instructional, photography

The Budgeting Photographer’s Best Friend

I don’t care if you’re an amateur or professional… photography is expensive.

That’s why I rarely buy brand new.

Canon has a refurbished section now that is full of basically brand new equipment, with the one-year warranty, leaving the budgeting photographer like me to save hundreds, or even thousands.

But over the years, another shop that has earned my trust is  No, they’re not paying me to do this.  I just recently had such an amazing experience, I wanted to finally give them some formal love.

I’ve been in the market for a 5D MK III for a LONG time.  Plus, an ever-growing long list of lenses of course.  So this month, the time came to pull the trigger on a new 70-200/ 2.8 and a MK III.

I researched the best deals for weeks.  This is my full time job, and I have to support my family, so the best deal (without going grey market) is what I need.

I was moments away from just purchasing both refurbished from Canon.  My budget was $4000, give or take a few.  The Mark III was running just over $2700, and the lens was about $1300.  Well, fortunately for me, Canon didn’t have either available at the time.  So I had to go looking elsewhere.

And I remembered my old friends at KEH.

They’ve been around a long time.  In fact, they perfected the industry standard for accurately rating used equipment.  I’ve bought lenses in the past from them and been very happy with what I got… but a camera body?

I don’t buy used cameras.  Factory refurbished maybe, but not used!

So KEH had an EX+ (the highest rated, just below NEW) Canon 5D MK III for $2802.  But here’s where it gets good.

Two days prior, I received an email from KEH saying they miss me, and want to extend a 10% coupon!  So let me make this long story a little shorter…

I ended up getting a nearly brand new (only 2500 shutter accusations) Canon 5D Mark III and a beautiful 70-200 F/2.8L IS together for only $3400.

And here’s the kicker.  They pay top dollar for used equipment, and I ended up selling my oldest MK II (well used) and a questionable 70-200/2.8 (that they’ll of course fix up to be gorgeous), for $1300.  So in effect, I came in at almost $2000 under budget!

That made for a VERY happy day.

And then I got the equipment in the mail the next day, and it may have been even happier.

The lens was better than described and the camera just as they said… basically brand new.

Looking forward to making some beautiful images with my equipment for years to come, and sharing them all with you…


— andrew

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