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Old Jul 23, 2010, 2:01 PM   #1
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What are some of the things everyone looks at before buying a used dslr camera? I have been looking at buying one but did not know what to look for. I see that people always mention shutter count when they advertise, so how much is to much (count wise) to even consider buying?
Thanks for your help!

John
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 2:22 PM   #2
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John-

Purchasing a used DSLR is a chancy undertaking because you don't know if the camera was used with care, had been dropped or the like. Also the chance factor is further enhanced because there is no warranty.

If a friend of mine who I regularly shot with offers his DSLR camera for sale then I have something to judge by in evaluating the camera. So you can see what I am attempting to point out.

But perhaps we have the cart before the horse in this case. let's firstly investigate why you want to move to a DSLR camera. What are you hoping to achieve? Are you at peace with the larger camera size and the weight that it will add to your kit?

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Old Jul 23, 2010, 2:44 PM   #3
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When you buy a dSLR, you're making a commitment to a system of lenses and accessories that are tied to that body. If it fails prematurely, you're stuck with all those other purchases. If you buy a used dSLR, make sure it's part of a system you will want to stick with.

Buying a used dSLR is like nothing else. It's not like buying a used car; if the car fails, you can still use your tools and the car cover. It's not like buying a used television; if the TV fails, you can keep your cable company. It's not like buying a used dining room table; if the table collapses, you can still use the plates. If you buy a used dLSR, and it fails, you can't necessarily use your lenses, flashes and batteries on the replacement.
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 5:21 PM   #4
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Hi John,

Why don't you instead indicate your budget and what you are looking to do with the camera - how you want to use it. Then the folks here can make specific suggestions to help you in your search.

Used dSLR camera bodies can be tricky. Used lenses on the other hand have much longer life spans.

A number of manufacturers are coming out with new body announcements between now and September, and thus the old body prices tend to drop with the new announcements - which would be a wonderful opportunity for you.

So, there are plenty of options and alternatives here, along with a wonderful set of folks that are extremely knowledgeable and willing to help.

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Old Jul 23, 2010, 5:35 PM   #5
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I was looking for my first DSLR and after getting great advice form the people on here i decided to buy new. At least if something goes wrong i have somewhere to fall back to. Buy 2nd hand, other than from a dealer, and you have nowhere to turn when things go belly up!
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 7:52 PM   #6
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I am getting into dslr's because I just had twins and was wanting something to take better pics than a p & s. Also, will use it to shoot wildlife and landscapes. I have been looking at the 50d but have noticed a lot of 40d's for sale. I have looked at the t2i but not really into video.
What do you suggest?


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Old Jul 24, 2010, 11:30 AM   #7
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Not everyone who wants a DSLR will be investing lots of $$$ on lenses. It all depends on the reasons behind the initial investment. Many people these days choose a DSLR because some a very cheap compared to several high end P&S and will be better (overall) performers in many difficult conditions (photographing kids, sports and in low light situations are a few areas where DSLRs will most likely outperform P&S). Those people will be happy with no more than two kit lenses, the wa - usually 18-55mm - and a tele 55-300mm. For those in this category, price and ergonomics probably should dictate the choice since you would not care whether the system is largely expendable or not in terms of lenses. The reason I did not mention IQ and other features is because just about any low end camera brand will perform very satisfactorily (Canon T1i/T2i, Oly E620, Pentax K-x, Sony A380, Nikon D5000 and even m4/3 models such as Oly EPL1 and Pana GFn/G10/G2). Now, if you think you'll be turning photography into a more serious hobby (or even a profession), then you should absolutely take possibility for expansion into serious consideration. However, brands such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony all offer a very good lens selection, much more so than Olympus and for sure Panasonic.

In summary, figure out the true reason behind the desire to move to a DSLR system and go from there.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 11:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFCRAZY View Post
... I see that people always mention shutter count when they advertise, ...
Everything has a lifetime and a camera shutter is no different. I look at the # of shutter actuation as the millage on a car. It tells how much the camera was actually used. The number of actuation before the shutter needs replacing vary quite a bit between camera brand/model. I would not be comfortable buying a camera whose shutter actuation is greater than 10K (even though cameras can easily shoot over 100K images w/o any problems). But, that's my guideline. I have a friend who once bought a Nikon D2H (if I'm not mistaken), which had a shutter count of 182K. He really wanted that model and that was pretty much his best option. Soon after he got the camera, he had to send it to Nikon to have the shutter replaced (that's eBay gambling for you).
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 12:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFCRAZY View Post
I am getting into dslr's because I just had twins and was wanting something to take better pics than a p & s. Also, will use it to shoot wildlife and landscapes. I have been looking at the 50d but have noticed a lot of 40d's for sale. I have looked at the t2i but not really into video.
While the Canon has a bit of an advantage when shooting wildlife, it has a bit of a disadvantage when shooting landscape, so that's a wash. Canon's entry level dSLRs have a better autofocus system for sports/action shooting, and that might help when your twins get a little bigger.
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