Welcome to Camveu… friends!
Most of our budding photographers are always wondering if they can trust a USED DSLR or a lens / accessory offered in the market. Upgrading from a Compact Digital Camera to a DSLR or yearning to try Full Frame sensors are the most common tendencies of the modern photography bugs. We, at Camveu, would like to share some tips and facts about the market of USED gear for all concerned.
First of all, may I address here to the most common fears attached with shopping for Used Gear –
Fear -1 The used equipment must be damaged one due to some accident.
Not always the case. This is actually very rare and would be visible in pictures and during the physical examination before final purchase.
Fear -2 There must be some defect in the equipment and hence being sold off.
Again not always the case. Usually this is also very rare that offered gear is defective. Most of the times the seller is upgrading his gear or has some of the cameras/ lenses etc. not being used often by him which would be better sold off.
Fear -3 The price would not be realistic of such an equipment.
This can be addressed by some intelligent comparisons and checking all options available by the buyer. Anyways, it should not stop you from evaluating an option of negotiating with the seller.
Fear -4 This is not safe to meet a stranger and do business in used equipment.
Too much of legal stuff .. isn’t ? Well, in today’s world of digital business, we would like to mention that such offline transactions are increasingly getting common. By following some careful precautions you can deal safely and in a secured manner.
Fear -5 The equipment offered may be stolen.
This can be addressed by establishing the confirmed identity of the seller. You can as well insist on showing you a personal ID during the discussions/ meetings to ascertain a genuine seller.
In the industry of Photography – usually Cameras, Lenses and other accessories are made very robust by the manufacturers. These gear have a reasonable service life up to 10-15 years depending on the usage. By shopping for a USED gear, you can get your hands on usually a fully functional equipment at reasonable prices. Money saved is Money earned… isnt? 😉
Photography enthusiasts who are wanting to buy a DSLR for example – easily can check some useful Tips below while making the purchase and walk with a dream gear at cheaper costs.
1. Physical Examination of the DSLR
The most important time in selecting the gear is the Physical Examination for any visible damages / repairs / assemblies. During this time you can easily make out if the camera was previously damaged or not. Do not worry about some scratches due to use or a rubber coming off its place. These are normal and shows only that the gear was used and is probably in functional condition.
Dust on the body is also not so serious matter and can be cleaned properly later.
2. Shutter Count of DSLR Camera
This actually decides the working life and remaining life of any DSLR. Cameras used extensively are going to have a higher shutter count and hence lesser remaining life as declared by the manufacturer. Generally speaking most of the DSLR have an average life of 100,000 to 200,000 Shutter counts. You can refer to the specifications of any DSLR as provided by the manufacturer.
While buying a used DSLR – you should check the expired life to know the condition and past usage of the same. Based on the shutter count remaining, the price can be estimated and negotiated by you during the transaction.
In order to examine the shutter count – you can take a JPEG picture from the DSLR and upload the same without any editing on any of the available sites on web assisting you to know the shutter count. You can refer to camerashuttercount.com and many alike sites. They normally do not store your picture and just retrieve the shutter count for your reference.
3. Image Sensor condition
Please transfer some pictures to PC and view them at 100% size to know if there are any scratches / dust particles on the sensor. Shoot with a smaller aperture like F16 or F18 to enhance such defects in the image. You can take image of a clear sky or a white wall. Do not forget to shoot also a darker subject / black BG to know if some pixels are damaged.
No DSLR will be having a 100% clean sensor when in use. You are OK to see some spots in some places which can be cleaned at any authorised service station. Scratches leaving long marks should not be common in images and such gear should be devalued drastically.
While shooting black colour / lens cap or something – please check for the dead pixels. Out of many M Pixels some may be dead which is not so uncommon. But having more than 15-20 and having them in one place on sensor means a damaged sensor.
4. Check Camera Flash points and Lens mounts carefully
These areas should be crisp and clean from any visible marks of repair or damage. These areas will decide if the gear is actually useful or not. Please carry some of your own lenses and check the AF function – speed /accuracy etc. before considering to purchase the DSLR.
5. Meeting point
As mentioned above, please be responsible and careful in selecting the meeting place for the transaction. Please use common public places which are generally occupied in that time of the day. Take your own time in evaluating the DSLR. Do not hurry up. Do not hand over the money unless you are fully satisfied with the equipment and have a clear way out to return from the rendezvous.
So what are you waiting for … shop around for your much wanted cameras like D600, D7000 or D800E or 5Ds and 7Ds at reasonable prices. They will come to you much earlier in life and you don’t have to wait for long periods of collecting your secret camera funds to pay for the new ones.
Camveu wishes you Happy Times in shopping for your gear.
CU @ Camveu ! 😉