>We have several posts about used DSLRs - particularly with >the ongoing replacement cycle and price drop on older models. >Here is a start of a checklist to evaluate a new DSLR - used >or new. Many of these issues are normal wear and tear - but >some can involve expensive repairs. > >Please add any additional suggestions or tips. > > >Check for signs of being dropped - deep scrapes or dents in >the plastic body. The camera is durable, but why ask for >trouble? > >Check the rubber on the bottom and the grip for any sign that >it is coming loose. While relatively uncommon, it is a >nuisance to repair. > >Be sure the pop up flash operates properly and does not have >any unusual play. The pop up flash latch can fail and the >hinges of the pop-up flash can be damaged. > >Be sure the battery door closes tightly and stays closed. >Battery doors can have a tendency to pop open or can be >cracked at the hinge. This is a common problem and can be >repaired yourself with parts from Nikon. > >Examine the lens mount for any signs of damage. Mount a lens >and remove it. Make sure it easily locks into place and does >not have any abnormal movement. > >Insert a CF card and make sure the camera functions properly. >Look for bent or damaged pins or binding when inserting the >card. Make sure the CF door opens and closes properly. > >Take a test shot of a plain background. Look for streaking >(damage due to improper sensor cleaning), hot pixels (usually >can be mapped out relatively easily), and dust on the sensor >(normal and easy to remove unless it is stuck on the sensor). > >Use an EXIF viewer to check the image count. Look in EXIF and >camera comment (in the menu) for indications of previous >ownership. > >Test each button or knob on the exterior of the camera. Make >sure selection knobs actually work. Problems are rare - just >easy to check. > >Make sure rubber covers and attachements are included. Make >sure the rubber viewfinder cover is attached and in good >condition. On the D200 and older look for the cover to the 10 >pin connector. Check flapping covers (covering transfer port >and 10 pin) to make sure they are not damaged. > >Examine the 10 pin connector to make sure no pins are bent or >broken. If possible, test the 10 pin connector with a remote >cable. > >Check and test the transfer port - look for damage. > >Batteries - be sure you have the Nikon battery with the Nikon >hologram. Generic batteries have mixed reliability. Nikon >replacements are available. > >Test the LCD screens on the back of the camera and on top of >the camera. Make sure you can scroll through all functions >and there are no defects in the LCD. > >Check the threads on the tripod mounting screw with a plate or >a tripod. Make sure the threads are not damaged by >cross-threading. > >Make sure paperwork is available and matches the camera. >Check serial numbers and model numbers. Paperwork is not >always available, but avoids the risk of buying stolen or lost >merchandise. It also may identify gray market merchandise (a >problem since Nikon USA will not service gray market gear; >authorized service centers that are not Nikon owned are >available in many major cities). > >Eric Bowles >Nikonians Team >My Gallery > >Nikonians membership — my most important photographic >investment, after the camera
very informative check list.
I keep referring to it whenever I consider getting another cam.