Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 1, 2010, 8:24 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Bynx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,646
Default Good Used -- Is there such a thing?

I just read a post by someone who wanted a good used digital camera. That got me thinking. Is there such a thing? I have a Pentax film camera which is just turning 30 years old. It still works and, by comparison to my Fuji S700, produces a pretty crappy picture. But it still works. Can that be said of a digital camera? I was told by a camera dealer that digital cameras have an expected life of a certain number of pictures it can take. When I told him Id taken about 25,000 images in just under two years, he was surprised I was getting such good mileage. Mileage was never an issue with a 35mm camera. Or was it just that people never took as many pictures with one? I have no problems buying a used film camera. But Im not so sure about a digital. Anyone have any info on this?
Bynx is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 1, 2010, 8:46 AM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Film cameras have issues, too. ;-)

You've got mechanical parts involved (mirror, shutter, etc.); not to mention seals, dials, gears, and what not). You also see timing issues, meter issues and more. Camera do break. ;-). It's just that a typical film user has far less shutter actuations (on a budget level camera), compared to someone using a Digital SLR type model (where it's easy to run up lots of shutter actuations).

When I'm out shooting, it's not unusual for me to take hundreds of photos in an afternoon (and sometimes over 1000, depending on what I'm shooting).

Depending on the camera, a shutter may last 20 to 40K clicks, or in a Professional Level Model, you may get well over 100K clicks. Some new Professional models are designed for 300,000 shutter actuations, and even the new Nikon D5000 has a shutter tested to 100K actuations (which is unusual in this market niche). Of course, "tested to" doesn't mean guaranteed. ;-)

You've also got more electronics involved in modern digital cameras. For example, capacitors can break down over time, limiting the lifespan of a camera (not to mention electronic contacts for dials, switches, etc.).

You've also got mechanical parts in lenses that wear out over time. Stripped Autofocus gears is a common problem with lenses, depending on their build quality. You can also have aperture iris related issues (again, mechanical parts do wear out).

Now, I've still got an older Nikon Coolpix 950 (point and shoot type camera) that works fine. But, it stopped keeping the date and time settings years ago.

Your best bet buying used is to buy from a reputable dealer that is going to thoroughly check a camera and grade it fairly and offer a short term warranty on used gear. My favorite vendor for used gear is http://www.keh.com
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 2010, 12:42 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,234
Default

There are nearly as many things that can go wrong with a film camera as with digital. Seals break down over time, springs get slack, gears wear, etc. Most film SLRs, though, were very well made, and intended for pro or advanced amateur use. If you are comparing a P&S digital to a film SLR, the comparison is not really valid.

I purchased a DSLR, used, and couldn't be happier. If you are considering it, do a lot of research first, decide on the model you want, and then be patient. Getting the model you want at the price you want to pay can be done, but may require passing up several others first.

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2010, 10:48 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 42
Default

I had the aperture iris in a Nikon 50mm macro lens brake on me back in the 80's, it was not on a Nikon camera but a animation camera that used a solenoid close it, got about 2,000,000 frames off of it.
whitepass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2010, 11:11 AM   #5
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepass View Post
I had the aperture iris in a Nikon 50mm macro lens brake on me back in the 80's, it was not on a Nikon camera but a animation camera that used a solenoid close it, got about 2,000,000 frames off of it.
Only 2 Million Frames? Did you complain to Nikon?
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2010, 9:39 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,990
Default

I have 60,000 pictures with my Nikon D1x, over 80,000 with the D2x - No problems...

I'm up to 5,000 with my Sigma DP-2 as well.

A place like B&H Photo rates it's used equipement on a scale of one to ten. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to buy any of their used stuff that was given an eight or better.

I once sold them a Sigma 28 to 70 lens that I had treated as if it was made of glass (Hmm, I guess it IS made of glass). Anyway it was "MINT" and they rated it an eight...

Dave
Chato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 5:04 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
rfortson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 349
Default

I do think it's a matter of more shots with digital, because the "film" is free. Plus, there are more things to break on a modern digital camera. Still, all things considered, the reliability is pretty amazing on these things.

Back to the original question, I think there are good used digital cameras. For P&S models that don't have a mirror and less mechanical parts, I think they may outlast an entry-level dSLR. If the dSLR has low "mileage", then I'd buy it if the price was right.
rfortson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 5:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

I think you hit the nail on the head with film. You really do not shoot say 500 photo a day with a film camera back in the days. That would be quite expensive just for the film, then factor in the processing cost.

I know that when I shot an still shoot film. I spend allot more time setting up the shot if I have the time. To try to get it right with as little retakes as possible. I notice I will bracket allot more with digi then film. So 25000 pic for a film camera, would equate to quite a few years for a film shooter. And when you get to that kind of usage on a film body, it would require a pretty heavy overhaul.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:06 PM.