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Thread: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

  1. #1

    Default Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Hi all,

    I have been renting DSLR for years (for hobbies), and now I decided to buy myself a DSLR. I wanted to get a pro body, but due to budget problem, I only can get a 2nd hand one.

    I am looking at Canon 5DIII / 1DX or Nikon D700,D800,D810,D4. My doubt is if I got one of these( esp 5DIII and D700), will it last for the next couple of years? Will the service centres will still service these models?

    So is it advisable to get a later model?

    I don't want to spend a few thousand bucks and "touch wood"; the camera broke down and it cannot be fixed.


    I hope someone here will enlighten me.


    Thanks


    Regards

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    nobody can give you a definite answer as each photographer is different, we don't know how often and how much you shoot, and how would it justify the spending for your case

    and one more thing you might want to take into consideration, although pro bodies are more robust, but the cost of repairing of such bodies are generally cost more than the lower end camera bodies, as high as a 2nd hand price of mid range DSLR.

    so boiled down to the most basic question, you use a pro bodies is a need or a want, only you have the answer to this.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    I am guessing that you are fairly experienced with dSLRs, since you mentioned you have been using them over the years, and since you have an inclination for the higher-end models.

    Thus, I am quite certain that you would be aware that there is a certain value-to-age ratio. dSLRs depreciate fast, and thereafter, slow down again. From this logic, the models that are just behind the current tends to yield the best value. Having said that, there may be some features that only the latest dSLRs have.

    As for servicing, I won't worry. If they can handle the old film SLR, and their first few dSLRs, they can handle the cameras in your list.
    KF Photography
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    nobody can give you a definite answer as each photographer is different, we don't know how often and how much you shoot, and how would it justify the spending for your case

    and one more thing you might want to take into consideration, although pro bodies are more robust, but the cost of repairing of such bodies are generally cost more than the lower end camera bodies, as high as a 2nd hand price of mid range DSLR.

    so boiled down to the most basic question, you use a pro bodies is a need or a want, only you have the answer to this.
    As just a consumer (not even a prosumer), the question of a need or a want is always troubling me. It is a good time for me to re think this question again.

    However, I suppose all the models I have mentioned are build to last right? Even the repair cost is high

    Regards

  5. #5

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    Why not get a new one which is within budget? Eg D750 probably costs same as D810 used. May not be that pro, but still rocks

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blur Shadow View Post
    I am guessing that you are fairly experienced with dSLRs, since you mentioned you have been using them over the years, and since you have an inclination for the higher-end models.

    Thus, I am quite certain that you would be aware that there is a certain value-to-age ratio. dSLRs depreciate fast, and thereafter, slow down again. From this logic, the models that are just behind the current tends to yield the best value. Having said that, there may be some features that only the latest dSLRs have.

    As for servicing, I won't worry. If they can handle the old film SLR, and their first few dSLRs, they can handle the cameras in your list.

    Thanks for your reply, but the 2nd question comes in place after your reply. Do I need to pay a premium to get the camera fixed? Or it is better for me to get a mid range camera, which will not cause me so much for repairing (it is related to the value of buying and repair cost ratio)


    Regards

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaT View Post
    As just a consumer (not even a prosumer), the question of a need or a want is always troubling me. It is a good time for me to re think this question again.

    However, I suppose all the models I have mentioned are build to last right? Even the repair cost is high

    Regards
    nothing last forever,
    fyi, recently I sent my D700 for repair, the cost of repair is about the same as an used D7000.

    to be cost effective, I would buy rather buy a used lower end camera, use it until I write it off.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by trd2970 View Post
    Why not get a new one which is within budget? Eg D750 probably costs same as D810 used. May not be that pro, but still rocks
    this is the another problem for DSLR rent-ers, cause we rent mostly high end bodies, so we would like to get a pro body instead of the mid-high end body. Nevertheless, Thanks for your recommendation


    Regards

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    nothing last forever,
    fyi, recently I sent my D700 for repair, the cost of repair is about the same as an used D7000.

    to be cost effective, I would buy rather buy a used lower end camera, use it until I write it off.
    You have the point also

    If you dont mind, can i ask you a few questions?
    1.how many years have you been using it?
    2.Are you are heavy user?
    3 Are you the first owner of the D700?

    Regards

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default

    #1, same year when it came out.
    #2, yes.
    #3, yes.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaT View Post
    You have the point also

    If you dont mind, can i ask you a few questions?
    1.how many years have you been using it?
    2.Are you are heavy user?
    3 Are you the first owner of the D700?

    Regards
    If I'm not wrong catchlight is a professional photographer.
    Look at his signature.......

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    #1, same year when it came out.
    #2, yes.
    #3, yes.
    You are a pro, so I cant compare my usage with you. But still you got the point, nothing will last. I will think about it before making purchase. Hope I will get a sincere seller.


    Regards

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaT View Post
    this is the another problem for DSLR rent-ers, cause we rent mostly high end bodies, so we would like to get a pro body instead of the mid-high end body. Nevertheless, Thanks for your recommendation


    Regards
    Should be able to do a simple cost/benefit analysis to see if you'll save more renting vs buying right?

    If you rent X number of times a year, how much are you paying?
    If you buy the same equipment you would otherwise rent, how many 'rentals' would you have to do in order to break even? Is it a figure that realistically reflects your actual usage?

    That's roughly how I decide to rent or buy. The tricky part is expenses you can't really factor for like unforeseen problems, esp if you're buying 2nd hand. I would say that if cost is such a huge concern, perhaps you're better off renting for now. Less to worry about. Save until you can comfortably buy what you want new.
    Last edited by kandinsky; 17th November 2015 at 10:11 PM.

  14. #14

    Default

    I think you can find a used high-end dSLR that wouldn't need too much repairs, if at all.

    I'm quite proud to say that most of the equipment I sell were still in excellent condition at time of resale.

    Most professional grade dSLRs can take quite a beating, and given that there are quite a number of hobbyists / amateurs who go for top end equipment, I would think choices are fairly good, since I see that you are not restricted by a particular model.
    KF Photography
    Thanks for viewing!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blur Shadow View Post
    I think you can find a used high-end dSLR that wouldn't need too much repairs, if at all.

    I'm quite proud to say that most of the equipment I sell were still in excellent condition at time of resale.

    Most professional grade dSLRs can take quite a beating, and given that there are quite a number of hobbyists / amateurs who go for top end equipment, I would think choices are fairly good, since I see that you are not restricted by a particular model.
    Afterall, it depends if I am lucky or not to deal with a sincere seller, right?

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kandinsky View Post
    Should be able to do a simple cost/benefit analysis to see if you'll save more renting vs buying right? If you rent X number of times a year, how much are you paying? If you buy the same equipment you would otherwise rent, how many 'rentals' would you have to do in order to break even? Is it a figure that realistically reflects your actual usage? That's roughly how I decide to rent or buy. The tricky part is expenses you can't really factor for like unforeseen problems, esp if you're buying 2nd hand. I would say that if cost is such a huge concern, perhaps you're better off renting for now. Less to worry about. Save until you can comfortably buy what you want new.
    agree..there's also the depreciation of owned equipment to take into account in the equation

  17. #17
    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaT View Post

    Afterall, it depends if I am lucky or not to deal with a sincere seller, right?
    What makes a "sincere seller"?

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaT View Post
    Afterall, it depends if I am lucky or not to deal with a sincere seller, right?
    Regrettably, that's the risk involved in preowned purchases. My experience thus far has been pleasant, thankfully.
    KF Photography
    Thanks for viewing!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Maybe u can advise what is your budget?

    I have a friend who have a under used d700. I doubt it has more then 10k shutter count. She has the trinity lens which again is under used. All bought first hand and in good condition. If you keen can pm me.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Is it a good time to buy an old (2nd/3rd hand) DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by darrrrrrrrrr View Post
    What makes a "sincere seller"?
    a sincere buyer dont hide anything about the camera before the deal. if the camera have something defective, or he have dropped it on the floor. hw will heads up the buyer before hand

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