The results may be rewarding, but buying photo and video gear is anything but cheap. Cameras, lenses, drones, and even tripods often cost a pretty penny, and the more creators advance in their careers, the more equipment they need. That’s why gear tops most creators’ holiday wish lists.
But, whether you’re buying for a creative loved one or looking for your own holiday treat, there is one oft-overlooked way to shop for pro-quality equipment without breaking the bank: pre-owned gear.
How to buy pre-owned photo and video gear
From cameras to lenses and drones to computers, pre-owned gear is often as reliable and powerful as new equipment—as long as you know where to look. Buying gear on consumer-to-consumer marketplaces could work, but it’s a gamble. It’s tougher to verify the authenticity and condition of gear, which is essential when it comes to investments like camera equipment.
Instead, creators buy their pre-owned gear from trusted retailers like Adorama. We take authenticity seriously, with a transparent used-gear condition guide that rates gear quality and use level so shoppers know what they’re getting.
Whether you’re looking to invest in gear yourself, or simply want to save on must-have equipment so you can spend more on gifts for others, Adorama’s pre-owned marketplace has the gear you need to expand your creative prowess.
Here, we’ve collected the top pre-owned gear you can get your hands on now — for less — and save:
Cameras are the starting point of any creator’s kit, which means a new camera can help you take your career to the next level. But, of course, quality cameras are notoriously expensive; that’s why shopping pre-owned is a must.
Our used camera lineup breaks down the barriers to a creative career, with top options in the DSLR, mirrorless, point-and-shoot, and specialty camera categories. For those serious about embarking on a photo or video career, cameras from the Nikon Z mirrorless series and the Sony Alpha line are up for grabs. Or, fun creative gadgets like an instant camera can help you expand your creativity, with easy-to-print photos you can hang around the house.
A camera is only as good as the lens a creator uses with it, but lenses tend to be the priciest kit additions—and serious photographers typically need at least two or three of them. That’s why pre-owned lenses are a go-to hack for both budding and seasoned creators. From telephoto and zoom to wide and prime lenses, our roster of pre-owned lenses are the perfect way to expand your possibilities.
As aerial photography and videography grows in popularity, creators have their fingers crossed for a drone. Of course, aerial gadgets can be expensive, but our range of pre-owned drones—all in safe and mint condition—make them a great get. Pre-owned drone options include renowned brand DJI’s Mavic Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, and the travel-friendly Spark, not to mention Swellpro’s SplashDrone and Autel Robotics’ EVO. Like all pre-owned gear, pre-owned drone models in our used marketplace are limited; once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Tripods and Gimbals
They may not be as flashy as drones and cameras, but tripods and gimbals are important elements of any kit—and deals abound when you buy them pre-owned. Popular brands like Manfrotto and 3Pod fill our pre-owned tripod selection. And, in the stabilizer category, gimbals from Zhiyun and DJI will help everyone from travel vloggers to documentary filmmakers capture steady on-the-go footage.
Lights are another asset creators hold off on in the beginning, but a solid lighting kit can take footage and photography up a notch with the flip of a switch. And—you guessed it—you can also buy these lighting kits pre-owned. From Flashpoint’s monolights for event and wedding photographers to flattering ring lights that add polish and professionalism to vlog channels, our range of pre-owned lighting kits are a budget-friendly way to help you pursue your passions.
With this year’s work-from-home transition, we’re all using our laptops more than ever. Many are also realizing just how outdated those laptops and home-office computers really are. Enter the pre-owned computer category. Unlike investing in an entirely new—and expensive—computer system, pre-owned laptops and desktop computers let creators enjoy the perks of high-quality gear, without the cumbersome costs. From laptops and notebook computers to external monitors and printers, we have a variety of pre-owned equipment to help creators elevate your home offices.
To learn more about the used-gear options available to you, head to Adorama’s pre-owned marketplace, where you can also sell your own used equipment to make a little extra cash.
Full disclosure: This article was sponsored by Adorama.