How to Buy a Used Canon Camera

Michael Sand
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Best Used Canon Cameras to Buy In 2018

We look at the best used Canon cameras to use to find great deals for your budget.

If you’re looking for a good deal on a used Canon DSLRs or other Canon equipment, you may be happy to know that there’s a website that is dedicated to giving you the best deal. This website is Pro Photo Supply and it is the number one listing site for used Canon products.

They have many cameras, lenses, and accessories listed on their site and if you’re looking to purchase used, then this is the place to go.

They also have a good selection of used Canon cameras that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of what they would be if they were brand new.

They have the Canon 1D Mark IV listing on their website, which is a very popular DSLR camera that is very high in demand. This camera is just outstanding when it comes to shooting fast moving objects.

It also has the ability to shoot at a very high ISO which allows you to have a higher shutter speed than if you were using a camera that didn’t have such capabilities.

When you are looking for not only the best used Canon cameras, but the best Canon cameras in general, this is a great choice for you.

Canon EOS 700D

The 650D was Canon’s mid range DSLR camera. It was the interim camera between the Rebel XSi and the 70D. They succeeded with the 700D which has a new sensor from Canon. Canon kept the same sensor as the 70D and the 6D. It also has Wi-Fi and GPS tagging capability built in for easy uploading to your smartphone.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a serious full-frame DSLR, designed for everything from advanced photo to cinema production. It has a high-resolution 30.4-megapixel sensor that delivers exceptional image quality throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range of 100-25600.

Built for speed, the camera features a fast 8-fps continuous shooting rate with high-speed continuous stills. It focuses as close as 1.25 ft. for near-macro shooting and offers full pixel readout for 4K video recording including Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24 fps, Full HD video recording at 50 Mbps maximum bit rate.

The camera features an all-new 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system with 41 cross-type AF points and a normal/wide AF area selection mode for improved autofocus tracking.

Additionally, the camera features extensive built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for easy transfer and direct sharing of images and videos to social networking sites through the dedicated Camera Connect app.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is compatible with the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses.

Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D

Where to Buy a Used Canon Camera

When you buy a used Canon from a retail store, such as a consumer electronics store, auction, or local classified ad listings, you are buying directly from a private citizen.

You should be familiar with the return policy of the store where you are purchasing from. Also, as a precaution, always ask for a receipt and keep it for your records. The receipt will include the name, address, and phone number of the person who sold you the camera.

Check Prices Online

The Internet is great for gathering information but you would probably be better off visiting an actual camera store before making your final purchase. That way you can see the actual product, compare prices, check out camera specs and ask questions from real camera experts.

Recall that a used camera, just like buying a used car, may have a history you need to be aware of before buying. Make sure you get the camera’s entire and complete wanted history, from the previous owner.

Also, check for any damage or defect that might present itself only after purchase. This way you can pass on the camera if anything is wrong or you can get the price adjusted after purchase.

Check Prices in Local Classified Ads

Buying a used camera at your local camera store or online on eBay can be pretty risky. You don’t know whom you will be purchasing from, or the general condition of the camera.

You may end up making a costly mistake, purchasing a camera that will break down on you at the worst possible time.

Whenever you purchase a camera, it is always a good idea to ask the seller for the camera's current shutter count (or use the camera's number from the firmware). A shutter count tells a lot about how much life your new camera has left in it. The shutter count is the number of times the shutter has been tripped since the day the camera was manufactured and shows the hours of life your camera has left in it. Lower shutter counts mean lower life expectancy.

Features like live view, autofocus, picture stabilization, etc. also quickly deplete your camera's shutter life. So, the higher the shutter count the more you can expect the price of the camera.

In order to reduce possibility of spending too much money on an expensive used camera, try checking your local paper's classified ads. It is rare to find high-profile advertisements but you can usually find a few local stores that can help you out.

Checking Used Canon Camera Quality

Canon cameras are among the highest quality of camera brands. And every Canon camera is built with the same quality and attention to detail. It’s very unusual to find a defective Canon.

But it’s not uncommon to find a camera that has some wear and tear. So finding a Canon camera that’s in good shape is not always easy. I’ve collected some useful tips to help you create a checklist for purchasing a used Canon. For a detailed guide on things to consider when making this type of purchase, check out the video on camera purchasing.

The first thing to do is hold the camera and make note of the size and weight of the camera. Look for scratches or any signs of wear. Check the battery compartment for signs of corrosion or wear. Find out how old the camera is and whether it’s been dropped. Ask for the receipts of any parts replaced like the lens. If the camera has been repaired, ask for the receipts. Feel the camera cover to check that it’s not loose and that the camera body feels sturdy and solid.

Shutter Count

Some camera owners are a bit picky when it comes to used camera purchases with the shutter count. While the typical shutter count for a used digital SLR camera ranges between 60,000 and 80,000 actuations, some people buy and sell used cameras at 5,000 to 20,000 actuations.

However the shutter count is usually not a reliable indicator of the camera's performance since shutter actuations aren't cumulative. Shutter counts only represent the number of times the shutter curtain has been opened and the shutter has been fired, which includes at least a few actual exposures.

Besides, the shutter wear isn't even related to the actuations, especially on DSLRS. The actuation value has more to do with the in-body mirror mechanism, which isn't even tied to a camera model or brand.


Today, there are a ton of camera choices out there. It’s difficult to know which to buy and a lot of folks tend to be swayed by camera design and other more superficial features.

If you are new to cameras, you might not know that there are basically three kinds of digital camera sensors out there. The first is the full frame, which is the biggest one, and the rest are alternately referred to as APS-C (Advanced Photo System-Classic) and Four Thirds sensors.

So what does sensor size have to do with anything?

It has to do with your artistic sensibilities and what effects you want to create with your photography.

Full frame cameras create a long depth of field, which is really great for landscapes and cityscapes where you know you want everything to be sharp and in focus. Alternatively, you’ve got APS-C sensors which have a more similar look to 35mm film (but smaller); their smaller size creates a narrower depth of field which means you can focus more specifically.

Same with Four Thirds sensors: they are even smaller in size so the depth of field is even narrower.

Lens Mount

The lens mount type refers to how the camera supports and holds the lens. Canon has several lens mount types, including the EF (Electrical Focus), EF-S (Electrical Focus Super) and EF-M (Electrical Focus Micro).

Canon's EF (Electrical Focus) is the standard lens mount type for Canon DSLR Cameras. This lens mount type has been used since 1987, and there have been many popular lenses designed for this type.

Canon's EF-S (Electrical Focus Super) is a more recent addition to Canon's lens mount types. EF-S lenses are designed for cameras with an APS-C sensor size. The equivalent focal lengths, when compared to 35mm standards, look even longer thanks to the €œcrop factor.€ For instance, a EF-S 10-18mm lens, if used on an APS-C camera with an EF-S sensor size, will act like a 15-27mm lens on a standard 35mm camera.

EF-S is becoming a very popular lens mount type for Canon users due to the incredible versatility of the lenses and the high quality image results they deliver.

EF-S lenses are also compatible with Canon's full-frame DSLR cameras, such as the Canon EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III and the Canon EOS 6D.

Viewfinder and Screen

The viewfinder is different from the screen in that it is what you will look through to actually take a picture. It is found in the top-left hand corner of the camera on the backside and should show a lot of settings that you will be able to change depending on your situation.

If you are using it outside or in a situation where light is bright, you can change the viewfinder to brighten it or reduce the screen to dim it. The focusing screen is the screen that you see when using the camera to take a picture.

This screen is touch-sensitive so you can use the proper settings on the screen to take pictures. These settings are usually found in the center of your screen and they consist of your shutter speed, aperture, zoom, ISO, etc.


Digital cameras generally rely either on contrast or autofocus to focus on a subject. Contrast-based auto-focusing is cheaper and easier.

The digital camera sends out infrared light which is reflected back by the subject and received by a sensor. The distance between the subject and the sensor then determines the brightness of light and its location is then used to determine focus. This process can’t see through most solid objects.

Autofocus is much more accurate and faster than contrast based auto-focusing. This works by having a sensor dept inside the body of the camera that beams out infrared light and a mirror that reflects it onto one of the lenses.

The contrast-based auto-focusing is not as desirable since it doesn’t always pick up contrast from all the angles. It’s also slower at focusing and getting a fix on a target.

Estimates suggest that autofocus working on a contrast based auto-focusing is usually accurate to within 2 inches or so. This is quite good for shooting a moving object.