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07-07-2009, 09:03 AM   #16
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My local shop (Pete's Photo World of Cincinnati, actually a small local chain) was bought by Cord Camera, which is a chain owned or helmed by a friend of Pete's. Pete even still works in the shops, and I gather felt out of touch with customers and didn't like the headache of business management. We also have a couple of Ritz stores in town. Neither carries much of a Pentax selection, and in fact they seem more likely to carry digital picture frames, camera bags, and Nikon/Canon/Sony than anything else.

However, I've spent hours on several different instances talking to the sales staff at either, and have come away with a better appreciation of the field each time. I have never been pressured toward one brand over the other (aside from the not-quite-trivial implicit pressure, by virtue of the selection, away from anything not Nikon/Canon/Sony). I've been counseled away from bigger and more expensive, often with the suggestion to save money on bodies and buy glass. Perhaps this is due to my usually only talking, and rarely buying.

Even without these stores offering the broader selection they used to, in my experience, they're offering advice applicable to any brand or model of camera. To Mister Guy's point, or most of it, this is invaluable.

Moreover, I lament not only not being able to handle DSLRs by other suppliers, but also not being able to handle used gear. The last local shop with used inventory closed up a couple of months ago, an especially sharp pain in contrast to my recent trip to New Mexico where they continue to flourish. I had never really known about the older stuff, but upon seeing a Nikon F2-AS, I felt a serious longing for it. Now, after being on this forum, I've been eyeing a Pentax LX, a seriously nice looking camera. I'm unlikely, though, to get to handle one in any but the most remote of cases.

07-07-2009, 09:36 AM   #17
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I can't find Pentax on the shelf anywhere here in Dallas. That said, I would always buy online because it's cheaper.

I wonder if Cannon and Nikon pay places like Ritz or it's just all the advertising they do?
07-07-2009, 09:51 AM   #18
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IMO the brick and mortar local camera shop business model is dead. Who can afford to keep all that different stock in the stores only to have people buy online? They lost a significant source of steady income with the switch from film to digital. It is just like local hobby shops. They are rapidly dying out since it is so easy to buy anything you can imagine online, and get it in a day. The last camera I bought in a local brick and mortar was my Pentax MX which I bought used a LONG time ago. I think eventually the only DSLR cameras most of us will see locally are the entry-level models at places like Wal-Mart, Staples, etc. etc.
07-07-2009, 10:00 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
I can't find Pentax on the shelf anywhere here in Dallas. That said, I would always buy online because it's cheaper.
Buying on line was not always cheaper. When Arlington Camera and Fort Worth Camera carried Pentax their prices were equal to or lower than B&H and Adorama.

My point is really about customer service. I like to see and touch before I buy.

07-07-2009, 10:12 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwbigd Quote
My point is really about customer service. I like to see and touch before I buy.
+1

Ergonomics and build quality is a big part of the equation for some people. Camera bodies all fit in the hand differently. There are some that I find comfortable and others not so much. Since the K7 is shrunk somewhat, I was hoping to handle one before putting down my money. Lack of presence in brick-and-mortar takes that option away.
07-07-2009, 10:29 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by K10Perry Quote
Prophoto in Portland is no longer a Pentax seller either...
Truly!? I was in their store about a month ago and they still had Pentax. I guess that leaves Shutterbug, Citizen and Camera Connection in Gresham.

Steve
07-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwbigd Quote

...I like to see and touch before I buy.
Me too. I sort of wish the big camera shows would come back into vogue so that we can at least see before we buy.

Steve
07-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
They all stock Pentax online, but I dare you to try to find one in-store.
The only new camera I purchased in a store was the Minolta Himatic 7s 35mm rangefinder in early 1966 and a few months I ordered a Canon Pellix QL with 58mm F1.2 and 200mm F3.5 from Hong Kong by mail order when I was in Alaska . In 1974 I ordered the Pentax 6x7 system from Hong Kong and my last camera was a Canon TX1 also from Hong Kong with 1 day delivery to NJ. My K-7 is coming from J&R with 5% Bing cashback with free 1 day shipping and NO NJ SALES TAX. I don't see why anyone would need to touch the camera before purchase unless they have no clue what they are getting.


Canon TX1 one day delivery from Hong Kong

07-07-2009, 10:47 AM   #24
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The reason that I heard that Ritz doesn't carry Pentax is that Pentax won't sell them cameras on credit, which is a smart move on Pentax's part. Ritz owes millions to Nikon and Canon.
07-07-2009, 10:50 AM   #25
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Pentax raised the minimum yearly orders per dealer to $100,000 from $50,000 and the deadbeat Pentax dealers lost their Pentax franchise.
07-07-2009, 11:05 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwbigd Quote
Buying on line was not always cheaper. When Arlington Camera and Fort Worth Camera carried Pentax their prices were equal to or lower than B&H and Adorama.

My point is really about customer service. I like to see and touch before I buy.
Not only that, but I like to compare Price + Overnight shipping before I call something cheaper, so for the K-7, if a local store had one on hand for less than $50 to $75 more than the online price, they'd have won out. It's tricky to sell to new users without that visceral reaction of picking up the camera. Now that I've finally gotten to touch mine, I really do firmly believe the K-7 is a camera ANYONE can pick up and not want to put back down.
07-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #27
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It would be a cold day in hell before I drove to purchase anything to pay $50 -$75more than what I could get delivered to my door.
07-07-2009, 11:37 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jackm Quote
Even though they share the same name. The online store and their brick stores are different companies.
Only from an organizational viewpoint Jack... Ritz and Wolf's B&M and online stores are all owned by David Ritz who screwed up when he partnered with his brother who owned Boater's World. Boater's World sank and almost took Ritz and Wolf Camera with it.
07-07-2009, 05:20 PM   #29
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The reason I like to buy from a store is if something goes wrong, I have a place to take it back to and talk to someone, rather than boxing up and sending it off and doing lots of hoping.
07-07-2009, 08:11 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
It would be a cold day in hell before I drove to purchase anything to pay $50 -$75more than what I could get delivered to my door.
On a $1000+ purchase, the $50-75 is money well spent if purchased locally. I always give the local camera shop the chance to price match B&H and often enough they are able to do so. Think of it this way...the kid that sweeps the floor and helps in the lab could very well be your son or daughter. No store...No job.

Steve
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