How to get quality photo equipment without breaking the bank

Making the decision to upgrade to quality camera equipment can be a bumpy one. If you’re looking to invest in quality photography equipment without breaking the bank, here are 4 sources to start with.


Refurbished items are great to look into if you want used equipment with “like new” quality. When an item is refurbished that means that something was wrong with it and it was sent back to the manufacturer or retailer and fixed. That now fixed item is then sold again for a much lower price. Sites such as B&H, Adorama and Best Buy sell refurbished items such as cameras, lenses, laptops and more.

If not having the newest possible equipment doesn’t bother you then used equipment is great to look into when trying to save a few bucks. B&H and Adorama have good used equipment as well as shopping around your local camera stores, thrift stores and pawn shops. Buying locally may also give you an opportunity to barter to get down to a price you’re comfortable.


Renting camera equipment is an easy solution for you if you don’t want to commit to a camera just yet, only need one for sporadic projects or just want to try a model out before you eventually purchase your own. You can check your city for local camera rental places or rent online from places like Aperturent and BorrowLenses that will ship the equipment.


I’m a sucker for a good sale so I sign up for all of the email lists and patiently await the holiday sales. Try to buy when the usual holiday sales come around such as New Year’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Other good times to check are when back-to-school time comes back around or end-of-the-year clearance.

Older Models

If you aren’t a techie and don’t need the newest model you can find older camera models for cheaper prices. For example, I currently have a Nikon D800 which came out in 2012 which is now half the price of the newer D810 model that came out in 2014. So if I were buying a camera now I would definitely lean toward the D800 vs the D810, especially taking into consideration having to buying lenses and other accessories. Take advantage of the depreciation in value and see if that fancy camera you’ve been leaning toward has a predecessor that will still have the features that you want.

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