In late December, PetaPixel published an article asking if it was a good idea to buy used. There were mixed responses, but if KEH’s data is to be believed, far more people support buying used than you might think. For KEH, 2020 was a “banner year.”

KEH is a used camera marketplace that features all manner of camera equipment, both more recent bodies that are making it to the second-hand market as well as classic film cameras that have been loved for years.

The retailer had such a good year with its used market that it went so far as to say that they believe the world finally understands “that buying brand new is played out, and that buying used is where it’s at.” In an email to PetaPixel, KEH stated that the data provided in its 2020 end of year analysis was based on tens of thousands of units sold in 2020.

KEH’s Top 10 Selling Digital Cameras of 2020:

  1. Sony Alpha a6000
  2. Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  3. Nikon D750
  4. Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  5. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  6. Fujifilm X-T2
  7. Canon EOS 7D
  8. Nikon D90
  9. Nikon D810
  10. Sony Alpha a7III

If you look at this list, one thing is abundantly clear: DSLRs dominate the field. This actually mirrors what KEH found in its Best Selling Cameras of the Decade analysis posted at the end of 2019. In it, all 10 of the top 10 cameras sold in the last decade were DSLRs, which isn’t all that surprising considering that mirrorless did not take a firm hold until more than halfway through the period.

So looking at that, KEH argues it’s somewhat surprising that mirrorless cameras appear on the top 10 list for 2020 at all, let alone sit atop the field with the number one spot.

“DSLRs are workhorses, so we expect them to stay among our top sellers for years to come,” KEH writes. “When it comes to getting the job done, many of you are still turning to what’s been trusted for decades. And we’re here for you—DSLRs are very much alive at KEH.”

Sony’s APS-C workhorse a6000 was originally released in 2014 yet still sees incredible popularity six years later despite being replaced and upgraded multiple times over. According to KEH, it was unable to keep the a6000 body or kit configuration on the shelves in 2020. KEH also notes that the Fujifilm X-T2 is showing a great lifespan, originally retailing for $1600 in 2016, it’s still holding its own and available for around $600 today.

“The features still cover 98% of every hybrid photographer’s needs, and frankly, it’s a steal at that price,” KEH writes. &

Digital cameras weren’t the only bodies that made up sales in 2020. KEH also moved a considerable number of film bodies.

KEH’s Top 10 Selling Film Cameras of 2020:

  1. Canon AE-1
  2. Pentax K1000
  3. Nikon F3
  4. Nikon FE
  5. Nikon F100
  6. Minolta X-700
  7. Canon A-1
  8. Pentax ME
  9. Mamiya RB67
  10. Olympus OM10

Cross-referencing this list with the decade-spanning one referenced earlier, there isn’t much movement. That’s actually pretty expected, as film cameras like these are rather timeless.

KEH’s Top 20 Selling Lenses of 2020:

  1. Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Macro EF-S
  2. Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS AF
  3. Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G AF-S DX
  4. Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
  5. Canon 50mm f/1.8 FD
  6. Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR AF-S DX
  7. Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G AF-S
  8. Canon 50mm f/1.8 II EF
  9. Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM EF
  10. Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III EF
  11. Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM EF
  12. Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF R LM OIS
  13. Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D
  14. Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM EF
  15. Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Macro USM EF
  16. Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED IF Aspherical AF-S
  17. Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS AF
  18. Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM EF-S
  19. Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR AF-P DX
  20. Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Series E AIS

As expected, Canon and Nikon DSLR lenses dominate the field, a fact that KEH says is likely linked to the viability of the lenses on both DSLRs and mirrorless bodies.

It will be interesting to watch the used market in the next decade as mirrorless cameras age a bit more and as DSLRs are further distanced feature-wise from those new cameras. How long will DSLRs hold value? Will still contend with the decades-old film cameras in terms of staying power? What about mirrorless? Will early mirrorless cameras continue to show popularity?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

For KEH’s full year in review analysis, head over to the KEH Blog.



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