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Would you buy a used DLSR?
I'm thinking of buying a used Canon (1 year old) today. What are the cons of doing this? What should I be asking about and what should I look for?..

Comments (9)

I would absolultly buy a used camera. However, I would have held and/or used the same model before I made the purchase..

I would buy it from someone I know or a person/company that has a good reputation. It's a great way to save money. There are a lot of people out there that have to have the latest model number. If an upgrade comes out they just have to buy it. Its a great way to get a model that is only 1 rev behind at a much lower general price..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #1

Any specific questions I should ask when I go?.

Any particular things I should be looking for in the camera itself - related to it's being used, I mean? (Yes, it's a model I've held/played with in the store)..

Comment #2

I don't know much about the Canon and you didn't list a specific model number. I would post over on the Canon forum applicable to this model and have them fill you in. In general I would want to know:.

1. How much has it been used (e.g. shutter actuations) there is a way you can look this up on the camera that I use..

2. Why are they selling it?.

3. Could you use it for a few hours and take some sample shots. If you have a laptop you can down load to and software you know how to use it can show if there are any problems..

Good luck.

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #3

Excellent advice. You could also bring your own memory card and take a bunch of shots, then go home and examine the shots at your own pace. You want to know if the camera has been exposed to any harsh elements and look for evidence of that in the photos (scratches and/or dust)..

If you are buying a lens with the camera then you need to evaluate the condition of the lens separately from the camera. Was the lens protected by filters? Are there scratches on the glass? If it's a zoom, does it still have a smooth motion?..

Comment #4

You're not really going to learn much in a few hours of looking at it..

The actuations will be found in the EXIF data of an image..

Is the camera store one with a great reputation? If so, what's their return policy in case something is wrong? That's about it, IMO..

If the price is right, buy it and have fun.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #5

Guidenet wrote:.

The actuations will be found in the EXIF data of an image..

Not on most Canon DSLRs..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #6

Jenswrens wrote:.

I'm thinking of buying a used Canon (1 year old) today. What are thecons of doing this?.

That the price won't likely be much different that buying brand new on closeout a newly-replaced model. In Canon bodies that would be the Rebel XT (aka 350D) and XTi (400D), and if you can find it the 30D..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #7

You did not state what model of Canon you are going to buy but let me give you some brief samples of what I look for..

1. Look for the casing of the camera. Look for cracks or dents. This tells you that the camera was dropped at some point and there could be underlying issues..

2. Ask the seller if they will give you a guarantee or your money back if the camera's function does not work. This period can be up to 30 days or so. Or, ask them if you can have the camera inspected by Canon's factory service department..

3. Ask why they are getting rid of the camera after one year. If you do not get a straight answer, then they could be concealing some sort of damage..

4. Look at the screws. Do they look like it has rust stains on them? This could mean water damage..

5. Go out and shoot random images and tether it to your laptop and view the images. You should not have any dead pixels or abnormalities..

6. Check the lens mount to see if it is bent or askewed. If it comes with the lens, look at the gold contacts and see if it looks like it had heavy use. Stop down the lens aperture to see if the aperture closes and opens properly..

I have been in the industry as both a sales person and a buyer of used photo gear so I know what to look out for. There are a lot of con-artists out there so beware!..

Comment #8

Every year the camera companies role out new models and every year people jump on them buying the latest and greatest that Nikon / Canon / Sony / Fuji / Pentax / Olympus have to offer at premium prices..

Well, for the past 3 to 4 years I've been upgrading to used bodies as newer bodies are replaced and I realized that within 1 years time these bodies have lost almost 65% of their value and most have roughly 80% of their life left..

So here's the thing, lenses are refreshed every 8 to 10 years so they hold their value a lot longer than any body will and they have more to do with top of the line image quality than any other part of the digital system except for the sensor (and only because you don't have an image without the sensor)..

So, my advice is to buy last years model used and spend the difference on a really nice lens..

Think about this, for the $1399 that the 30D was going for new, the person who bought it new could've had close to enough to buy a 20D with a 70 - 200 F4 L and a 17 - 40 F4 L. Well, the 40D is in much the same boat as the 30D with the 30D's now going for around $550 used and both of those pieces of glass are still between $450 and $500..

The only thing I would ask about though is the shape of the bodie and the number of actuations but remember most bodies in the 20D / 30D / 40D / D200 / D300 class will usually go 100,000+ on the shutter without a failure..

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'The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.' Abraham Lincoln..

Comment #9

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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