January 30th, 2021. A lot can go wrong when you buy used camera gear. We have compiled a checklist based upon experience what you should look for before you pay for that camera you plan to buy. The list below can be applied for DSLR cameras and most of it also for Mirrorless and Film cameras. Some items are only appliable for testing a used film camera and are marked as such. We also have a checklist for used lenses and a 50mm review, which might be of interest to you.
The Nikon D3X with its true 24.4MP CMOS sensor is still a great camera which is relatively inexpensive. New it was listed at $8,000 USD, used in 2021 it can be had for $1,500 USD or less.
We have many posts in the forums about buying used DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras, particularly with the ongoing replacement cycle and price drop on older models. The list below should help you evaluate a camera before you buy it. Several items of the advice here can also be applied for brand new cameras. Many of these issues are normal wear and tear - but some can involve expensive repairs. Standard rates for fixing e.g. a flash hotshoe can be $400 USD.
Make sure you have read up about the camera you are planning to buy before you do so. Nikonians Complete Nikon Index and our discussions in the camera section are great places to learn and to ask questions about a specific model.
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