Looking over Black Friday deals this week, we’ve spotted some incredible deals on new cameras and lenses, but for those looking for a real bargain, the second-hand market is where you’ll find some real hidden gems, including a DSLR for £25! These deals are likely to continue on to Cyber Monday, and longer!
For example, Harrison Cameras’ used section lists a number of fully working DSLRs for £25 body only, starting with the Canon EOS 350D.
The Canon EOS 350D (body only £25) is an 8MP APS-C DSLR camera, that takes EF-mount lenses, so you’ll need to pick up a lens to go with it. Luckily, the 50mm F1.8 lens is often on offer for under £100 new.
It’s a similar story at other retailers that sell used cameras, and here’s what we’ve found:
They also have the Canon EOS 20D in good condition for $35 / £33. The Canon EOS 20D is another 8MP camera, but with a much more rugged build, as well as more controls. Great for those who don’t want to worry too much about keeping their camera in pristine condition. In fact, a cheap DSLR could be a great option for kids who want to get into photography.
You can get the Nikon D40 from $33 to $73 / £27 to £48 (depending on condition), a 6MP DSLR, using the Nikon F-mount. Worth noting is that you’ll also find the Nikon D40X for a similar price from £32-48 / $56-68 (depending on condition), and this is a camera with a 10MP APS-C sensor!
Should you spend more for a cheap DSLR?
The cameras mentioned so far are just the cheapest DSLRs we’ve found, and it’s worth thinking about spending a little bit more money and seeing what this gets you.
It’s worth thinking about what point in time did the Digital SLR get good enough? Some earlier models are quite basic, as well as lacking in refinement when it comes to image quality, particularly around noise control and optical corrections for lenses.
This begs the question: How much do you need to spend for a good second-hand DSLR?
Of course, your own needs may differ from the next person, but if you’re looking for a cheap DSLR to get you started, then these models should offer something that’s “good enough” for most people. It’s also worth noting, that the more money you spend, the newer the camera, and the higher the resolution on offer.
Here’s where we show you some of the cheapest “good enough” DSLRs
Our Technical Editor, Andy Westlake, suggests that DSLRs started to get good from about 2007 onwards – with models to look at including the Nikon D300, Canon EOS 50D, and the Nikon D40 and Canon EOS 500D+ as entry-level options.
Let’s look at how much these go for, for the more professional (and more sturdy models):
Nikon D300 (12MP) – $77-169 / £71-91
The Nikon D300 sits in Nikon’s APS-C DSLR cameras for the more serious photographer, who wanted something dependable, but not as expensive as a full-frame DSLR. For a long time Nikon insisted that 12 megapixels was the perfect resolution, and nobody would ever need anymore, that was until they released cameras with a higher resolution, obviously. But for many 12MP was plenty.
Canon EOS 50D (15MP) – $66-104 / £34-86
The Canon EOS 50D introduced a new 15MP APS-C sensor, and a useful bump over the 10MP sensor found in the Canon EOS 40D. Originally priced at £1199 body only, if you keep this in mind, you’ll feel like you’ve struck gold!
Canon EOS 60D (18MP) – $124-214 / £98-154
The Canon EOS 60D bumps the resolution up to 18 megapixels, a resolution that Canon stuck to for what seemed like an eternity. Whether that’s because it hit a sweet spot in resolution and noise, or for another reason, doesn’t particularly matter. What does matter is that it gives you a resolution of picture that’s not that far off the 20MP and 24MP cameras that are sold new today.
And for the entry-level consumer DSLR cameras:
Nikon D40 – $33-$73 / £27-48
The Nikon D40 may only have a 6MP APS-C sensor, but for many people this was enough resolution, particularly when sharing with friends and family on social media.
Nikon D40x (10MP) – $56-68 / £32-48
The Nikon D40x takes everything that’s good about the Nikon D40, and basically puts a 10MP APS-C sensor in there, giving a nice boost in resolution.
Canon EOS 550D (18MP) – $34** / £44**-98
If you can’t find the Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i, then going down the range gives you the 15MP 500D / Rebel T1i (£56-58), and going up to the 600D gives you an 18MP camera and a price around £100.
What to look for when buying second-hand cameras:
Check the shutter count, and whether all the accessories are included such as the strap, battery and charger. If you buy from a reputable retailer then you’ll also get a warranty included, should anything go wrong. **At the lower end of the price scale, some cameras on MPB are marked as “Spares and repairs” so make sure you avoid these if you want a working camera!
*We earn commission from links used in this article, however, it doesn’t cost you anything extra to use these links. Prices correct at time of publication, offers may expire or change.