Digital single reflex lens (DSLR) cameras vary enormously in price from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars for a new camera. Of course, you can get used or second hand cameras considerably cheaper than that through auction sites like eBay and from the local newspaper classified advertisements. Before you buy cheap SLR cameras, you might want to consider whether it's the best deal for you, regardless of any discount price you can negotiate in a sale in a shop or advert or online listing. Let's look at some of the advantages and disadvantages for buying a cheap digital camera.
One of the obvious advantages of buying a cheap digital camera is the amount of money you can save. The most expensive camera ever purchased was a 1923 Leica 0-Serie Nr.107, one of only 27 cameras produced in this series, which sold for a whopping $1.9 million at auction this year. The most expensive digital SLR camera on sale today is the Phase One P65+ Back with 645DF Body. This camera retailed for $58,000 when it first appeared, although now it retails for about $40,000 only. The cost of a high end professional DSLR camera, such as the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III is $12,000. A cheap Canon model such as the Canon 1100D (body only) retails for about $400. Similarly, a cheap Nikon model like the D3100 (body only) retails for about $460. Go to an auction site and you can probably pick up an old model camera for as low as $50.00. Another advantage is that buying an entry level SLR camera, as opposed to a professional model, means that you can produce reasonable quality photographs without knowing too much about digital photography. These cameras have fully automatic and semi automatic functions as well as manual controls for the more ambitious photographer. Professional models have a greater range of controls and produce much better quality photographs suitable for commercial use and large poster size prints. Generally, you will also find that cheap DSLR cameras are lighter and less bulky than more expensive types. You are able to find cheap lens to fit these cameras that often come with the camera body as a kit for the price.
The disadvantages of buying cheap SLR cameras are equally obvious. Cheaper cameras are often flimsy and made from plastic, as opposed to metal as in the more expensive types. You won't get superior quality photographs when you use a cheaper camera. Although, it's fair to say that just because you own an expensive camera, you won't necessarily shoot good quality photos. That depends on the photographer's skill rather than the camera you use. Some disadvantages of cheaper SLR cameras relate to their performance. The more expensive cameras have the ability to shoot with an ISO over 12,800 in low light without excessive noise being produced on the photo image. Cheap DSLR cameras suffer from an excessive noise factor with ISOs higher than 1600. Shooting speed as in frames per second is lower in cheaper DSLR cameras than in professional models.
Buying cheap SLR cameras can be a bargain at the expense of quality, performance and the life of the camera. If you want to shoot snapshots, you probably would benefit from spending only a small amount of money. If you want to be a professional and capture great photographs, then you may need to consider buying a high end, more expensive digital SLR camera.