Cameras, like many pieces of gear, come at a considerable discount when you buy them second-hand. However, if you're looking for pre-owned cameras, there's always the possibility that you could end up with one that won't last as long as you're expecting. Whether you've got a product in mind or are browsing a larger selection, use the following guide to ensure you get the best deal.
How to Buy a Pre-Owned Camera
1. Purchase From a Store
It's always best to start your search at a camera store. These dealers stock many pre-owned cameras that go through rigorous inspections before hitting the shelves. They may have a larger selection, and their staff will also take the time to educate you on the products you're interested in. Should there be any issues with the camera, they'll help you exchange it or provide repairs as needed.
2. Assess the Exterior
If a camera has exterior blemishes, dings, or scratches, it's a sign that the owner probably didn't take care of it. This could mean there's damage inside that isn't apparent. You don't want to find out about previous water exposure or a hard drop that'll create problems once you're the owner, so be wary of even the slightest cosmetic damage.
3. Check the Shutter Count
The shutter count lets you know how many photos a camera has taken, which will give you an idea of how much use it's seen—similar to the mileage on a used car. The average professional camera receives about 10,000 clicks per year, so if the count is over 100,000, consider purchasing a new or other pre-owned camera.
4. Inspect the Lens
A damaged lens essentially renders a camera useless and will require a costly replacement, so take a close look at it. Watch out for scratches, rub marks, and fungus, which will look like patterns similar to spider webs. Also, check around the lens mount for additional signs of damage, since scratches, dings, and other issues could create problems down the road.
Whether you’re in the market for a new or pre-owned camera, turn to The Shutterbug. This Portland, OR, camera store has served enthusiasts and beginners alike for over 45 years with a large selection of products. They also offer photo printing and photography services, which you can explore online. Call (503) 227-3456 to speak with a sales associate today, and connect on Facebook for more photography tips.