Old 04-21-2009, 04:13 PM   #1
dea720
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Default Thoughts on refurbished cameras

I am looking at getting my first camera and am considering either a Nikon D40 or D60. Looking at the prices the refurbished ones I have seen on Amazon are very tempting. Has anyone on here with more expertise with cameras ever purchased a refurb and if the case or not, what advise would you give? this isn't something I'm going to buy today or tomorrow as I just coughed up some serious dough on other things. But I'd like to get out there and start shooting before the summer is over.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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What is the definition of refurbished? Does that really mean used? I wish I could be of more assistance to you, but my only experience is with used SLR cameras. I had a pair of used Nikon F3's and they were fine.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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I think of refurbished as being in the gap between new and used. I usually buy used - craigslist is pretty active in a major city like DC - but I have purchased a lens refurbished (from Adorama) and am completely satisfied. I try to avoid buying new and I can't think of anything I currently own that is new besides my flash unit. My camera body was purchased used.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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I'd toss in a vote for buying used via Craigslist. That way you can get your hands on the camera and try it out, make sure it focuses, the screen works, etc. That's what I did when I upgraded my body.

If you're leary of Craiglist, I can also vouch for used equipment via KEH.com. I've purchased and sold lenses through them, and have never had an issue.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:37 PM   #5
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I just bought my D60 body from Henry's, open box but new. Also bought two used lenses from them. All toghther I paid about $800 CDN for the body, a used for a 55-200VR and 18-55. I can't tell the difference. Some of the refurbished ones I see on Ebay are supposed to have been instore demos that are factory refurbished.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advise guys. I checked out KEH.com and even called them to ask some questions. That is most likely going to be where I buy my camera from.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
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I bought my first factory refurb. item about half a year ago (from a good reputable camera store) and I'm pretty much convinced I got a sub-par performing lens. It's a Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM that I got to replace the "kit lens" that came with my XTi (older non-IS 18-55mm) but no matter what I've tried the focus tends to come out slightly blurry or unsharp to the point that it can't be corrected in Photoshop. The autofocus also tends to hunt back & forth across the entire range and periodically blows the shot all together (grossly blurry - makes your eyes hurt!). At first I thought it was perhaps me (how I'm using it) - but it's doing consistently worse than the kit lens I got it to replace and worse than my Canon G9 for the exact same shot/same time. I've heard the lens is supposed to be a decent one and it gets good reviews so I'm thinking it's my copy that simply isn't performing as well as it should?

Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? Would you like a link to a full size out-of-the-camera shot taken under good conditions that I think should be sharper/better than it is? (to check to see if I'm going nuts or it really doesn't look good)

My thoughts to the original poster are a "caveate emptor" reminder - buying used (especially from an individual) you may not have much or any recourse if it's not to your expectations. While more often than not (if you're careful) you may get a great deal, there's more risk. I'd especially aim for a "try it before you buy it" although sometimes you can't tell until you've used it a bit. Aren't the "refurb" models usually demos or returns that have been (at least theoretically) inspected, tested/repaired & re-packaged by the factory for re-sale?

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Old 04-21-2009, 10:06 PM   #8
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dea720 View Post
I am looking at getting my first camera and am considering either a Nikon D40 or D60. Looking at the prices the refurbished ones I have seen on Amazon are very tempting. Has anyone on here with more expertise with cameras ever purchased a refurb and if the case or not, what advise would you give? this isn't something I'm going to buy today or tomorrow as I just coughed up some serious dough on other things. But I'd like to get out there and start shooting before the summer is over.
I can't personally tell you anything about a Nikon dSLR as I'm a Canon user but I have a friend that uses a D40 and I have to say from the results he gets that it would be a wise choice. I would say, go brand new as the D40 if I'm not mistaken is somewhere around $400. Below are some examples of what a D40 can do in different lighting conditions.

Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 270980
Photograph © Paul Duda


Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 264931
Photograph © Paul Duda


Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 264766
Photograph © Paul Duda


Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 252290
Photograph © Paul Duda
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:21 AM   #10
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The glass Paul uses helps out a bit But all kidding aside, Paul does some wonderful work, I applaud him!

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Old 04-22-2009, 01:46 AM   #11
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:12 AM   #12
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If you're going to go with a D40 or D60 and plan on going refurb, I'd say to definitely go for a D60 deal like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...on=refurbished

IMO, the D60's advantages (MP, continuous shooting, stabilized lens, etc.) clearly make it the better buy at this time than the D40.

Cameta is a reliable seller, well known on Amazon and BBB certified. Can't say I've made a big purchase from them before, but they've shipped me memory cards with no problem.

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Old 04-22-2009, 11:57 AM   #13
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I bought my D40 'refurbished.' It was a sales floor demo, so the refurbishing consisted of them cleaning it and making sure that it worked. I'm satisfied with it.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE Tower 1999 View Post
I can't personally tell you anything about a Nikon dSLR as I'm a Canon user but I have a friend that uses a D40 and I have to say from the results he gets that it would be a wise choice. I would say, go brand new as the D40 if I'm not mistaken is somewhere around $400. Below are some examples of what a D40 can do in different lighting conditions.
Were all these photos taken in full auto mode?
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:25 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advise guys. I checked out KEH.com and even called them to ask some questions. That is most likely going to be where I buy my camera from.
[certified old fart]

Ahhh, the good old days . . . when we used to visit KEH's store and rummage through the flash guns, bulb adapters, and even buy new-in-box Nikon F2s and motor drives years after they were out of production.

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Old 04-22-2009, 01:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE Tower 1999 View Post
I can't personally tell you anything about a Nikon dSLR as I'm a Canon user but I have a friend that uses a D40 and I have to say from the results he gets that it would be a wise choice. I would say, go brand new as the D40 if I'm not mistaken is somewhere around $400. Below are some examples of what a D40 can do in different lighting conditions.

Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 270980
Photograph © Paul Duda


Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 264931
Photograph © Paul Duda


Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 264766
Photograph © Paul Duda


Image © Paul Duda
PhotoID: 252290
Photograph © Paul Duda
Pfft. I think Paul Duda could take a homemade camera from a Quaker Oats box and get awesme results.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bau View Post
Were all these photos taken in full auto mode?
Hi Mark,

I'm by no means an EXIF expert, but it "looks" like Paul Duda uses the same exposure mode that I do when I shoot with my D40x....which is to say full manual exposure. Honestly, having looked at a bunch of Paul's work here, I would be extremely surprised if he's using auto exposure modes. My experience is that my D90 and D40x do an "OK" job with auto exposure if what you want are snapshots. If you really want to nail the exposure however, full manual is the only way to go.

My two cents on the new vs refurb issue is to go new if you can afford it. My experience with used electronics (I work in the telecom industry) is that refurb generally just means used UNLESS you buy it from the manufacturer, where parts are easily replaced and upgrades can be done. As for the D40 vs D60 discussion....no-brainer there.....go with the D60. It has a significantly higher res sensor and the sensor shaker. Dust can be a problem on the D40, especially if the shooter changes lenses in the field a lot.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Were all these photos taken in full auto mode?

I believe they were shot in manual mode.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:49 AM   #19
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Pfft. I think Paul Duda could take a homemade camera from a Quaker Oats box and get awesme results.
That probably isn't too far from the truth.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #20
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Hi,
I use a D40 and bought mine NEW for 499 with an 18-55mm lens kit. At some places recently, I've seen a new D40 on sale for around 600 with a 18-55 and a 55-200, which are both good lenses. If you are looking at refurb, which I have bought from in the past for other cameras, either is still a good choice. The only difference which I believe I know separates the D60 from the D40, but I can't remember if it's the D60 or D80 that does this, is that you have to set manual settings by looking in the eyepiece(if someone can remind me upon this that'd be great. The good news with the D40 is an easy to use way to set manual settings and is easy to use for a DSLR. I would prefer the D40, but either one I'm sure is a great camera.

Hope this helps and best of luck!
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:09 PM   #21
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I got a refurbished Canon 40D (a demo) from Adorama 5 months ago. It came in a generic Canon box which suggested to me that the refurbishing was done by Canon. Except for a bent cover on the manual, everything was as new. I couldn't tell if it was not. BTW, my 17-40MM f4 L Canon was also bought as a demo from Adorama. I'm completely satisfied with both purchases. The total money saved: about $300.
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:25 AM   #22
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I wouldn't mind buying a refurbished camera for a higher end camera like a D300, D700, D3 or D3X. I've seen a lot of refurbished Nikons for sale and it makes me wonder why. With my limited experience I presume that Nikon is getting rid of some models. I thought I got a great deal on my D80 when it was really just a discontinued model. Less than a year later I could have bought it for 1/2 of what I paid.
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