1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Need quick info on buying used camera (GF-3)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by je83, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. je83

    je83 Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Apr 16, 2013
    HKG
    Guys, I'm helping out someone on a budget looking at a used Gf-3. I have my own so I'm familiar with the unit and menu system. I've never actually bought a used digital camera before and the last time I bought a used camera was back in the days of film, so I'm looking for any info and advice from anyone with experience.

    Basically i was able to check the sellers GF-3 body w/14-42 lens earlier today. The guy said he was new to the hobby and it didn't seem like he knew much about keeping his gear. When I opened the box, he had the body and lens separated without the body cap on the camera or the rear lens cap on the lens. Both were in those white styro/paper type wrappers they come in when they are new. He had already sold the 14mm that came with the kit so I guess that's where the rear lens cap went but I forgot to ask him about the body cap.

    There was some dust on the sensor and lens which I was able to get rid of with a blower. He came from an airconditioned mall to an open park outdoors on a hot day which caused a bit of light fogging in the lens when I took it out of the box. Initially I saw round circles and patterns which I took for fungus but as it dried up it cleared up nicely and I was unable to detect anything apart from little particles of dust.

    I checked all the normal things like using dof preview to check the aperture blades, tested different drive modes and shutter speeds. Also, did the lcd, contacts and everything does seem fine.

    All the dust and stuff is nothing I can't clean myself, for some reason my memory card malfunctioned and I was only able to take 15 shots, half of which are blurred from when I was testing the continuous shooting on a low iso, but I did get the some good ones showing clear, sharp images. I took one of the bricks on the wall and the lines were all straight. One of a white background at f11 and there were no clear spots or blemishes.
    Everything seems ok, obviously there are things I can't check for like water damage and stuff like that but overall it seemed fine. Could have been in cleaner condition but the guy really did seem like he just didn't know how to take care of his gear. If he was trying to hide something he would have probably done a better job presenting it by attempting to clean it.

    Anyway, I'm still not sure if I should go ahead with it. Does this sound like a straight forward exchange or is there something I've missed?
     
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Those GF3+ 14mm kits were originally sold without rear lens caps and body caps. Only Panasonic knows why, but obviously, they did it to cut cost. I added a body cap to mine when I sold my GF3 that I bought to get the 14mm lens.
     
  3. je83

    je83 Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Apr 16, 2013
    HKG
    Thanks for the quick response and sorry for the long ass post.

    The guy had a Gf3W which was the twin lens kit. Not sure but I think it comes with at least one rear lens cap, I guess maybe there was no body cap.


    One more unusual thing I noticed, when I popped the flash there was a thick white layer of dust covering the inside of the flash housing. I've had mine for three months and noticed fine particles of dust in the lens and sensor but never anything in the flash housing. Not sure if that means anything, maybe he just likes to leave it lying around with the flash up?
     
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Just my $0.2 but... how good of a price are you getting on this? The GF3 can be found for pretty cheap, and the GX1 (which IMO is a better camera) for not much more (around $199 currently). Unless it's a super price, I would hold out and get one you don't have any misgivings about.
     
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    You should be able to get a for all intents and purposes NEW GF3 body for no more than $100, because there is a glut of them on the market from everyone who bought those 14mm kits just to get the lens. I sold mine for $106 plus shipping, and I had to throw in a 4GB SD card and a second battery to get that price. Generally speaking used ones with the 14-42 kit zoom are closing for less than $150 on ebay, and the lens alone is worth more than half of that.

    The GX1 is, of course, a great deal at $199 - but that still is at least twice the you can get a GF3 body for - so I could see why someone on a tight budget would go for the GF3 instead. The GF3 is also exceptionally compact - pretty much the smallest M43 camera out there. I almost kept mine as a 3rd M4/3 body just because of how small it is.
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Ah, I didn't know they were going for that cheap. I thought GF3s were still around $150. For $100, I'd say *definitely* don't go buying one you have concerns about unless it's an incredible deal. Much easier to buy one in great shape and not have to worry about it.
     
  7. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    You've already gotten the advice I would give... Go for a new, cheap one from eBay or the likes.
     
  8. je83

    je83 Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Apr 16, 2013
    HKG
    Prices here are about 10USD more than you're quoted online prices. I prefer to trade locally since I'm able to check it first. Another factor is I'm trying to get the red color which there don't seem to be that many of.

    Anyway, based on my description of the one I checked would you go for it, does it seem like there is anything I should watch out for in this particular case. I mentioned all the dust and the little circular patterns on the lens that cleared up nicely after the condensation/fog had gone. All that may seem like negatives but it's nothing I can't clean up and it shows (to me anyway) that the seller isn't trying to hide anything.