Buying a Second-Hand DSLR

nikon-dslrWe're all looking for a bargain no matter what we're buying, but the lower the price gets the riskier the purchase may be. Some people say that certain prices are too good to be true when it comes to secondhand cameras - especially digital SLRs - but there are ways of telling the truth from fiction.

This article is here to help you the next time you're shopping for the cheapest and highest quality digital SLR cameras, helping you sort the wheat from the chaff. Don't let any crafty shops or sellers cloud your vision with our list of key things to look out for and, when you're ready, you can test out what you've learned on the high street or sites like eBay to find the best deals on the range of cameras available.

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Learn about the model in question

Knowledge is everything, and in the age of the Internet you can find out about almost anything. While you're browsing (or even before you begin shopping) take a minute to search through camera reviews to find either the model you're looking at or one that piques your interest. Amateur Photographer publishes a range of reviews. Even if you don't read all the way through, take a look at what each camera excels at and where its weaknesses are. It costs nothing but will save you a huge amount of money and disappointment later on in the process. If, for example, you are new to digital photography, look at models described as ‘entry level', such as the Nikon D3100.

What comes in the package?

Always check the details of what's included with a camera. Not only will this save you having to buy extra accessories later on but could potentially shine a light on bundle deals: why buy the camera by itself when there's a deal that includes a strap and case? Look out for important pieces such as extra batteries and cleaning cloths that will extend the life of your camera. Of course, the camera itself is your main priority, so don't be too eager to be won over by accessories.

It's all about the lens

It's crucially important that the lens of any camera you're looking to buy gets checked: make sure you ask a sales assistant to have a look in person or insist to the seller that you receive pictures of it if you're shopping online. Look for any obvious scratches or imperfections on the surface of the lens and around the housing of it - a place commonly missed during checks. If you do happen to spot anything suspicious or makes you worried - no matter how small - then just pass on buying it; it won't be worth the trouble of fixing later on.

Check the shutter count

This is something that a lot of consumers miss out on when examining digital SLR cameras-the motor used to open and close the shutter only has a finite amount of operations it can perform before it needs replacing, so you're going to want a camera that's still in its prime. Once again, insist to sellers whether virtual or real that you know the shutter count and compare it against maximum count numbers found online - Olegkikin.com offers data on popular models. You wouldn't buy a car without knowing how many miles it's done, so make sure you know what you're in for when buying a digital SLR camera.

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