“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”—Ernst Haas
It may come as a surprise but I sincerely believe you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment to make high quality glamour photographs. Of the three camera bodies that I use regularly only one purchased new. When a new digital camera is launched, lots of photographers who want to be the first kid on their block” with the new camera trade their old cameras for the latest model. This is the best time to buy the previously latest model and let the other person take the big depreciation hit. The below image was made with an Olympus E-M5 Mark I that was purchased as a substantial discount after the Mark II was announced.
There are subsets of used cameras called “demo” and “refurbs.” Big camera stores offer demo gear from time to time so it pays to have a sales person that you work on a regular basis so they keep you informed of these bargains. Refurbs are similar but somebody may have previously owned it and there may or may not be a camera warranty in the package.
Used cameras are available from many sources. For more than twenty-five years, I have purchased used equipment from Adorama, B&H Photo and KEH Camera Brokers and they remain a source of used gear for me. Many local camera stores have a selection of used digital SLR and some camera clubs or organizations sponsor shows at local hotels where you can actually see, hold, and feel used gear. Don’t forget that your friends are a good source of used cameras to purchase. It’s a win-win for both of you.
I have sold some cameras and lenses on eBay but have never made a major photographic purchase so I can’t speak from personal experience but I know many happy eBay buyers of photo equipment. And while the bargains that abounded in eBay’s early years have pretty much disappeared, it remains a great place to locate those hard-to-find items.
The final point is that I don’t care if the cameras are used; I’m going to use them anyway. It’s like getting a door ding in a new car, the first one is painful but you get over it. With used equipment—cars or cameras—I don’t mind if maybe they come with that “first dent,” now I can just use it happily shooting and making photographs.
My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography and includes information on all of the cameras used as well as the complete exposure data for each image. It is available from your friendly neighborhood book or camera store as well as at Amazon, where your purchase helps support this blog.