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-   -   How does one try cameras in a store? (

painintheuk Dec 6, 2006 9:57 AM

If I go in to a store to try several different cameras, what should I be looking for? Just how it feels in my hand? How quick it feels? Light?

I'm not really sure what I'm looking for when I get my hands on a few.


mtclimber Dec 6, 2006 12:45 PM

Of course the first consideration is if this is going to be just a cursory visit, or a real fact finding mission. If you are willing to spend some time, a good deal can be learned, and your selection process narrowed. Firstly, decide what type of visit you are going to make and then prepare for that visit.

Preparations: Select a store or shop that hasyour cameras of interest actually in stock and available with working batteries. Take with your own necessary electronic data cards or chips, so that you can record photos with these camera of interest on your own media for later examination on your own computer at home. Mark theyour personal media in some way that you will know which camera has actually been recorded on a specific card or chip. Your time is wasted if you cannot determine which camera was recorded on which card or chip.Call ahead or in someway let the shop know that you are seriously considering Cameras A, B, and C. In doing that, perhaps they can have the camera batteries properly charged and ready for your visit. Plan or reviewing no more than 3 or 4 camera. Things will become confused and scattered, if you attempt a larger number than that.

I will do these posts incrementally, in as much as I am having a problem with my computer, and it seems better to draft shorter posts. thanks for bearing with me.


mtclimber Dec 6, 2006 1:00 PM

In Shop or Store Camera Testing: continued

On Arrival at the Shop or Store: Check in or touch base with the Shop Assistent or Sales Clerk, so that they can tell you about and current rebates, reduced cameras, promotions, or items of that nature. In doing this, you will further enhance the seriousness of your visit. Make sure that the cameras of interest are available to you with batteries charged and/or replaced, and ready. If the cameras of choiceare not ready, as requested, remind the Shop Assistant that you had made specific requests, that you are very serious, and that now you must go to a different or competitor's shop. This usually gets things rolling, if things have not been properly prepared for you. If you get no action, the proper info on promotions and rebates is not given and you get an "I don't give a damn!" attitude,don't hesitate to ask toask forthe shop or department manager. Restate your situation politely to the Manager or Department Head. If you get no further action, politely leave the shop or store, telling them quite clearlythat you are headed for another shop or store that is an obvious and well know competitor. If they seem anxious to make good on their obvious faults, reset another visit time and date. Then keep that appointment.


mtclimber Dec 6, 2006 2:15 PM

In Shop or Store Camera Testing Continued:

The Initial Physical Inspection of the Camera: Initially you want to check for fit, finish, and build quality. Then scan the camera controls and buttons. Is there button clutter? However, are there sufficient selective buttons or controls on this camera that are going to save you many trips into the camera's menu system, which is a difficult task in bright sunlight. Take the camera in hand. Use your noral grip. Think of the camera controls thatyou consistently use. Are they easily with reach for you with your hands in the normal grip position? Take a look at the LCD. Is it the size you desire. Does the LCDtilt, swivel, or in any other way, by design become more useful to you? How will the quality of this LCD be in bright sunlight? look at the bottom of the camera. Where is the tripod mount? Is it in a convenient location such as being centered on the lens centerline?Does the tripod mount look secure? Is the mount plastic or of metal construction? If this camera was on your tripod, or a tripod you intend to purchase, would it be asy to mount on your tripod, could you change theelectronic data card or chip easily? Now do an examination of the camera body structure. Are the doors, hatches, or ancess point convenient to use? Is their construction durable or flimsy?Do these doors or hatches come loose and offer the possibility for loss. Those the camera use a lens cap that is built-in to the camera and lens structure, or is it a loose item? If it is a loose item, is there some kind of retainer strap or string, can it be attached to the camera body or structure easily?

I will stop for now, as I have spent a substantial amount of time creating this ongoing post, thus far. If it is useful, I will continue. Perhaps this is just too detailed. I will await your comments before continuing. Thanks!


painintheuk Dec 6, 2006 3:23 PM

Sarah, thanks for the detailed reply. This is just the kind of information that I was looking for. I tried not to ask too precise a question so that it might be useful to others as well.

I used to have a G1 (which my parents now have), and now use a Pentax Optio. This will be my first dSLR, so it's hard to know just what I should look for - I'll have a steep learning curve with any camera, and will have to get used to the foibles and idiosyncrasies of whichever I buy.

I think that I've decided on thegeneral classof camera that I will buy. It broadly includes cameras like the Pentax K100D and Nikon D80. So yes, I realize that it is quite a broad range :). I think that I'll probably buy body only and get 2 decent lenses. I don't know if that makes a difference in how to try cameras.

I live in a fairly small town. I figure that I have at least 3 options: buy froma local camera shop (there are just a couple); buy from the internet; wait until I'm in the US in March and buy it there much cheaper. I have to admit that I'm leaning towards the first as long as they actually provide service. As you suggest, I'm happy to walk away (and save some cash) if they don't provide it.

As for the memory cards... won't the camera type be embedded in the EXIF data?

Thanks for the great comments.

mtclimber Dec 6, 2006 3:45 PM


Yes, the exif date will indeed be there for all to see, but precious few will ever read it at all. So, like yourself, I was attempting to cover everyone that might be affected.I have a busy day today, but will attempt to carry on with this in the evening.


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