Six reasons why you should purchase used camera equipment

downloadIt baffles me when parents talk to me about getting the latest and greatest non-linear video editing gear for their kids, or the best camera equipment when they’re struggling to eat. Yes, I’ve heard this before! Don’t fall into that trap, we’re still not out of the friggin’ recession!

First of all, no one should be allowed to have the latest anything if you’re struggling with bills. Point blank.

But if you’re a photographer, I always encourage people to buy used equipment first, for a couple of reasons. Here they go:

1. Do you know how many people thought that they would get into photography, and then when they realized that it was too much work, they put the camera down? More than I’m willing to count. So why not purchase their equipment?

Look on Craigslist for photographers that live in big markets for weddings and events, like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, etc. Then pay them shipping, and voila! That camera is yours. My buddy just purchased a Canon 5D MkIII body for $75. It is a top of the line camera, and nothing was wrong with it. Why did the person sell it so cheap? They had money to blow, someone purchased their equipment for them, and they may have been on meth. Either way, my friend got a steal on Craigslist. I’m not saying that something this lucky will happen to you, but you could get a really great deal if you look for one.

2. Teenagers change their mind like they change iPhone versions. That alone should make you leery of purchasing new stuff for them.

3. You have to purchase the creative cloud for a monthly fee. So you need to be aware of that extra monthly cost before you purchase. But there are ways around it.

You can still get everything you need done in terms of photo editing with Photoshop Elements and Lightroom, which you can purchase at Frye’s for really cheap online. Yes, it’s an older version, but it’s enough to get you started until you decide if you want to continue to pursue photography.

Also, Sony Vegas is a great non-linear video editing program for beginners. Don’t sleep on them! I still use Sony Vegas, and I’ve been an editor for almost ten years (although Premiere Pro is my thing nowadays). You don’t have to change codecs settings to upload a video to Youtube or Vimeo, and Sony Vegas is available for Mac and PC. Plus, you can purchase the whole suite for around $80 used at Fryes. it comes with a sound editing program, color editing program, DVD burning software, and a video editing program. It will be a little outdated, but you can upgrade the suite online for dirt cheap at no monthly cost, unlike Premiere Pro.

Oh yeah, and Sony is constantly giving savings to loyal customers. Go with Sony until you can support your video addiction.

4. If you don’t trust yourself enough to put a lens on your camera, then you shouldn’t be purchasing it to begin with. Buy the cheap Amazon equivalents, or some meth head’s old equipment, until you can teach yourself how to properly put on a lens. Plus, using cheap equipment has, oddly enough, taught me how to work on the edge of my equipment. The more that I push the limits with photography, and the more comfy I become with my equipment, the better I get. As a photographer, we always have to be on the edge of our equipment, and what’s the point of having equipment if you don’t know how to use it?

5. If you’re a damn good photographer with a high end camera, then you’re a damn good photographer with a point-and-shoot. Don’t let your equipment dictate your talent. Let your equipment enhance your talent.

6. Look diligently for a deal on computers, especially Macbook Pros. I purchased mine from MacMall, but Adorama, B&H Photo Video, and certain resellers on Amazon are always having great deals. Keep searching for a deal, especially after Christmas.

Click here for tips on how to purchased used equipment from my favorite photographer, Ken Rockwell. Also, check out the video below on what to look for when purchasing a camera.


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