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Buying Camera gear in Aus? Who do you use?

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Hey all...

Just thought i'd open up a thread on where we buy gear?

Options I have seen and thoughts on the are:

In Aus:

DWI - "sydney" - All imported from HK, over $1000 you can get hit with tax, online credit card payments require you to fax ID and address proof

DD Photo - never purchased from them but heard good things.

Teds - rude staff in Melb cbd

JB Hifi - nice staff and will price match, but their range and lowest prices arent always competitive enough.


Bh Photo
Digi Rev

What are your experiences?

recon photography:
try cameras direct teds cbd does have rude staff except the old guy he is nice :), i buy from jbhifi cos i can get best price from them but i dont think they have any idea what they are selling me 

Yeah steve upstairs is great... I bought a few nikon d3xs and 600mm primes from him for a job once. Lovely bloke... But downstairs are terrible

Hi. I'm in Brisbane and we don't have the greatest range of stores.  Therefore most of my equipment and film is purchased from B & H and Adorama.  Its a little petty, but I once bought a used camera from Adorama which had an undisclosed broken control wheel. Therefore, if the price of an item is the same (which it almost always is), I go with B & H.  But , on the whole, both are excellent.

I also like the Adoramapix photo books and think they are a lot better (both quality and price) when compared with local options.

The problem with buying from overseas is the cost of shipping, which has increased a lot in recent years.   Therefore, for occassional small purchases, I go to Photocontinental.  It is also where I normally pick up my B & W processing chemicals and I also use them for my E6 processing.  Very friendly service and they have a lot of stock on hand.  But their prices aren't the best.  (Although their B & W film prices aren't too bad).  This is my favourite shop and I wish I could buy more there.  But usually their prices are just too high compared with the competition.  Velvia at $22.50/roll?  C'mon!

I recently tried BlancoNegro in Sydney for some paper and chemicals.  They supply Foma products.  Wow! Talk about top service!  I definitely intend to go back.

My last camera was purchased from DigitalCameraWarehouse (an EPL-1).  From what I could see, they had the best prices for what I was after in the world (after factoring in postage).  And they've got a local shop.  When I went to pick up the camera, I was also keen to pick up a few accessories - memory cards, extra battery, maybe a second lens.  But the staff were so disinterested in helping customers that I just took the camera and left.  Oddly enough, what turned me off was how they dealt with an older couple before me that were asking some really basic questions and taking their time in making a decision.  (I can't remember exactly but I think it was about which P & S to go with).  Just got this vibe that the level of question was well below the salesgirls high level of technical competence that it wasn't worth her time to be patient and show respect and understanding for the customer.  Then I was next and only wanted to buy a $300 camera too.  Sorry, but we can't all be buying a 1Ds.  (Oddly enough, if I had purchased it online and had it shipped out, I wouldn't have experienced this and would probably be telling everyone how awesome they are.) 

I've also purchased a few things from  Everything was great with them.  But a couple of years ago, they were price leaders.  Now they're not so much.  Apart from some memory cards,  its been a while since I've purchased anything from them.

Other than that, if I'm buying film on eBay I like "Pbarcelon" and "Cheap_Shots_Au".  Both have good prices and ship quickly with good shipping rates.

My last purchase was from "Gadget Infinity" for a flash trigger.  All good there, too.

I don't know if I've been lucky, but I've never really had a major problem with any of the suppliers I use.  Even poor service (such as digitalcamerawarehouse) doesn't really phase me as they had the product I wanted, at the best price and they had it in stock in a shop a few suburbs away.  What more could I ask for? 

The other way of thinking about the DCW experience (or as mentioned, JB Hifi) is that you can't expect staff at a high volume, low margin business to be able to dedicate a lot of time to you.  When you are dealing with a company like "Teds", which does have higher margins built in, you expect a much higher level of service.

Its been interesting following the complaints from retailers and their attempts to make online shopping harder by trying to introduce customs delays and GST on all purchases.  They just don't get it.  Retailing is about offering good service at a convenient location.  Do this right and people will happily pay a premium for your products. Get it wrong and there are numerous other suppliers out there.  I worry about the remaining camera stores in Australia.  If you know what you want, buying online is the way to go.


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