How I Saved $15,000 When Shopping for Professional Digital camera Gear

It’s no secret that the majority photographers need the professional stuff. Certainly, maybe your favourite YouTuber has a Canon R5 or the newest costly L lens. Professional gear beats newbie gear in most areas, even when it’s 10 years older. I do know individuals who shot international campaigns in 2018 on a professional digital camera from 2009. Professional gear is nice however costly. Typically extraordinarily costly.

What if I informed you it doesn’t should be that manner? There’s a incredible manner of shopping for professional gear for a fraction of the price — shopping for it used.

I admit, every time I like to recommend a used digital camera (or any used gear) to anybody, they get frightened and begin telling me they don’t know what to purchase. A great buddy of mine informed me that they simply don’t know the place to look and what to search for. Whereas that’s a legitimate concern, I additionally strongly consider that there’s a vital unfavorable stigma round used gear that forestalls photographers from shopping for pro-level tools for a fraction of the price.

I’m not ashamed of claiming that 99% of all of my photograph gear is used. I consider that by this level, I’ve saved round $15,000 in prices. You’ll be able to too, and right here’s how.

The Best Manner

The best manner to purchase used gear and be certain it’s high quality is to go on the “used” sections in respected digital camera shops equivalent to Adorama, B&H, Amazon, and many others. That is by far one of the best ways to purchase used gear for a newbie, as you might be assured to get a digital camera as described.

Take note of the outline although. By no means purchase damaged gear. An alternative choice is to go to your native digital camera retailer and take a look at the “used” part.

When a enterprise buys gear from a photographer to resell as used, they’re fascinated by ensuring that it really works to allow them to flip a revenue. It’s of their curiosity to promote as described. Most shops are offering transport and restricted guarantee for his or her used gear, that means you should purchase from wherever. That is notably useful while you want one thing in a pinch for a job.

Shopping for used from giant shops has drawbacks, although. The most important one for me will not be with the ability to negotiate the value with the vendor. As I hunt for bargains, I’m glad to attend to search out the proper package for the proper worth.

The one time I used to be in a pinch was after I bought my 5D Mark II and had a job arising in three days. Fortunately a digital camera retailer had a 5D Mark IV going for a great worth, so I purchased it. My expertise was very constructive. The 5D was good and had a low shutter depend. I don’t care about scratches an excessive amount of.

For those who have been to purchase a 5D Mark IV now, you might save $800 by buying it used. For $800 you will get an honest used professional lens.

The Barely Tougher, Cheaper Manner

I name this the tougher manner as a result of it requires much more data of what you’re shopping for. I nearly all the time go together with this methodology as a result of it really works out to be lots cheaper. What I’m speaking about is shopping for from native sellers, equivalent to these on Fb Market or craigslist.

Fb Market is a bizarre animal. There are each bargains and outright scams on there, however normally extra bargains than scams. In any case, it’s a must to be cautious. Having purchased every little thing from lenses to mild stands from Fb Market, I’ve discovered that I nearly all the time negotiate for 10% cheaper. Usually, adverts featured on there are from professional photographers who have to do away with an costly little bit of package.

What to Look Out For?

The recommendation I all the time give to everybody shopping for any gear (new or used) is that it’s essential to, I repeat, should know what you’re shopping for. Listed below are some frequent issues that you need to take note of every time shopping for a used digital camera or lens.


In case you are out there for a professional digital camera, it would be best to take a look at the shutter depend first.

The shutter depend refers back to the variety of footage the digital camera has taken. Consider it like mileage on a automotive. The extra miles there are, the extra the automotive has seen. I have a tendency to purchase cameras which have under 20,000 to 50,000 actuations. Canon claims that their professional cameras final 150,000 clicks. They typically last more, however 150,000 is the watershed. A couple of have been identified to final 2 million.

The second factor is the bodily state of the digital camera. You need to be trying on the mirror, and the sensor. Mud is mostly advantageous, however there should not be any scratches or issues with the sensor.

Relating to the beauty state of the digital camera, I wouldn’t fear too a lot. Scratches and small imperfections is usually a negotiating level however solely that. My 70-200mm lens is from 2006 and it’s been via hell. In any case these years, it nonetheless works like a dream.


I discussed my 70-200mm, and for good purpose. The second factor it’s your decision is an honest professional lens. These may give you extra artistic choices, and can most likely last more. I like to recommend shopping for a used professional lens over a used common lens. Possibly I’ve been unfortunate, however all the typical lenses that I purchased broke inside a comparatively brief time. The professional gear goes sturdy.

Every time shopping for a lens, be sure that the autofocus and apertures work. The depth of area preview button is useful there. You’ll most likely get frightened about all of the tiny scratches on the entrance aspect and a mud particle inside. In actuality, it doesn’t have an effect on the picture high quality. Look out for main mud and huge scratches. I’d advise in opposition to shopping for if the harm is just too vital for you.

In Conclusion

Used gear has been good to me up to now. I strongly encourage everybody to purchase all gear used. This protects plenty of money that you could spend on bettering your abilities and data. Having spent plenty of time on discovering costs, I calculated to have saved roughly $15,000 on gear due to shopping for used. Some issues are finest purchased new, however that’s a complete different subject in itself.

Concerning the writer: Illya Ovchar is a business and editorial vogue photographer primarily based in Budapest. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the writer. You’ll find extra of Ovchar’s work on his website and Instagram.

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