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09-09-2016, 09:36 PM   #1
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In general, are DSLR's cheaper in Japan, than US, UK, Aus, Can?

You can use any currency you want, but I wanted to know if Japan prices are generally better, for any manufacturers. thanks

09-09-2016, 09:45 PM   #2
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Prices for anything in Japan are generally not better. Things are quite expensive there.
09-09-2016, 09:53 PM   #3
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An odd occurrence though are the numerous Japanese vendors selling brand new Sigma 17-50mm lenses for around 300 USD. Even with the 'discount code', the cheapest price here in the US is around 400 USD. The 1.4x HD Pentax converters are going for around 150 USD less than stateside for the same, brand new item shipped here.

Those had me wondering the same thing.. are the prices there cheaper for many other camera goodies?
09-09-2016, 10:32 PM   #4
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Generally speaking new cameras and accessories were more expensive than in germany when i was in tokyo this april, i would guess + 5% to 30%, even with tax removed for foreigners
Of course i wanted a pentax souvenier but ended up with just a pentax strap thats only available in japan for a ridiculous price.

On the other hand used gear is much cheaper in japan, you can get a 6x7 with grip, 105mm lens and metering finder for around 300€, i bought a mamiya universal press with a 100mm 3.5 and 6x7 back in good condition for 200€. There are used camera stores everywhere, especially in akihabara and roppongi.

09-09-2016, 10:37 PM   #5
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Some things are cheaper, others are more expensive, but generally the US enjoys some of the best deals all-around (due to competition, third-party/grey market sellers, and no tax for many online purchases).

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09-09-2016, 10:53 PM   #6
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For camera gear I certainly have trouble finding anything cheaper than the deals on offer in the US. Unfortunately for the international market, postage is anything but cheap however.
09-10-2016, 12:29 AM   #7
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In genreral, Camera gear is cheaper in US than EU while purchasing power is the other way...we could go forever..

---------- Post added 09-10-16 at 12:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
For camera gear I certainly have trouble finding anything cheaper than the deals on offer in the US. Unfortunately for the international market, postage is anything but cheap however.
and taxes
09-10-2016, 03:44 AM - 1 Like   #8
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From what I know, Japan is generally more expensive (as are most island nations), except for a couple of niche things. Maybe used cameras are cheaper, and maybe some gear that is made over there. But I doubt all new cameras are cheaper.

That said, it would be interesting to compare end prices across the world. Maybe this forum can do something like that? Just so we know where to plan our vacations

09-10-2016, 07:20 AM   #9
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I can remember many years ago, like late 60' and early 70's, the prevailing wisdom was that buying an SLR and lenses in Japan or other parts of Asia saved you a huge amount. A good friend of mine, who was in the military at the time, was quite proud of the deal he got on a Nikon F, only to find it for even less in a NYC camera store after he got home. Still, that idea remains ingrained in peoples thoughts.

Then there was the warranty issue. Stuff bought overseas had no US warranty and probably couldn't even get fixed although for the most part, the cameras and lenses were pretty reliable and that risk was small. The cheap cameras in the NYC stores were "gray market" and also had no warranty. There's still some gray market gear still being sold today.

Thinking logically, gear SHOULD be cheaper the closer you are to the source of the product. The issue today is that cameras, lenses and/or components are made all over the world and the final assembly probably takes place somewhere other than Japan. Worldwide shipping costs are figured in to the price.
09-10-2016, 07:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
An odd occurrence though are the numerous Japanese vendors selling brand new Sigma 17-50mm lenses for around 300 USD. Even with the 'discount code', the cheapest price here in the US is around 400 USD. The 1.4x HD Pentax converters are going for around 150 USD less than stateside for the same, brand new item shipped here.

Those had me wondering the same thing.. are the prices there cheaper for many other camera goodies?
Sigma lost patent infringement case with that lens in Japan, that's why they are so cheap there.
09-10-2016, 07:50 AM - 1 Like   #11
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I would say that there is little or no benefit in buying a DSLR in Japan. The two things that seem to be cheaper are:
- 3rd party lenses, like the Sigma mentioned above and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, which can be had for $250
- Second hand lenses. I get the feeling DA lenses are bit cheaper over here, and there are loads of the available now the K-1 has come out. But the main advantage is that the better stores have such a lot of stock that you can often try out and choose between 5 different copies of lenses. I was in a shop with about 8 copies of the HD DA 20-40 last week, for example. Those shops are interesting to browse, just because of the variety of stuff they have. One shop owner once showed me serial no.1 of some ancient looking Leica (his pride and joy - not for sale!). Actually, used lenses are valued in Japan remarkably close to average price you see in the lens database here.

So, you might want go camera shopping in Japan, but do it out of interest or fun, and not in the hope of getting a bargain.
09-10-2016, 09:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Second hand lenses. I get the feeling DA lenses are bit cheaper over here
Used gear is going to sell for what the local marketplace considers it to be worth so you may very well find some great deals on used gear overseas. Sellers of used gear will usually usually drop their price considerably if it hasn't sold in a reasonable amount of time, especially if they need the money. But, you're right about camera shopping. The bargains just might not be there.
09-10-2016, 09:32 AM   #13
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A lot of the price differences people see is due to where the various countries decide to add their taxes to the product. in the US various sales taxes are added when the unit is purchased and not hidden in the sticker price. ie, I got my K1 in Montana. They have no sales tax. So I paid the $1796 price and that was it. In New York there are various political entities that charge sales taxes. Where I live it is 8.25%. So If I had purchased it at home the camera would have been $1796 +
09-10-2016, 11:38 AM   #14
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If you are going to Japan you should really check out some used camera stores, though. You could find something rare or interesting
09-10-2016, 12:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Used gear is going to sell for what the local marketplace considers it to be worth so you may very well find some great deals on used gear overseas. Sellers of used gear will usually usually drop their price considerably if it hasn't sold in a reasonable amount of time, especially if they need the money. But, you're right about camera shopping. The bargains just might not be there.
The Japanese also have a thing for new products. Second-hand things have a bit of a stigma (books/manga seem to be the exception), so people don't like to buy them if they can avoid it. Bargain-hunting is a big part of culture across East Asia (although Japan less so) but the bargain needs to be on a new item. People don't generally brag "I got this used lens for 50% lower!" but would if it's "I got this new lens for 25% off!"

As a result, you can get good prices on used items. Heck, new manga costs Y500 per copy yet you can buy it for Y100 at Book-Off and it looks unread. Why would anyone buy new at such a discount? CDs are even better: Y3000 new and usually less than Y1000 used.

But when I went to Yodobashi Camera (<3), I found the lens prices really high--all MSRP or more. Filters are crazy expensive too and wow oh wow on memory cards, but I bought a Marumi polarizer because it was only a bit more than getting it here from B&H.
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