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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How to Make Sure a Camera or Lens Works Properly Before You Buy

If you’re buying a used camera or lens, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough going over to make sure everything works before handing over your cold, hard cash. Here’s what to check for.

Checking That a Camera Works

For all their technical complexity, there’s not a huge amount that can go wrong with a digital camera: if it works, it works; if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. There’s not much middle ground. With that said, here’s what to do to check a camera out.

Look it Over Visually

The first step is to look the camera over thoroughly. Are there any cracks, dents, breaks, or bad scuffs? You should expect a little wear and tear on a used camera, but nothing too bad.

Open the battery and SD card hatches. Do they open smoothly? Do the battery and memory card go in and out smoothly? What about the pins? Are they clean and undamaged?

Have a look at the lens mount and in particular the contacts that send information to a lens. Are they in good condition? Attach a lens to the camera. Does it go on smoothly? Is there any play between the camera and lens or does it have a nice, tight fit? Does the camera show a warning?

What about the hot shoe or built-in flash? Do they work? Do they look damaged?

Push all the buttons and turn all the dials. Is anything stuck or catching? When you adjust things, does the camera do what it’s supposed to?

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