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Buying a Digital Camera

Be Careful When Buying Used Cameras

SUMMARY: A few things to look out for if you try saving money purchasing a used digital camera, especially one online.

Thinking of saving a few bucks purchasing an older, used digital camera instead of a new top-of-the-line model? While saving a few bucks is always a good idea, caveat emptor when purchasing a used digital camera, especially one online:

* Connectors can be worn or broken on used digital cameras. If possible, try to examine the camera to ensure it is easy to insert and remove digital camera memory, watching out for broken pins. If the camera is a dSLR, see how easy it is to attach and de-attach lenses.

* Although this problem is rare, digital camera LCDs can have a dead, or stuck, pixel. While this won't affect taken photographs, an off-color pixel can be annoying when composing photos or reviewing taken pictures.

* However, in some cases stuck or hot pixels may appear in the photos themselves, due to a sensor defect, or in some cases due to the camera getting older. These may vary between photos and may also only appear depending on the exposure length.

* Check for dings, scratches, etc. - these may not affect your photography but it will affect how you and others look at your camera. More importantly, ensure there is no corrosion where you insert the camera battery.

Obviously, the more you can test out a used digital camera before purchase, the better, especially since used digital cameras most likely will not come with warranties. And of course, even new digital cameras may come with defects.

One option is to purchase a refurbished digital camera directly from the manufacturer. These should have been examined for dings and other technical defects, and in many cases come with a limited warranty.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.