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-   -   Any reason not to buy a new, but older camera? (

The Doctor May 20, 2004 4:47 PM

Let tell you a short summary of a bad experience. I like to buy older versions to save money. When I went to PriceGrabber, the site said the camera was in stock, on PriceGrabber. They had over 1400 reviews, only 7 bad. Needless to say I did not get it right away. I ordered it on March 28. They billed on March 30. They changed the status of the order from Processing to Shipping on April 14. I called many times. Three of the times I had them call their warehouse and found out it was not in stock. I wanted to cancel and they said they would take a 15% restocking fee. Even on a camera that was not in stock. I went to their site and searched for the camera. It did not come up. But PriceGrabber still had it listed as in stock. I wrote a bad review and sent it to PriceGrabber and PriceGrabber never published it. I went to other low price sites that advertised on PriceGrabber that it was in stock. They did not have it on their web page. I had to go to the 8th price up before I found it on the web page. CAVEAT: Don't trust PriceGrabber. Look at the site. Call and have them look in their inventory. Look at the policy for the site before you order. Don't believe the rating list at PriceGrabber. Don't let them String you along when you are buying Online.

Mikefellh May 21, 2004 12:20 PM

Regarding "The Doctor"'s post, before you buy from a company you never dealt with before (either online or offline) check out to see if there have been complaints about that company. Also, before buying online or from certain areas in New York, check out this article:,107855,00.asp

As for buying an older camera, I'm all for it (up to a point). Personally I bought an Oly C-700 when the current model was the 720 and the 730 was going to be announced in a month (but I didn't know about it)...I saved $200 on my purchase because the store wanted to get rid of the older camera. I said "up to a point" because some older digicams were very basic and didn't have any features (like not being able to view the pictures you've taken). Check out Steve's Reviews before buying as well.

Also, if you live in a big city you may have a (trustworthy) camera outlet store that deals specifically with older in Toronto, I have the Henry's Outlet Store to go to:

SeaDweller May 21, 2004 1:50 PM

Thanks everyone.............I decided to bite the bullet and go with a Sony DSC-V1. I figured this is something I'll have for a long time, and to jump through flaming hoops to save a hundred bucks or so didn't make sense.

I hope my decision isa wise one! ;)

Setiprime May 21, 2004 2:28 PM

Steve had the right idea folks -

I pack my "old" nikon 5700 in my car. Its a great "just in case" backup tool.

It still takes some of the finest macros you can imagine. It should be good for a long, long time.

Not woth the $1000.00 I paid for it on the E-bay circuit - so I'll keep it.

My "new" Canon 300D will probably end up the same way !!

atlantagreg May 22, 2004 10:25 AM

gibsonpd3620 wrote:

Try this link for a Nikon Coolpix 2100 refurb.

I do not anything about this vendor.


If you live near a "BJs Wholesale Warehouse", they have the newer 2200 brand new for only $20.00 more than this.

atlantagreg May 22, 2004 10:33 AM

One thing to keep in mind too, is that "back then" (meaning 3-4 years ago or so), digicam makers were not caught up in the production wars they are now.

In the late 90s, many makers only came out with a very small handful of digicams per year. This was of course, because it was new and fewer people were buying them, but it also resulted in their taking the TIME to make sure quality stuff went out as well. Today, it's more of the mentality on their part of, "How can we save a dollar, have fewer quality control employees, and still crank out 50 new models this year?!?".

Case in point: The older D-460 and 490 Olympuses were very well made, and had excellent lenses and image processing. They were around $400 to $600 when new, too.The 460 was only 1.3MP but can take better photos than most ofthe new entry level 2MP models you see today. The Olympus 2100uz is a classic. Can be had now for under $400 if you look around, but was around $1,200 when new, but still takes better photos and has more features than some of the new models being made today. In other words, like most things in this world, older items were made with more thought and care than new stuff which is meant to be "disposable" (even digicams).

As Steve mentioned, warranties and supportcan be an issue with older models so take that into consideration. But this is a great time to look for older models, because we're now far enough along that you CAN get a 3 year old camera that takes good photos, and save $$.

pianoplayer88key May 23, 2004 1:49 AM

Any idea what would be a good 1.3 megapixel fixed-zoom (38 to 50mm range) for low-light fast shutter available light shooting? My Canon S1 IS is way too noisy for some things I want to do at ISO 400, and I don't want an EOS 1Ds (I don't need 11 megapixels) or an EOS 1D Mk 2 (don't need 8 megapixels) or a Rebel (as with the other two, I don't need interchangeable lenses here either for what I'll be using it for).
This camera will strictly be an in-my-pocket camera for low-light no-flash pictures of active people within 10-15 feet of me (with 3/4 of the person fitting in the frame - a head + shoulders + half torso shot would be at about 4 to 5 feet away or so.

Alan T May 23, 2004 3:22 AM

One good reason to buy older rather than newer is the creeping prevalence (or technical advance, as the manufacturers would say) of proprietary Li-ion rechargeable batteries.

AA and AAA size Ni-MH batteries and chargers are extraordinarily cheap, robust and universal. Once you know the rules (keep several sets, and keep them topped up with a universal smart charger, ready for action) they're the best batteries ever, for all sorts of portable devices.

Perhaps Li-ion will soon achieve similar usefulness and universality, but it hasn't yet.

This is a good example of the way market forces cause cycles in consumer goods. The latest technology often works better, but at a high cost, and all the manufacturers follow each other at the expense of the user, while they're working on common standards and cheapness. To achieve the technical advance, there's occasionally a great leap backwards in convenience and upwards in cost. At present digicam prices are the lowest ever, but there are hidden costs in batteries and chargers.

May 23, 2004 3:42 AM

If I had to buy an older model camera today, it would be an Olympus C2100UZ...without question, Maybe 50% of my site pics were made with this 2.1MP camera & many 8x10 prints have been ( & they kick ass)! I wish I had kept mine...easy to use, good pics, great images...what more do yoiu want?

Alan T May 23, 2004 3:51 AM

gibsonpd3620 wrote:

One of the best cameras I owned was the Olympus C4040Z....the4040 is still in the family taking great pics.
I have been kicking myself for trading in my Oly 3020Z when I bought my Casio QV5700. I like my newer camera, generally, but I have any number of family members now needing a digicam, and the Olympus would have been perfect for them, and quite often for me as well. I've gained some pixels, but not a lot else.

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