Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)

Started Apr 20, 2012 | Discussions
Andy Hastings
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Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
Apr 20, 2012

Ever since I got into photography in anything more than a purely casual way (2005) a I have been interested in Olympus products. Their lack of support by vendors in the United States as always surprised me. Now with EM-5 maybe some of that will change if it is a popular camera...but it is interesting to me to read of everyone's experience getting the EM-5 from different parts of the US (where MFT has not made nearly the in-roads it has in Europe or Japan).

I read about people getting cameras from stores in New York, Texas, and Callifornia. I am one of the many silver 12-50 kit orderers holding their breath for B&H Photo...at first I felt bad about my dollars going to an out-of-state vendor...but since we are in this holding pattern I tried calling the local camera stores in Chicago. I would probably be willing to pay local taxes if it meant getting the camera a month earlier...I also wouldn't mind starting a relationship with a camera store as I am buying my first "big boy" serious camera....alas...I think I will be stuck with internet dating for a while (relationship-wise that is).

I called Wolf Camera (not really "local"), Central Camera, Calumet Photo, and Helix Camera (the last three all in downtown Chicago). Wolf Camera, which is a national company, offers the camera by special order only, no plans to carry it in-stock. I didn't expect much from them and would prefer one of the local entities anyway.

Of the three main Chicago camera stores, only Helix even seemed to carry any level of Olympus products (based on website). I called all three. Central and Calumet basically just said "No" they would not be carrying the camera. Helix indicated they would take orders for it but were only classifying it as a "special order" item for now. If this is how it is for Olympus, good luck trying to find a Panasonic product in Chicago!

If someone has some first hand experience with any of these Chicago shops that would indicate I should give them another chance down the road (like maybe the issue right now is the EM-5 is so new), let me know.

Is there something about Chicago that makes this a bad place for anything not Canon/Nikon? People in freakin' San Antonio can get the camera! (no offense intended)

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-Andy Hastings

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MAubrey
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 20, 2012

Well, even if you can't get the EM5, you can stop by 1079 W. Taylor St. and pick up a nice big beef with hot giardiniera. Sigh...miss Chicago.
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MichaelKJ
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 20, 2012

Abt carries Panasonic.

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Andy Hastings
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to MAubrey, Apr 23, 2012

It's basically impossible not be fat in Chicago with italian beef sandwiches, deep dish pizza, and chicago-style hot dogs...

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-Andy Hastings

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Andy Hastings
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to MichaelKJ, Apr 23, 2012

That is a good tip. I've only been to abt once, really nice store. I just wasn't thinking of them as a "camera" store. I imagine Fry's Electronic may also have some product...one day I would expect the OM-D EM-5 to show up at Best Buy too, but that won't be for a whlie....

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Robert Kinsell
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Same story in Houston ( NT )
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012
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Robert Kinsell
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to MAubrey, Apr 23, 2012

Now you've done it ... I'll be fantasizing about Al's all day.

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Bobby J
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Andy, because of the shenanagans that Oly has
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012

pulled, plus their poor marketing, and rather spotty dealer support over the years, I think most dealers have simply decided it's not worth their time to fool with Oly products. This leads me to believe that if I was Olympus USA, I'd go to direct sales and eliminate the middle man altogether. I think Panasonic is thinking along those lines as well. Either that or just use two or three big on-line dealers for all my sales.

Perhaps Adorama, Cameta, and B&H could handle all Oly's needs.

I've been an Olympus user since '1973 and have spent a LOT of money with them. I

love their products and customer service, but they have a lot of bad karma to overcome I think. In the US at least, I don't think they can.
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baxters
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to Robert Kinsell, Apr 23, 2012

For Chicago, I have heard from camera store guys that there is no longer a Midwest sales representative for Oly. Don't know what that means, but it probably means no one coming by to push product to the middlemen.

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mring1
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And none in Phoenix...
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012

The closest EM-5 is at Samy's in LA. Mine's on order with Olympus...and I'll just bide my time.

Between the recession and internet shopping, niche players like Oly and Pentax simply have no representation. The brick-and-mortar stores offer Nikon and/or Canon, Sony and maybe Fuji. They had to do that to survive.

Really too bad, but I think one of the posters above hit the nail on the head when he said Oly had made a marketing decision to skip the locals. You notice the aggressive selliing that Oly's doing on its own site?

There's your answer.

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frelwa
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012

Andy Hastings wrote:

I called Wolf Camera (not really "local"), Central Camera, Calumet Photo, and Helix Camera (the last three all in downtown Chicago). Wolf Camera, which is a national company, offers the camera by special order only, no plans to carry it in-stock. I didn't expect much from them and would prefer one of the local entities anyway.

Of the three main Chicago camera stores, only Helix even seemed to carry any level of Olympus products (based on website). I called all three. Central and Calumet basically just said "No" they would not be carrying the camera. Helix indicated they would take orders for it but were only classifying it as a "special order" item for now. If this is how it is for Olympus, good luck trying to find a Panasonic product in Chicago!

...

Is there something about Chicago that makes this a bad place for anything not Canon/Nikon? People in freakin' San Antonio can get the camera! (no offense intended)

Don't feel too bad. An Irish guy reported earlier today that the only new PEN for sale in Dublin was an E-1 kit and no store in Ireland will carry the E-M5 or take a pre-order for one.

Not many cities except big Asian ones do much better. I think NYC, San Antonio (?) and Toronto are the main exceptions in North America, but even there nobody has E-M5s in stock.

Canikon rules almost everywhere. Are dealers timid? Is it about big profit margins on big DSLRs? Are most "serious" camera buyers weight lifters? Your guess is as good as mine
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kgwhite
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012

Andy Hastings wrote:

Is there something about Chicago that makes this a bad place for anything not Canon/Nikon? People in freakin' San Antonio can get the camera! (no offense intended)

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-Andy Hastings

Funny you should mention San Antonio. About a week ago I went down to Camera Exchange in San Antonio to pick up a 45mm lens and a Silver E-M5 with kit lens was there in the showcase. I got to play with it for a few minutes. Unfortunately I didn't switch the lens to try the 45mm. Wish I had.

I asked the manager if anybody had called looking for an E-M5. He said he had one call but it was his only stock and he wanted to keep it for demo. I bet somebody bought it shortly after I left.

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400trix
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012

A few years ago Olympus USA gutted their sales and support network, laying off most of their field people. The result is that most shops stopped carrying the brand, simply because it was harder to get product, and their was no one to come into the store and train the sales critters.

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Just Having Fun
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Ritz and others
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012

Ritz said they will carry it. Cord (not sure if they are up in Chicago) said they will too.

I get the impression that smaller camera shops don't sell to many cameras any more because they can't compete with the big box stores.

Most smaller camera stores are afraid of being "showrooms" for the big Interent guys.

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mring1
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I hope "your" Ritz isn't like "my" Ritz store...
In reply to Just Having Fun, Apr 23, 2012

Yes, the "professional Ritz store" (that's their definition) at 20th St/Highland in Phx does have some Oly gear. Good luck getting one of their sales staff to speak knowledgeably about it. They get too many spif's from the Canikon guys. You'll hear "small sensor" in the first 30 seconds, closely followed by the usual Canikon spiel.

If you persist, they will let you hold the gear, but don't plan on doing anything creative. The batteries are never charged. Imagine that....

Seriously, if you're in Phx, I'd encourge everyone to go to the PhotoMart strore at 70th Street/Indian School (near Scottsdale Road). It's the remnants of the old PhotoMark that closed last year. They're still building inventory, but pleasant and knowledgeable people with a pretty good range of accessories. It's a $250,000 investment for either Canon or Nikon, before they'll let you sell the first camera, so they aren't carrying any lines except Fuji. But it's a start.

And, no....they're not planning on stocking Oly. However, they ARE looking at getting into Pany. That's not a bad Plan B.

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dkadc
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to 400trix, Apr 23, 2012

I'm sure it got real hard to be an Olympus DSLR dealer once Olympus abandoned FT. And the absolute fact is they HAVE abandoned it. No new entry level FT camera since the discontinued E-6xx series, no new FT prosumer since the discontinued E-30, no new FT pro since the E-5. There might be an E-7 based on the OM-D guts, perhaps with an optical viewfinder. But I don't see it getting any space on store shelves.

Olympus burned a lot of dealers.

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caimi
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to dkadc, Apr 23, 2012

I am surprised to hear that Chicago doesn't have a major camera dealer carrying Olympus. In St. Louis we have two pretty good camera stores and one of them Creve Couer Camera, has carried Olympus for awhile now. In fact, I have purchased from them an E-P1, an E-P2, an E5 and just recently, an OM-D. I wish they would stock a better Olympus or Panasonic lens selection but for bodies, they are very good. I got my OM-D after giving up on my preorder from the largest and most obfuscating customer service department in the world, Amazon.

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Adjuster
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Re: Olympus Reception Nationwide (US)
In reply to caimi, Apr 23, 2012

Olympus has a good rep in the New England area. However, I have been told that Panasonic is letting all of their reps go in the US.

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Just Having Fun
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Kind of different
In reply to mring1, Apr 23, 2012

Canon quit selling stuff in our area to them a few yers ago. Local Ritz stores only carried Nikon, Sony and Olympus for a while. Not sure why that was, they they were rather upset. I guess they kissed some Canon butt, because they now sell Canon again. I have no clue what actually happened, but Cord couldn't sell Canon either. Only Best Buy and Walmart.

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Oly500Enew
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Same in Philly
In reply to Andy Hastings, Apr 23, 2012

If you google search you come up with a whole 3 results. Adorama, BH, Amazon, which of course none are in stock. The oly store told me online it would be at least 2 weeks to get the pre-orders shipped and no other info (the store website is not user friendly either). Nothing else comes up in search. Its like the big 3 have an oligopoly on the internet. I think one local store here has it/or is expecting it last I checked, but There hours just don't work with my schedule and its too far to go at lunch.

Plus besides paying sales tax, I doubt they are offering the 40-150 for $150 deal or have the FL300R in stock for the rebate....seems if you want the rebate you have to pre order with the big 4 (waiting on adorama here) and hope for the best.
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