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I recently bought a rebel xti, and i am in need of a lens. I've been to Wolf camera in myerland and the manager was a jerk, tried to sell me a returned lense with dust on it and no lens cap.He said there was a "limit on exchanges" even though the receipt didn't have that printed. This jerk writes "NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGE" in pen on my receipt! Houston camera exchange...I walked in the store and i was the only one there. No one asked me if i needed help or anything, i stood at the counter for 3 mins while 2 guys were busy on the phone and on the computer. So i left, i guess i need to pin money to my shirt so they don't stereo type me. I have a good 54?mm-200mm lens now.

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Sounds like a case for Marvin ! Perhaps Wayne Dolcefino ? I always thought Houston Camera on Richmond was pretty good at customer service, maybe you caught them at a bad time ? Perhaps they looked you over and presumed that you knew what the hell you were doing, and didn't want to bother you until you asked for help ?

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I was camera shopping a few months ago.... every single Wolf Camera I went in, 3 of em, I had problems. Their service is pathetic. They had cameras mistagged and wouldnt honor the price. They all seem to be run by the self-absorbed.

I tried Houston Camera Exchange and their service was much much better, and they seemed to be much more knowledgable.. eventhough though they couldnt end up helping me becasue they weren't licensed to sell the brand I was looking for.

I would definately give Houston camera exchange another shot over any Wolf Camera.

I ended up buying my camera online.

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my brother went to one recently because someone gave him a camera that needed older memory cards. he said he was going to pay something like 100 for a memory card with 64m of memory because someone at the camera store told him that was the best thing to do. the camera was an older 2m fuji camera. it was still good but no way is it worth paying that much for the memory card. you can get a new camera for that price. i ended up having a memory card that fit it but realistically when you're looking for speciality equipment such as this, you have to do the research because i find most store employees are just not knowledgeable.

Edited by musicman
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I always buy mine online. I always buy mine at http://www.bhphoto.com. Extremely reliable place in New York. As far as research of cameras and lenses, go to http://www.dpreview.com . They have reliable reviews and forums from people who buy different models and give their opinions. Those are the best way to gauge what equipment to buy. Also, they have pics taken. Great stuff! Local stores have not been good to me in Houston. Haven't been to Houston Camera Exchange in a while.

Edited by icanluv2
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I agree with icanluv. There are two places where professional photographers go first - B&H and Calumet. I've ordered lots of stuff from B&H and they have very fair prices. Sometimes they're even cheaper than the "discount" stores. But where they excel is their service. I had to return a defective item and it was easier than even placing the order. One phone call and in five minutes a new one was on the way.

I do my research on the internet, but unless I need something RIGHT NOW, I buy from B&H.

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I agree with icanluv. There are two places where professional photographers go first - B&H and Calumet. I've ordered lots of stuff from B&H and they have very fair prices. Sometimes they're even cheaper than the "discount" stores. But where they excel is their service. I had to return a defective item and it was easier than even placing the order. One phone call and in five minutes a new one was on the way.

I do my research on the internet, but unless I need something RIGHT NOW, I buy from B&H.

Wow thanks, check this out same cam i got

View List

1 of 10

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi (a.k.a. 400D) 10.1 Megapixel, SLR, Digital Camera (Black) with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens and Sandisk 2GB Ultra II CompactFlash Card

B&H# CAEDRXTIKB03 B&H Kit

Our Price: $ 812.95

I paid 769 for it at work with discount! But still 812!? and i didn't get the CF card! what a steal!

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I might want to add that there are other places online which have even better prices, but there's always some catch to it. You either have to buy additional accessories or some extended warranty, also watch out for grey market warranty, etc. I also question whether some of their items are really new at all. The great thing about B&H is their no hassle returns.

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I found this site - http://www.resellerratings.com/ to be pretty good at weeding out the "too good a deal to be true /what's the catch" online resellers... and there was a lot.

I agree on DpReview... that site was invalauble not only in learning what to look for and their reviews, but their forums are incredibly active and were also a very big help.

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I agree, Houston Camera exchange employees are bitter photographers who couldn't get real photography jobs and lash out at regular camera guys that happen into their store. I guess its a way to make themselve superior, when they're just counter jockies. They are condecending pricks, and all my friend steer clear of that place like it had the plague. Too bad too, because they could be the premier camera store in Houston. I buy all my camera stuff on the internet now.

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I agree, Houston Camera exchange employees are bitter photographers who couldn't get real photography jobs and lash out at regular camera guys that happen into their store. I guess its a way to make themselve superior, when they're just counter jockies. They are condecending pricks, and all my friend steer clear of that place like it had the plague. Too bad too, because they could be the premier camera store in Houston. I buy all my camera stuff on the internet now.

yeah -- i find it's a good place to go if you know what you want and know they carry it, go in and get it, and leave.

otherwise, the internet serves well

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I too can highly recommend B&H Photo Video. I've probably bought $10k of stuff from them over the years (in a former life I was a full-time stringer for AP) and never had a single problem with them.

Be sure though you get a lens with a Canon USA warranty. A lot of new camera equipment sold is "grey market" and comes with a 3rd party warranty, which may or may not be worth anything in the event there is a problem. The cheapest prices online are probably grey market.

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As an illustration of how complicated the international warranty issue can be, when I was in Singapore a couple of weeks ago I was in an electronics store (Mustafa Centre) that had huge posters from Sony in the camera section declaring, "Sony Warranties Now Valid In India!"

I guess we have it luckier than we know.

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Does anyone have any preferences between these three cameras?

1. Sony Alpha 100

2. Canon Digital Rebel XTi

3. Nikon D40

And any suggestions on good lenses.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thx

Edited by Boris
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Try Houston Camera Co-Op

Friendlier than HCX.

Not the cheapest place, but great people.

Their used equipment is very good though, and often at a great price.

I bought an L lens there for less than I was seeing being sold used at other places, and they offered a 30 day guarantee.

Camera Co-ops website with contact info: http://www.cameracoophouston.com/

(the site sucks though)

1. Sony Alpha 100

2. Canon Digital Rebel XTi

3. Nikon D40

Go with the Canon or Nikon.

Those two have the best support system and accessories/lens.

Whether you go with one or the other is a matter of preferance.

I like Canon (shoot a 20D) and my wife has the XTi. The XTi is a great camera for the price. Feels a little to small for me though.

As for lenses, depends on what you end up getting for a body.

Great lens reviews can be found at FredMiranda.com on their review section.

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You won't find many people with experience with the Alpha. It's a brand new line. Sort of. I believe it's a continuation of Pentax or Minolta or someone that Sony bought.

If you're on a budget, go with the Sony. If you want the best pictures, go with the Canon.

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Thx for the input. I think I'm going with the Canon Rebel XTi

I'll probably get it before our summer trip to California. Can't wait to break it in during the PCH drive from San Fran to San Diego.

Adios

.

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HCE is full of jerks. The characterizations so far in this thread fit my experiences.

H-COOP is friendly but just not price competitive. Not even close.

Wolf/Ritz is a joke.

The only viable option is BH/Adorama/Calumet/etc.

Also, personally I like Nikon.

Edited by Ian Rees
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Ditto on Houston Camera Exchange being arrogant/condescending/not worth giving money to. Another good online store that nobody has mentioned is Adorama.

The Sony Alpha line is a continuation of Minolta, which made a very respectable and user-friendly digital camera that will take any of the Maxxum series of lenses, which have been around for 25 years. It has its own version of anti-shake technology that many prefer over Nikon's or Canon's.

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Glad to see so many Nikon owners around here.

My friends are about evenly divided between Nikon and Canon users. From what I've seen of their pictures, Nikons are better for people shots and Canons for thing shots. I think Nikon does a better job with skin tones while Canon does a better job with high blues and reds. When I ask them about it, few of them care because they shoot for newspapers so most of their work ends up in black and white anyway and all they care about is getting the shot.

I saw an interesting photograph a few months ago where some random diplomat was having his picture taken at the White House. Behind him was a fireplace. Above the fireplace was a long mirror. In the mirror (because it was a large print) you could see the White House press corp in perfect focus, and more importantly -- their cameras. Of those I could identify, I'd say that 70% were Canons. There may have been more Nikons in the picture, but I'm not as familiar with the Nikon line and probably missed some.

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Interestingly enough, although Nikon is pretty much synonymous with modern photography, Canon is now ahead of them in market share, due to its aggressive pursuit of technologies outside the traditional photography realm (the whole field of "digital imaging").

Sony's advantage is that it is the only one of the three that doesn't have to buy its image sensor from an outside party - I think either Nikon or Canon actually buy theirs from Sony, and the other one from Panasonic. When Sony bought Minolta, they became the first company to have both image-sensing technology and lens-making know-how. The end of film was a bad thing for traditional camera companies. Look for Sony to become a much bigger player in coming years.

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Nikon buys their sensors from other suppliers, usually Sony. But everything else from the exposure algorithms to the processing is strictly Nikon. Canon makes their own CMOS sensors for their DSLRs, and is why they are ahead of Nikon because they offer full frame capabilities in their high end DSLRs. I like Nikon because they have a continuity to their design philosophy. All lenses made from the 70's still work with even their latest DSLR, all the buttons are located about the same place. Once you've mastered a Nikon, you don't have to relearn too much when you buy another. With the Canon's, its like each camera was designed by a different company.

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Actually Nikon has increased in market share since the dSLR era. It was hovering in the 20% range in 2000, but has increased to approx. 35% now. Canon has also increased market share to 45% in the same period. The losers have been the second tier systems: Minolta, Pentax, etc.

Nikon does not have its own silicon fab, but it is involved in both the engineering and construction of the sensors. It collaborates with Sony on many CCDs and they have technology sharing agreements (e.g. D2X, D200, D100 sensors), but also their own designs produced by other independent foundries (D2H/LBCAST sensors, of which research/design work is still continuing.) Nikon is one of the major manufacturers of the optics involved in semiconductor photolithography... I know Sony's fab uses Nikon steppers, I think Canon does as well.

Canon has their own designs and their own CMOS fab, but I think the advantages of this may be overstated. The gap has definitely been narrowed in the current round of cameras (D80 and 400D have basically equivalent image quality even at high ISO)..

Anyway, I do expect Nikon to introduce a 36x24mm sensor this year. Making a 36mm sensor isn't magic, it's just making it economical due to the complexities of ccd fabbing. Canon does it, DALSA does it, Cypress does it, Kodak does it, etc. They're just not cheap ;)

And no, I don't expect much from Sony. The company has no magic -- they fail at plenty of things. And their dSLR system is just recycled Konica/Minolta. Their camera isn't very special imho, and CCD shift isn't going to beat optical stabilization.

But this is a thread for dpreview or flickr... :)

Edited by Ian Rees
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