Buying Options

New or “old” digital camera

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

A digital camera that came to market months ago can be every bit as good as the model that replaces it. So why spend the extra money for a brand new one?!

Couple with digital cameraNewer digital cameras have significant improvements over those manufactured only a few years ago. Most consumer digital cameras made during the last 12 months have features photographers only dreamed about in the recent past.

Digital camera features better than ever

Today’s new cameras have little, if any, shutter lag, helping ensure you capture a photo the moment you press the shutter release button. Most digital cameras have more than enough megapixels, a large high resolution LCD, a focus-assist lamp and longer battery life.

Even digital cameras with manual and semi-automatic controls have fully automatic point-and -shoot capabilities and pre-programmed scene modes. High ISO performance has improved too.

Digital camera replacement cycles are short

Replacement and upgrade cycles for a new camera have gotten shorter! For example, an amazing, highly capable digital camera I purchased when it first appeared on store shelves sells for $200 less only six months later. Ouch!

The new model has a few minor improvements. But it costs almost $100 more than my  “older” camera, which is still available for purchase.

Determine if new is better

If you don’t need the latest and greatest, don’t hesitate buying a digital camera that is last years model if it has the features you need.


  • The Nikon d100 is close to eight years old, but it is a highly rated digital single lens reflex camera. Like all things electronics, cameras evolve and newer cameras have improved features not found on older cameras (eg. larger LCDs, brighter viewfinders, Live View mode, self-cleaning sensors, improved ISO performance, etc. Saying that, the Nikon d100 is capable of taking excellent photos. It has a very good feature set, peformance is very good, and image quality, color and metering are also excellent.

    There is areview of the d100 at dreview which you may find helpful. Make sure you read the conclusion too.

    Since you are just getting into photography, the Nikon may be a good tool for learning the basics. After a few months, if you find you don’t care for photography, you haven’t spent money for something you may not use much. If you discover you love photography, then you can move on to a newer model and keep the older camera as a backup or sell it.

    If you accept the older camera, you can use the money from your parents for a new lens (or other accessory), though realize if you buy a lens for a Nikon it can not be used on a camera made by a different manufacturer.

    The Canon XS is an excellent camera too, with a very good feature set for an entry level DSLR. The image stabilized version of the kit lens that comes with the Xi has been praised by many, including me.

    Here is a review of the Canon XS.

    Three things should be pointed out, which may or may not be important considerations for you. The XS has a much larger LCD screen making the reviewing photos much easier (and for Live View). The Xs is smaller and lighter than the Nikon. And it may be slightly less complicated to use.

    I can think of other reasons why you might choose one camera over the other but ultimately you must decide. Happy to hear you’re getting into photography. It’s a wonderful hobby and, for some, a wonderful profession.

  • For christmas this year, my parents offered to give me 400 dollars towards a camera. I would pay the difference. But recently, my uncle has decided to give me his Nikon d100. I was originally going to buy the Canon Rebel xs. Should i turn down his offer and opt for the newer camera, or save the money and accept his offer. I’m just getting into photgraphy