Digital Cameras

Checkpoints for Buying a Used Mirrorless Camera and Top 5 Cameras

Mirrorless cameras have caught the attention of avid photographers around the world because of features like:

  • A light-weight body
  • Value for money
  • Quieter functioning compared to their DSLR counterparts
  • Great precision
  • Faster shooting rates
  • Interchangeable lens
  • Greater clarity for street photographers, wedding photographers, and theatre photographers

With DSLR cameras you will need to keep changing the lens to get the desired photo quality and the final montage.

Since buying a brand-new camera may seem expensive for beginners or amateur photographers, spending a fortune on mirrorless cameras may seem unworthy. The second option to own one, however, is to get hold of a used one that suits your photographic requirements.

What should be checked when Buying a used mirrorless camera

To make an informed decision some checkpoints that are mentioned below need to be considered:

  • Ensure that the purchase is being done from an authorized dealer on e-marketplaces with a good rating and some good reviews.
  • Ask him/her as many questions as you can about the camera, its origin, features, usage etc. which will back up your buying decision.
  • Make sure the product is sold with the original packaging and accessories, since without accessories it is pointless to invest in a second-hand camera.
  • Check for exterior damages, scratches, dents, discoloration etc. to the body of the camera.
  • The camera lens system that is interchangeable must be devoid of scratches and cracks when checked under bright light.
  • The lens must offer good optical zoom with a variable aperture and small sensor. The glass, mold, and chips within the glass need to be scratch-free as well.
  • Check the LCD and EVF for wear and tear.
  • Ensure that the APS-C sensor is not a victim to scratches and dust.
  • Keep a count of the shutter activations or actuations using a program called PhotoMe which will help in determining the camera life to a couple of 100,000 clicks.
  • Click a picture and transfer the image to your computer, check if the transfer happens successfully and also for dead pixels.
  • Check for the autofocus feature and the output quality by taking continuous test snaps.
  • Take snaps with different backgrounds and light settings like low-light or in brighter environments to check the picture quality of the camera.
  • Check for lag time in the EVF, the time between the subject actually moving. And the time it reflects on the EVF.
  • Ensure that the EVF does not drain the battery power quickly.
  • Check for Focus-peaking feature on the camera during real-time focusing to determine critical sharpness during manual focus.
  • Ensure that EVF gives an accurate depiction of any color balance, exposure, and other camera-setting adjustments before shooting.
  • Contrast detection of the autofocus must be measured accurately by the sensor and focus should be rendered quickly once it determines the contrast between pixels.
  • Ensure your camera has a hybrid autofocus characteristic to give you greater focus during clicks in low-light.
  • See the video quality while shooting for full HD and also 4K if available, the video recorder must be more refined and responsive.
  • The use of external microphones, headphones, recorders and video monitors should be possible with the mirrorless camera.
  • If you are buying a wireless mirrorless camera, you must be able to sync the camera app on your smartphone.
  • You must be able to modulate shutter control and live view, with full control over ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and many other settings including social media shares and Near Field Communication to connect with other smart devices.

Best Mirrorless Cameras to Buy Second-hand in 2018

  • Canon EOS M3
  • Sony Alpha A5000
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Olympus PEN E-PL7

Canon EOS M3

This camera has a superior build that is well-designed, easy-to-use, with high-quality image/video rendition and conveniently customizable. It has a shoe mount to which an electronic viewfinder can be attached. The tilting touchscreen LCD monitor is the handiest feature of this camera for new users. The light-weight and compact camera has a fast autofocus that helps in giving high-quality images.

Image Sensor CMOS sensor (supporting Hybrid CMOS AF III)
Resolution (effective pixels) 24.2 megapixels
ISO Sensitivity 100 – 25600
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 30s
Monitor Size 3.0-inch Tilt type TFT Touch Screen LCD (approx. dots)
Maximum continuous shooting rate 4.2fps
Movie recording 1080p
Weight (with battery and memory card) 366g
Original Cost $680
Used Cost (good condition $350-$460

Sony Alpha A5000

This small and compact camera with 16-55mm lens offers great quality images with highly accurate autofocus feature. A high-performance functionality is merged with good noise cancellation property and great Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. The sophisticated and simple controls offer a great learning edge for those who are amateurs in digital photography with an opportunity to experiment with photography.

Image Sensor 23.2 x 15.4 mm (APS-C) Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
Resolution (effective pixels) 20.1 megapixels
ISO Sensitivity 100-16000
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 30s
Monitor Size 3.0-inch wide type TFT LCD (approx. 460,800 dots)
Maximum continuous shooting rate 3.5fps
Movie recording 1080p
Weight (with battery and memory card) 269g
Original Cost $448
Used Cost (good condition $220-$300

 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5

This sleek and lightweight (200g) camera can do an array of things that a DSLR can do. This sensational camera has a 12-32mm kit lens while housing a Four Thirds sensor that offers immaculate and crisp images. The advantages lie in the high ISO capabilities, excellent long exposure, quick autofocus, and a 40fps impressive burst rate.

Image Sensor 17.3 x 13.0 mm Live MOS sensor
Resolution (effective pixels) 16 megapixels
ISO Sensitivity 100 – 25600
Shutter Speed 1/16,000 to 60s
Monitor Size TFT LCD monitor with static touch control 3 inch
Maximum continuous shooting rate 40 fps
Movie recording 1080p
Weight (with battery and memory card) 211 grams
Original Cost $500
Used Cost (good condition $280-$350

Olympus PEN E-PL7

This mid-range camera offers flawless features and customizable controls while being stylish and durable. The good quality images and videos are a representation of Olympus’ innovative camera designs and progressive technology implementation. This portable device has a tilting screen, coherent filters and effects, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Specifications of Olympus PEN E-PL7
Image Sensor 4/3inch Live MOS sensor
Resolution (effective pixels) 16.1 megapixels
ISO Sensitivity 200 ‑ 25600
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 60s
Monitor Size tilting LCD (approx.1037K dots)- 3 inch
Maximum continuous shooting rate 8 fps
Movie recording 1080p
Weight (with battery and memory card) 357 grams
Original Cost $350
Used Cost (good condition $200-$260


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