Which secondhand DSLR, and where from?

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  • Which secondhand DSLR, and where from?
  • Premier Icon Simon E

    I bought a mate’s D70 shutter that had been replaced at 250,000 actuations. Cost was £145. However, I’d keep away from secondhand without a guarantee and new models are so cheap I’m not sure I see the benefit. And no, they\re not like old manual film cameras and don’t last indefinitely. Dirty sensors are a nightmare; damp ingress, heavy-handed cleaning or drops can all mean it dies without warning one day.

    If buying new you can’t go wrong with any of the main brands. Canon, Nikon and Pentax all have a strong reputation and good choice of lens ranges. All the current and recent models do an excellent job of producing photos. 10 megapixels will give improved image quality over 6, but you’ll only see it printing around A3 or larger.

    Olympus and Sony don’t convince me quite as well but I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with them! Ive tried the Oly E-400 (images have a 4:3 ratio, same as digicams, unstead of 3:2 of other SLRs) but I find the viewfinder even smaller than most. However, the camera works very well and fits well in smaller hands. In fact, how it is to use is more important than tech specs. If you go pixel-peeping (i.e. trying to find the best performance via online test reports) you’ll go mad and never be happy.

    Shooting raw is great but I’d get the hang of using the thing and the software first. There’s a lot you can do with one lens. I suggest you do what you can with that and only when you regularly find it’s not getting you close enough/you can’t fit everything in should you buy another. It’s one less choice to make, one less thing to carry.

    Always, always, always back up your files. Even if it’s just copying your jpegs to a USB memory stick (8Gb ones are about £15 now). I promise you’ll cry one day if you don’t do it.


    I bought a used D300 with a lens off ebay last years for about £150. It was in as close to ‘new’ condition as you could get. I think DSLR’s can be a very good used buy as ‘older’ low pixel count models are still going to be miles better than any compact. I’m enjoying learning the ropes and don’t worry about it getting damaged. Personally I only notice the limits of my camera when using a very high ISO.

    300D, not D300

    BIG difference 😆


    Photo geek


    And no, they\re not like old manual film cameras and don’t last indefinitely

    it’s worth pointing out that you’d never get to the same number of exposures with a film camera because you’d not be able to afford that much film…

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