Top 10 Best Old Dslr Cameras In 2023 [Reviews and Buying Guide]

Are you in search of the best old DSLR camera for your photography needs? Look no further because we have compiled a list of the top 10 best old DSLR cameras for you. These cameras have been tried and tested over the years and have proven to be reliable and durable. With a variety of features and specifications, there is something for every type of photographer. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive review and buying guide for the best old DSLR cameras in the market today. So, if you’re planning to purchase an old DSLR camera, keep reading to find out which ones made it to our top 10 list.

Top Picks

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Understanding Old Dslr Cameras: An Overview

Old DSLR cameras were the first digital cameras that allowed photographers to change their lenses. DSLR or digital single-lens reflex cameras use a digital sensor to create images. These cameras have a mirror that reflects light from the lens to an eyepiece, which allows the photographer to see an image through the lens. Once the shutter button is pressed, the internal mirror flips up and the light from the lens strikes the digital sensor. This sensor then captures the image in digital form.

Old DSLR cameras usually have lower resolution sensors and outdated autofocus systems compared to modern cameras. They can also be heavier and larger in size. However, they are still capable of producing high-quality images and can be a more affordable option for photographers who are just starting out. With the right lenses and accessories, an old DSLR camera can still produce stunning images that rival those produced by newer cameras.

Our Recommendations for the Best Old Dslr Cameras

SaleRANK 1
Nikon D40x 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX...
  • Includes 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens
  • Image optimization functions and in-camera image retouching
  • 2.5-inch LCD monitor , 170-degree viewing angle
  • 10.2-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for large, photo-quality prints
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II for ideal exposures in almost any lighting condition
SaleRANK 2
Canon Rebel XS DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black) (OLD...
  • 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor captures enough detail for poster-size, photo-quality prints
  • Large 2.5-inch LCD display; includes Canon's EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
  • DIGIC III image processor provides fast, accurate image processing; Live View Function
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning system and Canon-designed Self Cleaning Sensor Unit, plus Dust Delete Data Detection in included software
  • Stores images on SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (OLD MODEL)
  • 18.0-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor; DIGIC 4 image processor for high image quality and speed
  • Kit includes 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800) for shooting from bright to dim light; enhanced 63-zone, Dual-layer metering system
  • Improved EOS Movie mode with manual exposure control and expanded recording 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
  • Wide 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor; dedicated Live View/Movie shooting button
Canon Digital Rebel XT DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Silver-OLD...
  • Powered by rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (included, with charger)
  • Fast start-up time is 2 seconds
  • Includes Canon's EF-S 18-55mm, f3.5-5.6 zoom lens
  • 8.0-megapixel CMOS sensor captures enough detail for photo-quality 16 x 22-inch prints
  • DIGIC II Image Processor provides fast, accurate image processing; captures images at a rate of up to 3 frames per second
Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Auto Focus-S Nikkor Zoom Lens...
  • 16.2MP DX format CMOS sensor
  • 11 point AF system (with 3D tracking)
  • 4 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 1080p HD video
  • 14 bit Raw shooting
SaleRANK 6
National Geographic Photo Basics: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Great...
  • Sartore, Joel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication Date) - National Geographic (Publisher)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 20.1 MP Digital Camera - Black (Renewed)
  • Sensor: The 20.1 MP sensor delivers beautifully detailed photos that make for gorgeous enlargements, while in-camera stabilization offers crisp quality and...
  • Zoom: With a 35x optical zoom, you can get close to distant subjects without moving an inch. It's perfect for travel photography, candid shots of your kids,...
  • Finer Details: More pixels mean you can enlarge, zoom in, and crop your photos without losing detail
  • Sweep Panorama: The camera features Sweep Panorama, so you can capture the whole scene
  • Optical SteadyShot: This feature reduces blur even in low light
Deco Gear DSLR Camera Backpack, Customizable Compartments for Cameras, Lenses,...
  • Large main opening holds pro-sized DSLR, Mirrorless, and Micro 4/3 cameras, lenses, and accessories.
  • Fully seam-sealed weather protective rain fly w/ included Rain Cover protects your equipment from water damage.
  • Protective foam dividers are fully-customizable so you can re-arrange your gear layout and tailor it to your needs.
  • Travelling or going on vacation? We conveniently designed this backpack to fit in the overhead compartment of most commercial aircrafts worldwide so you can...
  • Compatible with all major camera brands/models such as Nikon D850, D7500, D7200, D7100, D7000, D500, D5600, D5500, D5300, D5200, D5100, D3400, D3300, D3200,...
50 Photo Projects: Ideas to Kickstart Your Photography
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Frost, Lee (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 162 Pages - 03/24/2009 (Publication Date) - David & Charles (Publisher)
Power IR - Universal Remote Control
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 , S5 , Note 3 , 4
  • HTC One M7 , M8
  • LG G3
  • Other IR phones or tablets.
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why is it Important to Consider Buying Old Dslr Cameras?

There are a variety of compelling reasons to consider purchasing an old DSLR camera rather than a new one. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, opting for an older model can offer a range of benefits that newer ones simply can’t match. Below, we’ll explore some of the key reasons why you might want to consider investing in an older DSLR camera for your photography needs.

Cost-effective option

Buying an old DSLR camera can be a cost-effective option for several reasons. Firstly, older models are generally much cheaper than newer models, especially if they have been previously used or refurbished. This can be particularly beneficial for those who are just starting out in photography or for hobbyists who don’t want to invest a lot of money into their equipment.

Secondly, older models may still produce high-quality images that are suitable for a wide range of purposes, such as printing or digital publishing. While newer models may offer more advanced features and improved technology, they can also come with a hefty price tag. Therefore, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of buying an old DSLR camera before making a purchase decision. Ultimately, it may be a cost-effective option for those who are on a tight budget or for those who simply don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with newer models.

Availability of interchangeable lenses

Old DSLR cameras are still used and sought after by many photographers due to their ability to use interchangeable lenses. These cameras allow photographers to use different lenses for different types of photography, such as wide-angle lenses for landscapes or telephoto lenses for sports and wildlife.

The availability of interchangeable lenses allows photographers to be more creative and flexible with their photography. They can change the lens on their camera depending on the subject matter they are shooting, which allows them to achieve different perspectives and artistic effects. Additionally, using different lenses can often yield higher quality images with sharper and more accurate details. Therefore, buying an old DSLR camera with the ability to use interchangeable lenses can be a wise investment for photographers looking to advance their skills and expand their creative possibilities.

Higher resolution compared to entry-level cameras

Older DSLR cameras, even those dating back a few years, generally have higher resolution than entry-level models. This is due to advancements in technology and the development of higher quality sensors. These sensors are larger in size, allowing for more light to be captured and therefore producing a higher quality image.

In addition to higher resolution, older DSLR cameras often have more advanced features and greater manual control options, which can lead to improved image quality and greater creative control. These cameras also tend to have a more robust build quality, making them more durable and reliable for professional use. For those seeking to capture high-quality images, such as for commercial or fine art photography, an older DSLR with a higher resolution sensor may be a wise investment.

Buying Guides

To make the most out of your photography experience, it is essential to choose the right type of camera that suits your needs. Here are a few key factors that you should keep in mind while exploring old DSLR cameras.

Age of the camera

The age of a DSLR camera can determine its compatibility with modern equipment, especially if it is an older model. As new technologies and standards are developed, older camera models might not be able to keep up. For example, some older cameras may not be able to shoot in RAW format, have limited ISO range, or have slower autofocus systems. Considering the age of the camera can ensure that it is still capable of meeting your current and future photography needs.

Another factor to consider is the availability of replacement parts and potential repairs. If the camera is too old, it may be difficult or expensive to find replacement parts. Additionally, older cameras may be more prone to mechanical failure or issues due to wear and tear. It is always important to research or ask about the camera’s service history before making a purchase, to avoid any future issues.

Shutter count

Shutter count refers to the number of times a camera’s shutter has been activated, which essentially means that the camera’s mechanical parts have been used and worn to a certain degree. When we consider buying an old DSLR camera, understanding its shutter count is crucial because it can give us a rough idea of how much mileage the camera has. The more the shutter is used, the more susceptible it is to wear and tear that could cause damage or affect image quality.

Therefore, by knowing a camera’s shutter count, we can assess its overall value and potential lifespan, and factor in the cost of potential repairs. It is also important to note that some manufacturers have a predetermined shutter lifespan, so knowing the shutter count can give us an idea of how much camera life is left before it becomes a bit obsolete. Therefore, checking the shutter count before buying old DSLR cameras is a wise move that can save us a lot of hassle, repair costs and getting the most out of our investment.

Compatibility with modern accessories

When buying an old DSLR camera, it is essential to consider compatibility with modern accessories. This is because modern accessories are built with advanced technology that may not be supported on old DSLR cameras. For example, newer lenses with motorized autofocus and image stabilization may not work correctly on old bodies that lack the necessary hardware. Additionally, connectivity options like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth may not be available on older models, limiting your ability to transfer images wirelessly to other devices.

Not considering compatibility with modern accessories can limit the utility of your old DSLR camera and reduce its overall value to you. You will likely have to limit your usage to older, more basic accessories, which may not be as effective or efficient as modern alternatives. Therefore, it is advisable to research the camera model you plan to buy and ensure it has the necessary compatibility with modern accessories before making a purchase.

Condition of the body and lens

It is important to consider the condition of the body and lens before purchasing an old DSLR camera to ensure that it is in good working condition and can produce high-quality images. The body of the camera should be checked for any noticeable wear and tear, as well as any scratches or dents that could affect the camera’s performance or affect its durability over time. Additionally, the lens should be inspected for any signs of damage, such as scratches on the glass or dust inside the lens, which could negatively impact the sharpness and clarity of images.

By carefully considering the condition of both the body and lens when purchasing an old DSLR camera, buyers can avoid potential problems down the line and ensure that they are getting their money’s worth. A camera in good condition is essential for capturing professional-quality images and can also help extend the lifespan of the camera, saving buyers from having to replace it sooner than necessary.

Availability of replacement parts

The availability of replacement parts is an important consideration before purchasing an old DSLR camera. As these cameras age, the likelihood of parts becoming obsolete or difficult to find increases. This can make it challenging or even impossible to repair the camera if needed, resulting in the need for a costly replacement. It is vital to ensure that replacement parts are readily available before investing in an older DSLR camera, to avoid expensive repair or replacement costs in the long run.

Furthermore, a lack of availability of replacement parts could mean that the camera becomes obsolete sooner rather than later, limiting its lifespan and usability. For example, if a crucial part such as a shutter mechanism is no longer available, the camera may no longer function correctly, rendering it useless. Ultimately, considering the availability of replacement parts when purchasing an older DSLR camera can save you money in the long run and ensure that you get the most out of your investment over time.

Price compared to newer models

When considering buying an old DSLR camera, it’s important to weigh the price against what newer models offer. While older models may be cheaper, they may not have all the features or capabilities that newer models have. For example, a newer model may have a higher resolution, better autofocus, or more advanced video capabilities.

Additionally, newer models often have better software and firmware updates, making them more efficient and easier to use. This can save time and frustration in the long run. While an older DSLR camera may still be a good choice for some photographers, it’s important to weigh the price against the features and capabilities of newer models to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an old DSLR camera and how is it different from a new one?

An old DSLR camera refers to an older model of a digital single-lens reflex camera. These cameras were popular for their advanced capabilities in digital photography, including manual controls over exposure, aperture, and shutter speed. However, compared to new models, older DSLRs typically have lower megapixel resolutions, less intelligent autofocus systems, and less efficient processors.

Newer DSLR models have higher megapixel counts, improved autofocus systems, and more advanced processors, resulting in better image quality, faster and more accurate focusing, and faster processing times. Some new DSLRs also have additional features, such as built-in Wi-Fi, touchscreens, and video recording capabilities. Overall, while both old and new DSLR cameras share essential functions, newer models offer better performance and more advanced features.

Can old DSLR cameras still produce high quality images?

Yes, old DSLR cameras can still produce high quality images, but the quality may depend on various factors such as the camera’s sensor, lens, and image processing capabilities. While newer DSLRs may have better technology and features that can enhance image quality, older models can still produce excellent results when used with high-quality lenses and proper settings. However, keep in mind that newer models may provide better low light performance, faster autofocus, and higher resolution options.

That being said, the final output of an image depends on the photographer’s skill, creativity, and post-processing skills. One can still produce high-quality images with an old DSLR camera if he/she knows how to use it effectively. Ultimately, it is the photographer’s vision and expertise that creates a great picture, not just the camera technology.

Are there any disadvantages to using an old DSLR camera compared to a new one?

Using an old DSLR camera may have some disadvantages compared to a new one. For instance, old cameras may not have the latest technology, such as Wi-Fi connectivity or autofocus systems. They may also have a lower resolution, lower ISO range, and slower shooting speeds. Additionally, older cameras may not be compatible with newer lenses, which can limit the photographer’s options. However, some older models may still produce high-quality images, especially when used with the right lenses and accessories.

Another potential disadvantage of using an old DSLR camera is that it may lack certain features that are now considered standard. For example, older models may not have access to advanced shooting modes like the High Dynamic Range (HDR) function. They may also have limited video capabilities, which could be an issue for those who want to record high-quality video. Overall, while using an old DSLR camera may produce some great results, upgrading to a new camera may provide more advanced features and better image quality.


To wrap up, the list of best old DSLR cameras consists of high-performing models from respected brands that cater to a range of needs and shooting styles. While some may consider newer models as necessary upgrades, these older cameras offer excellent value with their features, build quality, and affordability.

The decision to choose the best old DSLR camera relies on personal preference, budget, and the level of skill and experience of the photographer. With this comprehensive guide, enthusiasts can confidently navigate the market and find the best old DSLR camera that suits their requirements.

Leave a Comment