What Not to Do When Buying Cameras
There is really only one rule when it comes to buying cameras:
Do not buy cameras online from cheap stores in New York or New Jersey.
(Unless it's B&H
If the price is lower than B&H
, then something is wrong with it. Those dealers in NJ/NY are almost entirely con artists, and have various tricks to screw camera buyers. These include:
- Selling "gray market" cameras, lenses and accessories. There are no warranties. USA camera companies will often even refuse to repair it, even for pay. The cameras were not imported properly.
- Selling cameras that they know are not in English. Would you like a Nikon that only has Japanese on the LCD?
- Replacing the original OEM batteries and other accessories with cheap knock-off junk from China. The original OEM parts are then sold a la cart for high prices to more rubes.
- Sending you a used camera for new-camera prices.
- "Accidentally" leaving something out of the box, promising to send a replacement for the missing item, and never doing so.
- Or best yet: Just outright stealing your money.
The Best Camera Stores Are:
Buying online means no tax, and usually free shipping.
If you just really insist on buying local...
... then Arlington Camera in Dallas would be my suggestion. They have a great selection of used gear, too. Competitive Camera is their main competitor in DFW, located off 35E near Oak Lawn, though I never really liked shopping there. Semi-rude, and not the best pricing vs Arlington, for the local shops. The Wolf/Ritz Camera location on Harry Hines is (or at least was) the "main" store in DFW, and had a lot of decent used gear.
These days, however, it's hard to beat new and online from Amazon
You should give this a good read, too: Nikon vs Canon Cameras, Why Nikon SLRs are Best
I wrote that late last year.
In terms of helping you select a camera, what is your budget? What cameras were you looking at already?
If you have $1,400 to spend, the Nikon D7000 is drool-worthy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0042X9LCO
It does 20-minute HD video recording, and has a ton of advanced photography features. This is the kind of camera that would last you a good solid decade before you need to put it in the trashcan. It's well-built, feature-rich, and takes stunning quality photos even in low-light without a flash. You can get some decent shots with only minimal effort (that should appeal to you!*
). And then it's the kind of tool that won't hold you back. If I had a spare $1,100, and was still using cameras daily, I'd buy the body-only D7000 as a backup. No question about it.
If $1,400 is too much, give me an alternative number to work with.
* For anybody reading this thread, this is somebody I know offline.