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Thread: Recomended Online camera Stores- Home Grown, Not Offshore

  1. #1
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    Default Recomended Online camera Stores- Home Grown, Not Offshore

    I'm just wondering what online camera stores would forum members recommend
    some ive seen offshore are well priced but when you add postage and then there is the warranty issues
    aswell as maybe import duties to concider. which home grown stores offers the best deal and services for ones hard earned
    money. I have been watching EBay but would rather go fresh out off the box from new cheers Rick
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  2. #2
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    I have bought from Camerasdirect and D-D-photographics. Both are very good for service and delivery but CR Kennedy list both of them as being grey importers. They sold what I needed at the time. Camerasdirect sell Wimberley parts and I was after some P-5 plates so I bought from them. Another place that the guys at Trekaboutphotography Workshops promote is Camerasonline.net.au - I haven't bought from them but some of their prices seem quite competitive. The best Australian prices that I know of are from Topbuy.com.au - I know two people who have bought from Topbuy; one got two Canon bodies (5D Mk2 & 7D) and 3 L lenses and the other bought just a 100-400L lens. Neither person had any hassles except they wouldn't combine the postage costs. I was going to order a 500mm f4 IS from Topbuy but two things happened: it is not listed anymore and I became unemployed not long after.
    Last edited by Tony Hansford; 22-11-2011 at 08:11 AM.

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    Rick Playle (24-11-2011)

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    Slightly off subject but in your neck of the woods & fabulous prices with super efficient service. Good for Binoculars (we got 2 pair for the price of 1 anywhere else), Scopes & Tripods. Recommended to us by another Forum member, has an online ordering setup. Beats anything in the Eastern States & no we aren't friends with the owner or own any shares in the company.
    Binoculars Telescopes Optical World
    Unit 5 Malaga Centro
    41 Holder Way
    Malaga WA 6090.
    http://btow.com.au/

    Cheers Keith & Judy



    .Our land abounds in Nature's gifts. Of beauty rich and rare.


    Life list total (seen by both of us) = 440 Latest addition Tawny Grassbird Ritamada Point QLD.

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    Rick Playle (24-11-2011)

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    Depends on how important warranty is to you really. Digidirect is pretty hard to beat as an Australian (non-grey) retailer. Also don't assume a direct importer is significantly cheaper. For instance a 400mm f5.6 is $1701 at digi direct and $1665 at camera direct. $36 extra for a full Australian warranty. For a DSLR neither Nikon or Canon Australia will honour warranties on grey import DSLRs. You are relying 100% on the workshop that the importer engages to provide warranty service.

    Topbuy I wouldn't touch with barge pole, do a google on problems with them. If you look at a Canon DSLR on their site you will see this under warranty: "All items have full Australian warranty through local manufacturer service centres."

    and this: "For defective or faulty products you have the options of contacting the Manufacturer's service centres directly or contact TopBuy so we can get the item back from you and forward to the service centre."

    I can tell you now that Nikon or Canon won't cover you. If these were official (non grey) imports they would have that fact advertised on the website.

    They also have this obscure reference: * Please see australian customs service website for more details on customs duty concession program.

    Which takes you to the customs page about when GST is payable on imports. Basically it is indirectly telling you that it will be sent by mail from overseas and you will up for GST and clearance when it arrives if it is over the $900 concession and probably technically makes you the importer and responsible for warranty yourself. Ther are quite a few operations like this that will mail in from overseas and they are pretty obscure about telling directly that you need to pay GST and clearance charges if it's more than $900.
    Chris Ross
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  7. #5
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    Thanks for the scare campaign info Chris. I have done a Google search on Topbuy and I have seen those horror stories. But I personally know 2 people here in Brisbane who have bought Canon gear from Topbuy. All their gear arrived at their doorstep via Fedex with full online tracking. I regularly go out shooting with these two people and their gear they bought from Topbuy works perfectly. But I suppose why would I take the word of people I personally know and shoot with when I can believe complete strangers on an internet forum?

    Also, if you read their website it actually says that all import duties are included in the price. The only thing not included is the shipping cost.

    And slightly off topic but relevant to your warranty argument; The guy I bought my 1D from had just forked out $1400 to Canon Australia to get the focusing issue fixed that Canon had originally issued a defect notice on. If you look on the Canon USA website it says if your 1D is not showing signs of the fault then you don't need to bring it in for the recall. Well the story he gave me is this camera was not showing any sign of the fault when the recall happened because it had been used so little. At about 9000 actuations the fault surfaces and Canon's response is to not honour the defect recall and slug the owner for the repairs. He was quite pi$$ed off about it.
    Last edited by Tony Hansford; 22-11-2011 at 03:05 PM.

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    Tony, I'm sure gear does arrive for a lot of people and if you're like most camera buyers and there is no need to call on warranty you'll be fine. However if your read what they have listed on their site about warranty and know what warranty policy is for various manufacturers you can see they are not being upfront. I know it says duty & GST is included, but my understanding is they send it to you direct from Hong Kong, which is stated many times in online complaints. If this is in fact the case then when a package arrives unless the retail price including shipping is less than $900, you are either stung for GST or they have under valued the item on the customs declaration. Personally I prefer to deal with a store you can call and talk to and given the amount of negative reviews out there my preference would be not to deal with them. I'm merely presenting what's out there and people can make up their own mind.

    I don't see the relevance for the Canon warranty, sure you would hope Canon would honour the recall, but I'm talking about the standard 12 month warranty.
    Chris Ross
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  9. #7
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    I don't want to argue with you. It will just make both of us look stupid.

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    I bought my 100-400L through TopBuy without any issues. The benefit at the time I purchased was that all of Canon L lenses come with Worldwide Warranties. I believe this changed effective September 2011 however, which would certainly lead me to be cautious with such an expensive purchase.

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    Yes Canon has changed to regional warranties, basically to give non-grey retailers a selling point. DSLRs have been local/regional warranty for some time. I see JB Hi-Fi is now selling grey imports as well, though they are upfront about it, and state plainly that you will be up for GST if the total price is > $1000 and will be covered by a JB supplied warranty. Range they sell is pretty small though.

    http://www.jbhifi.com.au/direct-import/
    Last edited by ChrisRoss; 23-11-2011 at 09:02 PM.
    Chris Ross
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    Back to Rick's question, what are you thinking of buying Rick?
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisRoss View Post
    Back to Rick's question, what are you thinking of buying Rick?
    Well chris, looking at a Canon either 60D or 7D , not sure if I will go just body and either 400 5.6, 100-400
    have toyed with 300f4 1.4 converter as I dont mind stalking my birds just love the challenge, having the fuji P/S
    has taught me that.( also there is talk of a new fuji superzoom X-S1 wait and see on that)
    I would like to build up a canon system based on my passion for birds and macro as in having say
    only a few lenses to cover, at present liking the Mp-E 65mm for macro and one of the above for longer
    I could I guess look at a kit package then add these. It really means me deciding and sticking to what I want
    then apply the doing to gain the best from my choice. I think its time for me to take the next step up to the DLR realm
    cheers Rick. P.S really appreciate all the feedback guys
    Through the lens behold the glory of creation
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    The MP-E 65mm is very specialised Rick and difficult to work with, you really need a focusing rail to use it well, it starts off at 1x with the subject about 90mm from the lens and goes to 5x with the subject 40mm from the lens. at 4-5x you are losing about 4+ stops of light to extension, which bacically means if you are shooting anything moving you'll need off camera flash to freeze motion. At 1x where you start off it has already lost 2 stops so it is f5.6 equivalent. I wouldn't fancy trying to judge focus with a 1.6x camera as the focus screens are not up to the job, the viewfinder gets very dark when you strt to crank the magnification. Don't get me wrong it's a great lens and I've been hapy with mine but it is very difficult to use. I'd suggets starting out with a sigma 150mm macro or maybe the Canon 100mm. The Sigma is cheaper and has more reach for live subjects. If you have the 300/1.4x combo you can use the 1.4x on the 150mm macro and stil get excellent results.

    The tele lenses have been discussed before the 400 is the specialist birds in flight lens, long min focus distance, the 100-400 gives you the shorter focal lengths, the 300mm doubles as a long macro for dragonflies and butterflies, add a 1.4x and/or a 25mm tube and you get close to 0.5x. I think I'd suggets a 7D over a 60D, Canon dumbed down the xxD series with the 60D, probably to distance it fom the 7D.

    I'm assuming from what you wrote that you are keen on a Canon Australian warranty. If that's the case you would be looking at digi-direct, digital camera warehouse, maybe camera pro, though I've not dealt with them and perhaps quality camera who is in WA, his prices are likley to be a touch higher but not always and he does offer good service/support. Budget for a card reader and a couple of good size CF cards and some more storage as the images are bigger. If you're happy to go grey with warranty support from the dealer, that opens up a few more possibilities which have been mentioned above. Whatever you decide to do, shop around, prices seem to vary with one supplier cheapest for say a 400mm f5.6 and another cheaper for the 300mm f4 and check postage costs which vary widely. You can always mix and match new and Ebay sourced, I got my 300mm f4 off Ebay for $1100 and it was in as new condition, I generally pay by Paypal, in theory there is buyer protection in there, in practice ???
    Chris Ross
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    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Rick Playle (24-11-2011)

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    Thanks Chris, I had look at some sigma lenses before, both Macro and the Sigma 50-500 apo
    but was not quite sold on them, I tend to think canon with canon for pic quality, might be just too darn fussy
    but matching lens and body from the same manufacturer makes great sense to me, but dollars really come into the formular
    in the end. regards Rick
    Through the lens behold the glory of creation
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    Just a quick note about the warranties.

    For Nikon equipment; if the equipment is not purchased through an Australian Authorized Reseller, Nikon Aust will not honor any warranty or recall on their products. If you purchase your equipment “Grey Market” it is your responsibility to either return the gear to the place of purchase or have it repaired at your cost.
    In the US, if the equipment isn’t a US model you can’t even have the equipment repaired under warranty. You have to go to a private repairer at your expense. E.g.: if you bought a camera in Australia and went to the US for holidays and the camera needed repair, even if it is still under warranty in Australia, Nikon USA will not repair it under warranty, unless you are a member of Nikon Professional Services.

    As to GST etc, Chris is correct, if the total Declared Value is $1000 or greater (which includes shipping) You will be charged GST on the Declared Value plus processing costs. Photographic equipment is exempt of Import Duties. So if your lens cost $1000 and shipping was $100...Total being $1100, you would have to pay an additional $110 plus a $60 Customs processing fee, so in fact that lens would cost you $1270 and you would have no direct warranty with Nikon in Australia.

    I don't know anything about Canon

    Ps: I forgot to add that the Conversion rate that customs works out the Value is calulated at the rate of the Australian dollar at the time the item was shipped not on the date you purchased it or when it arrives in Australia.
    Last edited by James Doyle; 24-11-2011 at 10:38 AM. Reason: additional info

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    Rick Playle (24-11-2011)

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    Rick, the sigma 150mm macro is as sharp or sharper than the Canon 100mm and the price is right, build quality is also very good. Long is always better with macro lenses if your are shooting things that can decide to leave if disturbed. Also makes BG control easier, with a smaller angle of view it is easier to adjust to keep your BG clean.
    Chris Ross
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    Rick Playle (24-11-2011)

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