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Buying guide for used Nikon DSLR camera

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Buying guide for used Nikon DSLR camera.

Is it a good idea to buy a used Nikon DSLR camera?

I can definitely recommend buying used Nikon DSLR camera, Nikon DSLR cameras are strong – well build and last long, even 10-year-old Nikon can still be used for a professional photo-shoot, and the price is going down every year so you can definitely get a good deal, and the lens selection is huge.

What should I look for when buying a used camera?

This question can be answered in two ways, what kind of a camera do I need and what kind of a possible hidden flaw should I look out for when buying a used DSLR camera.

I have always look for a really cheap cameras online (little bit risky) and I had the cameras shipped to me without being able to test and look with my own eyes before buying, (only see photos) in half of these cases the previous owner told the truth abought the camera condition and the other half did not.

There is a chance to get a used camera with some kind of a flaw that the owner will not tell you about or he does not know about the condition of the camera, in three of my cases, it was a little bit serious and in the others cases, it was a minor thing.

Broken LCD screen or loose rubber, this can all be fixed.

Finding the best second hand Nikon for your needs.

You will need to ask your self what type of photography are you going to do? for whom? for a customer or just post photos to the internet?

how big is your hard drive?

can your computer handle a high megapixel camera or a low megapixel camera?

This is my recommendation and my idea of choosing used Nikon DSLR.

I have bought many new and used Nikon DSLR cameras to use for my hoppy and professional photography.

When I have a photo job I tend to select a camera that I think is right for that job, it can be an old 12-megapixel camera or newer 36-megapixel camera.

let us dive into this.

There are low megapixels Nikon cameras and there are high Nikon megapixels cameras, and then we have Nikon cameras that are good in high iso.

High ISO

There will come a time when you need a camera that can perform well in High ISO from 6400 to 12000 ISO, which has happened to me many times where I can not use flash and I have to use High ISO instead (I use auto iso most of the time) I use editing software to decrease ISO grain from my photos,

I’m sure that all cameras will have some kind of ISO grain from 6400 to 12000 ISO but some cameras are just better than others, it has everything to do with pixel density and the camera processor engine.

Best Hige ISO – older Nikon DSLR cameras to 6400 ISO is – D700 – D3 – D3s – D4.

Best high ISO Nikon DSLR cameras to 12000 ISO is D500 – D750 – D4 – D4s – DF – D5.

For landscape and cityscape photography

For landscape and cityscape photography, all cameras above 16 – megapixel should be good, This is a personal choice.

Nikon D3200 – D3300 – D3400 – D3500 all have 12 bit compressed raw, max.

Nikon D5100 – D5200 – D5300 – D5500 – D5600 all have 14 bit compressed raw, max.

Nikon D7000 – D7100 – D7200 – D7500 – D600 – D610 – D750 – all have 14 bit Lossless compressed raw, max.

Nikon D4 – D4s – D5 – D500 – D800 – D800E – D810 – D850 – DF – all have 14 bit uncompressed raw, max.

For wildlife photography

For wildlife, you need fast autofocus, Nikon D3 – D3s – D700 – D300s – D500 – D7200 – D7500 – D750 – D810 – D850 – D4 – D4s – D5.

For outdoor portrait photography with flash.

You need a camera that support HSS flash photography, Nikon DF – D2X – D2Xs – D3 – D3s – D3x – D4 – D4s – D5 – D700 – D600 – D610 – D750 – D800 – D800E – D810 – D850 – D200 – D300 – D300s – D500 – D7000 – D7100 – D7200.

For studio close up – macro photography

For studio close up using flash, like jewelry and macro photography, pictures for the internet like eBay, an older and low megapixel camera can do that, Nikon D2X – D2Xs – D3 – D3s – D700 – D200 – D300 – D300s – D500 – D7000 – D90 – D80 – D70 – D70s – D60 – D40 – D40x – D50 – D100.

For studio photography

A high megapixel camera with flash sync port would be my choice, Nikon D500 – D3x – D800 – D800E – D810 – D850 – D4 – D4s – DF – D5.

For events photography

For events like weddings – music, and party, etc. D750 – D810 – D850 – D500 – D300s – D700 – D3 – D3s – DF – D4 – D4s – D5 – would be my choice.


If you need one camera that can do all this, then the Nikon D500 is the middle one, you can get very usable high ISO pictures with the Nikon D500 and 20 megapixels is an enough for most stuff, the camera can shoot HSS and has a flash sync port for studio work and fast autofocus system. plus if you need to shoot video you can shoot 4K, the price on used D500 is about the same as used Nikon D4.

Nikon D500 on

What is a good shutter count for a used DSLR?

50% or less of the estimated shutter count, but this is not necessarily always right, I have bought a camera that had shutter count of 1200 pictures and the sensor was broken, someone had probably dropped the camera without any damage on the outside of the camera body but enough to damage the sensor, plus the Nikon estimated shutter actuation numbers are mathematical….AVERAGE….and, not an exact number, it is all about if the camera is fully working right now and is looking good, not missing rubber or buttons and etc.

How many years does a DSLR last?

As long as the camera is working, in my opinion, a good camera like D700 – D800 – D3 – D4, etc. can easily be used for 10 years.

Is it worth getting a used Nikon DSLR?

Yes absolutely, price on used Nikon DSLR is really good nowadays especially after so many have moved to mirrorless cameras.

How do I know if my sensor needs to be cleaned?

When you see a lot of dust spots in your photos then the sensor needs cleaning, dust spots can happen when changing lenses often.

Is buying a DSLR camera a good investment?

Probably not, so many people have but there DSLR camera to rest because they have a good camera in there smartphone.

What can you do with DSLR camera that you cant with a smartphone camera, the options to use good lenses and flash, especially HSS flash photography is something smartphone camera can’t do, and what about the lifetime of DSLR camera vs Smartphone how many smartphones have you broken already.

I have broken three and my wife and daughter have broken two past five years, all were very expensive and had good cameras in it, but the price I have paid for those five phones is the same as the new Nikon D500 which I would rather have right now.

Which one is better Canon or Nikon?

I’m a Nikon fanboy, but I don’t have much experience with other brands to say which one is better, its probably all good.

How do you check a camera sensor?

If a camera sensor is going bad – the camera will not take a picture or the camera takes a picture but the picture is pink ore purple with black stripes or just black – the shutter gets stuck, but sometimes a stuck shutter can be a bad battery or something else.

This is a photo from a Nikon D50 with a broken sensor.

Can shutter count be reset?

Not that I know off.

Can you replace the shutter on a Nikon DSLR?

Yes, Through a Nikon camera service.

How many shutter count is too much?

When the shutter brakes, then that is too much shutter count.

But if the camera is working fine then there is nothing that says too many shutters count.

Which is better mirrorless or DSLR?

That is a personal choice.

I think the mirrorless cameras will win one day or a mix of DSLR and mirrorless just like the D780, but I think DSLR cameras have 10 more years at least.

How often should you replace your camera?

For professional photographers, it was five too ten years but technology is moving faster nowadays, now it’s more like 4-6 years.

I’m still using five and over ten years old DSLR cameras for my work.