Buying a used Camera, do's and don'ts ?

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Buying a used Camera, do's and don'ts ?

Postby Automode on Tue May 26, 2009 5:09 pm

Hi everone,

I borrowed my mates Canon EOS 30D (efs 17-85mm lens) for a weekend, even with no idea how to use it ,ive found it makes all my other previous photos look very ordinary.

I am now considering my options of looking for a similar type of camera second hand, and i wondered what things i should look out for when buying a used DSLR ,or should i avoid second hand all together ?



Thanks in advance,

Steve
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Re: Buying a used Camera, do's and don'ts ?

Postby aim54x on Tue May 26, 2009 5:19 pm

HI and welcome to the forum Automode.

Firstly just some housekeeping, please modify your location to meet forum requirements, CITY, STATE is not acceptable, you can use CBD, CITY, or TOWN/SUBURB, CITY/STATE (refer to the FAQ for more info).

Buying a 2nd hand camera is a good way to pick up some good gear cheaply. I have never bought 2nd hand digital but I have bought film cameras 2nd hand. If you choose to trawl the net then all the usual online buying precautions apply, READ descriptions carefully. If you decide to have a look in shops then make sure you check for physical damage, signs of water damage, play with the buttons and take a few photos (if possible) varying the settings to make sure it appears to be working fine. A digital SLR should come with its battery and charger, do not buy one without these as buying a charger and battery can be an expensive experience. Check that the lens is free from dust and fungus (looking through the lens at a bright light usually shows these if they are present) and make sure that the zoom/focus rings turn nicely.

Hope this helps
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Re: Buying a used Camera, do's and don'ts ?

Postby Matt. K on Tue May 26, 2009 6:14 pm

If buying a film camera:
Check the pressure plate on the opened back of the camera. If it is well worn and polished then the camera has had a lot of film through it. Pass it by. Check the baseplate for scuffs and scratches. If marked then that could indicate that a motordrive was fitted at some time. Motordrives are very hard on cameras so pass it by. Check that the shutter cocks and fires smoothly at all shutter speeds. Take the lens off and ensure the mirror moves correctly. Check that the pin or lug that connects with the lenses to operate the auto iris is not bent or broken. Check that the light meter indicates f11 or f16 at 1/500 sec with the ISO set to 400...(meter off grass or grey card on bright sunny day), or check the meter reading with another camera to ensure accuracy. Check that the shutter curtain is unmarked and has no kinks. Check that the following letters appear on the front or top of the camera...N...I...K...O...N... :D :D :D
Regards

Matt. K
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Re: Buying a used Camera, do's and don'ts ?

Postby ozimax on Tue May 26, 2009 6:49 pm

Matt. K wrote:Check that the following letters appear on the front or top of the camera...N...I...K...O...N... :D :D :D


Matt is actually pulling your leg here. He prefers C-A-N-O-N cameras (not). :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Buying a used Camera, do's and don'ts ?

Postby Automode on Tue May 26, 2009 8:24 pm

Thanks for the replies so far, i will be looking at Digital SLR's only, Film is way to hard for me and always seems to get stuck in the USB port..... :cough:



I have only used a Canon 30D ,so i can't compare it to any other brand, i did feel comfortable with the Canon in a very short time and i guess if i had to choose right now, my preference at the moment would be a Canon, but input on any other brands will be welcome.

I know im only at the edge of the pathway leading to entry level, so im not in a position to be looking at the best DSLR , i just wanted to be armed with a little bit of knowledge, so i may help myself avoid a disaster should a bargain camera come up for sale.



Steve
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Re: Buying a used Camera, do's and don'ts ?

Postby aim54x on Tue May 26, 2009 9:44 pm

Film getting stuck in the USB port? your meant to stick it into the CF card reader!! :rotfl2:

If you are looking, I would advise going to pay a few camera stores a visit and pick up and play with the Nikon D90, D300 and the Canon 40D/50D. This will let you compare a good starting point for your investigation.

There is method behind this madness, pick the camera that you like the feel of the most, then shop for a D80 (if you like the D90), D200 or S5 Pro (if you like the D300) or the 40D (if you like the 40D/50D). All of these cameras will be good to learn on and allow you to grow and play with a variety of lenses, and all are available at decent prices 2nd hand.

Cheers
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