You’ve been doing your homework about the new camera you want. You’ve asked your friends what they like and don’t like about their cameras. You’ve been to the stores to check them out and see what they look like and how they feel in your hands. Now you’re ready to go out there and buy yourself a brand new camera.
The absolute best place to buy a camera is in a camera store whether it’s a retail shop or a professional store. This is because you will find knowledgeable people working there who are interested in helping you get what fits your needs. You can’t put a price on experience and knowhow. Sure some shops might be a little more expensive than others but they are privately owned and struggling to stay afloat in a world of Amazon.com and Overstock.com. Personally, I purchase some equipment from my local shop every so often to help them out even though I get a discount at my job. They’re good people and I hope they remain open for years to come.
Let’s take a look at some stores near you.
Wolf Camera/Ritz Camera is the largest chain of retail camera specialty shops in the US with over 900 locations. Why the 2 names? Ritz bought out Wolf (his cousin) a few years back. The Wolf stores kept their name. You can find a store in most major malls. This company stocks little professional equipment and is geared towards consumers. Check for a store nearby. Please note that the physical stores and online store are 2 different companies although both are owned by the same person.
Calumet not only has shops in the USA but they also operate in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Here you’ll find a combination of amateur and professional equipment including darkroom supplies and background seamless paper. Is there one near you?
Samy’s Camera has several locations in California. Geared far more towards the professional, walking into a Samy’s can be overwhelming for some and heaven for others (points to self). Need to rent a 500mm lens for your son’s football game? They’ve got it. Wanna scan all of your negatives? Samy’s Camera has what you need and can tell you how to use it.
Hunt’s Photo, Video and Definately Digital serves New England residents with a total of 7 locations. Known for the yearly Hunt’s Show in Boston where reps from all of the major manufacturer’s offered special deals to attendees (excuse me while I sing “Memories”), it has been downsized and placed in all of their shops. Their next event is October 26-28.
Learn more about Hunt’s
A few smaller shops that I personally recommend are:
Pitman Photo Supply in Miami, Florida
The Camera Company in Norwood, Massachusetts
Colonial Photo & Hobby Inc, in Orlando, Florida