Is an old camera cost effective?

Photography on a very limited budget.

I know some will feel that buying “Old Technology” is a step backwards when it comes to camera gear. Fortunately I dont suffer greatly from GAS ( Gear Acquisition Syndrome ). For some having the next latest and greatest is a must. I can understand a professional wanting to update their gear but for most of us, perhaps its not so important.

So can you really nab a bargain and get something that will last a couple of years while being budget friendly. Well in my case that is definitely what I got. After checking on Trademe to see what was on sale , it was soon apparent that there were plenty of 1000d’s for sale as well as 1200 & 1100d’s. All entry level cameras, most priced between 3 & 4 hundred dollars, some as two lens kits and some just with one.

For a good second hand entry level 2 lens kit I would be comfortable paying up to $400.00 providing the shutter count is low, meaning the camera hasn’t had a lot of work and should remain operational for a long period of time. How do you know if the price is right? Generally if the price is under 60% of a new model you are getting value. Better if the cost is 40-50% of a new model or in my case approx 20%. This is based on current prices from one of the largest camera retailers here, Photowarehouse 

The price of a new 1300d with a single lens is over three times what I paid for my used Canon and I have to say I was lucky to get it a that price, but you should not be put off buy the prices as there are always bargains to be had if not on Trademe and you dont mind waiting for a week or so E-Bay also has some substantial bargains as well.

Now back to the central question, is it cost effective and the answer is yes, provided you don’t absolutely need the latest innovations. For example the 1000d only goes up to ISO 1600 which might make some folks panic, but remember that 8 years ago ISO 1600 was what everyone was wanting, and there is only the odd time when I might want more,  particularly if I’m doing astrophotography. However there are a lot of stunning astrophotos taken with the little Canon, and I will be testing and documenting this process as well.

In my case the 1000d is a good little shooter that hasn’t taken a lot to get to grips with, bearing in mind that this also is my first DSLR. In the past I have used my film SLR’s and mirrorless cameras and the transition is straight forward with little fuss. Using the Fuji bridgecameras is  very close  to the process when using a DSLR only the DSLR has much better image quality.

To date my expenditure has been:

Canon 1000d twin lens kit ( used) $200.00 NZD

New 16 gig Sandisk SD card $17.00 NZD

New aftermarket battery charger $16.34 freight incl.

New aftermarket shutter release $23.00 freight incl.

New aftermarket LP-E5 battery $30.00 freight incl.

Total to date = $286.34 NZD.

Thats just under $200.00 US to set up a starter DSLR package. It may not have all the latest upgrades but it will still provide a good starting point to build on and lets you allocate funds for some better lenses, whether that be a stabilised zoom or a couple of nice used primes, so again I would say its definitely cost effective. You may also find you have some accessories that can be used with your new camera. In my case I have a number of filters and macro filters that will fit the Canon lenses, and of course I already had a very good tripod as well as a very functional bag that the camera came in.




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