Gone mirrorless? Sell your DSLR

Gone mirrorless? Sell your DSLR - Canon EOS R5 in front of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III


There’s quite a lot to get used to when you invest in your first mirrorless camera and it’s only natural to want to keep hold of your old DSLR during the transition phase. The menu system will be a bit different, the focusing system isn’t the same and there are some exciting new features to explore. But once you’re through the familiarisation stage, it’s time to sell your old camera

It’s understandable to feel attached to your old camera and feel like you’re getting rid of an old friend, after all, you’ve been together for ages and you’ve created some great images. We get far more attached to our cameras than we do our phones, but at the end of the day, it’s just a tool that has served you well and it’s time to move on. Here’s why:

You won’t use it

This is the big one.

Lots of photographers think that they will still use their old camera once they get a new one, but very few do. It’s because of all the reasons that prompted them to buy the new camera in the first place, after all that justification, why would you use your old camera?

You’ll notice some significant differences between your DSLR and mirrorless camera. One of the most notable is that instead of having to look at a scale, you can assess exposure using the image in the viewfinder. It’s much more intuitive and you quickly get used to making shutter speed, aperture or ISO adjustments on the basis of how bright or dark the image looks before you press the shutter release. It’s a wrench to go back to an exposure scale after you’ve got used to working with an electronic viewfinder.

Similarly, you can use the image in the viewfinder of a mirrorless camera to assess the white balance and colour of the image before you press the shutter release instead of going with your best guess or checking in the image after it’s been captured. Of course, you can use live view on a DSLR, but a viewfinder gives you a much better, clearer view (especially in bright light). You can also switch seamlessly between the viewfinder and screen on a mirrorless camera, it’s clunkier with a DSLR because the AF, exposure metering and white balance systems are all different.

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The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR mounted via the Nikon FTZ mount adapter

Keep the lenses, ditch the camera, build your kit

It’s tempting to want to sell all your DSLR kit in one go, so you keep hold of the camera for as long as you use the lenses via an adapter on your mirrorless camera and only sell when you’ve replaced all the DSLR lenses with those designed for the mirrorless body. But who buys a whole secondhand camera kit in one go? It does’t really make a difference when you’re selling, so sell your camera and any lenses you don’t use straight away. You can sell your other DSLR lenses over time as your replace them.

If you’re a Canon or Nikon user, most of your DSLR lenses will perform as well on your mirrorless camera as they ever did on your SLR, but the native mirrorless lenses bring some advantages. They maybe a little lighter or smaller, for example, but the main benefit is that they usually have faster communication with the camera body. This makes them more responsive, so the focusing is quicker and more assured. In some cases the stabilisation built into the lens can work in tandem with the camera’s stabilisation so you get even more shutter speed compensation.

So while your SLR lenses will serve you well, lenses that are specifically designed to be used with your mirrorless camera will enable you to get the full potential of your new camera. With that in mind, it’s worth taking a good look at which lenses you actually use with a view to selling those that you don’t to finance your switch in optics.

Recoup some cash

The sooner you sell your old camera, the more money you will make from it. That money could be just what you need to buy your next lens or that tripod you’ve been promising yourself. You could get £600 for a Canon EOS 90D in like new condition, for example, and £1,195 for a Nikon D850. That’s a nice chunk of cash.

Selling your old camera gear also gives someone else the opportunity to buy kit at a more affordable price than new. You could help them discover a new hobby or start a career. Follow the link for more reason why you should sell your old camera gear.


About MPB

Founded by Matt Barker in 2011, MPB is the world’s largest platform for used photography and videography kit. MPB has transformed the way people buy, sell and trade equipment, making photography more accessible, affordable and sustainable.

Headquartered in the creative communities of Brighton, Brooklyn and Berlin, the MPB team includes trained camera experts and seasoned photographers and videographers who bring their passion to work every day to deliver outstanding service. Every piece of kit is inspected carefully by product specialists and comes with a six-month warranty to give customers peace of mind that buying used doesn’t mean sacrificing reliability.