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How to choose a digital camera store

There are a number of ways to shop for a digital camera. The most popular form of buying at the moment is online - with a saturated market, there's lots of websites to look at. High Street retailers are less common and this way of buying comes with a number of advantages, including face-to-face advice, trying the camera before buying and dealing with sales staff who are passionate about photography.

Online shopping

Looking around It's a minefield out there and one of the best ways to shop for digital cameras is to look at comparison sites. They will filter out the best price, but that doesn't always mean the best deal. Companies such as Pixmania are based in France and may not come with a UK warranty. That means that if the camera goes wrong under the worldwide warranty, you'll end up paying carriage costs to and from the repairer. Try the professionals Looking at review sites such as PhotographyBLOG or Stevesdigicams, will give you an all-in-one service because they'll have an affiliation with a retailer. Warehouse Express as well as Park Cameras are popular companies for this.

High Street shopping

Blind buying Since the internet boom, High Street retailers have suffered - especially in the photographic sector. Consumers who don't know about cameras will blindly buy the cheapest camera without finding out if it will do everything that they require. Don't waste time Many shoppers will go into a shop, try the camera and then buy it online because it's cheaper. This methodology will spell the downfall of shops because while they're showing a camera to a time-waster, a true customer is waiting and walking out. Sure, shops are more expensive, but they have more overheads. However, with a website, you can't simply talk to someone and there's no point of reference.

Shop on TV

TV shopping is popular because you get to see the camera before buying it. If you want to shop on TV, you're given a full tour of the features. The presenters are there to sell, and not to be unbiased. While good at what they do, they're not necessarily photo experts and may not be able to articulate the features to their full potential.

Summary

Whether you're looking for a cheap digital compact camera or a top end DSLR, it's worth looking at all retail platforms available. If you want to see the camera and test it, go to a small independent shop and have a chat with the sales staff. They may also part exchange your current gear. However, if you spend an hour or so of their time, do them a favour and give them your money.

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