How to Buy a Used Digital Camera

Like many of you, I started my photography with a small budget, but now having been emersed in the camera world, I realize that "used" is also an option. As usual, people often ask us what type of camera is the best, and I just remind them that it's about the person holding the camera, but we also know that's not what they want to hear. Here are a few tips.

Of course, people want an exact brand which stands above the rest always and forever. Usually, I still engage in the conversation and ask what budget they feel comfortable with.

In my experience, most people ask for a great camera under $500, and they want interchangeable lenses, HD video, and a few other goodies. Since $500 is an ambitious goal, I remind them that used cameras are an option and that they should take advantage of them.

To make the process easier, I asked the guys at a small camera store to help us. Fullerton Cameras is the same little shop that I bought my first camera from, and I wanted to go back to where it all started. My first camera was the Canon 40D. I bought not one, but three total memory cards. Each was a whopping 4 GB!  Big things were about to happen with my 12 GB of storage!

If you've considered buying a used camera but have no idea what you should be looking for, watch this video. Fullerton Cameras does a great job explaining a number of things about buying a used camera:

  1. What are the general things to check on a used digital camera? Round One of inspections.
  2. What to bring with you on a private sale
  3. When to walk away from the deal
  4. What's the oldest that camera you should consider buying?
  5. Should you invest more in a lens or body?
  6. Other not-so-obvious inspection points
  7. Flash, Lens removal, mold, scratches, etc.
  8. How do I know if the camera I'm buying is stolen or not? What should you look for?
  9. Craigslist and eBay listings for camera sales
  10. What is shutter count and how to deal with it?
  11. Should you buy from a professional photographer? And more...

Walid Azami's picture

Walid Azami is a Photographer/Director and creative consultant from Los Angeles. He got his start working with Madonna + Co by contributing to her many projects. It was then he realized his place in the creative world & began teaching himself photography. He has since shot Kanye, Mariah Carey, Usher, Bernie Sanders, JLO, amongst others

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