- Last Updated: Monday, 23 November 2020 10:14
- Hunt's Photo and Video
- Mike's Camera
- Roberts Camera
- Unique Photo
- Samy's Camera
- Focus Camera
Let me make it clear that this article isn't a knock on B&H Photo.
In fact, B&H is one of my favorite places to get my gear. I've bought gear from them in the past, and I'm sure I'll buy more gear from them in the future.
They often have great deals, not just on photography gear, either.
Their free expedited shipping is a great feature, and if you happen to be in the New York City area, you can even pick up your orders at their superstore within an hour.
Their website has a live chat feature that I've used on multiple occasions to get more details about a product I liked.
In short, B&H Photo does it the right way, which is why they have such a loyal following of customers, myself included!
Variety is the Spice of Life
As good as B&H is, sometimes you have to turn to other outlets to find what you're looking for.
Perhaps B&H doesn't have the item you want or need. Maybe they have it in stock, but the price isn't what you were hoping.
In those instances, having some variety regarding where you can get the gear you need for a good price is obviously a huge benefit to you.
After all, photography is an expensive endeavor, so having some healthy competition between online photography retailers benefits you (and your pocketbook) in the end.
Of course, you also want to buy from reputable establishments too.
The question is, what alternatives are there to B&H Photo that have the same level of service, quality of product, and commitment to customer service?
Let's find out.
Table of Contents:
B&H Alternative #1: Adorama
Much like B&H Photo, Adorama isn't just a photography store.
In fact, they have an incredible selection of electronics from cameras to TVs to computers. Add in musical instruments, drones, printers, and scopes, and you've got the makings for a one-stop shopping experience.
Adorama has built an excellent reputation among photographers over the last 35 years because of their commitment to offering great products at excellent prices and following up the sale with top-notch customer service.
That's one of the reasons why Adorama is one of the top five electronics retailers according to Consumer Reports.
Adorama isn't just a place to buy great photography gear, either. You can also rent gear through the Adorama Rental Company or sell your old gear as part of the Adorama Used + Trade program.
Whether you're after a new camera, a used lens or you need to rent a piece of gear (or an entire photography studio), Adorama is the place to do it!
Read our Adorama review article.
B&H Alternative #2: Hunt's Photo and Video
If you're after a more mom and pop feel to your photography gear shopping, Hunt's Photo and Video is a prime choice.
Even though this outfit is the largest camera retailer in New England, you still get the personal, one-on-one assistance that you associate with shopping at a small store on Main Street.
Hunt's Photo and Video has been owned and operated by the Farber family for three generations, and their commitment to their customers shows in everything they do.
What started in the 1950s as a drug store is today a top-quality camera store run by Gary and Scott Farber, two brothers who are among the nicest and most genuine people you'll ever meet.
But don't think that this mom and pop (or brother and brother) operation is quaint. Their 30,000 square foot flagship store is something to behold. And like bigger companies like B&H Photo, Hunt's Photo and Video keeps its finger on the pulse of the industry, hosting a Show and Sale each fall that showcases all the latest in the world of photography.
Hunt's is also well-known for their support of the military, their commitment to the community, and their support of organizations like the American Cancer Society.
If you live in New England, it's worth a trip to Hunt's. And if you aren't in New England, it's worth a visit to their website!
B&H Alternative #3: Mike's Camera
If you haven't heard of Mike's Camera, you've been missing out.
They have ten stores in Colorado and Northern California, and if you ask anyone in those areas where they go to buy their camera gear, they'll probably say Mike's.
Not only does Mike's specialize in offering new photography gear for sale, but they also offer a host of related services.
Turn your images into cards, calendars, and metal prints with Mike's printing services.
Rent just about any gear you might need through their rental program too.
Heck, you can even take your broken gear to Mike's to get it repaired!
All that is offered with top-notch customer service that has garnered Mike's Camera tons of awards.
In fact, they're a past winner of the Best Camera Store award by Photo Trade News. So don't take my word for it - if Mike's is winning awards from the photography industry, you know you can trust them for all your photography needs.
B&H Alternative #4: Roberts Camera
Perhaps not as well known as B&H Photo, Roberts Camera is an excellent alternative that offers new, used, and refurbished gear of all sorts and types.
Like Hunt's Photo and Video, Roberts Camera started out as a small mom and pop shop that sold everything from jewelry to fishing poles, but at least initially, no cameras or other photography gear.
That changed in the late 1960s when Robert and Rose Pallman decided to add cameras to their inventory.
With that Minolta camera started a journey to becoming one of the most trusted names among photography retailers.
Today, Roberts Camera is a premiere source for photo, video, and electronics equipment. They have a rental program and an extensive educational program for aspiring photographers too.
Like the other retailers on this list, they pride themselves on offering quality products at prices that are fair.
What's more, Roberts has dedicated employees whose mission is to serve you and your specific needs. In fact, many of their employees have been with the company for well over a decade, so they not only have the photography knowledge to help you meet your goals but extensive experience in customer service as well.
Roberts Camera might be based in Indianapolis, but their footprint has grown to be worldwide over nearly 50 years since they sold their first camera. If you need good gear at a good price, consider checking them out.
B&H Alternative #5: Unique Photo
Another east coast retailer makes our list, this time, it's Unique Photo.
What started in a small store in Brooklyn more than five decades ago has grown into one of the largest privately owned photo supply distributors in the world.
What's fueled that growth is an unparalleled commitment to the customer.
Not only does Unique Photo have a reputation for taking care of its patrons before, during, and after the sale, but they are also highly regarded for their commitment to the quality of the products they sell.
That includes more than 20,000 products in their superstore, so you're sure to find what you need when you visit Unique Photo's store or website.
You can even try before you buy and rent a piece of equipment before your purchase, that way you know it's what you want.
Whether you need a digital camera, film, canvas prints, framing, or something in between, Unique Photo is a great place to start!
B&H Alternative #6: Samy's Camera
I can personally attest to the quality of the shopping experience at Samy's Camera.
I've bought two cameras from these guys - a Nikon D800 and a Sony a6300.
In the case of the Nikon, I actually drove all the way up to their L.A. store when it first came out. While I was there, I met Samy, and to say that I was impressed with him and his store is a huge understatement!
Like B&H Photo and other entrants on this list, Samy's specializes in all sorts of electronic goodies. Photography, video, studio supplies, drones...you name it!
Regardless of what you're looking for, Samy's will help you find what you need and do so in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident in your purchase.
That's because Samy's Camera has been at it for more than 40 years. In that time, they've built the knowledge and skills to offer the best customer service around.
Add in an excellent collection of educational opportunities and a used and trade-in program, and you've got the makings for a top-notch photography store.
Trust me, I know firsthand!
B&H Alternative #7: Focus Camera
Focus Camera is yet another camera retailer with an excellent reputation that you should consider as an alternative to B&H Photo.
Based in the New York tri-state area, focus camera has stores where locals can shop in person, as well as a beautiful and easy-to-use website where you can find anything from a mirrorless camera body to binoculars to office equipment and everything in between.
What I like about Focus Camera is that they often have incredible sales, so you can get more bang for your buck.
And if you're concerned about the ability of other stores to have what you need in stock, consider this: Focus Camera has a 100,000+ square foot warehouse where they keep more than 30,000 products on hand. They ship more than 8,000 packages a day around the world to satisfy the needs of their customers.
That's a lot of gear!
And, as any good business does, Focus Camera isn't just about making money. They take great pride in their civic participation and giving back to the community.
Tons of gear. Great prices. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. You can't go wrong with Focus Camera!
B&H Alternative #8: Amazon
When it comes to selection, it's hard to beat the inventory of photography gear that Amazon has.
No matter what your brand preference - Nikon, Canon, Sony, and so on - Amazon will have it.
Plus, if you're a Prime member, if you find Prime-eligible items you can get your new toy or accessory in two days. That's a nice feature when you can't wait to get your hands on a new piece of gear!
Something else that's great about Amazon is that you have access to all sorts of customer reviews. Just scroll down the listing page to see what others have experienced with the camera, lens, tripod, or another camera accessory you have your eye on.
Amazon also has great sales, particularly around the holidays. So if you can wait until the holiday shopping season arrives, you might just find the best deal on camera gear on Amazon.
Whatever route you choose, any of the retailers listed above are a great option for finding good gear at good prices. Sometimes B&H Photo will be the winner, but if you can't find what you need at the price you want, give one of these other trustworthy outfits a try.