Used cameras

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Caitlin Compton 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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    Lydia Fisher

    I was wondering what you have to say about buying a used dslr. Is it a good idea and where is a good place to buy them? I want a good camera but can’t spend just a lot. Thanks!


    Jinny Schober

    I might add something to this. What about used lenses too? 🙂


    Ezra Morley

    Definitely be sure you buy a used camera from a reputable source. A couple of good places to buy used are:

    These stores carefully inspect and refurbish all their used gear before selling it, and if it does turn out to be a lemon, they have very good return policies and warranties. I would buy from either of these places in a heartbeat if I needed any sort of camera gear. They also have fairly competitive pricing. Obviously you’ll probably be able to find one cheaper on ebay, but you never know what you’re getting from ebay.


    Eliana Franzenburg

    Have you ever looked at Cragislist? Sometimes you can find almost new stuff for really cheap.
    P.S.I should know I need camera stuff very inexpensive.😃


    Ezra Morley is absolutely right; the best, safest way is to buy from a reputable source such as B&H or Adorama.
    That being said, most of our gear was bought used in person using Kijiji, our Canadian Craigslist equivalent. Buying used can be a great way to save money, but it can also be a great way to throw your money in the trash can. You really need to know what you’re getting into. There are any number of things you need to check. Bring your doctrine of total depravity and the noetic effects of the fall along when you look at purchasing used gear. People may tell you nothing negative has ever happened to it (such as being dropped, submerged, left out beside a volcano, etc) but there’s no guarantee.
    With lenses, you’ll want to look for perfect cosmetic shape. Look over images of the lens on Canon’s sight or The Digital Picture, and become very familiar with what the lensshould look like. Bring your camera along and test out all the various features thoroughly. AF, IS, IS mode 2, Focus limiter, all at different focal lengths. Most importantly, bring a flashlight, and look through the lens in both directions with the flashlight shining through from the opposite side, to check for damaged aperture, dust, and fungus. Nikon has an advantage in that way, as you can work the aperture by hand. A little dust in the lens is no big deal but mould, mildew, or fungus are major problems Basically you can’t get rid of it. ever.
    Camera bodies are more complicate yet. You’ll want to check all the cosmetics and functionality in a similar way to lenses, but you’ll also want to check out the sensor, both with some sort of magnification device, and with test images. Visually, you’re looking for any kind of spec, dirt, scratch, oil (especially Nikon), streak, line, or any other mark on the sensor. You then take shots of a white surface, out of focus, at f/22 to check for sensor marks, and dead pixels that way. Then again with a dark surface to check for locked pixels. Use a computer with ShutterCount on it to verify the number of shots taken with the device. Lower number is better. Shutters always fail eventually, to high a shutter count, and you’ll be having to change the shutter for a couple hundred dollars. Use a flash to test the max sync speed of the camera, again with a dark coloured surface. a bar at one side (top or bottom) means the shutter is slightly out of sync, and could indicate wear on the mechanism.
    There are probably other things to check I didn’t think of off the cuff, but you get the idea: test out every aspect of equipment before purchasing it.
    The last thing is: wait. It might look like a good deal, until another one comes up in better shape and a better price. Watch listings go up and come down for a while, so you know what the market value actually is.


    Rachel L

    I always recommend buying new and from a source that offers some type of warrantee or that has a good reputation unless you’re buying used from a friend ;). Buying used from criagslist or similar sites has it advantage as you save a bit BUT you really don’t know what type of “trama” or misuse the camera has been through with previous owners. To date, I’ve owned 6 dslr cameras and I’ve found B&H has always been fantastic to work with!
    Hope this is helpful!!


    Lydia Fisher

    Thanks a lot.


    Lydia Fisher

    Is the Canon EOS 60d a good camera? Adorama has some used ones that are priced in my range. I am a little lost when it comes to buying a camera, so all this help is awesome!!


    We’ve been using the 60D for a number of years now, and it is a rock solid camera as far as it goes. Ours has seen all kinds of rain, cold, heat- you name it, (not a good idea, it’s not a weather-sealed body) but keeps chugging along. It’s been a great camera for us to learn on, as it has 90% of the features of much more expensive bodies.
    If you’re going into shooting sports, birds in flight, or in a lot of low light situations, that camera has some limitations. Otherwise, it’s been great.


    Lydia Fisher



    Caitlin Compton

    Hi @lydiafisher!

    I own the Canon 60D! It’s a great camera. Of-course it isn’t the world’s best camera, but it does the job and I’ve been able to get some good pictures with it. I don’t know a whole lot about the technical side of cameras, but here’s a quick list of some of the pros and cons that I’ve come up with from using it. I hope it’s helpful, as choosing a new camera is a daunting task!

    • It’s Canon! 😀
    • The buttons are laid out in an ‘easy to get to’ way
    • It has a swivel screen
    • It’s compatible with a lot of lens
    • It has a little screen on top of the camera where you can see the settings etc. which is super handy!
    • It has a 18 megapixel sensor
    • The video is quite good and picks up the sound amazingly well!
    • It takes reasonably high quality images

    • It only has 9 focus points
    • It doesn’t deal with ISO really well (I just learnt this myself! 🙂 ) due to the sensor size.
    • There’s shutter lag during ‘live view’ shooting
    • It’s not full frame

    Anyway, it’s a really good camera. I’ve used it a lot and love it! 🙂

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