The recommended reference setting is ISO 400, f4, and 1/60 sec, with the key studio light at 600W and a secondary lighting at 120W. Energy saving bulbs with daylight colour temperature were used. They are less expensive and do not give out as much heat as the halogen ones. I suppose ISO400 was chosen because most people in the class would not have a bright enough lens and this ISO will retain the perfect quality on all DSLR's. The f4 aperture gave the right depth of field to blur out the backdrop while keeping the entire figure in focus.
I can speak from experience now that it is not the camera that matters, but the lens. An entry level DSLR would be good enough. I had to struggle with my kit lens, where the maximum aperture starts from f3.5, and increases to f5.6 at maximum zoom. Whenever I zoomed out, the maximum aperture reduces, thereby slowing down the shutter speed (making it hard to hold steady). A constant f3.5 short zoom lens would have been ideal for the portraits session. Actually, a lower cost prime lens would be sufficient for home use because you can move back and forth towards the model, but when you are with a crowd, it helps to be able to stand in one spot and zoom in or out. Finally, I should have brought my monopod to better steady my hand while pushing to the limits with my lens.