Decided on a camera, now where to purchase?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bigbadbuff, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff TPF Noob!

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    I have decided on a D90+18-200mm lens as my first SLR/lens. However, I am having a hard time deciding where to purchase, and whether or not I should consider refurbished/store model with warranty D90 bodies (I am definitely purchasing the lens new). I am inclined to buy both new, but wouldn't mind saving a few hundred at the same time, and I've seen good things about Adorama/Cameta's refurbs, for example.

    One thing I've noticed is that several of the well known camera retail websites do not indicate they are an authorized Nikon dealer. I suppose I could simply call them, but it's strange to me that it's not front and center on their site.

    So, would you consider a refurb/store model to save a bit (and possibly pay for a 3rd party extended warranty), or go new all the way? Which sites are considered the most reputable and price competitive?

    Thanks in advance, this forum has been instrumental in learning the ropes.
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You might to consider cost savings vs service. B&H & Adorama are two excellent sources for on line purchase. They have always provided me with prompt, honest, excellent service when purchasing an item. They will save you money. They are not the cheapest places you can order from. The reason for that, is they are Honest companies. Notice I said order from, not buy from. There are a lot of online companies with much cheaper prices. If you order from them you will get scammend and not get what you are wanting. I have never heard of that kind of problem from B&H or Adorama.

    The other side of the coin is a local photography shop. Not a Box store like Best Buy or Wolf's Photo, but a real live photography shop. You will pay a bit more there than at B&H or Adorama. The brick and mortar store can not order stock and turn it like B&H or Adorama.

    What they can offer however is service after the sale. B&H & Adorama, like I mentioned before, offer good service when buying from them. You are in Virginia I believe and they are not. It's not like you can walk into the door, unless you fell like flying/driving to New York City and chat about a problem. With the local brick & mortar store you can.

    Just something for your consideration depending on your knowledge base, future needs and what you have locally in your area.

    Me, I do buy from my local store when ever possible. We have built a relationship over the years that has paid off. When the 24-70 f2.8L lens quit focusing, they lent me one for a shoot that I had scheduled. Not every store is going to do this, but for me local service paid off. Good luck on your purchase. :D
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    B&H and Adorama are top notch online retailers. They are the "standard" that others are measured against.

    If you are definately set on a refurbished body. I have purchased 3 from Cameta on ebay over the last 6 years. All work and look as new. And they come with a 1 year warranty (though I have never tried to use it, so can't say how good it is). They are very reputable. They have their own store front on Ebay and have like 350,000 feedback above 99%. They also sell through Amazon.

    And there is Amazon. Amazon has competitive prices normally. Sometimes you can catch when they are playing with prices and has a really good deal going (they move prices around, not always a set amount). Have to watch Amazon as if another seller has a lower price it will be listed first. So, it's not always Amazon your dealing with, could be another company selling on their site (some of them are not so nice scammers).

    As for the Amazon pricing, watch them over a week. When I bought my new D300 from them the price fluctuated about $150 over that time span. When it was back down to the lowest I had seen. I purchased it from them. I also have a co-worker that ordered a big LCD TV from them and same thing. Over 2 weeks the price was up and down. And he bought it when it was down again. They have very good customer service and deliver quickly. But they cannot help with question like B&H or Adorama would / can do.

    And then again, you local camera store may have a pretty good deal going on. But just because they are local doesn't mean they are totally honnest. There are some scammers trying to make a buck too ( I got bit by a local dishonnest shop in Ft. Lauderdale when I lived down there). Feel them out and see how they are. If they are nice and not so pushy. Might be a good place to buy from. Most likely not be able to get a refurb from them though.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    AFAIK Cameta Camera is the official outlet for Nikon's refurbished gear.

    I buy most of my gear and supplies from B&H because I get free shipping, but I have used Adorama, Buydig.com and Amazon too. Bought a lens at Adorama just yesterday.

    I don't think Nikon has 'Authorized Dealers' anymore.

    By the way the 18-200 mm lens has some of the worst barrel distortion seen by modern man.
     
  5. sween

    sween TPF Noob!

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    As for the Amazon pricing, watch them over a week. When I bought my new D300 from them the price fluctuated about $150 over that time span.
     
  6. sween

    sween TPF Noob!

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    Often that price fluctuation is not so much Amazon but rather the "partner" retailers whose merchandise they offer. If an item is sold directly from Amazon, it will say so. If not, it will also say so. Depending on the "partner," you'll find some serious price swings on a daily basis.

    Best bet? Eat the couple of extra bucks and buy from B&H. No one is more dependable, while many might be somewhat cheaper. With a big purchase, I lean toward reliability and dependability.
     
  7. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Actually it is Amazon that is changing the pricing. Can also be the "partner" retailers. But Amazon changes their prices often. I even contacted them once about a price on a wood lathe they offered. Their reply was they do not gurantee prices or price match other sites, and the price is only good at the time its being offered. If you want to test this. Put an item in your shopping cart and leave it there (over a week or two). You will get notices in your cart that the price has gone up or down. Even though an item is in your cart they can and do change prices. And this is items sold by Amazon not a "partner".
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    true, but the cart is not really opening a transaction with them nor a deal, its just storing the products you want in a list for a later deal - leaving them free to alter the price or even remove the product from sale (or just run out of stock)
     
  9. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I was just stating that to give an example on how to show they change prices. If you leave the item in your cart. You will get notices in the cart that the price has changed (up or down).

    Per my email with them. They do not protect prices, match prices, or guarantee prices.
     
  10. Rere

    Rere TPF Noob!

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    I have bought most of my expensive Nikon cameras, lenses, and other photography equipment from Amazon (some from Andorama and B&H) Amazon is usually cheaper in the long run than the others--believe me I research (and have for the last 6 years) my expensive equipment in depth before I buy. If Amazon has it in their facilities you also don't have to pay shipping prices, which is nice. They also stand behind what they sell.

    Their prices fluctuate and reflect free market prices as does B&H (I believe). They usually also have faster delivery service than the others, and you can order anytime day and night--unlike B&H. I do still order from B&H, though, for certain items.
     
  11. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    B&H, Adorama, FocusCamera!!!
    With 18-200 lens, boost up the sharpening a bit in the camera. The lens is a bit soft at default settings.
    Good Luck
     
  12. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    I just got mine at Ritz Camera. A relatively local shop where I live and they give you great service. Screw Best Buy for any kind of knowledge... go to a camera shop like mentioned before.
     

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