Buying refurb for first DSLR?

jakehinds

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Hey guys, I've been looking at buying a DSLR for downhill skateboarding, and my options are Nikon D3100, D3200 and the D5100. Now I can buy the D3100 brand new, but not the others as I'm on a tight budget. But if I get a refurb, I can get the d5100 or the d3200 which cost the same refurbished. My question is, is there really a difference buying new or refurb?

Edit: And if I want to get another lens, I was looking at either the Nikon 55-200 http://www.cameta.com/Nikon-55-200m...oom-Nikkor-Lens-Factory-Refurbished-17241.cfm

Or the Nikon 70-300 http://www.cameta.com/Nikon-70-300mm-f-4-5-6-G-AF-Zoom-Nikkor-Lens-Factory-Refurbished-10850.cfm

And What's the difference between the 55-200 I posted above and this: http://www.cameta.com/Nikon-55-200m...oom-Nikkor-Lens-Factory-Refurbished-27494.cfm

Is it just the Vibration reduction? Which one is more preferable?

Double edit: Which company is best? Cameta, B&H or adorama?
 
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Gavjenks

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Refurbished from the manufacturer? Absolutely no problem, should be good as new.

Refurbished from a third party seller? You'd want to ask more questions. How did they get their hands on it? If they just bought from manufacturer for cheap and are reselling at slight markup, then fine. If some other way, or if somebody else refurbished it, maybe not so fine. Depends where it was dealt with and how much you trust the skills of those people, etc.

(You should obviously trust the skills of the manufacturers a lot if you would also consider a new camera from the same manufacturers)




The most important thing to ask probably if its not manufacturer refurbished is how many actuations has the shutter had, assuming the shutter was not replaced as part of the refurbishing?

That is the main cause of death by old age of cameras. They usually die around 100,000 actuations on average. So if it's at 30,000, you'd want at least 30% off the price all other things equal.
 
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jakehinds

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Refurbished from the manufacturer? Absolutely no problem, should be good as new.

Refurbished from a third party seller? You'd want to ask more questions. How did they get their hands on it? If they just bought from manufacturer for cheap and are reselling at slight markup, then fine. If some other way, or if somebody else refurbished it, maybe not so fine. Depends where it was dealt with and how much you trust the skills of those people, etc.

(You should obviously trust the skills of the manufacturers a lot if you would also consider a new camera from the same manufacturers)




The most important thing to ask probably if its not manufacturer refurbished is how many actuations has the shutter had, assuming the shutter was not replaced as part of the refurbishing?

That is the main cause of death by old age of cameras. They usually die around 100,000 actuations on average. So if it's at 30,000, you'd want at least 30% off the price all other things equal.

Oops. Sorry about that. Yes, all three companies I listed are refurbished through Nikon. When I do get ready to buy it, it's not possible to ask how many shutter actuations there is and ask if there's a lower amount on another camera is it? I guess I could try..
 

Gavjenks

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If it's from nikon, I wouldn't worry about it. It's most likely either a unit somebody returned almost right away, and they just looked it over and packed it into a box, or it's something where a very skilled professional from the company who made the lens has fixed something minor that was wrong with it, and then put it in a box.

In either case, it's likely that it's even in better condition on average than a NEW lens, because not all new lenses get checked by human beings, but all refurb ones from Nikon will. So higher quality control.

And they would never sell a refurb with a ton of shutter actuations. People can check that easily and it's not worth the reputation hit to get that little amount of money.
 

nola.ron

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I'll say this - my next body will be a refurb. I have a Nikon 70-300 coming in on Friday that is a refurb and I don't have a shred of worry over it. I've talked to many people that buy nothing but refurbs. I would buy refurb over used especially.
 

MOREGONE

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Just bought the Nikon D600 refurb and have 0 regrets. Shutter count was <300
 

aguerra.1993

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I do downhill as well. If you are going to use something like a scorpion or fig rig then you will want a wider angle lens. I am pretty new to cameras so I don't know exact terminology but I can the wider lens, maybe like an 8mm on a crop sensor, will be nice. I you are looking at still shots then you might want a longer lens, but you won't ever need 200mm, or maybe very rarely. I was going to go for a Canon T2i but i decided with the T3i because it has a flip out screen. This helps with those low shots so much, and the ones where you involve a little nature. The kit lens (only one I own right now) 18-55mm has worked fine for my filming, i don't really ride with my camera yet. I just use my GoPro for that.

Oh, and i bought my T3i refurbed from Canon about a month ago, hasn't given me problems, it works great.
 

brunerww

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jake - I'm a mirrorless guy, so shutter actuations aren't an issue, but I buy factory refurb all the time, mostly through Adorama or reputable Amazon or eBay sellers, and have never had a problem.

Question - are you shooting skateboarding videos, or stills?

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 
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jakehinds

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jake - I'm a mirrorless guy, so shutter actuations aren't an issue, but I buy factory refurb all the time, mostly through Adorama or reputable Amazon or eBay sellers, and have never had a problem.

Question - are you shooting skateboarding videos, or stills?

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution

I'll be doing both really. I've been looking around a lot more and have heard that some d5100's have AF problems. Canon's website has the T3i refurbished for 415$ which is quite cheaper than the d5100 which is going for 469$ refurb.
 

brunerww

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Question - are you shooting skateboarding videos, or stills?

I'll be doing both really. I've been looking around a lot more and have heard that some d5100's have AF problems. Canon's website has the T3i refurbished for 415$ which is quite cheaper than the d5100 which is going for 469$ refurb.

jake - the D5100 has some video focus capability, but the T3i has no video AF at all. The AF on the T3i quits when you switch to live view for video.

The only cameras with video AF that really works are the Sony DSLTs and the newer Panasonic DSLMs. I'm a Panasonic guy, but comparable Panasonics (G6, GH2, GH3) are too darned expensive, so you may want to look at Sony.

For $499 brand new, you can get a Sony A57 body-only from Amazon (plus tax in California) or Adorama (no tax in California).

Or you can get one through Amazon with the 18-55 lens used for $498.48.

The A57 has absolutely bulletproof video AF and an electronic viewfinder that continues working when you're shooting video (the optical viewfinders on all Canon and Nikon DSLRs blank out when you switch to video).

The A57 also shoots panoramic and HDR stills, plus 1080/60p for smooth slow motion.

Here is what the A57 can do (please watch at 1080p):




This is a much better skateboarding video camera than Canon or Nikon.

Good luck with your decision!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution

P.S. The Sony A37 is less expensive, and also has AF and a viewfinder that work for video - but, like Canons and Nikons, it lacks 1080/60p ($449 brand new with 18-55 kit lens at Amazon (plus tax) and Adorama (no tax)).
 
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Tailgunner

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Hey guys, I've been looking at buying a DSLR for downhill skateboarding, and my options are Nikon D3100, D3200 and the D5100. Now I can buy the D3100 brand new, but not the others as I'm on a tight budget. But if I get a refurb, I can get the d5100 or the d3200 which cost the same refurbished. My question is, is there really a difference buying new or refurb?

Edit: And if I want to get another lens, I was looking at either the Nikon 55-200 Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G DX AF-S ED Zoom-Nikkor Lens - Factory Refurbished includes Full 1 Year Warranty

Or the Nikon 70-300 Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G AF Zoom-Nikkor Lens - Factory Refurbished includes Full 1 Year Warranty

And What's the difference between the 55-200 I posted above and this: Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR DX AF-S ED Zoom-Nikkor Lens - Factory Refurbished includes Full 1 Year Warranty

Is it just the Vibration reduction? Which one is more preferable?

Double edit: Which company is best? Cameta, B&H or adorama?

My first DSLR was a refurbished D3100 through Adorama and have had zero issues. Adorama also offered an extended warranty for lik $17 which I included as well as ordered a 55-200VR. I would have no problems referring them to anyone. Also, nikon sales refurbished items through their online store. My next I buy may very well be a refurbished since it will be a full frame camera which is't cheap. I have also ordered gear from BH and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

As for lens differences, you really want the VR when it comes o the 55-200 and 70-300 but I strongly suggest buying a 18-200mm VR. I started with a 18-55VR and 55-200VR and got tired os swapping lenses and missin shots. You can buy a refurbished D3100 kit for $350 and an 18-200mm VR for around $500 (18-200mm VRII) for about $600. Both the 18-200 VR & 18-200 VRII use VRII technology, the difference is th newer marked VRII has a "Zoom Lock). VR is in Red letters on order lens an Gold on newer.
 
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hirejn

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I buy as much used and refurbished gear as I can. I have little need to buy anything new. It's just tools. I buy new mainly when the used price is so close that the new is a better deal. Refurbed Mac, refurbed Nikon, it's all good. Put the money toward education or a night out. I would not buy a used memory card. Just not worth it.

I have purchased extensively from Adorama with zero problems. I've ordered both over the phone and online, and I've made successful returns with zero hassle. It's the kind of supplier I want to work with. However, I use other channels like Amazon and eBay when necessary.

I'm tired of "which gear" questions. The answers are on my blog and they're the same for everyone. Whatever you have, learn how to use it and you'll see it doesn't matter as much as skill.
 
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jakehinds

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Oh great Bill, why'd you have to show me the A57 haha. Now I have to choose AGAIN:lol:
And I was looking on Nikon's website at refurb's and found that I could buy the d5100 and a 55-200 f/4-5.6G ED lens for 500$. Would it be wise to purchase that or the 18-55 kit lens? I'll be doing literally everything with the camera, like macro and indoor portraits along with skateboarding
 
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