If you’re interested in photography, whether as a hobby or a profession, you need to invest in good quality camera equipment. Unfortunately, this kind of equipment tends to be very expensive, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find top-notch photography equipment on a budget.
These days, you can purchase gently used camera equipment. Whether you’re buying your first camera or searching for another set of lenses, you’ll find countless options available in the market.
However, buying one can be a little intimidating with the different kinds of cameras to choose from. It’s because not all used camera equipment is the same, so you should exercise extra caution and consideration.
Below are some of the things to keep in mind when buying used camera equipment:
1. Check The Lenses
Whether or not you’re looking for the smallest interchangeable lens camera, it’s crucial to check the lenses that come in the camera equipment bundle. Hold them up to a light to check the lenses thoroughly to look through them. Then, check for some internal marks. If there are small lines, avoid them at all costs. Such lenses have fungus and may affect the quality of photos.
If there are scratches or chips on the surface elements, you should also avoid them. However, if they’re only around the edge, there’s nothing you should worry about.
2. Know The Equipment’s Working Condition
The camera description will provide you with the details of the camera’s condition and other defects. However, ensure that you double-check if you go to see the cameras.
If the equipment condition is less than satisfactory, you may negotiate the price or decide not to buy it. Below are the things you must look out for:
- Autofocus – Put a lens on the camera and take some photos to determine if there are autofocus issues. You may also test autofocus using an autofocus calibration system.
- Sensor Dust – A small amount of dust is fine. However, if you’re dealing with a scratched or dusty sensor, you might want to get it professionally cleaned.
- Shutter Count – Use a free camera shutter count tool to upload photos from your camera and check the shutter count.
- Dead Pixels – Take photos using the lens available and view them on your computer to see if there are dead pixels. A few are expected, but it can be a cause for concern if you see more than four dead pixels.
- Battery and Memory Card Slot – Inspect these parts to check if they’re functioning as they should be.
3. Look For External Damage
Used camera equipment may appear to be in poor shape when it isn’t because of the poor quality of rubber grips. Remember that a rubber grip isn’t meant to last for a lifetime. Besides, it’s affordable and easy to replace.
What you’re searching for when examining your used camera for external damage is a sign that it has been dropped. If the camera’s corner is dented or there are scuff marks, you might want to avoid it and look for a much better one.
4. Year Of Make
In some instances, you can find hardly used cameras with few shutter counts. To know how old the equipment is, check the year it was made and whether it’s still available in the market or if the manufacturers discontinue the unit.
For those cameras, if some issues come later, you might find it challenging to get the replacement parts you need. But, on the bright side, it can be the best way to get your preferred camera for a small price.
5. Protect Yourself With A Written Return Or Exchange Policy And Warranty
When buying used camera equipment, it’s essential to ask for an exchange or return policy and warranty. If there’s one, read it carefully to know the options you can consider in case you encounter issues with the equipment you purchase. Reading the policy or rules can also help you get an idea about the time frame for returns and the associated costs.
6. Purchase From A Reliable Merchant
One of the basics when choosing a camera is to find a reliable merchant. It’s the same when you’re looking for used camera equipment. So, search for independent camera stores that most likely carry used equipment and provide unbeatable in-person assistance. This way, you can easily communicate with the staff and test the lenses or camera bodies before finalizing your decision.
If you want to avoid the hassles of shopping locally, you can also consider shopping online. Some online stores offer used photography gear at affordable prices. Although you can’t thoroughly examine the equipment, you can get a clue about its condition through the photos and description provided. Just ensure to choose a reliable merchant known for its quality used camera equipment to avoid problems in the long run.
Buying used camera equipment is a challenge for many. However, if you take time to search out a bargain and study the used item you’re considering, you’ll be able to find the right camera equipment suited for your needs and budget. Just make sure to remember the above tips and watch out for the red flags to avoid inconvenience and get the best value for investment.