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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Cameras, Exposure, and Photography by Michigan State University

5,098 ratings

About the Course

Welcome to Course One of Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR! In these first 4 Modules you will gain the knowledge and the confidence that will help you make good choices as you consider qualities of the camera you own, and the qualities of the other types of digital cameras you might be considering. You will learn about the basic functions that most digital cameras have in common. You will also go beyond the "technical" matters and learn about how you can make exciting pictures by emphasizing the aspects of Frame and Vantage Point to interpret old subjects in new ways. Discovering accessories that photographers find useful, and the types of camera bags from mini to carry-on sized, is also in store for you. You will also make your first photographs and, if you are a subscriber to the specialization, upload pictures to the web gallery and start interacting with your fellow learners in our "Gallery." Let's get started with Module One!...

Top reviews


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it definitely increases our enthusiasm and passion for photography, this course gives us the basics of photography and camera settings. thank you professors for your encouragement and efforts.


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Excellent course for those who have no basic knowledge of photography and cameras. It was useful for me and I hope to continue taking the other courses for better development in photography.

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1501 - 1525 of 1,561 Reviews for Cameras, Exposure, and Photography


Mar 19, 2017

very good

By Phanikumar R

Nov 18, 2020

So good

By Akshay n

Dec 9, 2023



Aug 24, 2020


By Aka B M

May 26, 2020


By Neha m

Feb 21, 2019


By Vaibhav V

Jun 14, 2018


By Barbara A

Jul 26, 2020

This was an introductory course that went over the history of photography, the elements of the camera, how to use the camera in program mode, and how to creatively work with the frame among other topics. I found the course too cursory at times and there was not enough opportunity for practice and feedback before getting to the graded assignments. Some content seemed out of logical order. (e.g., Elements of a camera should have come before how to use the camera in program mode .) The quizzes and assignments had instructions that were often badly worded and confusing. e.g., Why were we graded on whether we titled our picture "frame" or "scene"? The last assignment rubric did not allow peer reviewers to select 0 points on the fifth rubric criterion. Overall learning was minor.

By Michael P

Jul 19, 2020

The content is good; but the peer review process is a joke. Asked to review submissions that have nothing to do with the assignment. Several just random photos, even random Latin text inserted as statements. And some of the feedback is exactly what we are asked NOT to do. I.e, just say "I do not like it." Then give points, with no attempt to tie grading to assignment requirements.

Moreover, some of the grading options are not available. I.e. for the final assignment when it asks if author used one of the framing elements the only option is to answer yes.

Obviously, someone needs to update this course and do some quality control. I hope the remaining courses in the specialization are cleaner.

Again, content has been helpful; but the grading is a wreck.

By Peter B

Nov 6, 2019

I'm not particularly impressed. The teachers are presenting the subject in the most boring way, standing in front of the camera and apparently reading from a teleprompter.

A lot of time is wasted on presentation, and presentation and presentation of the 2 teachers.

A large part seems to be - but I assume is not - hidden advertising for a couple of products.

It would have been useful to dig deeper in the actual subject matter, explain the handling and settings in more detail, and illustrating the lectures with more relevant examples.

Sullivan's video "Responding to photography" is simply a long list of things to consider with no evident supporting illustration.

It's a small 3*.

By Ida A

Apr 20, 2016

The content of the course is good and I feel it would be beneficial for beginners or those who want to top up their technical / academic knowledge on the subject.

I found the terrible editing of the lectures distracting though, and it felt like no one bothered to over-see the final version that was published. I also don't think the fact that one has to pay so much to access the assessments, which many other courses don't do at all, is conducive to creating a strong engagement in the course. I wouldn't for example be encouraged to take another course from this series (not sure if one is offered).

By Ziping Z

Sep 4, 2017

The first week and the final week are interesting.But in fact the week 2 & week 3 are kind of boring and those information could be easily acquired online, which I did not see the reason why I take this course for 2 weeks just study those knowledge.In contrast, the first and final week are focusing on how we gonna achieve a "good" image in a more dynamic way where we need more helps from tutors. If i could I would not recommend this course to a person who actually already had a habit of taking photos.

By Lindsey R

May 4, 2020

I thought the professors were very sweet and clearly make photography accessible to all - at any skill level. However, I think some of the talks were quite dry and we spent too much time on certain elements and not enough on others. IE Not enough time talking about the ISO - Aperture - Shutter Speed triangle and when you want want to lean into each.... Too much time talking about Vantage Points. A 16 minute video on how to find the right vantage point seemed a bit exhausting.

By April

Jun 28, 2024

The iPhone camera learning is severely out of date. They're teaching iPhone 6 camera as I write this and I have an iPhone 15 Max Pro which is immensely better. They really should keep that section updated. Also the AI kept telling me that my work looked a lot like another's work and would question if it's mine and NOT let me submit it. Totally frustrating. Other than those two things, good basic photography information here.

By Jane W

Sep 28, 2020

This was a good course in that I learnt a little more about technical features of a camera. Picture taking, framing, subject, light, etc... was not as strong as I had hoped. It was bothersome that a lot of the discussions are years (three or more) old. The fact that the professors don't even look at the assignments is bothersome as well. It is all left to the students and frankly that is not enough.

By Michael D

Aug 24, 2020

Good course for someone looking to understand the basics, while developing a understanding on how deep the hole of Photography is. The one issue I have with the course is not the teaching, but the testing and peer grading. The wording of Projects is somewhat confusing and hard to understand. Plus some of the peers either don’t know what they are doing or they are just looking to score you low.


May 3, 2020

I feel like a lot of important things like the exposure triangle and the relationship between different settings could've been mentioned. Otherwise, I enjoyed the course, some things seemed a little unnecessary but they might actually come in handy sometime. I liked how this course gave me confidence, about myself as a photographer.

By shorya s

May 30, 2020

The course was nice but it was too much theory on it. What they gave a briefing in the intro video was not implemented properly as they told it would be for all the people whatever the device they use but they only focused on DSLR, not on phone. I didn't learn anything which I can implement in the field as such.

By Mateus D

May 2, 2020

The Course is good and teachers have passion, which is nice. But Prof. Peter Glenn's videos are too long and slow, and the concepts presented could have been delivered in a more concise manner. The audio is also very low for his videos.

But good course anyway, thanks

By Kathy P

Mar 8, 2016

There were some technical challenges that made this course not as fun. The content was good. If you make the assignments easier to submit (for example: provide a box to write a statement as opposed to uploading one) it will remove frustration and increase enjoyment.

By Roman H

Jun 5, 2024

Expected more in depth explanations of the inner workings of cameras, light metering, white balance, and how to deal with different (light) situations and less about the instructors' favorite shots of theirs and musings on vantage points and framing.

By Deleted A

Nov 15, 2020

The lectures are very good. The hands-on tasks are great to learn by doing. The peer-review of this tasks is very poor quality, because there is no professional feedback and if someone is misusing it, it's not possible to report it.

By Lyneth R

Dec 1, 2020

This course really discussed an overview on photography, however, I think the outline and discussions can still be improved, specifically in terms of compressing the contents to highlight the basics and the most important points.

By Ilona J

Jun 8, 2016

Very basic content, not that helpful - states what to pay attention to, but scarcely "how to". Also is very static, uses very little illustrations / animations / visuals, which is a shame for a photography course...

By roberta l

Aug 7, 2016

The content is helpful in learning to use the camera and understand terminology, but it is somewhat, if not totally, a false representation of interaction with the experts. There is absolutely none.