Where do you personally buy your cameras from?

blackrose89

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I'm finally looking into getting my first DSLR. Hopefully in a fews week to a month. I want to get either a Nikon D3100 or a D300 (although other suggestions are welcome). Cheapest is obviously a plus, but a place that provides warranties is also a major plus. I know people recommend used, but just how reliable is a used camera?

Where do you buy your cameras from, what companies do you trust?
 

longjon75

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good thread choice because im at the same stage as you so ill be watching this thread develop:thumbup:
 

cgipson1

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Adorama (direct or through Amazon) or B&H...
 

Overread

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Really depends what kind of camera you are after. If its a new one on the shelf then I typically stick to regular shops or trusted dealers online in my country. New stock of lenses varies a little, I've purchased grey imports from trusted traders for my canon gear (international warranties :)) whilst my sigma stuff has all come from the same shops/online UK traders.

If you want to go second hand the floor opens up a little, you can either go pure second hand which means shops that trade second hand (generally the most reliable since they will test things, but might cost a little more) or hit ebay for some offers. Refurbished is also an option and slightly better since refurbished units are typically very good (they are pretty much like a new camera minus some wear and tear on the body).

Also in the USA you've a special CPS (canon professional services) setup which you can tap into for access to refurbished units in exchange for money and trade ins of older canon cameras (be they anything from DSLRs all the way to old point and shoots). I've known some to deliberately buy old units second hand on ebay for tiny amounts and then trade them in for discount off the refurbished units.


Typically for a camera I'd say you always want to trade with trusted traders; those who are professional and well known in the camera shooting community or which are local and have physical shops. There are a lot of online scams and whilst they might offer really good deals they are best avoided (many are bait and switch which if you jump through their hoops will cost you more then regular retail for less; or if you don't jump through their hoops your order will never be fully processed - and they often will still have taken your money and be very slow in returning it (if ever)).

Warranties are also good to have on new units - esp camera bodies with all their electronics; many good shops will have limited period warranties on second hand goods and refurbished units
 

analog.universe

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B&H.

Adorama gets lots of praise, but I'm generally unimpressed with them, ymmv.
 

ph0enix

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Buckster

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Got my:

New 20D from Adorama - they held up my order under the pretense of needing verifcation by phone, then used that to try to sales-pitch me on additional items and insurance.

New 40D from Ebay - no fuss, no muss, no problems, but I was worried up until I got it that I'd get ripped off somehow.

New 7D from a camera shop in Chattanooga, TN - Got it "home" (a motel I was in that was 50 miles away), charged the battery overnight, and the body failed with an error. Took it back the next day, they promptly replaced it, we tested the replacement in the store until I was satisfied. Would have been a huge problem for me had I bought it online and had to go through a rigamarole to return it and all. I was glad I could just walk back in and say - "fix this problem I'm having", and they did.

New 5DMKII from a camera shop in Nashville, TN - I walked in for a new umbrella. I walked out with a lot more, including this camera and what is now my favorite lens, a 24-105 L. Used my phone while in the store to check prices online, and the store matched the lowest, so I took the plunge, and was very pleased. I was also thinking about the dead 7D I'd returned, and that influenced me to purchase in a brick and morter building from people I could identify and grab by the collar if needed.

film cameras from KEH, Ebay, Craigslist, yard sales, Goodwill online, camera shops, antique malls and shops, yard sales, etc. from coast to coast.
 

Derrel

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I usually buy cameras locally, at a large "professional" photography store. The kind that there are not many of these days. They have used lenses, new lenses, used bodies, new bodies, an in-store lab and digital retouching center, sell Macintosh computer, Epson printers, expensive paper, and have a full rental department. There are about ten of these stores on the west coast.
 

KmH

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The last 4 digital cameras I bought, I bought used from private sellers. Two of those deals were for much more than just the cameras though. Both were also distressed sales, in that the buyers needed to convert their gear to cash, ASAP.

I have bought new and used camera gear from BuyDig.com, Amazon.com, B&H, and Cameta Camera. Adorama has an enviable reputation too, but I don't like their web site preferring B&H instead.
 

djacobox372

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I buy just about everything used from ebay auctions. I don't understand why extra for professional gear which was built to last forever, "new."

Ebay offers excellent buyers protection, and I've never had an issue getting a refund for items that arrived not as described.

An ebay trick = look for people selling large expensive lots of gear which happens to contain the item you want, then resell what you don't want. You can get HUGE discounts with this method.

KEH is also a good source, they're prices are a bit all over the place, but occassionally they list stuff extremely low.
 

analog.universe

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I buy just about everything used from ebay auctions. I don't understand why extra for professional gear which was built to last forever, "new."

Ebay offers excellent buyers protection, and I've never had an issue getting a refund for items that arrived not as described.

An ebay trick = look for people selling large expensive lots of gear which happens to contain the item you want, then resell what you don't want. You can get HUGE discounts with this method.

KEH is also a good source, they're prices are a bit all over the place, but occasionally they list stuff extremely low.

The one advantage to new cameras is that you get a shutter with zero clicks. Lots of the pro grade stuff does practically last forever because it's made so well, but shutters always wear out. Some last longer, and you can often find a reliable ebay sale with a low shutter count you can trust. A friend of my picked up a camera that was still in a shrunk wrap box because the seller just bought the kit for a discount on the lens, and then flipped the camera. Like 15% cheaper than new, and still actually new. Some auctions though, there's no way to tell...
 

Carny

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Craigslist. I see what they are going for used on CL, ebay, and amazon, then offer less. You can try things out and sell them if you don't like them this way. I now have a T2i w/grip, four lenses, and lots of misc "stuff" that I probably have less than $200 in.
 

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