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Sweet Spot Oct 9, 2004 6:43 PM

Hello everyone, name is Doug, and I'm about to purchase my first DC. First off, let me say thanks to Steve for providing me with a great site to lurk and learn about cameras and the wonderful art which is photography. I've been reading reviews and lurking here for more than a year, and I've never been sure of what I wanted or have been ready to take the DC plunge until now.

I'm quite the novice, but hope that once I get my DC, I'll step up to amateur in no time. As for the camera of choice, it's a toss up between the Canon A95 and the Kodak 7440. I'm leaning towards the Kodak, but this is not the issue or debate. What I need help in deciding, is whether or not I should buy a camera online at a reputable eTailer, or go the extra mile (and buck of course) with a brick and mortar place.

I live in NYC, so B&H is literally less than a mile from me, and I've shopped there before, and know that I can count on them for good CS and overall reliability right ? On the other hand, I've also got online buying experience with a few semi-costly things such as my Iriver iHP 120, and some other stuff in the past which fortunately, I've had no problems with, so never had to use warranty services etc...

Now, since I've no experience with buying a DC online, I don't know what warranty policies are, but can't imagine that they'd be much different from any other electronic warranty policy. So here's my question. I'm sure everyone is familiar with these third party extended warranties such as those from Viking and (can't remember the name of the other company) and I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with them and what the results were ? I'm personally not too fond of those "add on" extended warranties that some pushy crooks such as Best Buy try to push on their customers, but know that they're sometimes a necessity.

To the point, I'd like any of you to share your good/bad experiences with any of the so called "reputable eTailers" such as, butterfly etc and perhaps give me advice on whether or not saving $50 is worth buying online or not. At the moment, buydig has the 7440 for $253 no shipping. So obviously, the other $50 saved would go to a memory card, which would be a good thing.

Thanks for reading, and any advice would be most welcome and appreciated. Take care and happy shooting ! :)


Mikefellh Oct 9, 2004 6:59 PM

I personally shop in person because I'd rather deal in person than worry about a few dollars. But here are a few sites you should look at for info:

Learn about some of the frauds done by some online stores (esp. in New York):,107855,00.asp

Read reviews that past customers have given stores:

JimC Oct 9, 2004 7:04 PM

Doug: is a reputable vendor. However, they do have a restocking fee if you should change your mind and want a refund (see their policies page). B&H has a 7 day return policy (with some restrictions).

Also, B&H is a stocking vendor (unlike most internet sellers who are simply forwarding your order toa distributor for drop shipping). So, if you had any kind of problem with it when you fired it up and tested it (and out of the box failures and defects do occur), you'd be able to drive less than a mile and get it taken care of. I'll bet that lots of users wish they had B&H less than a mile away. :cool:

As far as extended warranties, as a general rule, I don't purchase them. Most have too many clauses about abuse, etc., for me to trust them (but, your mileage may vary).

As for the vendor, my vote would be to go the brick and mortar route with B&H.

jdm124 Oct 9, 2004 7:29 PM

You might want to take a look at the prices at Amazon which will probably include free shipping. They are very good to deal with and in my experience have an excellent return policy. I also like B&H and have bought a lot of things there (I live about 25 miles north of the store).If one knows exactly what one wants and can wait a few days, it is hard to pass up the on-line savings.

FWIW, I have the 7440 and am well pleased with it and its accessory lenses - no doubt the Canon will do a fine job, too.The downside to the 7440, I think, is the documentation which seems to lack any technical detail - you can see it on the Kodak web site.


Sweet Spot Oct 9, 2004 8:25 PM

Thank you so much for the reply's so far everyone. I know how long it can take to get such prompt help around here sometimes ! :lol: Interesting dilemma eh ? I suppose that at the end of the day, I'd say that unless I knew for sure that buying from an online vendor would yield absolutely positive results in the worst case scenario, spending a few extra bucks to ensure less of a hassle and no ulcer causing madness, I may as well go the B&H route.

As far as Amazon goes, I've actually read quite a few customer service horror stories with their name all over them, and don't want to risk being another story teller. I'm getting this info from, another hobby forum I frequent (being into portable audio, DAP's, headphones etc.), and can dig up the link if you guys want, I'm not just pulling that out of a hat. The one major issue with them is their unwillingness (openly admitted by CEO) to provide an easy to find CS contact number or contact info in general.

Perhaps I'll try and find a good price on a 256 or 512 SD card online then, and spend the extra at B&H. Anyone know of any good SD card deals, perhaps w/rebate ?

Thanks again,

P.S. JDM, without taking this thread too far off topic, I wonder if you could tell me what your experience with the Kodak proprietary battery has been thus far ? Cant' remember if it was Steve or some other reviewer who said that when using the color view finder, 5 hours was achieved, but only 90 minutes when using the LCD ? Does that sound accurate ?

Oct 9, 2004 8:38 PM

I would buy something from B&H no matter how far away they are. Their free catalogs alone contain so much good information that I tend to order from them several times a year.

jawz Oct 9, 2004 8:45 PM

The only "eTaler" that I trust for photo gear IS B&H. --I've spent half a fortune at B&H over the years.

That said, I also believe in supporting my local walk-in [honest to goodness] professional camera store--I'm not talking about big box electronic outfits or general merchandise chain stores.

It may cost me a few bucks more but for that premium, I get "face time" with very knowledgable sales persons, I get to fondle the gear, I get to take things back if something is not right.

**you have the best of both worlds** Enjoy!

If I lived close to B&H, I would likely spend the other half fortune. <g>.

Sweet Spot Oct 9, 2004 9:09 PM

Yeah, I suppose that you guys are only confirming what I already know I should do. My only fear is that when I'm there, I'll buy something else totally unrelated ! Pesky wallet problem ya know ? :evil: Ok, B&H it is. Now how about a good place/price for a SD card ?

lucky2505 Oct 9, 2004 10:00 PM

"Now how about a good place/price for a SD card ?" sometimes has some excellent prices if you find a deal with a rebate offer. I bought a 256MB SD card in September for what will only be a total of $10 after I receive the mail-in rebate. I think that offer has ended, but they seem to have deals like that frequently. The card is a Kingston brand and works fine in my FZ10. I had previously bought a Viking 128MB SD card with a rebate offer at It worked fine, also.

lucky2505 Oct 9, 2004 10:22 PM

By the way, I second everyone's opinion of B&H. I live in Arkansas, but I buy from them often. Their salespeople are knowledgeable, and they always steer me toward the products or supplies that fill my needs rather than what they need to "move". I try to always slip in a reference to Steve's site when I deal with them, also. I urge everyone to do the same. Steve provides a wonderful service here. If we can bring some ad dollars his way to help insure this site will always be here, we are really only serving our own interests.

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