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January 24, 2006

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February 11, 2006

Careful when buying cameras

February 11, 2006
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I sometimes get emails from my clients asking if so and so price is a good deal from a certain retailer. They are usually hundreds of dollars less than average selling price of these cameras or lenses.

Remember the old saying? If it is too good to be true….

This is the case with most camera dealers that offer very low prices.

This article sums up the situation very well. What happens is they sell you cameras with no accessories included (that is supposed to come standard), gray market cameras with no warranty etc. They also contact you to force you to buy very overpriced accessories and if you don’t buy, suddenly your camera is not in stock. And they sometimes send you a lesser model and make it extremely hard to return items if they are still in business.

What can you do? First try your local stores. This will give you a person to talk to and make sure you have a camera in hand when you walk out (instead of hoping it arrives through mail). Second, it supports the local economy and brings 80% of the money back to local businesses. And if something breaks, you have somebody to go and talk to instead of being on the phone for hours. Trust me, that alone is worth the price difference most of the time. We are all very busy!

In Portland area, I recommend Pro Photo Supply. They know what they are doing and since they do not work on commission, they are very helpful. I do not like shopping at Camera World as I had some very bad experiences there.

If you are buying online, make sure to look at:

Reseller Ratings

and to a lesser degree


Here are some (online) stores I recommend:

B&H – Gold standard of online camera stores.

Focus Camera

KEH – they also have great used camera selection

I used to shop at Adorama but they have failed me couple times and would not buy from them again. For me, reliability is very important. And do me a favor and do not spend your money on Walmart and support your small businesses!

I hope this was useful to some of you.