Saturday, July 17, 2010

top 10 places to buy camera gear

Being the typical man that I am, I am sometimes prone to having the attention span of a goldfish. Sure there are times that my focus is as sharp as my 85mm f/1.8 usm (what a beauty), but there are days that the right brain tends to wander more than it should. Now this is not to say that all men fall in this category, and I'm sure there are guilty women too. So to all of my fellow goldfish out there I'd like to announce....don't drift on me yet....the ever popular, LIST! Thank you, thank you. Please, the applause is not necessary. Ah, the wonderful list. It can contain anything. The list lets us goldfish get the most information with the least amount of words. You know, words, those things inside of books before and after the pictures. Yes, those things. In today's blog I like to take it nice and easy on that left brain and give it the ever so popular 'top 10 list'. I will try to implement these from time to time since we all need that mental vacation on occasion. On the contrary, I will NEVER post a list of errands! Those are not as enjoyable as the top 10 list. Those are lists that end up on the fridge in the morning. After pretending not to see them from time to time, these same lists now end up in my email. No escaping that list, try and as the quote says, 'Hell has no wrath like a woman scorned'.

Anyway, my goldfish brain has digressed as usual. And now on to the list. Today's list is all about the best online shopping for photography gear. Drums please...

10. CRAIGSLIST - Here you may be taking a shot in the dark or you may get lucky. May find amazing deals. Cross your fingers.

9. EBAY - Ebay may be a bit more reliable as in terms of quality of what you are going to buy, but ebay shoppers must have skills to get the final bid. ever try to bid on a product? In the last ten seconds of bidding, chances are someone will beat you to it. So unless you have all the time in the world, I say stay away.

8. RITZ - For the point and shoot camera enthusiast, great. For gear/tech-head nerds such as ourselves, not so great. Their selection is limited and overpriced for any pro or aspiring dslr shooter.

7. B&H - This site has all of the potential in the world, just lacking in product and i.t. There are many times that I've tried to buy a product here and either the site was down or the product was temporarily out of stock.

6. CALUMET - This has everything a pro will need, not always what they want. Some products they only carry in their brand. Can be frustrating to someone like myself who is a total sucker to advertising. I'm easily sold by name brands. So, if you're the 'economically friendly' shopper who doesn't mind generics, check it out.

5. LINKDELIGHT - Okay, this site may be totally generic brands, but the prices are absolutely amazing. Strange finds also, check out their bellows. Now they don't have everything that the big ones have but if you need something fast and cheap, check it out.

4. ABE'S OF MAINE - This site has lot's of equipment and decent prices. Though I'm not crazy about how easy it is to find things on this site, I wouln't count them out of the race.

3. MIDWEST PHOTO EXCHANGE - Although I haven't done much shopping here, I have found that they have some awesome hard to find products at great prices.

2. ADORAMA - Now this is where it gets tough, the top two. Adorama had everything a pro could dream of and at competitive prices. They also provide rental and used equipment.

1. CANOGA - This California based company wins by a hair! I've bought gear from every site on this list, and more, and I have found that this one, in my opinion, is the best. I stumbled upon this site accidentally a couple of years ago. When I started doing some research, I found that this site was very easy to navigate and besides that, their pricing was slightly better than most.

Now, doesn't your brain feel nice and relaxed? Nothing like a nice cold refreshing list. Actually I can think of something, time to go. Until next time...

[NOTE: update July 2011. over the past year I'd have to say that I may rewrite a list of places to buy gear. My opinions of these stores have changed tremendously due to many good and bad situations.]