Smart Holiday Camera Shopping – it’s Simple!

If you’re a consumer looking for some camera gear this holiday season, making sense of the instant savings, instant rebates, and never-ending camera “deals” is a difficult task.

If you’re a photographer (pro or serious enthusiast), you may or may not be in the market for new gear this season.  But chances are good that you’ll be asked about it by friends, family, & co-workers.  They want to know the right camera items to buy as gifts or for themselves, where to get the best prices and/or information – and you’ll be expected to have all of the correct answers.  After all, you’re a pretty good photographer, right?    You may know what works best for you, but recommendations of current compact digital or entry-level SLR’s may not be your area of expertise.   Making the best recommendations to your friends & family is simple – if you avoid  the Black Friday & Holiday Season pitfalls that are everywhere in the camera industry.  Here are a few things to consider telling those who ask you for advice:

  1. Great Deals seem to be everywhere.  But, most instant rebates or instant savings deals are usually manufacturer sponsored programs – and are available on the web, at national chain stores & local specialty camera dealers.   Recommend a camera dealer where your family & friends will not only get great prices, but intelligent recommendations on the best products for their needs. Proper product recommendations usually help buyers save money.   They’ll thank you for this.
  2. If a deal looks too good to be true, it may be just that.  Instruct your friends & family to buy cameras only from authorized USA dealers, and to make sure that their items include the manufacturer’s USA warranty.
  3. Be somewhat informed – or get guidance from a knowledgeable camera dealer.  Know which camera models are new & current, and which camera models might be on their way out.  Just today, I saw several discontinued cameras models advertised by big boxes & national chains in their Black Friday ads.   They may look like a great deal on the surface, but the small savings usually do not justify the purchase of somewhat outdated technology.
  4. Be wary of free items, or items priced outrageously low.  Don’t be afraid to ask for the product specs, and inquire if they items will help your new camera work to it’s best potential.  Consumers love kits!  Bundled kits are highly desirable to many camera buyers.  But, some camera sellers take this opportunity to bundle inferior items in their kits –  and provide them for attractive prices.  Some kits are nothing but a lot of junk that will never be used, some are so-s0, and others include smart & necessary high quality items at a decent price. Once again, if it looks too good to be true it usually is.   For example, I saw many Black Friday ads today offering inexpensive SD memory cards.  They look like a great deal – but they were all “class 4” cards – which produce still images slowly & make video next to impossible.  If a low quality kit is purchased unknowingly, the camera owner may never know the true potential of their camera’s performance.   What a waste of time & money.

For a couple of extra dollars – and I really mean just a couple of dollars – you can buy high performance memory cards, quality coated filters, camera cases that will last forever, and other accessories that will help your camera work to its best potential.

If you’re in Maryland, of course I think that Service Photo is the best place to get the best quality cameras, guidance, & instruction – at the best prices available.  But no matter where you, your friends, or your family are located – I’ll bet that there’s a really great camera store located in the area.  If you need help finding a local camera dealer outside Maryland, please feel free to send me an email.  I know many good people at fantastic camera dealers throughout the USA who would appreciate your referral – and who would provide them with the absolute best products & prices in their area.  When you refer these places to your friends & family – you’ll look like a real Pro!

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1 Response to Smart Holiday Camera Shopping – it’s Simple!

  1. You nailed it perfectly. I’ve had calls from people that have already done some research and are looking for a pros’ stamp of approval before their purchase. One store was offering a type of extended warranty that is not legal to sell in Florida. Your point about memory cards and filter purchases is sadly true. Darn good advice. Have a great holiday and a happy new year.

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