Buyer Guide > Online Stores

Online Stores

The lowest price does not always mean the best deal

If you are reading this section, you are considering purchasing your new digital camera online. If you want the best price, then this is the way to go.

Before you purchase online, make sure you've done your homework. Know exactly what digital camera you want. Go to some stores and hold the camera in your hand. Make sure that you are getting the right camera for you before you buy.

This ensures that you won't be disappointed when the camera arrives in the mail.

Buyer Beware

Once you are sure what camera you want, it's just a matter of finding the best price. Simple, right? Not exactly.

There are many online digital camera retailers who are out to get you. They say that they have items in stock, but once you make a purchase, it turns out they don't. They will then try to sell you a camera that costs more.

Some list a fantastic price on their web site, and after you've made the purchase let you know that the price only applies on a Tuesday if it's a full moon and there happens to be a swarm of locusts.

Many are unclear about their shipping options, additional charges and hidden fees.

Finally, some digital camera items are sold Gray Market. The price is always less than even sale or discount items, but these items are NOT covered by U.S. warranties. Should something go wrong with the product, you are completely out of luck.

Legitimate Online Retailers

The companies that I have listed here are all legitimate. While Adorama does offer Gray Market items, they also offer the same items covered by U.S. warranties, so it is up to you to decide if you want to take your chances.

You may be wondering why Amazon is not here. There are a couple of reasons. One, Amazon sells thousands of things besides cameras and camera equipment. Because of this, their selection is not always optimal. Two, many of the retailers listed here have paired with Amazon, so if you want the best price from Amazon, you will really be purchasing from one of these companies anyway.

I have spent a lot of time comparing online stores to find good selection and prices for the digital camera equipment I purchase. Every one of these online stores has been fast, efficient and good about communication. I have never had a problem with one of them.

Adorama

Adorama offeres a huge selection of items, and their entire focus is on cameras. Even if you are looking for some obscure lighting equipment, they are bound to have it.

In many comparisons, their prices are always the best — every so often a sale at another retailer will be them out, but it's pretty rare.

B&H Photo Video

Some might argue, but for me B&H and Adorama are almost interchangeable. B&H has a huge selection and great prices.

Like the next company in this list, B&H does not completely focus on camera equipment, so if you're looking for some rare accessory, then they might not have it.

Typically, if I can't find the item that I am looking for at Adorama, I will check at B&H and vice versa. Between the two of them, you can find just about any digital camera or accessory ever made.

J&R

I purchased a lot of items from J&R before I discovered Adorama. Since J&R also sells DVD, CD, Video and audio equipment, they do not always have the selection that Adorama has.

For common digital cameras and accessories, J&R does have a good selection and their prices are exceptional. If you are looking to get a few extra things with your digital camera (another DVD never hurt anyone) then this might be the place to go to.