I’ve purchased my share of photography equipment over the last twenty or so years. (Maybe more than my share?) I’ve always loved my purchases, but I’ve learned some things along the way.
Tips for purchasing used equipment are below the photos!
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I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D80, brand new. (I think that was 2008. I had been using point and shoot digital cameras before then. And before that, a Canon film SLR.) I loved the D80, (and my daughter still uses it– a lot.) Great camera.
After I’d had that camera a while, and was looking to move up just a little to a larger, semi-pro camera, my brother-in-law, (also an avid photographer), gave me some of the best advice. He said, “No need to buy new cameras. People are always trading in great used equipment, and you can save a bundle.”
So, not long after that, I bought my first used camera, a Nikon D200, from a local camera store. Not one single problem with it, and I still use it today, although it’s not great in low light without a flash, and the screen on the back is really small! Still a great camera!
These were taken with the D200.
My next used camera purchase was a Nikon D5100. It’s lighter, simpler and has much better low-light capabilities than my first DSLRs (with a bigger screen!) I love it and use it a lot because it’s smaller and easier to carry around, but the image quality is still great.
The D5300 is the slightly newer version of my 5100. Like the 5100, it is considered an “upper-level entry camera,” but the image quality is on par with my Nikon D7000, which, (you guessed it), I also bought used. I have used the D7000 for some newborn shoots and a wedding, as well as everyday photography.
Most of the pictures at my blog have been taken with either the Nikon D5100 or the D200 (or sometimes my phone!)
The shots below were taken with the D5100.
(I’m partial to this one, because it’s my baby girl as a bridesmaid in my niece’s wedding.)
Here are my tips for purchasing used photo equipment:
- Buy from a reputable place. I’ve found wonderful online deals at both Adorama and B & H Photography, both of whom have a 30 day return policy. Amazon also has both new and used equipment, and you can choose to buy from sellers with good ratings.
- Pay attention to the grade that the piece of equipment has been given. For instance, Adorama uses letters – So a D rated camera has no signs of wear, an E+ has slight signs of wear, etc. The price will vary with this grade. I usually only buy equipment that is rated D, E+, or E, but that isn’t to say a lower rating won’t be good too. All of the equipment is tested.
- Give the company a call when you find something you like, before you purchase it online. Sometimes they’ll give you a little additional discount.
- When buying a camera, make sure you are buying it the way you want it. For instance, are you looking for a DSLR body only, or do you want a kit lens with it? They are sold both ways,
- When it comes to lenses, make sure you are purchasing the exact model of the lens you are looking for. Sometimes there are updated models, so you want to be sure you are getting the one you want.
If this info has helped you, I’d love for you to share it! Thanks for reading!
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