Photography shops vs The Internet

Photography shops vs The Internet

11 posts
12 Oct 2015
Mr_Catz
Photographer
Mr_Catz

I used to enjoy travelling into the city to visit my local photography shop. You are able to check out the cameras there and then. Have a play with the cameras; check it out and make sure it is the camera for you. You even got pretty good advice from those that were selling. This has all but gone from the high street now days.

Most high street photography shops are now a distant past. I personally do not like the amount of research you have to do on the Internet and then hope and pray that the camera that you purchased comes, lives up to your expectations. Obviously if it doesn’t then you have to send it back pretty quickly.

Don’t you miss the days when you could just walk into a photography shop and check out the latest camera there and then??

Posted 12 Oct 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
I'll be honest and say I don't miss them. Sure, it was exciting to go into them and look at all the gear but the research the internet allows means I can make very informed choices about equipment rather than simply basing it on how something feels/looks and now rarely make purchasing mistakes, especially considering the stuff I buy is generally at the higher end of the market (eg. Canon L-series lenses, Profoto lighting). In honesty, the only mistakes I seem to make are those where I've bought cheaper items as a substitute for something far more expensive. Besides, I never have the time to go shopping/looking and hate crowds anyway so internet shopping is fine by me*. * - I do live near Calumet's distribution warehouse which has a walk-in reception (which is almost always empty) so many purchases have gone through there.
Posted 12 Oct 2015
Mr_Catz
Photographer
Mr_Catz
RedChecker

I'll be honest and say I don't miss them. Sure, it was exciting to go into them and look at all the gear but the research the internet allows means I can make very informed choices about equipment rather than simply basing it on how something feels/looks and now rarely make purchasing mistakes, especially considering the stuff I buy is generally at the higher end of the market (eg. Canon L-series lenses, Profoto lighting). In honesty, the only mistakes I seem to make are those where I've bought cheaper items as a substitute for something far more expensive. Besides, I never have the time to go shopping/looking and hate crowds anyway so internet shopping is fine by me*. * - I do live near Calumet's distribution warehouse which has a walk-in reception (which is almost always empty) so many purchases have gone through there.



Yes I use to do a little bit of research online before going to have a look in the shops. Unfortunately where I live there are no camera shops any more.
Posted 12 Oct 2015
Edited by Mr_Catz 12 Oct 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
Mostly if I'm buying, it'll be high value stuff, in which case a drive over to Wex at Norwich is always a good start point. If you're laying out hundreds of pounds or more, its the sensible I feel. Nothing negative to say about any of my dealings with them either. Combining internet/mail/shop works there.

Posted 12 Oct 2015
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
Not really. The staff in most high street shops haven't got a clue what they're selling.

I still occasionally pop into a shop to try out a new bit of kit, but then I'll buy it online as the high Street prices can't compete.

Posted 12 Oct 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
I wonder why anyone serious would need shop staff advice really? Solid pricing, availability, hands on, warranty etc, are good though.

Posted 12 Oct 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
profilepictures

I wonder why anyone serious would need shop staff advice really?


The last thing I actually went to the shop for was due to having a very specific question for the item which I couldn't find online.  That said, every manufacturer has cottoned on to Facebook/Twitter now and will generally respond to queries.

I'll confess though that I did want a touchy-feely of this thing as well bearing in mind it was £4500, but my heart was already set, especially since the answer to the question I had was positive.
Posted 13 Oct 2015
paule
Photographer
paule
no camera shops in the centre of Dodge anymore.. closest thing we have is PC World / Currys.. and they can be a little more corporate than personal..

Closest Jessops is 50+ miles away, they used to be good, I don't know now as I've not used their shops since they buy out

An independent shop closed down a few years ago and had very knowledgeable staff, no more.

Internet is great for research and price hunting so saves loads of time.

Posted 13 Oct 2015
Rawandthecooked
Photographer
Rawandthecoo..
i use a shop. I've been shopping at Calumet, euston, since before they were Calumet! Ditto the flash centre! I've had good advice, though not strictly needed, and last time I went to TFC to exchange a brand new but faulty CF card, I walked out with a hundred and fifty quids worth of ex rental Eli light modifiers by way of an apology!

That ain't gonna happen on the internet!

I occasionally use an independent shop in Hampstead. I bought a brand new sigma lens from him, which I knew I could have got cheaper on the net! Here's the thing! He keeps his eye open for second hand nikon lenses I might be interested in, and gives me first dibs! That's proved a valuable and cost effective way to do business.......

Bought my yongnuo triggers on the net though, and no problems...

Posted 16 Oct 2015
Edited by Rawandthecooked 16 Oct 2015
Mr_Catz
Photographer
Mr_Catz

Well I think when you dealing with hundreds of pounds it's a good idea to hold the camera in your hands and give it a try in the shop there and then. Most of us know what we're looking for so will spot what it can and cannot do there and then. If the assistant is bull****ing it will become very obvious.

I find video reviews online either biased or inaccurate (apart from 1 or 2 that are absolutely spot on). And those ones that are Spot On are usually the ones I find last.

I suppose I ought to get better at searching the internet and making use of Facebook etc.

Posted 7 Nov 2015
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
I bought my EOS 1D-X from LCE in Southampton - they have always offered good service, have a good range of Canon equipment in stock and offered me a decent p/ex against my 1Dmk4. It was so much nicer and easier to walk in with one camera and walk out with another.

One place I can highly recommend is Speedgraphic of Alton, Hampshire - primarily mail order but they have a retail counter where you can look at proposed purchases and buy. Their staff are knowledgeable, friendly, have pretty well everything in stock (they don't sell/stock actual cameras/lenses) and prices are very competitive.

Very definitely prefer to buy from a shop whenever possible.

Dave

Posted 7 Nov 2015
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