If you are on a budget and you want a high-end camera, you can consider getting a used one instead. Whether you want to buy a gimbal, lens, or camera, check the following 5 things before buying used camera gear to ensure the equipment is in good condition.
Camera equipment can be sophisticated, and it can be challenging to know whether it’s in good condition, especially when buying a used one. Fortunately, this guide explains the 5 most critical things you need to check.
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Shutter count is generally the number of times the shutter has fired, which represents the number of photos taken on that camera. Camera manufacturers usually give the expected shutter count, after which the shutter mechanism starts to wear out and potentially fail.
For instance, the Nikon shutter count ranges from 100,000 to 300,000, depending on the model. Although a camera can last longer than its rated durability, checking the shutter count can help you gauge the service life to expect from the camera.
One way to make your photography business thrive is to create video content, and you need to make sure the camera you are buying can actually capture high-quality images. Generally, a camera fails to take good images due to dust or scratches on the lens or sensor.
Take a picture of a white paper using a narrower aperture so that the entire paper is in focus. If you see spots in the photo, it could be dust. Clean the lens and sensor using a blower. If the spots persist, they could be scratches.
Like other rechargeable batteries, camera batteries tend to degrade over time, and you don’t want a camera that can only shoot when it’s plugged in. Start by checking the manual for the expected battery life for the camera model.
You can test the camera by fully charging the battery and then using it until it runs out. This will show you how long the battery lasts or how many shots it can take under normal usage.
You can then compare the performance with the expected performance on the manual and gauge how much the battery might have degraded.
A warranty implies that the seller is confident in the camera gear and is willing to take responsibility for issues that may arise within a certain period after purchase.
This assures you that you can get a replacement, repair, or refund if the gear fails to meet expectations or is defective.
The general condition of the gear can tell you whether it has been subjected to heavy use or poor maintenance. Some of the physical condition signs you can check include the following:
- Scratches on the camera’s LCD display
- Test to make sure the built-in camera flash is working
- Look for deep scratches or breakage repairs on the body, as they could indicate the equipment had been dropped
- Inspect all the buttons and wheels to ensure they are working
What Shutter Count Is Good for a Used Camera?
It’s advisable to buy a used camera with a shutter count that doesn’t exceed half of the manufacturer’s indicated shutter count.
Does the Seller Matter When Buying a Used Camera Equipment?
Yes, the seller matters. Generally, there are higher chances of getting good gear when buying from a reputable seller who deals with used products than from an individual.
Is Bill of Purchase Important When Buying a Used Camera Gear?
Yes, it’s important you ask the seller for the purchase bill to ensure you are not buying stolen gear. Usually, reputable sellers that give warranty for their products will also serve you with a bill of purchase.
The 5 things to check before buying used camera gear include scratches on the lens, sensor, and body, warranty, battery life, image quality, and the overall condition of the equipment.