Here are my recommendations for cameras based on careful research of what cameras seem like the best bang for your buck in 2020. Prices range from $27 all the way up to $500 or more. I do not get paid anything for recommending these, but I get asked for recommendations a lot, so I did some digging.
***Keep in mind that ANY camera will work for my classes. Students will learn no matter what, but the photos will often look better with a nicer camera. They can still do all the lessons, but they might not be able to adjust some of the settings that I talk about in certain courses (ex: Aperture) unless they have a D-SLR or phone that allows you to adjust settings.***
I have not tried all these specific cameras – so please do your own research, read the reviews and product descriptions! Check because some cameras do not come with a memory card or batteries, but the links should specify which ones to get.
If you want a D-SLR: get Nikon or Canon:
Nikon D-SLRs start at around $500 https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/dslr-cameras/1590/d3500.html. This is similar to the camera I have, which I love. I hear Canon is just as nice, but I already had some Nikon lenses, so I stuck with Nikon.
Canon D-SLRs start at around $400 https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/eos-rebel-t7-ef-s-18-55mm-f35-56-is-ii
I don’t recommend off-brands, and watch out for knock-off-brands on Amazon. If you want to know why, you can read more here: https://www.megapixelsart.com/post/best-deals-on-cameras
If you want a more affordable option:
If you have a newer phone, just use your phone and don’t bother buying a point-and-shoot! Even some of the older phones can take decent photos. My older Samsung Galaxy Note 9 phone is still going strong, and it allows me to adjust all the settings! I'll be upgrading phones soon, but the Note 9 camera is better than many point-and-shoot cameras.
However, if your child does not have a phone, here are a couple options:
Camera for young children – durable and has excellent reviews. I don't think you can adjust settings.
Point-and-shoot with high reviews. You can’t adjust most settings such as aperture, but it does come with a Portrait mode, which blurs the background for you.
Only 4 stars, but a great price and I also like that it allows you to adjust a few settings: https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Rechargeable-Students-Compact-Photography/dp/B087JLF2R6/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=digital%2Bcamera&qid=1591918521&refinements=p_72%3A2661618011%2Cp_36%3A-15000&rnid=386442011&s=electronics&sr=1-1-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFBODdZVFdDM0RCTTQmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA1NDA3OTczMUFaWFlBOThVTU9PJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAxMjEzNTIyNUpCUDc3MkJITkEzJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1&fbclid=IwAR2mrcoJotnHyR_BP1FzFVPQY0acYeE7rH5yBV-5Isdr9iS205G-_4TFjNo
Don't forget to check Craigslist and Facebook marketplace for deals! Use your discretion since you won't usually be protected by warranty.
Again, there are so many photography skills that can be learned even with the saddest, oldest camera. If you can't afford a new camera, don't let that stop you from learning to become an amazing photographer! Sign up for classes here: https://www.megapixelsart.com/classes