Buying New Gear Vs. Used Gear

Here is the million dollar debate! Is buying used gear worth it? OR is it better to save and invest in new gear? We go back and forth on the debate too! However, after years of trial and error we think we have down to a science. We say that it’s all about the type of equipment you’re purchasing. Here is a list of gear and whether we think you should buy it used or brand new.

CAMERAS

We have mixed opinions about buying cameras new vs used. When you’re buying from a certified camera store make sure to read all the fine print about what is wrong with the camera, any damage, and why the original owner decided to give it up. One of our first cameras we purchased used was a Sony A7 which we still use to this day. However, we have only owned it for about a year and a half and already we’ve seen issues. Now this could be from a variety of reasons (our own doing of course). Our reason for buying an older model used was to make sure we liked the Sony A7 series. Instead of purchasing the newest one we decided to give it a test drive. We are glad we did because in the end it’s not worth the investment compared to other brands out there. However we do have a success story! One of our freelancers, Pat Rivad, purchased a Nikon D7200 about two years ago and he says it still works perfectly to this day. In conclusion our best suggestion is to make sure you know the problems with the used camera before you purchase it, and make sure you’re buying it from a reputable camera store who is known for selling used cameras.

VERDICT: DEPENDS

GIMBAL STABILIZERS

We have only purchased these used and we’ve never experienced an issue. Most of the time people give these up because there’s a newer model out there but to get started buy a used one so that you can make all the mistakes (you will drop it at least one time). Also most gimbal stabilizers work the same way so it’s okay to not have the latest and greatest version.

VERDICT: USED

MICROPHONES

ALWAYS BUY NEW. When it comes to sound, never ever buy used. The reason? Because sound is the hardest thing to fix. We’ve created videos before to only realize in post production that someone was vacuuming on the floor above, and yes the microphone picked it up. Microphones if damaged will pick up everything, and I mean everything. Better safe than sorry and buy NEW! It will be worth the money and the headache.

VERDICT: NEW

TRIPODS

You can definitely buy these used. Our favorite brand is Manfrotto (compact tripod and bigger tripod) because their tripods are lightweight and very compact. We purchased ours used and have never had an issue.

VERDICT: USED

LIGHTS

Of course buy lighting equipment used. Most of the time people are getting rid of lights in order to buy the newer version or they simply don’t have a use for them any more. Most of the time the only issues are changing the lightbulb which you can easily find.

VERDICT: USED

That’s it! There you have our verdict at Apto Media about buying new vs. used gear. Let us know what gear you’ve purchased new and which gear you’ve purchased used. We’d like to hear your success and maybe not so successful stories.