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this seems too good to be true
June 19, 2012 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Can you tell me if the camera packages at this discount online storefront are good value for money?

This place offers packages with DSLR body + lenses and accessories. I'm mostly looking at the Canon 60D, although they have 7D and Nikon D7000 packages, too. But the prices are so low that I'm skeptical that it's actually a good deal.

I'm trying to replace my outdated company-issued kit with my own stuff that I can very lightly freelance with. My original plan was to buy a used Canon body and a couple new lenses. My budget is between $1200 and $1600. Thanks everyone!
posted by Snarl Furillo to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Well, they are legit - you can see that on their Ebay page (they have excellent feedback). I'd actually be inclined to buy your kit on Ebay for the extra buyer protection, if you're concerned.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:19 PM on June 19, 2012


Google "getitdigital scam" and start reading.

(I have no personal knowledge of these people. This is just my general approach for seeing what the complaints for an online retailer look like. Some people say very complimentary things about their experience with Getitdigital. But by no means all.)

If you proceed, make sure you get a USA warranty - it looks like they handle a lot of gray market equipment.
posted by misterbrandt at 1:22 PM on June 19, 2012


2 Words of caution:

1) Looks like the best prices are on "Gray market" models ("Nikon imported model.") You can do the requisite search for what all that means, but in essense, no warranty coverage from the manufacturer.

2) Some of the included lenses are very likely low quality ones that you will end up not using. Major brand lenses should be fine, but it looks like they make the kits looks more enticing by including 2x converters and wide angle lenses without specifying the brand.

In short: I would always buy a warranteed item from a respected source and shy away from such package deals.
posted by The Deej at 1:27 PM on June 19, 2012


I think I've seen these guys on eBay, or someone like them. When they say "with seven lenses", five or six of them are screw-on wide-angle, telephoto, or macro adapters -- they're "lenses" in the fact that they're curved glass pieces, but not a lens in the usual photographic terminology. Also, any memory cards are likely to be very cheap and quite slow, and then overpriced for what you're getting. The only thing of value in their kit is the body itself, the rest is going to be padded to look like you're getting a deal when it's just cheap stuff.

One clue is that their "body only" package is at about normal retail price. So when you see the fancy-pants full kit for only $400 more, they're cutting costs somewhere, and not in the body.

For $1200-$1600 you can do nicely with a t2i body, a zoom lens and a prime lens, and a class 10 memory card, from Adorama and elsewhere.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:55 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


How to buy a camera:

1. Select the camera you want, as well as any lenses and other accessories.
2. Check the price on Amazon
3. Check the price on B&H
4. Order from whichever has a lower price.

Significant discounts below MIN(Amazon, B&H) are usually sketchy. Either the "extras" are worthless, the merchant suddenly becomes reluctant to ship your order, or you find that your "new" camera is actually refurbished, gray, or an open-box special.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:43 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was chatting with the good people at midwest photo exchange and told him I was buying a Camera online for a good deal. He asked if it was at B&H or Adorama or Amazon. If it wasn't, it was probably a scam. dSLR bodies are usually sold with almost no margin or probably a small loss at adorama and most brick and mortar stores.

I googled the company(something like BPP or BPPhoto) and it had a lot of good reviews but the bad reviews were troubling, describing scummy hard sells for package upgrades that always included junk peripherals, canceled shipments, etc. On closer inspection, a lot of the good reviews looked like spam, quickly written and following the same formula.

I think there's really no amazing deals in dSLRs. Even when you look used, or on ebay, you find that prices are pretty set, its too easy to look up how much the cameras are worth. The only really great deal is the cannon loyalty program, which, since your interested in the 60D, might be for you.


(source: I just bought a 60D myself)
posted by midmarch snowman at 3:23 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


More information on "grey market" cameras:
One reason these cameras are so cheap is that some are so-called gray-market goods, products that manufacturers intend to be sold cheaply in countries other than the United States where prices are lower (due to differences in exchange rates and in what the market will bear). But instead of heading to the destination country, the gray-market goods are rerouted to the United States. Selling gray-market cameras is legal, provided they're identified as such, but buying one is generally not a good idea. You may end up with manuals and on-screen menus in another language, incompatible video ports, or AC adapters set to the incorrect voltage. Worse, most camera manufacturers (including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony) won't honor a gray-market warranty in the United States. If the product breaks, you're stuck.
There are some reputable grey market sellers, but the last line is still true: If the product breaks, you're stuck.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:03 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah just Nthing that the cheapest, genuine places to buy cameras on the internet are Amazon (direct, not an affliate), Adorama, B&H. If someone is selling cameras cheaper than one of those three, be very very suspicious because those three dominate the market and have orders of magnitude more customers, stock etc and thusly can deal with the smallest of margins. If someone is cheaper than them, there's gotta be a catch, pretty much.

Also, Adorama, I believe sells grey market if that's the direction you want to go in, along with refurbished etc.
posted by smoke at 4:33 PM on June 19, 2012


I would add jr.com and newegg.com and buy.com to the list of reliable sites to shop by price and order photo equipment, along with adorama and bh. For buy.com, just like amazon.com, only when the item is sold by buy or amazon, not an affiliate. Strangely or not, buy.com and jr.com sometime lists things on Amazon under the "New" tab there. I would trust that too and total price could be lower that way.

Buy and Newegg keep one huge advantage over Amazon - if you choose free or the lowest cost shipping, they ship asap and you'll almost always get it in 2 business days from the order - or faster!, they do not delay shipping a free shipping order up to a week like Amazon does if you don't have their Prime. They use several warehouses across the country just like Amazon.

I have ordered things with free shipping from Newegg on one evening and had it the next afternoon.
posted by caclwmr4 at 12:36 AM on June 20, 2012


Thanks, everyone! Doesn't sound like a place I want to do business with; I'll stick with some of the other places y'all mentioned. Thanks again!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:11 PM on June 20, 2012


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