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Suggested Equipment for Communications Students

Prices are approximate and not guaranteed. Lower prices may possibly be found through online retailers such as Regardless, please check carefully to make sure the items you select will meet the requirements outlined below. The Communications program is not responsible for equipment that does not meet recommended standards. Please contact Dr. Jodie Peeler or Prof. Al de Lachica if you need guidance.



Digital Camcorder ($300-$400)
This will be used in all video production courses, as well as journalism courses. The Communications program uses and recommends the Canon Vixia HF R40 HD camcorder (approx. $350). The camcorder you select must have similar capabilities, in particular HD capabilities and the ability to produce output in MP4 format.

Tripod ($15-$25)
The Communications program uses and recommends the Magnus PV-3400 tripod (approx. $15.00). The tripod you select must not only be compatible with your chosen camcorder but must have telescoping legs that help provide adequate height (the PV-3400 has a maximum height of 44”) as well as tilt and pan capabilities.

Carrying Bag for Camcorder and Equipment ($15-$25)
You will need at least one lavalier microphone that will connect to your camcorder
You will use this in interviews and on-camera assignments. The Polsen OLM-10 (approx. $23) is recommended.

Laptop Computer with Video Editing Software (varies)
Users of Apple-branded laptops already have iMovie as part of Mac OS X. Users of Windows systems should purchase the latest version of Pinnacle Studio Ultimate (approx. $90). Either way, you will need a laptop with reasonable computing power. Tablets (iPads, etc.) and similar devices will not work for what you’ll be doing in our courses.

Sound Editing Software (free)
Audacity is a powerful open-source sound editing suite available for free download for both Windows and Mac OS at

Appropriate Cables to Connect Your Camcorder to Your Computer (as needed)




Portable Digital Sound Recorder (approx. $150-$200)
This will let you record high-fidelity audio projects in digital format for audio production courses and broadcast journalism projects. Choose a high quality unit that will allow you to use memory cards and external microphones through an XLR or mini-jack (3.5 mm) input and that will connect to your laptop via USB connection. The Tascam DR-05 (approx. $175) is a good choice, especially if you can purchase it as part of a “value pack.”

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