How Do You Know When It’s the Right Time to Sell Your Old Photography Equipment?

When it comes to the purchase of new equipment, we devote a significant amount of time to discussing the optimal window of opportunity. On the other hand, it is not always easy to determine whether it is the appropriate moment to get rid of outdated equipment.

Yesterday, I was unable to make it to the store in time. Originally, I intended to go. My intention was to depart. But a general feeling of unease caused me to procrastinate on the couch for just the right amount of time for the chance to be lost.

To be honest, this is an opportunity that will present itself once more in the future. In point of fact, it is something that I am able to do at any moment, even doing it right now rather than writing this post. It’s just that if I had done it yesterday, it would have fit in better with my schedule a little bit better.

The event in issue was one of the often occurring purchasing activities hosted by KEH. In the past, once the cameras had outlived their usefulness, I parted ways with a number of cameras by selling them to them. In most cases, all that is required is to prepare the items to be sent to UPS and then to box them up. The next step is to wait and find out if the actual price is going to be the same as the estimated price that I had computed online.

KEH will periodically bring the performance on the road in order to facilitate an even smoother operation. There will be a personal handoff of the equipment by a representative at a neighborhood photography shop. No more visits to the UPS. And immediate payment in the event that you agree to the terms of the contract.

This kind of event took place during the course of the weekend in Los Angeles. Before I had anything in particular in mind that I would want to sell, I merely marked it down on my calendar so that I could use it as a point of reference.

Due to the fact that I have suffered from gear acquisition syndrome for many years, there is almost always stuff lying about my house that is unused. However, the value of my trade-ins may not always justify the time and effort required to rummage through the garage, and as a result, I frequently let these opportunities pass me by without really taking advantage of them.

When I thought about it, the events of the previous night were what peaked my attention the most. The previous week, I published an article in which I discussed how I want to use the Nikon Z 30 to (re)start my YouTube channel, Moveable Canvas. Because I was required to return the loaner unit, I decided that for the episode that I was filming this week, I would give one of my other cameras a test run by using it to shoot the episode.

This specific task was delegated to the Canon EOS R5 camera. To record a video for a direct address on YouTube with that camera could be a bit excessive, and you could very well be correct about that. That wasn’t at all why I decided to buy it in the first place. Almost two years ago, I decided to make it my primary hybrid camera for use in commercial photography.

The G.O.A.T., the Nikon D850, was the camera that I used for the majority of my still photography at the time; but, because that camera did not have many of the video functions that I need, I began to utilize the R5 more frequently as my work began to place a greater emphasis on video.

Some of my most treasured photographs were taken using the R5, which I used for a variety of projects, including advertising campaigns, editorials, and personal work. Despite having spent my whole life as a Nikon user, I gave significant thought to the possibility that the Canon R5 may be a better choice for me moving ahead.

After then, the Z 9 became available. Almost immediately, it dawned on me that the Z 9 was the only camera that could possibly satisfy all of my specific requirements. My grasp on it was comfortable. It is designed to perform its functions quickly and effectively. Effectiveness is one of my middle names. And being a Nikon fan for my whole life, it only felt natural to make the switch.

There will be no judgment of other brands. But the Z 9 ended up being the solution to all of my problems that I had been seeking for. As soon as I was able to get my hands on a second Z 9 as a backup to the first, I instantly realized that all of my camera demands for the foreseeable future had been taken care of.

That is not to suggest that the R5 didn’t have any use at all in the long run. When you need to make your way into particular areas that are less camera friendly for shooting, having another smaller body like the R5 might be advantageous despite the fact that the Z 9 has a grip included in its design.

The compact body also provides advantages in some gimbal shooting circumstances (although the Z 9 does fine on a gimbal as well). Even if it records in a log/raw format that is distinct from the others, having a third camera that is also capable of recording at 8K resolution is not exactly an awful choice to have at one’s disposal.

The query that needs to be answered, nevertheless, is how frequently will I most likely end up selecting that alternative. If the R5 were to get any game time at this point, it would be in the capacity of a C camera because the Z 9 has established itself as the top camera.

And although it does have the benefit of being smaller in size in comparison to the Z 9, it doesn’t accomplish anything that the Z 9 can’t already do, so that’s not really an advantage. Unless, of course, you take into account the screen that can be flipped around. And because of this, I was considering giving it a shot as the camera for my YouTube channel.

This activity brought to mind two different ideas. To start, the video has incredible picture quality overall. And two, the item still gets too hot to handle. Recent changes to the software have made this more stable, but depending on the configuration you’ve chosen, the flashing red overheating indicator is still a potential risk.

This was brought to my attention when, while I was in the middle of recording the episode, I received a warning that the device was overheating and had to turn off the recording for about half an hour before I could start up again and complete what I was working on. The temperature in the room was not very uncomfortable.

I wasn’t filming in 8K at the time. Aside from the fact that I have a tendency to fumble over my lines, there didn’t appear to be any other reason why I wouldn’t have been able to get through a straightforward direct address to the camera.

Nevertheless, the camera did, in fact, get too hot, which brought to mind one of the most significant advantages of switching to the huge body Z 9 in the first place: That gadget is capable of shooting unrestricted 8K, 4K, or whatever K video for an indefinite amount of time. Because of this, one of the primary reasons why it was able to take over the beginning place.

It wasn’t my intention for this piece to become a contest between the R5 and the Z 9 in any way. As a professional photographer and filmmaker, I have found that both cameras perform exceptionally well for me. But I did want to offer some context for why I got myself in the situation I was in yesterday morning, which was attempting to determine whether or not to finally pack up the R5 and drive down to the store to see about trading it in for anything else.

The R5 should still be able to command a reasonable premium on the pre-owned market owing to the fact that it is an incredible camera. And it’s quite improbable that the value will go up as more time passes. Therefore, making the transaction now while the value is still relatively high makes a great deal of sense from a financial standpoint.

It’s just my own internal indecision that makes me question what kinds of predicaments may arise in which I’d be grateful to still have it in my arsenal of strategies and tactics. If I were to trade it in, I know there would come a day when I will regret not keeping it and wish that I had kept it instead.

If I were to sell it, it would also imply that all of the cameras I now own would be of the built-in grip sort (other than the compact Nikon Z fc). It’s strange that we don’t have a body that falls somewhere in the collection’s middle-size range. But let me ask you this again: Is there really a good reason not to cash in right now when the value is still so high?

Because of my column, I frequently get the opportunity to discuss all of the many specific reasons why you ought to buy a certain piece of equipment or why you ought not to buy it. For me, the most difficult part is determining when it is time to get go of gear that is already in my collection.

How can one know when it’s finally time to retire an outdated camera? What factors should be considered? And when exactly does its worth as a backup alternative end and its monetary value as a trade-in begin? It has value now that we have the R5. But what if the camera you’re thinking of trading in has a value that is so low in comparison to what you bought for it that the issue becomes more difficult to answer?

When it came to her wardrobe, the lady I was seeing at the time adhered to the “one in, one out” principle. In order to avoid her wardrobe from becoming unmanageable, she made it a practice to donate one piece of clothing to Goodwill for each new article of clothing that she bought. I am a natural hoarder, therefore I have always admired her for maintaining such discipline.

My attitude toward cameras has always been quite similar. When I get new ones, I generally sell the old ones to help pay for them. The fact that each of my cameras serves a somewhat different purpose and comes in a slightly different form factor, however, makes choosing between them somewhat more challenging, despite the fact that I currently own many cameras.

How Do You Know When Its the Right Time to Sell Your Old Photography Equipment 1

It has been brought to my attention that certain photographers organize their trade-ins according to a predetermined timetable. They replace their older models with newer ones after every three years by trading in their old cameras. In my opinion, there are a number of positive aspects to taking this strategy. To begin, it removes some of the uncertainty surrounding the timing of necessary upgrades.

We enjoy discussing which cameras are ideal for us and why one brand is superior to another. To tell you the truth, though, relatively few of us genuinely have a pressing need to update. We would want to.

However, if you have purchased a camera within the past three years, there is a strong likelihood that it is completely capable of carrying out the task at hand. Therefore, if you just set a calendar date for upgrading your gear and are able to adhere to it, this enables you to get out of the technology rat race, in which every time you buy anything new, it becomes obsolete within six months, and this helps you to get out of the technological rat race.

Another advantage of doing it in this manner is that it compels you to sell when the resale value is at a relatively high level. When the old model’s replacement is introduced, the price of the model it replaces will certainly become less expensive. It is possible that you will be able to obtain the maximum value out of your trade-in if you make a plan to sell your old ones at regular intervals and stick to the timetable.

Obviously, all of these are simply my current working hypotheses. But I’m very interested in learning how you make the decision on when to get rid of your old equipment.

Do you plan out your day in advance? Maintaining a technological edge requires that you upgrade your system at least once every six months. Do you keep cameras on the shelf until they become unusable or until they break? I have a sincere interest in finding out how other people handle the process of letting go of cameras and other pieces of equipment after they have served them so well over the years.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to continue fidgeting with my fingers while staring at my R5. I have no doubt that the solution will present itself to me at some point.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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