TIPS FOR BUYING A USED PHOTO CAMERA

The majority of readers of this our blog are people who love photography, beginners who want to make the move to an affordable SLR camera but with good functions. So in recent weeks I have been publishing a series of articles with the intention of approaching the 5 most important brands in digital photography, exposing the best SLR cameras in each case: Nikon , Canon , Sony , Olypums and Pentax . We have seen ranges, features, and prices, but what if our budget does not yet reach the minimum price that a new SLR camera costs? Moreover, what if our budget is very limited but our aspirations are HUGE?

Yes, friends, you guessed it. If that is your case, the “second hand” concept is presented as a very attractive option: in the good occasion market there are very good SLR cameras, of very good quality, for all advanced and beginner levels, and especially with prices Much more affordable.
If you have just bought a reflex camera, do not worry, you have made the best decision. As long as one can afford a new camera it is always better, but those who cannot afford a new one or are considering more affordable alternative options, we will see what things have to be taken into account when making the BEST PURCHASE.

HOW TO BUY A USED / USED CAMERA

STEP 1: CHOOSE A CAMERA

Indecision, uncertainty and being a little “lost” will make our purchase one of the worst decisions we have ever made. Don’t complicate your life, forget everything and first focus on “discovering” which camera you are looking for. Think about the type of use you are going to give it, for what purpose you want it (professional or hobby), how many times do you think you are going to use it, etc. As I said at the beginning, in articles that I published here in the blog above you have a whole catalog at your disposal with the best best SLR cameras of the best cameras. Look at them well, investigate, and make a decision. Do you already have a mentally chosen camera? Well, let’s go to step 2.

STEP 2: CHOOSE ONE OF TWO, GUARANTEE OR AFFORDABLE PRICE

Depending on the country in which you live you will have some options or others to buy a used camera.

Used item store option:

In some countries like Spain you have specialized stores for sale of second-hand items and devices. The advantage of these sites is that you have the guarantee that the product is in perfect working condition. You are given a purchase ticket, an invoice, and a guarantee commitment in many cases of up to one year. It is as if you buy a new but cheaper SLR camera, but with the same guarantees.

Particular unknown option:

Another option is to go to newspapers and websites (such as www.segundamano.es) and find the camera you want. You will see many results with varying prices depending on the age of the camera and how much or little they have taken care of. The clear advantage of this way of buying is that the price is much cheaper than if you buy from a second-hand store (as in the previous option), you can find real bargains, but the guarantee is practically nonexistent. We talk about individuals who sell their cameras after 3 or 4 years of use, and when you buy a reflex camera from an unknown individual, great uncertainty accompanies you. You spend whole days scared, thinking, “Have they fooled me?” What if my camera breaks at 2 or 3 shots?

Particular regret option:

This is what I call the golden opportunity. Normally if a person buys a SLR camera, the test and does not like it, he has a few days to return it and recover his money and point. But there are occasions, very few the truth, in which a short time passes but exceeds the term of returns, and in which the person who bought the SLR camera, new, can no longer return it.

There are such cases. When this happens, the person has not liked the camera at all, either because he was looking for something different, either because he does not know how to use it, or for any other reason, usually that person puts it on sale, as in the previous option, to through newspaper ads and ad websites. There is an unwritten rule whereby any new purchased product loses its monetary value drastically upon purchase. So, if you are lucky enough to find such an opportunity, do not miss it. This option normally combines a very affordable price with a very good warranty, since the camera would be new and therefore still retain its original brand warranty.

STEP 3: VERIFY THE PRODUCT

Here I will indicate what things to look at in the SLR camera that we are going to buy, at the time of purchase, to make sure that it is in good condition.

All the elements included: normally the elements that the camera has to include are: camera; at least one lens (except if they sell you only the camera body); camera battery; camera battery charger; In some cases, data transfer cable from the camera to the computer.

Camera in good physical condition: We observe the outer body of the camera, we verify that it is well, that it does not have very serious scratches, nor breaks on the sides.

Objective / lens in good condition: It should also be noted that the objective is fine. We check this by looking at the lens optics on the outside, checking that it is fine and that it has no scratch, but another way to check it is by shooting one or two photos and observing them carefully in case you see any strange ray in the photo due to a lens lined.
If the objective is of variable focal length (for example 18-55mm), it is also necessary to turn the wheel of the focal length and see if it turns correctly.

Buttons and controls in good condition: We check absolutely all camera buttons (photo shutter, mode dial, wheel, auxiliary buttons, flash trigger, etc.).

Manual and automatic focus: In the objective, we locate the button that changes from manual focus to automatic focus and we try to focus with the camera on both options (automatic and manual focus). Both should work.

Verify the number of shots: Digital SLR cameras have an estimated life based on the number of shots (usually about 150,000 to 300,000 shots). It is like the mileage of the car, when buying one, it is convenient to find out how many kilometers a car has traveled, and how many photos an SLR camera has taken. This number can only be observed once the photo is taken and passed to the computer, looking at the EXIF data of the photo (in a future article I will explain this about the EXIF data and how to obtain them). This is something that is not always possible to verify at the time of purchase but at least as soon as you get home one can take one or two photos and look at this data.

Test objective compatibility: if we have our objectives that we intend to use with the camera, it is convenient to bring them with us so that we can test them directly on the camera and see if they are compatible or not. This way we save ourselves from being able to take a dislike later on by checking that the camera and our lenses are not compatible

STEP 4: BUY

Once all this has been verified, we can be calm. There is still room for the camera to be bad, but at least we will have done our best to make sure we are making a good investment.

Be careful with second hand purchases. If you can avoid them PLEASE it is always advisable to go to the safest, even if you have to pay a little more. But if there is no choice, a second-hand purchase can be as successful as a new purchase. Simply follow all the steps and do not neglect any details.

If anyone has had the opportunity to buy a second-hand camera please share your impressions and opinions below, in the comments.

Good luck, and happy shopping!

Note: If you think this article may be useful to a friend about to buy a camera, please do not hesitate to share the article on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever you want. Others will thank you.

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