My love of photography started not long after I began blogging and even though I still haven’t found the time to actually get good at taking photos, the equipment that I’ve been lucky enough to use over the years has given me a cheeky head start. Today I’m going to tell you about a discovery I made that’s going to help you upgrade your camera equipment without paying a fortune!
This is the point where I should tell you that this is not a sponsored post or even a review commissioned by the company I’m going to tell you about – they were genuinely recommended by a friend and I was over the moon with the deal I got so I wanted to share my experience with you.
In my early blogging days, photos weren’t all that important to me – something you’ll see if you look back over some of my early posts with photos so small you can barely make out the details. But gradually, I started to spend longer and longer taking my photos and one Christmas, Mr Frugal massively surprised me with a Canon DSLR which I loved.
I loved it, despite it being quite big and bulky because it helped an amateur like me take photos that looked OK – not great but OK. And for a couple of years, my trusty Canon was never far from my reach and even though I never ventured out of Auto, I was happy with my photos.
Then I upgraded my phone and the camera on there was really good so I gradually switched from my big Canon to just using my phone to take photos – you know what they say, the best camera is the one you have at hand. It was so much easier snapping photos with that rather than faffing about with the big Canon so for about a year my phone was my camera of choice and the Canon just sat gathering dust under my bed in my camera bag.
I kind of fell out of love with photography a little bit at that point as I’d been saying for years that I was going to improve and promising myself that I would learn how to actually use the settings on my camera but I never had and at that point, I didn’t really have the enthusiasm to do it!
Then, last year when I was poorly, Mr Frugal came home with the best present that he’s ever bought me – even better than the Canon! He bought me the Olympus Pen E-PL7 which was a total game changer – not only was it beautiful to look at (yes, I’m that superficial) but it also took amazing photos right out of the box using the kit lens that it came with.
Look at it!
It made me want to get out of bed and start taking photos there and then which was saying something as I was in a fair amount of pain then. 😉 I spent that Summer close to home as I was waiting for an operation to put me right again but I did go for walks every day and the pleasure I got from taking photos for no reason other than my own enjoyment really made a difference to my mindset.
Since then my little Olympus has been everywhere with me and I’ve loved it but this year, we have a few trips planned that I really want to capture on camera and I’d decided that for my Birthday I was going to ask for a super fancy lens which costs £384 on Amazon. A lot to pay I know but it’s a lens that does exactly what I need it to do and it was a special Birthday so I knew that no matter what I said, Mr Frugal was going to buy something big for me – a little bird told me that he was even discussing designer handbags with Miss Frugal as he wanted me to have something special. Plus, I use it for work, blogging and personal use so it’s not like I’m just buying it because I want it – I need my work to be the highest quality possible.
Anyway, someone at work told me to try MPB who are an online company who buy and sell secondhand camera gear so before I sent the Amazon link to my husband so he could ‘surprise’ me on my Birthday, I had a look on there.
I found the lens I wanted, second hand but listed as ‘As new’ condition for £279 which was amazing but I thought I’d try and get the price down by seeing how much I would get as a trade-in for the lens I was going to be replacing the new one with. The price was pretty good so I decided to add my old Canon DSLR to the mix along with 2 lenses’ I had for that too and it came out to more than the cost of the lens I was planning to buy.
So I decided to add my much-loved E-PL7 to the mix to see how much an upgrade to the E-PL8 would be and it came out that I could get the all singing, all dancing new lens I wanted AND the new version of the camera that I love for the grand total of £163!
I booked a courier through the site to come and collect my camera equipment and the very next day it was collected from my house – free of charge. The package was delivered the next day to MPB and the following day I got an email adjusting the quote slightly as I’d over-estimated the excellent condition of my Canon DSLR and one of the lenses. 😉 Mr Frugal, who had parcelled them up for me pointed out that he would have never classed them as excellent anyway and I guess they were well used and five years old so excellent was a stretch I suppose. I had the option to accept or decline the new quote which left me with about £200 to pay for the lens and the camera.
The E-PL8 camera is £449 in places like Currys and John Lewis and the lens is £384 on Amazon so the option to get them both in excellent/as new condition for £200 was still a great deal so I went for it.
I left the next part to Mr Frugal as the camera was a Mother’s Day present so he paid and arranged delivery for the next day which I think cost him an extra £8. I really shouldn’t have left it to him though as I got a text letting me know that the camera was going to be delivered the next day – when we were all out. 😉
Luckily the text gave me the option to rearrange delivery to a local shop (which took about 30 seconds) and the next day, I got a message at 10am telling me that my camera was available to collect.
After the longest day ever at work, I collected it and pestered Mr Frugal until he gave in and gave me it a few days before Mother’s Day!
I might do a little review post at some point because it really is a brilliant camera. I know from having the E-PL7 how good that was and this is just even better from what I’ve seen so far!
I think I’ve got a great deal so if you want to upgrade your camera equipment, I definitely recommend using MPB!
You might also like to read about how I use my camera to create every day which is something that I find really important.
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