B&H Photography Articles

8 Alternatives to B&H Photo That You Can Trust

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

amazon minWhen 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.



We Recommend


B&H Photo Video Review

BH Photo Video Reviewphoto by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock 

B&H Photo Video is perhaps the most well-known photography store in the United States.

But B&H isn’t just about photography…

In fact, it’s a one-stop shop for all things electronics, whether you’re a photographer, a videographer, or if you’re just a regular Joe looking for a new computer or TV. 

In this B&H Photo Video review, learn all about this company and what they have to offer you as a photographer.

B&H Photo Video Store

BH Photo Video Store photo by sergeyryzhov via iStock

Though many photographers visit B&H’s online store, they also have a superstore in New York City, located at 420 9th Avenue.

There’s even free parking nearby, and you can make an online order and pick it up in-store if you like.

They have a huge selection of electronics in the store, from photography gear to TVs to spotting scopes and binoculars.

B&H Photo Video Hours

BH Photo Video Store hours photo by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock 

Obviously, the B&H website never closes, but if you’re in New York and fancy a visit to the store, their hours are Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, and is closed on Saturdays.

If you need assistance with a purchase, you can contact B&H customer service at 1.800-221-5743 on Sundays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

B&H also has a sales and expert advice hotline that can be reached by calling 1-800-894-9703.

Recommended Photography Books:

B&H Photo Video Cameras, Lenses, & Other Gear

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As noted above, B&H has an enormous selection of gear.

Photographers can choose from any number of compact, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras, wide-angle, standard, telephoto, and macro lenses, tripods, camera bags and backpacks, backup storage, and so forth. 

They have a significant inventory of memory cards, batteries, flashes and lighting accessories, drones, photo printers, and photography books as well. 

B&H also has what they call “Event Space,” where pros from around the world offer lectures and learning opportunities, many of which are completely free. Check out upcoming events here.

B&H Photo Coupon

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B&H makes it easy for you to find the gear you want at a discounted price with a dedicated page on their website for specials, coupons, and promotions.

B&H also has a used photography gear page where you can find smokin’ deals on pre-owned gear of all manner and sort.

B&H Return Policy

 BH Photo Video return policy

B&H has a 30-day return policy that allows you to return an item for a full refund if you’re dissatisfied with it for any reason.

You can either return the item by shipping it back to B&H, or you can make an in-person return if you’re in the New York City area.

There are caveats to make a return, of course…

A returned item must be in new condition packaged in the original, unaltered box. All packing materials, blank warranty cards, manuals, and other accessories must be included.

The refund applies only to the price of the purchased item - shipping and handling fees will not be refunded.

Some items cannot be returned, like TVs or computers that have been taken out of the box and electronic downloads of software. Special order merchandise (i.e., a custom-configured computer) is not returnable either. 

If you exchange the returned item for another one, B&H asks to allow 3-5 business days for the transaction to complete. If you return an item, it takes 5-7 days to credit your account.

B&H Photo Video Credit Card

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B&H has its own credit card with special financing options that make it an attractive option for photographers.

If approved, you get six months no interest on purchases of $199 or more and 12 months no interest on purchases of $599 or more 

There is no annual fee, you can apply online, and get an instant credit decision.

B&H Photo Video Black Friday

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Like any other retailer, B&H offers some truly excellent deals on photography gear for Black Friday. You can stay up-to-date on all the special deals offered during the holiday shopping season by visiting the B&H Black Friday page on their website.

B&H Photo Video Reviews 

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B&H Photo Video has been in business since 1973, and over that time, has established itself as the primary source for photo gear for photographers the world over.

The company gets excellent marks for their customer service, their selection of products, and their pricing.

In fact, there are over 208,000 reviews for B&H on Trustpilot as of this writing, and 94 percent of those reviews are “Excellent,” or five out of five stars.

More than that, there is not a single “Poor” or “Bad” rating for B&H on Trustpilot. That says a lot about the experience that consumers have when working with B&H!

If you’re in the market for photography gear at great prices and want to take advantage of easy returns and special financing offers, B&H Photo Video is an excellent choice both online and in their New York City superstore.



We Recommend


Best Camera Stores: 15 Best Places to Buy a Camera

15 Best Places to Buy a Camera

photo by sergeyryzhov via iStock

"Camera store near me"...

Raise your hand if you have Googled this exact phrase. While looking for the closest camera store near you, you might notice that many smaller camera stores have closed during the last 10 years.

Heck, even a few larger stores who have been around for a very long time have packed their bags and turned off the lights!

So, what camera stores are still here, and which ones are the best?

This list is meant to shine a light on a number of camera stores that are standing tall and adapting to changing markets. The next time you feel the urge to search for the camera store nearest you, we hope this list will be of help.

Table of Contents

“Camera Store Near Me”: Things to Consider 

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 photo by Vasyl Dolmatov via iStock

When you Google “camera store near me,” you shouldn’t necessarily go to the one that’s at the top of the list.

Instead, there’s a few things you should consider when comparing the results when you make this all-important search:

  • Return policy. Scope out the returns information on each store’s website before you buy. You’ll be surprised how much variation there is.
  • Consider the location. I live in California, so Samy’s, which is based here, can probably get gear to me faster than MPB, which is based in New York City. If you find similarly priced items at multiple stores, the speed with which you get your order could be the determining factor for which “camera store near me” is your best bet.
  • Beware of taxes. If I buy from a retailer in California, I have to pay sales tax. That can add up to a pretty penny if you’re buying something like a Nikon Z7. In some cases, you can avoid paying sales tax, depending on where the store is based.
  • Study up on selection. While most of the camera stores on this list have substantial inventories, some have better than others. What’s more, if you’re looking for something specific, the best camera store near you might be the only one that has what you need!
  • You get what you pay for. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many camera stores sell gray market gear - cameras, lenses, and the like that are for another market. So, that super cheap full frame camera you find at your favorite camera store might have a French owners manual and battery charger with a European plug. Worse still, gray market gear does not come with a manufacturer’s warranty. The retailers below are good about identifying gray market goods, so just keep your eyes peeled.

There's also a number of things to consider about the camera itself.

In the video above, I go over some of the most common mistakes people make when buying a camera.

Without further ado, here’s our picks for the best camera stores, in no particular order.

Adorama

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Adorama is one of the most popular camera stores both in New York City (where their brick-and-mortar store is located) but also online.

That’s due in part to their enormous selection of camera gear, TVs, computers, and all sorts of other electronics.

For nearly 40 years, Adorama has been serving the photography community and doing so with excellent customer service. It’s no wonder that Adorama gets such rave reviews from their customers and from publications like Consumer Reports.

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photo byEXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock

If you aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger and buy brand-new gear, Adorama also has used gear for sale (you can sell or trade in your old gear, too). There’s also a rental program so you can test drive a particular camera or lens before you buy.

Adorama often has coupons that make your purchase a little easier on the wallet, a 30-day money-back guarantee on most items, and they even have their own credit card that gets you perks like no interest on large purchases.

Our Adorama review gives you a deeper picture of whether it should be the best “camera store near me.”

Recommended Photography Books:

B&H Photo Video 

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Another top choice for the best camera store is B&H Photo Video.

Opened way back in 1973 by Blime and Herman (thus, the B&H), the store had humble beginnings in Tribeca, New York. Today, though, it’s one of the top camera stores in the country and has its massive home base in Midtown Manhattan.

Like Adorama, B&H has a huge selection of camera gear as well as all kinds of other electronics. Whether you need a camera body, a video camera, a computer or computer software, or something in between, chances are B&H will have it in stock.

For those of us in the United States, B&H has free 7-10 day shipping on the bulk of their inventory. If you place an order over $49, you can get free expedited shipping that cuts delivery time to 3-7 days.

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photo by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock

 If you desire, you can become a B&H rewards member and earn points on purchases. Those points can be redeemed later for discounts, though points expire after six months.

Purchases that don’t work out can be returned within 30 days, provided the item is still in brand-new condition in its new, unaltered box.

B&H prides itself on education, and has an Explora section where you can read free articles, watch videos, and listen to podcasts on all things photography. If you’re in the New York area, you can also go to the store and participate in photography presentations, often free of charge.

Paul’s Photo

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If you’re on the west coast like me, and in particular, in the Los Angeles area, Paul’s Photo is a top choice for the best “camera store near me.”

Unlike some of the other options on this list, Paul’s Photo is a small, family-run business. That means that they actually get to know you as a customer rather than you just being another dude in line.

But don’t think that because they’re a small outfit that they can’t deliver the photography goods you need. You can shop online or at their store, where they have a great selection of the latest gear and gizmos you might need for creating photos and videos.

Something else worth mentioning is that Paul’s Photos is basically a one-stop shop for photographers.

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 photo by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock

You can buy or rent gear, have your photos printed, take a photography class, or sign up for a photography adventure to places like Vietnam, Tuscany, and Africa. 

I also really appreciate how much Paul’s Photo focuses on education. They aren’t just there to sell you stuff; instead, they genuinely want to help you better understand your gear and how to use it to take great photos.

I recently wrote an in-depth Paul’s Photo review. Check it out to learn more about one of the best camera stores in L.A.!

Roberts Camera

best camera store near me roberts camera 

Like Paul’s Photo, Roberts Camera is a small, family-owned business that started out as a little mom and pop shop that sold everything from fishing gear to jewelry. In the late 1960s, owners Robert and Rose Pallman decided to start selling cameras as well.

Based in Indiana, Roberts Camera has since grown into an excellent source of photography gear both for locals and those of us far and wide that need to buy gear online.

From cameras and lenses to video equipment to TVs and other electronics, Roberts Camera has just about anything you could want or need for your photo and video adventures.

If you just need a particular lens or camera body for a few days, you can rent one, or if you’re a new photographer and you want to learn some new skills, you can head over to Roberts Camera and participate in their educational events.

And since it’s a smaller operation, you get that down-home, friendly customer service you’d expect. In fact, they consistently have some of the best-reviewed customer service in the industry!

KEH Camera

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It’s been about four decades since KEH opened their doors, and in that time they’ve become the largest pre-owned camera store in the world.

In some cases, you can find deals up to 40 percent off the retail price when you buy used cameras, lenses, and other gear. That obviously represents a significant savings over buying brand-new stuff.

What’s nice about KEH is the process by which they rate their inventory. It’s not a matter of a simple visual inspection - instead, they have an industry-leading 10-point rating system that ensures each item they list for sale is accurately described.

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 photo by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock 

Items are graded on a wide scale, from new at the top to “as-is” at the bottom. In between, there are highly specified grades such as “like new” and “like new minus” so you get a pinpoint idea of just how good of shape the item is in.

There’s a 180-day warranty on the used items you purchase, and a 14-day return policy for peace of mind as well.

Of course, if you have gear you aren’t using anymore, KEH will buy it from you. You can go online and get an instant quote to see what it’s worth and start the process of unloading some of your old, unused gear.

MPB

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Another worthwhile option for the best “camera store near me,” particularly for used gear, is MPB.

What started as one of the largest used retailers in Europe, MPB expanded over here to the U.S. several years ago with operations based in the New York City area.

Since then, their inventory has grown by leaps and bounds, and you can find just about any type of camera, lens or other photography accessory you might need in their collection of used gear.

Like KEH, MPB grades the used gear they buy based on several factors, including its level of functionality, cosmetic appearance, and its physical condition. Furthermore, items are valued based on their current market value and the level of demand for the item.

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 photo by ArisSu via iStock

If you decide to sell or trade your old gear to MPB, they’ll even pick up the tab for shipping!

If you’re a buyer, you can rely on the grading system MPB has developed to determine the exact condition of the item before you buy. Their product specialists painstakingly inspect every single item in their inventory, that way you’re assured that the condition of the item you look at online is the condition of the item that arrives at your doorstep.

When you buy an item, you can choose from all kinds of shipping options, from next-day priority for situations in which you need your gear fast to No Hurry Deliver that takes up to a week in the lower 48 states.

Items you purchase have a six-month warranty, and there’s a seven-day return policy on most items.

Be sure to learn more about MPB by reading our detailed MPB review.

Unique Photo

camera store near me unique photo

Based in New Jersey, Unique Photo might not have the name recognition of Adorama or B&H, but they’re still one of the top options for the “best camera store near me.”

Unique Photo was founded more than 50 years ago in Brooklyn, and while it’s become a worldwide leader in photographic equipment, the company’s workers haven’t forgotten what it means to have humble beginnings.

As such, this family-owned business provides incredible customer service that gets high marks from customers far and wide.

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  photo by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock 

Like many of the other options on this list, Unique Photo isn’t just a camera store. You can buy and sell all kinds of gear, rent photography equipment, have your photos printed, and even buy darkroom supplies. 

Unique Photo also has a Unique University, where you can participate in classes and workshops to refine your photography skills.

Additionally, Unique Photo has gear repair services, 0% financing for 12-months, and a VIP rewards program that allows you to earn points towards money you can spend in the store.

Samy’s Camera

best camera store near me samys camera

Samy’s CameraSamy’s Camera is a California-based company that I’ve personally used before to buy a couple of different rigs.

The first was a Nikon D800 back in the day. I actually drove across L.A. specifically to go to Samy’s to get that camera. The drive was awful, but the experience of working with the fine folks at Samy’s made it worth it.

I was so happy with my experience there that I returned a few years later to pick up a Sony a6300, which I still use to this day. Again, their customer service experience was top-notch.

Of course, Samy’s is a full-service store with all kinds of photography goodies, gear for video making, studio supplies, drones, and much more.

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photo by electravk via iStock 

Over the last four decades, Samy’s has developed a reputation as having a friendly, knowledgeable staff that helps walk you through your purchase so you feel comfortable with what you’re buying. There’s even educational programs to help you develop your skills even further!

Samy’s has a used and trade-in program as well, so if you’re a little short on cash for that new camera you’ve been eyeing, you can sell or trade in your old stuff to help offset the cost.

Add in guaranteed 1-3 day shipping on purchases of $49 or more, leasing options, a rewards program, and more, and you have the makings of one of the best camera stores around!

Amazon

camera store near me amazon

Obviously, Amazon needs no introduction given that it’s the largest company on the planet.

And while it isn’t exactly your local mom-and-pop camera store that you can run to and handle the gear before you buy, it would be silly not to include Amazon on a list of places where you can get photography gear.

Since Jeff Bezos has a hunger for market dominance, Amazon is honestly the most likely candidate for the closest “camera store near me” for most people in the world.

As noted earlier in this article, some retailers on this list sell gray market items. And while most of these companies clearly identify their gray market goods, sometimes Amazon isn’t so great about it.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t shop at Amazon for photography gear. Quite the contrary - it’d be hard to match their inventory of cameras, lenses, and other photo gear. Just be careful when placing an order that you’re not getting gray market equipment if you don’t want it.

Abe’s of Maine

best place to buy a camera online abes of maine

Like numerous other camera stores on this list, Abe’s of Maine started as a small mom-and-pop shop.

Founded in 1979 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Abe’s has since grown to be one of the most popular camera stores in the United States and is one of the best places to buy a camera online.

In addition to a state-of-the-art showroom and warehouse in New Jersey, Abe’s of Maine has a huge online inventory of photography gear and other necessities.

Unsurprisingly, Abe’s humble beginnings mean that its commitment to customer service is second-to-none. In fact, the company’s mantra is to meet your needs and exceed your expectations every day. 

Abe’s is known for having great sales on its merchandise, so consistently checking in with them to see what’s on sale could be hugely beneficial for you. They offer 12 months no interest financing, too.

When you buy online, you can typically get free ground shipping in the United States. Once you get the item, if it doesn’t quite work out, you can return it within a 14-day period.

Best Buy

best online camera store best buy

Perhaps aside from Amazon, Best Buy likely has the best name recognition among the greater public than any other camera store on this list.

What Best Buy brings to the table that none of these other companies does is that they have hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores across the country. Chances are there’s one in your town, or at least within a couple of hours of where you live.

That’s nice from an “I need to see it and touch it before I buy it” perspective.

15 Best Places to Buy a Camera 1

 photo by Sakkawokkie via iStock

Of course, you can also buy camera gear from Best Buy online, which is a much better option if you’re looking for a greater selection of gear. To be honest, Best Buy’s stores do not have a good selection of cameras and lenses at all, so before you hop in the car and drive to one, you better check that store’s inventory online.

Another potential issue is that most of what Best Buy has in stock in their stores is geared towards beginner photographers. If you’re an enthusiast, and certainly if you’re a professional, this is not your best option.

However, with a 15-day return policy, free shipping on many items, and door-busting sales throughout the year, Best Buy is one of the best online camera stores for beginner photographers.

Hunt’s Photo

camera store near me hunts photo

Hunt’s PhotoHunt’s Photo is based in New England and has been doing business there for about 70 years.

In that time, the fine folks at Hunt’s have garnered a reputation as being some of the most friendly, knowledgeable folks in the industry.

Today, Hunt’s is still family-owned, but they’ve expanded their footprint well beyond New England with a robust online retail store. 

You’ll find excellent prices at Hunt’s, and with a 30-day return policy, you have ample time to test-drive your purchases to determine whether they’re the right fit for you. 

camera store near me 1

  photo by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock 

If you live in New England, you can join the Hunt’s team for educational courses, photo walks, and the like, where you can learn new skills and meet other photography enthusiasts.

From audio and video gear to used gear to binoculars, lighting, and gear rentals, Hunt’s is definitely a full-service photography store that’s worth checking out. Particularly if you’re in New England, Hunt’s is one of the top “camera stores near me” for sure!

National Camera Exchange

best camera store near me national camera exchange

Yet another option for the “best camera store near me” started as a regional business. National Camera Exchange has been in business in the Minneapolis area since 1914, and has been going strong ever since.

With both new and used gear for sale, you can likely find precisely what you need at National Camera Exchange. If your order is over $50, you get free shipping, and there’s a 30-day return policy to go along with that (though a restocking fee applies on purchases over $1,500).

In addition to a wide selection of DSLRs, mirrorless, and point-and-shoot cameras, National Camera Exchange also has a nice selection of lenses, video equipment, lighting gear, camera bags, tripods, memory cards, and just about any other goodie you might need for your kit.

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   photo by EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock 

You’d do well to keep tabs on their sale items and clearance items, as you can save quite a bit of money on new gear. National Camera Exchange also has deep discounts on refurbished and outlet items.

There’s printing services, a cleaning and repair department, archiving services, and much, much more, too. There’s a reason why people in the upper midwest turn to National Camera Exchange - they have excellent services, good prices, and a knowledgeable staff.

Mike’s Camera

best camera store near me mikes camera 

Mike’s CameraMike’s Camera is a regional photography supplier based in Colorado and Northern California. If you’ve never heard of them, you’re missing out!

Not only is Mike’s a great place to buy a new camera or other new photography gear, but it’s also a prime choice for having your photos printed. And that’s not just paper prints - you can get all sorts of items from metal prints to custom frames to mugs to calendars when you work with Mike’s.

Mike’s also has a gear rental service and an extensive repair shop as well. And no matter what you need Mike’s to do for you, you’ll get excellent customer service throughout the process.

In fact, Mike’s has won tons of photography industry awards thanks to their commitment to the customer. That includes the Best Camera Store Award by Photo Trade News.

Precision Camera & Video

best camera store near me precision camera

Austin, Texas-based Precision Camera & Video is yet another regional camera store that has deep roots locally, but a wide net thanks to a robust online store.

Specializing in both new and used equipment, Precision Camera likely has just what you’re looking for no matter your budget.

In addition to selling photo gear, they also have rental and repair services, an on-site photo lab, and they offer educational courses for folks that live in the Austin area.

Interestingly, Precision camera uses their classroom space as a studio as well, so if you’re in Austin and need a studio, Precision can accommodate!

If you’re not in Texas, you benefit from not having to pay sales tax, and with free ground shipping on orders of more than $200, you can end up saving a pretty penny.

 



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It's Coming: Nikon D820 or D900 with 72MP Sensor!

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Ask any Nikon shooter what their favorite full frame camera body is, and the chances are good that they’ll say the Nikon D800 (shown above) or the D810.

These venerable cameras have a lot of excellent features that have made them so popular over the last few years, not the least of which is the groundbreaking (at the time) 36.3-megapixel sensor.

But it’s time for a replacement, and the rumor mill is in full swing regarding what Nikon has coming.

Something with a 72-megapixel sensor, as alluded to in the title, sure would be nice, though it’s not a guarantee.

While there isn’t much consensus about the name of the forthcoming camera - it might be the D820, the D850, the D900, or something else - what we do know based on past models (and competition from Sony and Canon) is that this new camera will likely have some pretty outstanding features.

For example, Sony has been using their 42.4-megapixel sensor for years, and Canon outdid that recently with its 50.6-megapixel sensor in the 5DS and 5DSR.

Canon is also rumored to have a 70-megapixel sensor coming in the future, so it stands to reason that Nikon would want to outdo everyone else and go big in the sensor department, thus the rumored 72-megapixel sensor for the D810 replacement.

We’ll discuss the sensor issue in more detail a little later.

For now, let’s explore a few other questions related to this hot topic in more detail. Tom Greenwood of Sydney Portraits outlines

When will it be released?

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Though Nikon hasn’t offered up an official release date, we can get a decent idea of when it might be released according to past patterns.

For example, the Nikon D800 was released in February 2012. The D810 (shown above) came about 2 ½ years later in June 2014.

Other Nikon models have followed a similar two-year release pattern - the D7100 came out in February 2013 and its replacement, the D7200 was released in March 2015.

Based on that pattern, we can assume that the D810 replacement will be hitting shelves very soon being that the clock is already past the average 2-2 ½ year release cycle.

What’s more, it’s been reported that some camera stores have stopped stocking new D810s, which it’s believed is due to the imminent release of its replacement. However, at the time of writing, no official announcement from Nikon has been made.

What are the specs?

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Nailing down the specs on a hotly anticipated camera can be incredibly difficult to do.

Unfortunately, that task seems to be even more difficult with the D820/D850/D900 because there is an even greater level of fake information out there purely designed to get people to click on the link.

However, we can assume a few things based on past Nikon cameras.

Look at the D810 as a Baseline

With that in mind, we can use the specs of the Nikon D810 in combination with some more reliable rumors about its replacement to forge an idea of what we might expect.

Here’s the specs of the D810:

  • 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 35.9x24mm sensor
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
  • Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus system with 51 AF points (15 cross-type)
  • Base ISO 64
  • Expanded ISO to 51200
  • Shutter speed range of 1/8000 to 30 sec
  • 5 FPS continuous shooting (6 FPS in DX mode and 7 FPS with MB-D12 battery grip)
  • Video shooting at 1920×1080 (1080p) at 24p, 30p, 60p
  • 3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD with 1,229,000 dots
  • Weather sealed magnesium alloy body
  • MSRP: $3,299

Given that as a base, we can reasonably assume that the D810 replacement will have improved features in most, if not all of the above categories.

D820/D850/D900 Sensor Size

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As noted above, the battle for the biggest sensor has been heating up in recent years.

One rumor that seems persistent is that the D820/D850/D900 will have a sensor with an incredible 70-80-megapixels.

This seems like a legitimate number for two reasons: First, the D800 made an enormous leap from previous models in the megapixel department, so it stands to reason that the D810 replacement will do the same.

Second, with Canon unveiling the 5DS and 5DSR which both have a 50.6-megapixel sensor and Sony unveiling the A7R II with a 42.4-megapixel sensor, it’s reasonable to assume that Nikon wants to take the megapixel war to the next level.

D820/D850/D900 Image Processor

The D800 uses the EXPEED 3 processor while the D810 uses the EXPEED 4. With the release of the EXPEED 5 processor in late 2016, it’s likely that the D820/D850/D900 will make use of that processor, along with their other high-end cameras like the D5 and D500.

D820/D850/D900 ISO Range

Though there aren’t any confirmed reports regarding the new camera’s ISO range, again, we can get some clues from past improvements from the D800 to the D810.

The D800 had a native ISO sensitivity of 100-6400 while the D810 ranged from ISO 64-12800. Assuming a similar pattern, we can surmise that the D810 replacement might have an ISO range in the neighborhood of 32-25600

D820/D850/D900 Video Capabilities

Again, there are no confirmed specifications regarding video on the D810 replacement, but given where video is headed, it would be shocking if the new camera didn’t have at least 4K shooting capabilities.

I say “at least” because there are some rumors that the camera might have 6K or 8K video. The trend is certainly in that direction, though 4K would be an upgrade given the D810’s 1080p capabilities.

What else do we know?

Unfortunately, there are precious few other details about the D820/D850/D900 available at this time. Heck, there’s not even consensus about what the camera will even be called!

However, it has been reported that production of the D810 has ended, which seems to be the strongest signal yet that its successor is on the way to store shelves shortly.

It’s just a waiting game now, which is something die-hard Nikon fans are growing weary of. As noted above, the roughly two-year release cycle is already past, and one thing that gear heads can’t stand is waiting longer than expected for what is likely going to be one incredible camera.

In the meantime, check out the video above in which Matt Granger discusses the D810 and goes over his wishlist of features for the D810’s replacement.



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