used dSLR
Hello all,.

I am entering college next year, and looking to purchase my first dSLR.

As I am on a college budget, I would like a used dSLR under $500..

For the past few years, I have used a Sony dsc-h2, and put it trough about 10,000 cycles, with very good results..

I find myself more and more frequently using manual exposure and focus to gain more control over my photography. With this skillset, my photography has considerably improved, to the point that I feel that I am reaching the limit of the camera's ability to further my foray into photography. I would like to have complete control over my photographs. Naturally, the choice of an entry dSLR seems the most logical way to facilitate this..

My photography habits/preferences are as follows..

- I do not take many portraits or photos of people in general- I am a fan of macro shots- In general, I prefer the ability to zoom over the ability to crop.

- Photography in low light of distant objects without flash is critical (particularly of storm clouds - I will be studying atmospheric science next year).

I know most of this is achieved through lenses, something inconsequential to my current post..

So in a dSLR, I am looking for the following attributes:.

Low noise.

Decent Resolution, but doesn't have to be exceedingly good (though an improvement from the dsc-h2's 6 mp would be nice)ReliabilityDurabilityVersatility.

Availability of reasonably priced telephoto lenses (for future purchase) - both from camera manufacturer and other companies.

Things of little consequence to me.

Internal vs lens ISease of use of software/built in firmwareappearanceLCD sizeweight.

So with that in mind, I am wondering which used dSLR(s) by canon and/or nikon I should most pursue..

I would consider other brands, though with pause - it seems these two manufacturers are by far the most available ( and thus inexpensive used).

Thank you in advance for your time!..

Comments (5)

I'd be a little hesitant to buy a Used DSLR body because of the lack of a warranty. Used lenses are AOK though.

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Comment #1

I would recommend a 20D, which is what I am using at the moment. If you shop ebay you can find one for between $350 to $400 if you wait for the right deal..

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Comment #2

My experience of used DSLRs is good. I have bought 5 DSLRs, three new, one used and one reconditioned and I have had no problems..

I am in the UK so my knowledge of US prices is imperfect but my shortlist for you would be:.

Canon 350DNikon 50D (or D70/D70s).

I don't know enough about US prices to say where the 20D would fall in terms of price but the lowest price is not necessarily the best buy if it has had high use..

A couple of factors to consider:.

The kit lens with the 350D (18-55mm) is universally regarded as weak (The new 18-55mm IS is much better)The kit lens (again 18-55mm) commonly sold with the D50 is optically quite good..

The amount of use that a DSLR has had is vital to an assessment of it's future relaibility. Obviously you need to check for dents and damage but on the Nikon you can also check the shutter count. The shutter is the single most expensive component to repair that is likely to fail on any DSLR (circa $200). The EXIF on any photo can be read with a number of programs the most popular of which is Opanda (a free download). About 5 up from the bottom of the readouts on Opanda on any Nikon is the shutter count. (As best I know there is no similar easy way of checking shutter count on a Canon)..

There are lots of low shutter count cams out there and a few which have been used a lot. Anybody who uses exposure bracketing is likely to have taken three shots for every one they might keep for example..

Most of the consumer DSLRs have a shutter design life of 50,000 clicks. So a cam with less than say 15,000 clicks should be OK and there many that only come out of the cupboard a couple of times a year and will have less than 3k of clicks..

Try to buy a body and lens together. That way you can check everything is working rather than being unsure which is at fault - lens or camera..

I would say that, if buying used, a trustworthy source of supply is almost more important than the choice of model. If you can find a friend's dad that is trading up you are less likely to get ripped off than with a dodgy retailer on Ebay..

There are reliable US trader on Ebay. Cameta comes to mind. Craigs list is another good source for used equipment..

Hope that helps..

P.S. There are a number of Nikon DSLR owners champing at the bit waiting for the launch of the Nikon D90 (replacing a D80. NB That is an excellent cam if it fits in your budget) so you might be able to do a deal with someone's dad that you can have their D50/70/70s as soon as they have a D90. My best guess for a launch date for the D90 is August 2008..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #3

I've had no problems with my two used DSLRsa Nikon D1H and D2X. My D70 needed a trip to Nikon to repair the dreaded BGLOD..

I'm interested in what sort of output the original poster is doing that 6mp isn't adequate...

Comment #4

DonAvebury wrote:.

...I'm interested in what sort of output the original poster is doingthat 6mp isn't adequate..

I missed that bit in the OP. I agree. A move up to APS-C is far more significant than pixel numbers i.e. pixel density is first consideration.Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #5

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