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Newbie Camera Recommendation? Used or New?

Hey! I'm a newbie looking to get my first DSLR. I'm not going to try to make photography my career, but I do want a good quality DSLR for travel photos/videos. My only requirements: vari-angle monitor and can shoot video. I was hoping to get a used T3i but since they were discontinued, they are obviously few and far between. I was hoping to get a used camera because of price and since I'm a beginner, it would be something that would give me a good opportunity to learn. I'm open to suggestions on what camera to get. I know nothing, so any info would be good. Thanks!


I am not a big fan of buying used.  Especially buying consumer grade cameras and/or lenses.  It is OK and a good way to get some equipment but you must know either the person you are buying from or how to test the camera/lens very throughly.

Buying use pro gear is usually a good deal as it is so much more durable.  It is also worth reparing if necessary.


A good place to get used cameras is KEH.  They give you a good return policy.  B&H and Adorama are good sources, too.

Be careful on Craigslist.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

If you can get a good price on Craig's List and you can see the seller and get a good vibe, I think it can be a good deal. I have never bought there but I have sold, and people got a very good deal on perfect equipment from me. But yes be careful.

A used lens should be no more than 70% of retail, and a body should be less than that. A lot less if it is 3 models out of date.

A T3i would be a good starter camera.

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Personally I would never be a buyer at 70% on a Rebel.  Especially three models back.  More like 50% is in order.  And, IMHO, no more than 50% on EF-S lenses.  They are just built too flimsy.

The "L" line is quite different though.  Some actually go up in value on the used market.  And 1 series cameras seem to hold value well. 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


You should check out the Canon Online Store (assuming you are in the U.S.), the refurbished camera section.


They are out of stock of the T3i right now, but get it in from time to time. You can put yourself on a list to be notified when stock is available. They sometimes have sales there, too.


It looks like T3i usually come with an EF-S 18-55 IS II lens. If you are interested in other lenses to complement it, there's a refurbished lens section on there on the website, too.


Refurbished are often just demo models or similar that have seen very little actual use and I believe they all come with a full warranty.



Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories


If me I would consider a lower-cost new camera. A second-hand high-end camera may not be easy to use at the first.

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