Keen amateur Abi Winkle took the plunge and bought second-hand, and she’s never regretted the decision.

What kind of photography do you like to do and how did buying second-hand help?
I’ve really loved taking photographs for a number of years but it’s only been the last two or three years I’ve been taking it more seriously. I love landscapes, long exposures and night time photography. I’d like to get into portraits and give street photography a go, too. I started off with a bridge camera which was fine at first, but I felt it hindered me once I started learning new aspects of photography, so I did a lot of research into getting a DSLR. I discovered I couldn’t afford one brand new so I hunted high and low all over the Internet for a second-hand one. Buying second-hand helped me take the next step in my photography quicker than I thought it would although it did take me a few months to find a good deal and the camera I wanted.

One of Abi’s atmospheric street scenes

What gear have you bought second hand?
A Canon EOS 4000D DSLR with an 18-55mm kit lens. Following this I then bought a 50mm lens which is a great all-rounder to get started with. The 4000D was perfect for me as it allows wifi connection to my iPad so I can transfer images easily, giving me the opportunity to edit them using Photoshop Express and then upload them to my Instagram account (@asl_photo) or enter them into competitions.

What tips do you have for other people buying or selling second-hand?
Do your research! Not everything is as it seems, so read all the descriptions and buy from a reputable seller or retailer. I bought from a specialist retailer and the camera came with a six month warranty, which gave me peace of mind. Once you’ve made your mind up on what you want, you can then compare prices from different websites, check the condition of the item and don’t feel too scared to ask questions. If you can view the item before buying, I highly recommend this. Look for dust in the lens, viewfinders etc as this can effect the photographs you’ll take – although it can be rectified if you seek a good technician who can professionally clean your lens or camera, but this will cost extra. I will definitely buy second-hand again; I’m current researching my next lens, which will be a telephoto.