UPDATED: I Am Giving Away My Canon 5D Mk2 To You...How You Can Help Others

UPDATED: I Am Giving Away My Canon 5D Mk2 To You...How You Can Help Others

This is my full-frame Canon 5D Mark II with vertical dual battery grip. It may be worn down to the metal on the edges, but this baby still shoots beautiful 21 megapixel RAW files and 1080p video. It's ridden tanks and supercars and hung out of helicopters and photographed some pretty famous folks for some album and magazine covers. Now, I have decided to give it away to the best cause. Below, you can either learn how to apply or learn how you may help others!

12/25/14 UPDATE: I have literally received hundreds of emails. Many from people with very heartfelt stories and causes and others from people wanting to offer their own old DSLR kits! It has been a very powerful experience. Bear with me as I will carefully review more than 300 emails. I will be choosing the home for my Mk2 as well as connecting the additional people willing to donate their cameras to other people that emailed me. I admit, this has been a very emotional process and I've wished more than once that I had more than one DSLR to give away. I am so happy we will be able to help more than one person now thanks to the generosity of others!

It has truly given me hope to know that people are willing to put themselves out there and help strangers around the world. It also is amazing to me to learn how a working digital SLR camera can literally change the lives of those in need. It can put food in the mouths of the hungry, save the lives of animals, and give hope to those without. To those that say how you can buy an intro DSLR kit for around $500 have never had to sell camera gear to afford to feed your starving children. I am very proud of the response and those that have offered to get involved!

Sure, some people didn't read the instructions and sent messages equating to "WHERE CAN I GET THAT FREE CAMERA?!" Others were hoping to just upgrade their current gear, but in numerous cases, emailed me again to rescind their request because they believed that they should be thankful for what they have and wanted the camera to go to a good cause. Kudos to them for seeing the big picture and choosing such a positive perspective! Some people said that if I gave them the Mark 2, they would hand down their older gear to someone needy. Well, I hope those people will still consider doing that whether they receive the 5D or not when they do eventually upgrade. :)

More soon!

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This Canon was a trusty camera body for me for years, but now it sits on my shelf as a backup body. I thought about keeping it because it has such a crazy history with me, for it has been on some of my greatest adventures thus far. But... recently I've been touched by the generosity of others and their willingness to help others. It brought me to tears. So, I've decided to give this old girl away.

My Mark 2 can still compete with some of the best DSLRs in the industry and shoots pretty awesome high-definition video footage (it's been used for TV ads in the past, before we acquired our Red Cameras) as well. Aside from the worn paint, it functions perfectly. Her street value is probably still over $1k.


  • I will be giving this camera away with a fresh battery, charger, and camera strap.
  • The camera does not come with a lens, but I can certainly help you source something very affordable if needed.
  • It must be said that this is a used camera, and all future maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of its new owner.
  • This is important: If you have a noble cause (i.e., charity/helping kids/animals/veterans/etc.) or know a photographer that has fallen on hard times, message your story to me directly at douglas@sondersphotography.com with the subject line "CANON DONATION". I will choose the Mark 2's new home by December 22nd.
  • There is no catch. This is open to international submissions. I ask nothing of you except that you make sure this camera is used to do something special. It is a part of me and who I am today, and I hope it means the same to someone else.


I've already received hundreds of emails with some truly heartbreaking stories. It's incredible how having a functional DSLR camera can change the lives of others. Some take it for granted that for $500 you can have a new SLR with kit lens today (obviously not full frame like the 5D). I am receiving messages from people that had to sell their cameras to pay for food for themselves and their kids, but need a camera to earn money. People that want to use cameras to help soldiers treat PTSD. Teachers in international schools with no budgets, but want to teach kids about art and photography. People that had a family member suffer from a disease, and had to sell their gear to pay for medical bills. People that want to use a camera to help the advancement of a charitable cause, but need a dependable SLR to do so.

You would be shocked to know how many people CANNOT afford to have a reliable DSLR but could accomplish SO MUCH if they had one. So.... if you, like me, are lucky enough to have a dependable extra digital camera system collecting dust on a shelf and want to earn some life karma points, I now have a list of people whose lives would be changed by receiving a camera. You can email me at douglas@sondersphotography.com with the subject line "I HAVE A CAMERA" and I will respond back with more information.

Let's help our fellow photographers around the world one camera at a time.

My Facebook Photography Page if you'd like to learn more.

Douglas Sonders's picture

Commercial Photographer (mainly Phase One medium format digital) and filmmaker based out of NYC. Started a site called Notabully.org to spread stories about well-behaved and positive pitbulls. Love cars, 80s movies, dogs, and adventure. Free time is spent traveling, sleeping, adventuring, or working on my baby, a 1969 Mustang Mach 1.

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I wonder if anyone would want my old 20D and 40D even for free lol!

Of course. I recently pulled out my 40D when CPS was servicing my 5D3. It's still a great camera. Built like a tank.

I gave my 40D plus a decent sigma 18-50 to the local Boys and Girls Club in hopes I could spend time with a bunch of the kids teaching them how to use it. After a few months of doing it weekly, I just got too busy, but they were enjoying it and submitting photos to contests. While a 40D is low end if you have a 5D MK II or III, it is amazing to them.

I have a school in Turkey that may benefit

I can part with my 40D. I have a 28-135 Kit lens to go with it. Will email you.

what ill do is connect you with my select list of folks that need cameras and you can choose the one that you feel is best for your camera

Feel free to email me your list, info@justinhaugen.com

I'm getting so many emails back and forth. please email douglas@sondersphotography.com with the subject line "I HAVE A CAMERA"
that will ensure things keep organized. thank you

That's very noble of you. Blessings

This gives me a great idea..... Thanks all!

glad to hear

I've already submitted an email detailing my son's circumstances and his work with the homeless. If he is granted a newer camera, any camera, he would gladly pay it forward & donate his Rebel XTi!

Somewhat in the next months i might have to travel to Africa, to work. I now have the Canon EOS 6D and a noble and beloved 500D. I will help those kids learn about photography, and photograph them. I just hope i can make some new photography majors there :)

What I would do to own a simple DSLR. times are rough and I can't even afford a beginners camera due to having a baby and father not being around. I wish everyone the best of luck and hope this camera is treated with love.

I really need this camera but I feel my reasons are as "good" as some other so I wont send you an email. i just wanted to thank you for being a nice person :). We need more people like you these days !

This is something I can totally get behind, Art cures the soul on so many levels.

Inspiring to say the least.

This is so awesome dude. :)

VERY cool of you @Douglas. May your camera help change someone's life as it helped you create yours.

inspiring, and liberating! Wow !!!

Inspiring and liberating Wow!

I gave away a 30D and kit lens a few years ago. I mean it had sat unused in a cupboard for ages, and while it had no value for me, it was a big deal to the person I gave it to. Spread a bit of happiness, and encourage someone to take more interest in their photography. Hey, I also gave a G10 to my wife, but that doesn't really coun't. It sure made a difference to her photography though.

Joy of giving.. I like it..
u ensure ur kit is safe when it was with u, and when it reaches someone's hands... :)