new vs used dslr

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by frankgtrs, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. frankgtrs

    frankgtrs TPF Noob!

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    im close to buying my first dslr and the idea of buying used and saving a few hundred bucks sounds very appealing however i'm kind of concerned with reliability.

    Has any one got any horror stories about used dslr's ?

    anything specific to look for when buying used dslr's ?

    ps:​ in case it matters the models would be either canon 60d or nikon d7000


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Buying used gear is a GREAT way to save money, but it's not something I recommend for someone without at least basic camera knowledge unless they absolutely have to. If you want/need to, there are things to look out for: I would definitely NOT buy a used camera over the 'net or from anyone where I could not test it out... I know lots of people do, but it's not my thing.

    Assuming you're going to buy it either from a dealer or local private sale then there are a few things to look for. First, buying from a dealer is less worrisome because it will usually come with at least a 30 day warranty, but a private sale will often be a better deal. Anyway, first determine a price, research Craig's List, eBay and similar 'sites to see what the bodies you're interested in are going for. Next determine your maximum price and DON'T go above it; there'll be anohter one along shortly if this one doesn't pan out.

    Once you find a camera you like, contact the vendor and ask him for the serial number. Call the local PD and ask them if it shows up on any lists as stolen/lost. If it does... If the vendor won't give you the serial number, WALK AWAY!

    When you meet the vendor, examine the camera carefully, look carefullly at the outside. Is it clean and does it appear well cared for? Dirty gear is a sign of a careless user. Walk away. Next look carefully at all the corners and edges; look for any signs that it's been dropped or bumped. If there are ANY signs of damage, WALK AWAY. Now, since you already gone on line and read the manual for the camera before you met the vendor, you know how to turn it on; do that, (making sure that either your or the vendor bring a memory card and a lens) push all the buttons, operate all the controls; make sure they move smoothly and the functions work the way they're supposed to.

    Take some pictures and review the results on the rear LCD - ensure that the results look 'right'. If they don't... you know what to do!

    Ask the seller about the camera's history, how long he's had it, what he shot, etc... If all seems good and you're happy, buy it. If not... walk away.
     
  3. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The safest place to buy a used dslr is on ebay, using paypal, from someone with a 7 day return policy. That gives u enough time to ensure there are no problems, and if u need to return it u have a third party (ebay and paypal) that will guarantee the seller honors the return and even pay u back themselves if the seller tries to rip u off.
     
  4. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The only reason i'd buy a new camera is if the prices for used are close to new, or if (like when I bought my X100) it's impossible to find.
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry, can't provide you with a horror story with regards to buying a used camera - mine's just fine, and I'd never have the fund to afford the camera I recently got myself used as new! So I had to go with used and saw that offer in the shop window of a renowned camera shop in town. I don't think I'd have bought "used" through the computer, though: I was quite glad I could hold that camera in hands there and then, check for flaws or dirt on the sensor, get a feel for it in general, be given some days to ponder the decision and lastly go and buy my new camera!
    I later got a lens for it (used, too, mind) through the internet and am happy with that one, too!
    All's still "brandnew" (to me!), so I'm still in the stage of finding out and getting myself acquainted with my newest "toys", but nothing feels all wrong or catastrophic as yet.
     
  6. Cruzingoose

    Cruzingoose TPF Noob!

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    New DSLR = warranty and latest tech. Used DSLR = GFL (it might even still operate), purchase of expensive battery (if even still available), old less desireable tech. In both cases, 95% of DSLR users run the thing in full auto mode anyway. No focusing, no exposure tweeking etc.... Put your money into a nice FILM camera.
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    OK, well, right, FILM is yet another option, OF COURSE, but only few people really go that path any more. And if it is about film cameras, one might even still FIND one somewhere at home! Like, if I looked (or let me say: when I look) I will find at least two within 10 feet of reach...
    But if FILM is what you advertise, then don't moan about "less desirable tech" as to used DSLRs, hm? ;)
     
  8. greybeard

    greybeard Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've done both but, for your 1st I would recommend new.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The current camera I had was bought used. (Local craigslist ads). The seller even gave me the invoice where he bought it from (B&H). And it showed the camera was only 3 months old.

    Anyway, of course, there is a chance that the camera has issue, even if it is brand new from the store. Buying used can save you some money, but you just need to take the chance.

    There is another route to save money is buying the refurbished camera. They usually comes with 90 days warranty. And I believe Adorama offer 1 year warranty for refurbished Canon camera. (I believe the warranty is in house type warranty). Someone from the other forum said the camera he bought from them had issue (maybe around 6 months after he purchased it). And Adorama do not have the same model refurbished camera to replace it, so they gave that person refund.

    If you have a old broken Canon camera (or know someone has one, bought one from ebay really cheap), you maybe able to buy a refurbished camera from Canon directly under their Royalty program. It is usually 20% off their refurbished price. I believe currently it is around $640 +tax and shipping after 20% discount (Edit: for the 60D camera).

    See the following link for more details
    Canon Digital Photography Forums
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  10. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Are you joking? I can't really tell... The D7000 and 60D are both current DSLR's. Why would they want to shoot film if they're only considering digital?
     
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  11. Balmiesgirl

    Balmiesgirl TPF Noob!

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    Adorama and b&h photo have fantastic used departments. They are very accurate how they grade the equipment and have good return policies. Everything I have bought from Adorama looked and acted like new.....I rarely buy new if I can get it from one of those companies.

    I got a 70-200 2.8 from Adorama and realized a month later ( after the return policy ended) that it had a back focus issue. They were fantastic! They took it back, gave me full credit and I purchased another used one immediately that works great and is a fantastic piece of glass.

    It's a good way to save $ yet not risky like eBay or Craig's list.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  12. slackercruster

    slackercruster No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I bought 5 of my 6 Pentax dslr's used. One had a little issue, but no big deal. I buy them for $140 to $280 used for 6-12 mp bodies. All low shutter counts 600 - 5000.

    I like em for disposable cameras as well as they use 4 AA batts. No AA's...no deal.
     

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