5 Great Used DSLRs that Offer Quality & Affordability

Ready to up your game with a premium DSLR but don't want to pay a premium price for a new camera? Here’s a look at 5 of our favorite used DSLRs offered by MPB, the global giant that deals exclusively in used camera gear. Why buy used? Better value, better gear, better photos.

DSLR cameras are here to stay and for good reasons. Although it may seem that more attention is being given to mirrorless camera innovations these days, DSLRs are mature and solidly refined. Decades of experience producing film cameras and award-winning SLR cameras has given companies like Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Pentax a strong backlog of success and consolidation of acquired and sophisticated technology.

DSLRs are popular because they just plain feel right in the hand and at the eye. Unlike other focusing systems, DSLR users are viewing the subject live via an optical system instead of looking at a digitally reproduced image on an electronic viewfinder. Not to imply that all EVFs are bad—to a large extent, which you choose is a matter of personal preference—but a case can be made scientifically that there is an imperceptible delay when an image is formed on an LED but none when viewed optically.

DSLR is the format all other cameras are compared to. That speaks volumes.

Advanced amateurs, semiprofessional and professional photographers often buy secondhand cameras. A used camera that has been certified in good working order can do everything a new camera can. The one big difference: used cameras cost less. Sometimes substantially less.

Buying a used DSLR camera makes logical sense, too. Buying from MPB.com is a decision you can make with confidence. MPB trades thousands of cameras and lenses every week, across Europe and the US. MPB checks, grades and photographs every single item, and adds a six-month warranty, so you can be sure of what’s in the box—and that it’s going to work. Unlike the others, MPB focuses only on used equipment, providing unrivalled access to a vast range of photo and filmmaking products. Better value, better gear, better photos.

DSLR cameras are in that rarified class of machines that almost never wear out. Cameras typically go out of service when their owner loses interest and changes hobbies—or follows his heart to a different camera system. Instead of wearing out, experienced service technicians will tell you that the best way to keep a camera in tiptop shape is by using it. DSLRs are designed to be used and built to last.

DSLR camera systems from Canon, Nikon and Pentax, for example, are natively compatible with incredibly vast interchangeable lens systems. Sure, a mirrorless camera might be adapted to use a vintage lens, but that adaptation nearly always comes at a price—of either losing autofocus, autoexposure or both. On the other hand, a Nikon Df, for example, can use lenses from as early as 1960. That’s unparalleled. Photographers who grew up with (or inherited) 35mm film SLR cameras can, in many cases, continue to use those lenses without modification on their DSLR. Case in point: you can use a 1987-vintage Canon EF 50mm F/2.5mm Macro on the latest Canon DSLR without modification.

Maybe the best reason to buy a used DSLR is the opportunity to acquire advanced technology at a bargain price. The camera that was all the rage in 2018 may have fallen off the reviewers’ radar when the newest pretty face came along but could still present capabilities that outstrip the expectations of most users.

If you’ve outgrown your current camera and are ready to move beyond it altogether, consider trading it in toward a better model. Trading up is a great way to get advanced technology economically. MPB makes the process easy and fast. You can get an instant quote (subject to inspection of course) before you box and ship your old camera or lens. Or you can turn your used camera into cash if you’re not yet ready to buy an upgrade. MPB enjoys a 5-star rating based on 8,621 reviews (as of this writing) verified by Trustpilot.

Here are the five used DSLRs we recommend for high quality and affordability. Two of them are installed in MPB’s Hall of Fame. This is a big deal. Photographers from 157 countries cast more than 40,000 votes to decide the five cameras inducted into the MPB 2020 Photo and Video Kit Hall of Fame. Twenty-five nominees across the five categories appeared on the ballot, which was selected by the MPB team.


1. Canon EOS 6D

A premier full-frame, 20.2-megapixel DSLR, the Canon EOS 6D is part of Canon’s massive DSLR system and is one of the lightest full-frame bodies in the Canon lineup. Major features include Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor, an 11-point AF system, 4.5 fps continuous shooting, 1080p HD video, 97% viewfinder coverage, interchangeable focusing screens, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS and a 3-inch LCD. Accepts Canon EF lenses.

Prices for a Canon EOS 6D from MPB range from $529 to $750 depending on condition. As with every other DSLR camera on MPB’s website, photos of the actual product for sale are included with each listing. This a remarkable bargain price of a full-frame Canon DSLR.


2. Nikon D810

Recently inducted into MPB’s Hall of Fame, the Nikon D810 is a full-frame 36.3-megapixel professional camera that provides very high resolution and outstanding low light performance. A stellar member of Nikon’s DSLR lineup, the Nikon D810 is popular with professionals and rugged enough to last most photographers a lifetime. Features include a 51-point AF system, environmental seals and outstanding video performance.

One of the best parts of being a Nikon DSLR owner is being able to use that enormous library of legendary Nikon lenses. They are among the best in the world and fill many professional photographers’ gadget bags.

Used Nikon D810 DSLRs are available from MPB at prices starting at $1069.


3. Canon EOS 5D Mark II

A genuine bargain among secondhand DSLR cameras, the full-frame Canon 5D Mark II was the second model in the stalwart Canon 5D series and still a favorite for many. A full-sized DSLR that’s easy to handle and well balanced, the Canon 5D Mark II features a 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, DIGIC 4 Image Processor, high-performance 3.9 fps continuous shooting and Full HD video capture at 1920x1080.

Starting as low as $329 at MPB, the Canon 5D Mk II uses the popular, familiar Canon menu system that is consistent from model to model. And of course, it accepts all Canon EF lenses.


4. Nikon D700

Another MPB Hall of Fame member, the Nikon D700 full-frame (FX) DSLR has a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, 51-point AF and Nikon’s famous 3D Matrix II metering system. The Nikon D700 is highly prized by travel and street photographers because of its compact size and easy portability. It provides exceptional image quality and low noise even at higher ISO settings and offers an extremely low signal-to-noise ratio and a wide dynamic range. The lower megapixel density means fewer photo-reactive sites on the full-frame sensor, so there is less noise and better color separation by design.

Prices for a used Nikon D700 from MPB start at $434, which make it a great second body for Nikon owners and an excellent first camera for young photography enthusiasts who want to start off on the right track. At this cost-saving price you’ll have money enough left over to buy a used Nikon lens or two from MPB.


5. Pentax K-3 II

Pentax owners are legion—they are among the most loyal and dedicated camera users. The Pentax K-3 II features a 24.4-megapixel APS-C size sensor and body-integrated image stabilization. Pentax’s proprietary sensor-shift Shake Reduction technology delivers sharper images (even from lenses that do not have IS built in) and compensates for up to 4.5 stops of camera shake. One of the most intriguing features is the user-selectable anti-aliasing filter which can be turned off for the sharpest possible results. Or maybe it’s the Pixel Shift Resolution function that composites four separate exposures into a single frame while moving the sensor in one-pixel increments between each shot in order to gain truer colors, greater resolving power, and reduced noise.

Order a used Pentax K-3 II from MPB at prices that start at $524.

When you buy a camera, lens or any sensitive instrument from a stranger, you’re taking a risk. Cameras purchased from online auctions, random flea markets and similar venues can have hidden damage that goes undetected until it’s too late. Water damage, a common camera malady, can be invisible from the outside, and the camera might even keep operating until corrosion sets in weeks later.

The biggest advantage of buying from MPB is that you know what you are getting and know that the seller is standing behind the product, vouching that it is in good working condition. MPB fully inspects all products before resale, and accurately discloses the condition in the product listing. When obtainable, MPB indicates the actual shutter count (number of actual clicks). Because MPB inspections are performed by experienced technicians, they sell every used DSLR with a six-month warranty.

MPB has an outstanding reputation among professional photographers and filmmakers, partly because they offer excellent values at great prices and partly because they stand behind what they sell. MPB sells used products exclusively, and they report the on-hand inventory status for each product listed—so that you don’t end up wasting your time studying something you cannot buy.

That DSLR camera that captured your heart (but not your pocketbook) two years ago is still available—in used but excellent condition—for a fraction of what you would have paid when it first hit the market. And who knows? It might be the best camera you’ll ever own.