7 Things You Must Check When Buying A Used Camera

If you're eager to have a camera, buying a used one might be a good idea, especially if you have a tight budget. The digital camera market regularly updates, so you'll find a good selection of cameras on sale. Opting for a used camera is an excellent way to upgrade your gear without straining your finances. Whether you're considering getting a camera for an upcoming vacation or interested in taking professional-looking photos, buying a second-hand camera is an option worth checking out.

used camera guide

Remember, though, that not all are in optimum shape when checking out second-hand gear, so you need to be meticulous during the buying process. If you can’t decide on where to start looking for a good selection of used cameras, you can buy camera here or go through other reliable providers online.

Once you settle for a used camera, here are several things you need to check before buying one:

1. External Appearance

Inspect for any external signs of damage. In most cases, expect minimal scuffs, scratches, and marks, but if there are significant blemishes, it's a clear sign the camera had a previous dropping incident. The rubber grips typically come off when in regular use, but you can easily replace them at a low cost. Even the external grips might wear out and become loose over time.

2. Shutter Count

The shutter count is one of the crucial things to check in a used camera. Generally, it'll provide you with an idea of how often it’s used throughout the years. A used camera with a low shutter count indicates casual use while a high count may have seen professional use. When looking for a second-hand model, sellers usually show the shutter count.

3. LCD Screen

The LCD screen will require you to shell out a large amount when replacement is necessary. With this in mind, make sure to check for any scratches or cracks. Don't forget to inspect for sand, dust, or other debris in the viewfinder.

You should also take some photos to see if the color and brightness level are still in good shape. If you consider a camera with a touchscreen option, check if the touch feature works seamlessly. If the model has a swivel screen, it's best to use it to ensure no problems during rotation or turning of the screen.

4. Sensor

When most people buy a camera, they typically check the body, LCD screen, or viewfinder. However, they usually miss out on inspecting the sensor. Remember that a camera's external appearance won’t matter if it has internal issues you need to pinpoint right away.


One of the usual issues is scratches or imperfections on the sensor. You need to take extra care when buying a used camera since some sellers might not provide the overall condition straightforwardly. In most cases, problems with the sensor are often common among older camera models.

Try to shine a light on the sensor to ensure it's in good shape. If you overlook this simple measure, you might experience problems during your photography shoots sooner or later.

5. Focus

When checking the camera's focus, switch to manual focus mode and steadily rotate the focus ring in a clockwise direction and then anti-clockwise. Once you encounter resistance in which there's an evident jam in the ring, requiring you more effort to rotate, it might need cleaning or a lubricant.
The next task is to switch your camera to auto-focus. Point at objects at different distances and observe how the lens responds. If it takes some time to focus, it's likely among older camera models. However, if the camera doesn't lock the focus, it's an issue for concern.

6. Batteries

Finding a used camera with a battery in good condition is rare, but consider yourself lucky if you encounter one. When checking a second-hand model, you need to check if the batteries are still available in the market or manufactured by the company.

Don't forget to check for any stains in the battery compartment. The presence of stains or discoloration is a sign of a battery leak.

7. Camera Lens

If you're planning to purchase the lens, an inspection is essential. You need to remove the lens and position it up against the light to check for any scratches. Always remember that both the back and front elements of the lens should be in good shape.

Additionally, the contacts or electronic protrusions responsible for transmitting information from the lens to the camera should be clean and without any irregularities.

Final Thoughts

If you have a limited budget but want to upgrade your photography gear, a second-hand model might be an option worth considering. Today, you can check out a vast selection of used cameras in good shape. Once you decide to buy one soon, you should consider these things to ensure you'll be investing in a functional camera.