. But you want ACTUAL zoom, not DIGITAL, all the digital does is crops the picture, you don't get the quality of a physical zoom lens. Also mega pixel size. Anything over a 6 is really not necessary, keep costs down by this. Unless you plan on printing off prints that are poster size, the size of the pictures is not that much of an issue. I had digital portfolios of all my students' artwork for one year. Used up all my state web space, because my pictures were such big files, even when I re-sized them. Just something to keep in mind.
The card reader is a great idea, also a ton of rechargeable batteries if you're getting a camera that uses "regular" batteries.
Brookings Middle School
From: M. Austin [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2008 4:41 PM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: Re: [teacherartexchange] Digital curriculum
Don't be afraid to tell the students you don't know. With the speed that technology changes, the ease at which our students adapt to technology, it is unrealistic that you know everything AND you won't be able to bluff them.
Last year I attended a conference where I was introduced to the software Wax 2.0. I was SO excited about this, and since we were in the middle of video editing I turned the students loose on it and we learned together. I learn something new from them daily - it is one of my funnest classes to teach.
As for cameras - I purchased 6 Kodak cameras for appx. $100 each with 1GB storage cards for each camera. I wanted to purchase cameras that were nice enough to take decent pictures, but cheap enough that if they broke it wasn't a huge issue. Students can check them out, take them home & have more access than they would otherwise. In 2 years I have only had one camera broken. I also purchased a USB card reader & some adapters so we can pull pictures from the student's cell phones (if they have a storage card in it).
Bags to carry the cameras in are important as well.
> Thanks, so much, Michal. Both sites are great! It's difficult to
> design projects when I am still learning the program and when I can
> see examples, it shows me how I can adapt my drawing, illustration,
> and design projects to Photoshop. My students are so fun, I don't want to disappoint them.
> Another question, I will have a small state grant this year and would
> like to spend most of it on digital cameras so that the students can
> work with their own photos. Any recommendations from anyone in the $
> 2-400 price range?