Buying an SLR camera for Christmas?

Digital SLR cameras are growing in popularity, and there’s an increasing variety available for anyone who’s interested to take better photos Here are some handy tips to guide you through the process of making a purchase to ensure you buy gear of good quality and in the best condition. Everybody these days seems to have a digital SLR camera; with camera models constantly being updated, there are plenty to choose from on the second-hand market. We’ve developed a few tips to help budding photographers on their way up the never-ending ladder of fancy cameras with zoom lenses make better buying decisions when buying through DoneDeal. Growing interest Paula Malone Carty, a Wexford-based professional photographer and member of the Irish Professional Photographers Association of Ireland, runs Bluebell Studio in Wexford. She has noticed the increase in digital SLR ownership and teaches people how to use them properly. “I run photography classes; there’s huge interest in that format. People are interested in improving technique and understanding how the cameras work,” she says. While there’s a lot to learn from basic camera functions to composition, techniques, lighting, practical sessions, resolution and so on, there are also a lot of things people need to look out for if buying second hand. What to watch for Paula Malone Carty has put together the following tips for DoneDealers:

• look at the general condition of the body and the lens – check for marks and scuffs

• it is a good sign if the original box is available – it shows the owner took good care of it

• look at where the camera strap is connected to the camera; it’s a good indicator of how worn it is/how much it has been used

• make sure the batteries are still available on the market to buy

• make sure the battery compartment is clean and there are no signs of battery leakage

• fire the flash with a fresh set of batteries and see how long it takes to recharge. If it takes longer than 4-5 seconds, it may be coming to the end of its life

• make sure the hot shoe flash connection is working properly – the black coating rubs off if repeatedly used

• check the sync lead for connecting to another flash (you may not want to use an external flash but it gives a good idea if everything is in proper working order)

• take the lens off the camera, look up to the light and make sure there are no scratches or little lines that look like they’re etched into the surface – it could be a fungus!

• make sure connections of the lens are not worn down and are working properly; the same goes for where you can attach a filter – check the threads aren’t worn down

• ensure that the connections into the body of the camera are not bent or scratched – if they were, it would allow light in

• try the manual focusing and check it’s not sticking as you turn the field around

• if using the autofocus, check different distances and see how quickly it focuses

• always check there is no dust or grit on the sensor. If the seller has the instruction booklet it will show you how

• check all of the above in daylight. Any issues identified through the above list will give you a bargaining tool. Also ask if the price will include extras like a battery charger, flash gun, lens covers or camera bag. #Cameras #Electronics #Gadgets