Best Online Store to Purchase?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
TX Gator
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Best Online Store to Purchase?
9 months ago

I'm looking to purchase a Sony A65 very soon. No stores locally have it in stock with the kit lens that I want (18-135). It looks like Cameta Camera, Samy's Camera and Calumet Camera are roughly the same price (within $10). Samy's Camera comes with a free 64 LED light kit and Calumet Camera comes with a copy of Phase One Capture One Express 7.
Any opinion on which deal is better or whether one place is better than another? I did ensure that all 3 are Sony Authorized Dealers.
Thanks!

Toccata47
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Whichever Amazon has it available /nt
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago
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TX Gator
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Re: Whichever Amazon has it available /nt
In reply to Toccata47, 9 months ago

Amazon charges tax, which raises the price pretty significantly.

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jkoch2
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Mirror Amazon on the wall, who's the fairest of 'em all?
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago

TX Gator wrote:

Any opinion on which deal is better or whether one place is better than another?

Amazon is not the best, or only, site that offers competitive prices or service.  However, its customer reviews are more abundant than the others, so it is not a bad place to research cameras.  Just be wary of five or one star reviews written the same day a product arrives, or occasionally before a product has been available for sale.

Some folks might rate sites by the generosity of their return policies.  The right to return defective merchandise is, of course, important.  However, those who treat it as a sort of "free rental" privilege confound the issue.

These days, prices appear to vary only slightly amoung on-line vendors, but occasionally one site will offer a notable discount on some models.  But if any unfamiliar site appears to offer prices consistently below the others, just be wary of bait and switch tactics.  The reseller ratings sites can also be somewhat polluted by friendly fake reviews.

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wasserball
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago

I buy from the cheapest eBay store. Finding that my equipment functions as expected, I can't see the difference in my equipment where I bought them.  Works for me.

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Virginia Bill
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago

TX Gator wrote:

I'm looking to purchase a Sony A65 very soon. No stores locally have it in stock with the kit lens that I want (18-135). It looks like Cameta Camera, Samy's Camera and Calumet Camera are roughly the same price (within $10). Samy's Camera comes with a free 64 LED light kit and Calumet Camera comes with a copy of Phase One Capture One Express 7.
Any opinion on which deal is better or whether one place is better than another? I did ensure that all 3 are Sony Authorized Dealers.
Thanks!

I would buy from any one of those three with confidence since they've all been around a while. But the most frequently recommended on-line camera stores are B&H and Adorama, both based on large bricks & mortar stores in New York. I've used B&H for years: comprehensive inventory, decent prices, excellent customer service.

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TX Gator
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to Virginia Bill, 9 months ago

Virginia Bill wrote:

TX Gator wrote:

I'm looking to purchase a Sony A65 very soon. No stores locally have it in stock with the kit lens that I want (18-135). It looks like Cameta Camera, Samy's Camera and Calumet Camera are roughly the same price (within $10). Samy's Camera comes with a free 64 LED light kit and Calumet Camera comes with a copy of Phase One Capture One Express 7.
Any opinion on which deal is better or whether one place is better than another? I did ensure that all 3 are Sony Authorized Dealers.
Thanks!

I would buy from any one of those three with confidence since they've all been around a while. But the most frequently recommended on-line camera stores are B&H and Adorama, both based on large bricks & mortar stores in New York. I've used B&H for years: comprehensive inventory, decent prices, excellent customer service.

Thanks! Adorama is similar in price (B&H is only slightly more expensive) after ebates. However, Samy's has the free light kit and Calumet has the free software. Do you think either of those are worth getting or are they basically junk freebies?

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KCook
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago

"Junk" is a strong word, but those items are not highly prized by serious photographers.  I end up most often at Amazon, once in a while at Adorama (the replacement policies are different).  Are you in the western US (Samys), or upper mid-west (Calumet)?  Buying from an outfit that is not distant not only cuts down on the delivery time, also less thump and bump for the package and it contents.

Kelly Cook

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TX Gator
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to KCook, 9 months ago

"Junk" is a strong word, but those items are not highly prized by serious photographers.  I end up most often at Amazon, once in a while at Adorama (the replacement policies are different).  Are you in the western US (Samys), or upper mid-west (Calumet)?  Buying from an outfit that is not distant not only cuts down on the delivery time, also less thump and bump for the package and it contents.

Kelly Cook

I suppose "junk" was too harsh, but you know how some freebies are better than others. I'm not a professional by any means, just a hobby and trying to get the best pics I can of my family. I'm upgrading from the Canon T2i which I have been very dissatisfied with. I'm in Texas, so none of the big name camera shops are local (that I know of).

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KCook
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago

Video lights can be fun, I have one for my DSLR. But that little freebie will be weak, useful only for closeups. I got a much nicer one, purchased new, for under $40. The software in the other offer is not in wide use at all. I've never seen anything posted on it, have no idea how well it works. Your camera will come with it's own software disk in any event, no matter who you buy it from.

It does sound like you are about equi-distant from everybody! I stick with Amazon and Adorama because of good experience with both. The others may be equally good, I just haven't gotten around to trying them yet.

I had an old (now obsolete) Sony DSLR, now shoot with a Canon. The Sony was Ok, but I like the default colors from my Canon better. And it's easier to shop for lenses for Canon. I would be curious to know where the T2i disappointed you. Even though the A65 is a new design, with a better sensor, its main advantages will be limited to auto focusing during video. In any other regards the improvements over the T2i will be incremental, not dramatic.

Kelly

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TX Gator
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to KCook, 9 months ago

KCook wrote:

Video lights can be fun, I have one for my DSLR. But that little freebie will be weak, useful only for closeups. I got a much nicer one, purchased new, for under $40. The software in the other offer is not in wide use at all. I've never seen anything posted on it, have no idea how well it works. Your camera will come with it's own software disk in any event, no matter who you buy it from.

It does sound like you are about equi-distant from everybody! I stick with Amazon and Adorama because of good experience with both. The others may be equally good, I just haven't gotten around to trying them yet.

I had an old (now obsolete) Sony DSLR, now shoot with a Canon. The Sony was Ok, but I like the default colors from my Canon better. And it's easier to shop for lenses for Canon. I would be curious to know where the T2i disappointed you. Even though the A65 is a new design, with a better sensor, its main advantages will be limited to auto focusing during video. In any other regards the improvements over the T2i will be incremental, not dramatic.

Kelly

I have good photo editing software, so if the free one isn't a superb software, I'm tempted to skip it. I couldn't really find much information on it when I looked online.

The T2i has trouble with the auto-focus (with multiple lenses) and the built-in flash regularly freezes up the camera. It was one of the first ones ("0" serial number) and apparently the early models have a lot of these issues that cannot be fixed. I wondered if it was user error, so I lent it to a friend who is a professional photographer who uses Canon and she had similar issues.

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KCook
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago

That is unfortunate.  I've never had either of those problems with my 50D, and one of my lenses is a Sigma.  Great prices on the 60D right now, you could keep all of your lenses, and your pro friend could help you when needed.

Kelly

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AndraM
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to KCook, 9 months ago

KCook wrote:

That is unfortunate. I've never had either of those problems with my 50D, and one of my lenses is a Sigma. Great prices on the 60D right now, you could keep all of your lenses, and your pro friend could help you when needed.

Kelly

I'm with Kelly. I've owned the 60D for over a year and couldn't be more pleased with it. Along with Kelly's points, with the 60D being around long enough, you don't have to worry about new-release bugs/issues), especially if you buy a new one.

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Toccata47
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Re: Mirror Amazon on the wall, who's the fairest of 'em all?
In reply to jkoch2, 9 months ago

jkoch2 wrote:

TX Gator wrote:

Any opinion on which deal is better or whether one place is better than another?

Amazon is not the best, or only, site that offers competitive prices or service. However, its customer reviews are more abundant than the others, so it is not a bad place to research cameras. Just be wary of five or one star reviews written the same day a product arrives, or occasionally before a product has been available for sale.

Some folks might rate sites by the generosity of their return policies. The right to return defective merchandise is, of course, important. However, those who treat it as a sort of "free rental" privilege confound the issue.

These days, prices appear to vary only slightly amoung on-line vendors, but occasionally one site will offer a notable discount on some models. But if any unfamiliar site appears to offer prices consistently below the others, just be wary of bait and switch tactics. The reseller ratings sites can also be somewhat polluted by friendly fake reviews.

It's the generous return policy and the fact that I've never received a used item sold as new that sets Amazon apart from bh and adorama for me.

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roundball
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TX Gator, 9 months ago

I don't know how this might compare to what you've already looked at but I bought a Sony NEX-7 from "Gadget Circuit" in New Jersey...most outstanding online purchase experience I've ever had...lowest price, incredibly fast / thorough communications, packing, free shipping, no tax, etc...without question, a 5-star operation in every respect.

http://www.gadgetcircuit.com/product/DigitalCameras/DigitalSLR/1000492653/AlphaSLT-A65DSLRDigitalCamerawith18-135mmLens/

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henryp
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to Virginia Bill, 9 months ago

Virginia Bill wrote:

I've used B&H for years: comprehensive inventory, decent prices, excellent customer service.

Thank you.

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TheNikonKnight
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TX Gator, 6 months ago

A little late to this thread but just had to respond.
I would NOT recommend B&H photo to anyone. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars at this retailer. All was good and I was happy with my customer relationship with B&H for many years until I was stationed overseas in the military. They lost multiple shipments of orders after payment. I should have learned on their first lost shipment, but I figured they would redeem themselves on future orders since I had been such a longtime customer. Nope. They lost another order. Both orders were thousands of dollars of photography equipment. One order even had a $200 rebate I missed out on due to their slow reshipment. No apologies, no money back or discounts offered either. I didn’t wait for strike 3. I am done with them.
B&H is a great company for collecting your money. They are an awful company when it comes to providing any customer service.

.

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henryp
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TheNikonKnight, 6 months ago

We're very sorry for your dissatisfaction. For APO addresses we are limited to USPS shipping. Once the package leaves our hands delivery is their responsibility. When a customer reports a package has not been delivered we have a procedure which we follow for every such claim. If you feel something has been overlooked or badly handled, feel free to email me. My email is in my forum profile.

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Henry Posner
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lickity split
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to TheNikonKnight, 6 months ago

TheNikonKnight wrote:

A little late to this thread but just had to respond.
I would NOT recommend B&H photo to anyone. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars at this retailer. All was good and I was happy with my customer relationship with B&H for many years until I was stationed overseas in the military. They lost multiple shipments of orders after payment. I should have learned on their first lost shipment, but I figured they would redeem themselves on future orders since I had been such a longtime customer. Nope. They lost another order. Both orders were thousands of dollars of photography equipment. One order even had a $200 rebate I missed out on due to their slow reshipment. No apologies, no money back or discounts offered either. I didn’t wait for strike 3. I am done with them.
B&H is a great company for collecting your money. They are an awful company when it comes to providing any customer service.

.

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I don't believe a word of this post.In all my dealings with B&H I have only had one problem which was quickly resolved . If I have any questions about a purchase or a product they sell ,all I have to do is call them up (and talk to a real person) and you'll get an answer. Try that at Amazon. If your into photography and headed to NYC  a visit to B&H is a must...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lickitysplit11111/

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unknown member
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Re: Best Online Store to Purchase?
In reply to lickity split, 6 months ago

I'm with lickity split:  For me B+H is just the best, and I would be glad to send my paycheck to Henry P and the guys, have them take the money for the item, and have no doubt I'd get it and the change back in short order.

I ordered a camera last year the day before the hurricane hit NYC:  I got it on time, a week later as originally promised !   I would have gladly accepted almost any delay considering the hell the city went through, but evidently,  they got back on their feet quickly and it was business as usual.

Amazing.

Let me make this clear, BTW:  I'm a blue-collar guy that gets to spend his occasional mad money on my photo hobby.  I have no relationship with B+H in any way other than being a very satisfied customer, wish I had more money to spend with them.

You can internet yourself to death, and there's always a 'deal' that may be a bit cheaper, but that little bit of $$$ is not worth the worry of dealing with strangers, at least to me.  B+H treats me like family.

JW

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