Buying a 2nd Hand DSLR


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#1
Hi,

I'm going to be taking a look at a couple of second hand dslrs, and this is my first purchase of a dslr.

What should I be looking out for besides the cosmetic aspect? How do I check for fungus, any other kinds of defects, etc etc?

I understand the best thing to do would be to bring a friend who is more experienced to take a look, but sometimes they are not always free.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

wind30

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Mar 14, 2004
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#7
one thing is when buying from CS is that you can check the posting history of the guy selling. See if he is a pro and shoot like a LOT. or an amateur who like seldom shoot anything to gauge the usage of the camera.

I usually NEVER buy anything from pros as I believe their usage of the camera/lens is very high.

my 2 cents.
 

Apr 20, 2006
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#8
camera is a precision machine. i would rather get a new one.

Get from one of those people who think that they are 'prosumers'. They take their cameras for holidays... shoot a few birds... and then sell them. Most of the time, they sit in their dry cabinet. Quite worth it.

Cameras are quite well made these days. They usually last a while. No need to get a new one if you are on a budget.

But you should be patient, and wait for a good one to come along. The best time is when the new model comes out. For example, there was a glut of 350D when the 400D came out. Actually, there's not much difference between the 2. Some people have too much money, and wish to upgrade, so it's good for people who is trying to save money.
 

#9
Thanks for the input guys.

I agree with the point that there's no need to buy a new one, especially for a first timer like me. If I decide not to stay on in photography, then at least I don't feel that much of a pinch.

Yup, am going to take a look at a D70s (with the new D80 out). I believe that the camera will be more than sufficient for me.

Thanks again for the input! I think the guy I'm buying from has been on this forum for a long time, and seems like most people are happy with the items that they have gotten from him.
 

user111

Senior Member
Jul 27, 2004
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#10
beyond cosmetics - the advanced testing techniques:

test the sensor - shoot on a white or plain object and load on a computer to see if the colour distribution is uniform or if any weire lines / streaks appear - signs of sensor damage or shutter damage.

test the shutter speed - eg. manually select 1/8s and hold the camera next to your ear and fire at 1/8s and hear if it really sounds like 1/8s. repeat for those important speeds from 4" to 1/125, in 1-stop increments. with practice, u will not mistake 1/4s from 1/8s. if at any speed the shutter sounds sloppy or to rapid - itmeans the shutter calibration is off or damaged. switch to BULB and hold for a few minutes - to ensure that the BULB function does work.

test every custom function - see that they really work as indicated

test the flash system - mount a hotshoe flash and mount a lens and see that every zoom setting and aperture reading in the viewfinder and top LCD display panel tallies. this will prove that the flash, dslr and lens can all communicate flawlessly
 

#12
beyond cosmetics - the advanced testing techniques:

test the sensor - shoot on a white or plain object and load on a computer to see if the colour distribution is uniform or if any weire lines / streaks appear - signs of sensor damage or shutter damage.

test the shutter speed - eg. manually select 1/8s and hold the camera next to your ear and fire at 1/8s and hear if it really sounds like 1/8s. repeat for those important speeds from 4" to 1/125, in 1-stop increments. with practice, u will not mistake 1/4s from 1/8s. if at any speed the shutter sounds sloppy or to rapid - itmeans the shutter calibration is off or damaged. switch to BULB and hold for a few minutes - to ensure that the BULB function does work.

test every custom function - see that they really work as indicated

test the flash system - mount a hotshoe flash and mount a lens and see that every zoom setting and aperture reading in the viewfinder and top LCD display panel tallies. this will prove that the flash, dslr and lens can all communicate flawlessly
thanks for the detailed tips! would never have thought of those myself...
 

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