Welcome to Engadget’s back to school guide! We predict plenty of campus parties in your near future, which is why we’re tackling digital cameras today. Head to the back to school hub to see the rest of the product guides as we add them throughout the month. Be sure to keep checking back; in early September, we’ll be giving away a ton of gear.
You don’t need to pick up a dedicated shooter before you head off to college — your smartphone can likely fill in until you’re able to drop some serious cash on a model that’ll last all four years. Still, you’d certainly be better off with a device that can capture memories at concerts, football games, in the dorm and at parties without hesitation. For that, you’re going to want a camera with serious capabilities, and many don’t come cheap. We’ve sorted our favorites based on model type — there’s something for everyone, and in every price range, too. A point-and-shoot will suit most students just fine, but photography and journalism majors will definitely want to step up to an interchangeable-lens camera, such as a compact mirrorless ILC or a full-size DSLR. Click through for our picks.