Our Top-Selling Gear of 2021 | The KEH Tilt-Shift Report

The KEH Tilt-Shift Report: Our Best-Selling Gear of 2021

Welcome back to the KEH Tilt-Shift Report, where I share exclusive data and unique insights into the latest trends in camera gear buying, trading and selling.

Previously, I explored whether zoom or prime lenses hold their value better, I compared two leading medium format mirrorless systems, and looked into mirrorless cameras depreciating faster than DSLRs.

This time, since it’s December, let’s look back at our best-selling used gear of the year.

The Tilt

Looking back to 2020’s year-end list, I mentioned a few trends to keep an eye on for the coming year. Mainly, I pointed out how Sony mirrorless cameras were making a charge at aging favorites like the Canon 5D Mk III and the Nikon D750 on the digital cameras list. Was 2021 going to be the year that saw the biggest sea change in the second-hand market?

Our top-selling used camera of last year, the Sony a6000, showed its staying power last year, becoming the first mirrorless camera to ever top our list—a full six years after its release. It was a long, tough road to the crown, but could it stay at the top?

Also, on our year-end list of film cameras, perhaps the most iron-clad and time-tested as far as the perennial top sellers, we saw a couple small shifts in 2020 with the Pentax ME and the Olympus OM10 knocking the Nikon F4 and F5 off the chart. With a whole new generation of photographers raised on smartphones discovering the joys of shooting film, was pro-level film gear falling out of favor and giving way to more accessible equipment?

Thankfully, you all bought a record amount of used gear in 2021, giving us plenty of data to sort out. The beauty of selling any gear from every year is that we get a good sense of what photographers want to shoot beyond the latest and greatest, and without a doubt, people keep proving that good gear stays good, year after year.

So without further ado, now it’s time to see how 2021 panned out.

The Shift

Let’s start by looking at our best-selling interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera bodies.


  1. Sony Alpha a6000
  2. Sony Alpha a7 III
  3. Fujifilm X-T3
  4. Nikon Z6
  5. Sony Alpha a7R III
  6. Fujifilm X-T2
  7. Sony Alpha a7R II
  8. Canon EOS R
  9. Sony Alpha a7R IV
  10. Sony Alpha a7 II

The a6000 was an easy winner here, besting every other mirrorless camera by a comfortable margin. Sony dominated this category, placing six cameras in the top 10. Their grip on the mirrorless market is pretty secure given its head start on Canon and Nikon, which only showed up with one camera body each. We’ll see how they stack up against DSLRs shortly.

Besides the a6000, Fujifilm also did well with its APS-C cameras, with both the X-T3 and its predecessor, the X-T2, holding their own against the full-frame options.

Now, let’s look at another interesting category—interchangeable-lens DSLR bodies.


  1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  2. Nikon D750
  3. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  4. Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  5. Canon EOS 7D
  6. Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  7. Nikon D7000
  8. Nikon D850
  9. Canon EOS 80D
  10. Nikon D810

No big surprises here. Canon and Nikon dominated this category so thoroughly that I had to go down 84 spots on the list before I saw the Sony a77 II and the Pentax K-1 pop up.

And let’s give a big round of applause for the 5D line of cameras, who own three out of the four top spots, with the Mark III taking the crown yet again—it speaks highly to the durability and dependability of those cameras that they still do so well. And of course, they’re now more affordable than ever.

Nikon’s D750 has also proven to have a long tail of usability with pros and enthusiasts alike.

So, clearly, DSLRs have staying power, but let’s now see what happens when we combine them with mirrorless cameras for the ultimate top-prize of best-selling interchangeable-lens digital camera.


  1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  2. Nikon D750
  3. Sony Alpha a6000
  4. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  5. Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  6. Canon EOS 7D
  7. Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  8. Sony Alpha a7 III
  9. Nikon D7000
  10. Nikon D850

That’s right, only two mirrorless cameras were able to crack the top 10 when put up against DSLRs, which means the 5D Mark III reigns supreme as our top-seller for 2021.

It’s pretty remarkable considering it was first released in March of 2012—it’s almost ten years old at this point, but photographers still turn to it to get the job done.

Last year’s winner, the a6000, took the third spot behind the popular Nikon D750.

Other notable digital cameras winning out their respective categories:

Of course, digital cameras are only one part of the equation at KEH—we also sell a ton of film gear. Let’s look at what film cameras sold the best in 2021.


  1. Canon AE-1
  2. Pentax K1000
  3. Canon A-1
  4. Nikon F100
  5. Nikon F3HP
  6. Minolta X-700
  7. Nikon F5
  8. Nikon FE
  9. Pentax ME
  10. Nikon EM

The AE-1 and the K1000 are repeat winners in this category, and it’s easy to see why—they’re plentiful, affordable, and durable. The fact that there’s a ton of available lenses and accessories for those systems is also a big reason for their timelessness.

In other news, the F5 is back in the top 10 this year, and it’s joined in a great showing by four other Nikon bodies. Great to see Minolta and Pentax on the list as well.


  1. Mamiya RZ67
  2. Mamiya RB67
  3. Mamiya 645 1000S
  4. Yashica Mat 124G
  5. Pentax 645N
  6. Pentax 6×7
  7. Hasselblad 500CM
  8. Pentax 645
  9. Mamiya 6
  10. Mamiya 7

Clearly, Mamiya is the clear standout in this category, with five cameras in the top 10. With so many different formats, form factors, and fantastic lenses, Mamiya had medium format on lock back in the day—and those systems are still attractive today.

Pentax is not far behind with three classic bodies on the list.


  1. Graflex 4×5 Crown Graphic
  2. Toyo Field 45A
  3. Shen Hao 4×5 HZX45-IIA
  4. Graflex 4×5 Speed Graphic
  5. Sinar 4×5 P
  6. Omega 4×5 45D
  7. Calumet 4×5 45N
  8. Sinar 4×5 F
  9. Wista 4×5 Field 45
  10. Calumet 4×5 CC401

Obviously, large format is not for the casual shooter, but those that choose to go down the path have some great gear at their disposal. None greater than the Graflex Crown Graphic, which took our top spot in 2021.


  1. Polaroid SX-70
  2. Polaroid SX-70 Sonar
  3. Polaroid OneStep Close Up 600
  4. Polaroid Spectra System AF
  5. Polaroid OneStep 600
  6. Polaroid OneStep2 VF
  7. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 NEO
  8. Polaroid Sun 600
  9. Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1
  10. Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Alpha

Instant film is synonymous with Polaroid, and the historic brand took nine out of the top 10 spots on the list, with Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 90 keeping them from running the board.

Let’s get away from cameras and go into another key category—lenses.


  1. Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4
  2. Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2
  3. Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6
  4. Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3
  5. Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6
  6. Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2
  7. Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8
  8. Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4
  9. Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4
  10. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8

Fujifilm had a nice showing on this year’s best-selling mirrorless list, surely helped by the fact that their lenses are quite affordable without sacrificing any image quality. Their 18-55mm kit lens might just be the best kit lens on the market, and our sales reflected that.

Sony’s entry-level zooms also did well, as did Nikon’s 24-70mm f/4 option for their Z-mount.


  1. Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
  2. Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G
  3. Canon FD 50mm f/1.8
  4. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G
  5. Canon 24-70mm f/4
  6. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
  7. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 II
  8. Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G
  9. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
  10. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II

As far as SLR & DSLR, we sold a ton of Canon’s 18-55mm kit lens, as well some of Nikon’s popular APS-C options.

Great to see a manual-focus Canon FD lens on there as well—surely helped by our sales of the Canon AE-1, which is a natural fit, as well as people who want to adapt legacy glass to their mirrorless cameras.


  1. Contax 45mm f/2 Planar T* G
  2. Contax 28mm f/2.8 Biogon T* G
  3. Contax 90mm f/2.8 Sonnar T* G
  4. Mamiya 80mm f/4 N L
  5. Mamiya 75mm f/3.5 G L
  6. Mamiya 150mm f/4.5 N L
  7. Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH M
  8. Leica 5cm f/2 Summitar Collapsible Screw-Mount
  9. Contax 35mm f/2 Planar T* G
  10. Mamiya 50mm f/4 G L

Great to see a brand like Contax with a good showing despite them being defunct. Their G-series lenses are great on the Contax G1 and G2, but can also be adapted for mirrorless.

Four of Mamiya’s lenses for the 6 and 7 series of cameras are also on the list, as well as a couple Leica classics for the M-mount.

So, there you have it. Another great year in the books, and a whole load of great gear went into the capable hands of photographers like you. Looking forward to 2022 and all that it has in store.

The KEH Tilt-Shift Report will return in January.

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