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03-02-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
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Need answer/advice

Hello all,

This is my first post, and I'm hoping all you more experienced photographers can help me. I have been shooting for many years, but just as a hobby. I presently have a Pentax ist DS and several lenses. My birthday is tomorrow, and my wife has succumbed to my whining and is getting me a Pentax k-7. I've been shopping around for the best price, as I'm nowhere close to being a millionaire. But, I do want as Pentax because I can't afford to buy all new lenses etc.

Here's my question: I have found a k-7 (body only) on-line at Camera King for $835. But it is what they call an "import model." I spoke with their salesman on the phone and he said that virtually the only difference is that the domestic model has a 1 year warranty through Pentax, while the import model has a 1 year warranty through Camera King. Call me a cynic, but something seems fishy. Why would Pentax (or any company) let someone else import their product for such a lower price to undercut their own sales? Plus, can anyone tell me anything (positive or negative) about Camera King? Does this sound like an ok deal, or am I right to be suspicious?

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

03-02-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
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The bottom line is this is what is called a grey market camera.

the cameras are not imported with pentax corp permission and pentax will not warrant the camera.

there are several good articles on grey market resellers and warranties that have been written in photo magazines over the past couple of years.

the bottom line is buyer beware.
03-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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Let's do the math....

A "proper-imported" K-7 body is $970 (check Amazon).

So you're looking at $135 "saving."

Is Pentax official warranty worth $135 more than Camera King store warranty? Only you can answer this question.

For me, the answer is yes. I'd rather pay $135 more to get Pentax warranty. Note that the "standard" warranty from Pentax is 1 year, but if you call Pentax and nicely ask for the addition 2 year warranty, they'll send you a card, not only good for 2 more years (for a total of 3 years), but also good for one time CLA during the warranty period.

It's the exact same extended warranty as this one. The only difference is that Pentax doesn't charge you.

Note: this extended warranty does not apply to the K-x.
03-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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Always check Reseller Ratings at Store Ratings & Reviews - - Shop Safe & Avoid Scams. Camera Kings has many less than favorable reviews. Adorama and B&H have excellent reputations. I pay more for service and reliability.

03-02-2010, 05:49 PM   #5
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Get it from a reputable seller and pay the going rate. Camera Kings (,,,, more..) - - Reviews, Ratings and Prices at ResellerRatings It's not worth the hassle.
03-02-2010, 08:11 PM   #6
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I read a lot of bad ratings when looking into Camera King and one other cut rate shop while spooling up my kit and feeding my (now satisfied) LBA.
03-02-2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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Things you know:

*The first market camera will have a warranty that, as long as you've taken reasonable care of the camera, will repair or replace it if it breaks during the warranty period.
Because warranty work falls on the wrong side of the ledger, the importer will go to some expense to ensure that the camera is taken care of during the delivery process.

*The gray market camera will have no official warranty, and quite likely will have a store warranty with enough weasel words to bollux a Philadelphia lawyer if something goes wrong.
For all you know, your camera was delivered by Yak cart over the Steppes and then by ox cart until the courier found a road and managed to hitch a ride.

Pay a reasonable price for an officially imported camera.

03-03-2010, 08:19 AM   #8
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Original Poster

Thanks for everyone's input and advice. It all made very good sense and kind of verified what I was afraid of. I am going to pay a bit more and get it from a reputable dealer (B&H Photo).

Thanks again. A LOT!
03-03-2010, 09:03 AM   #9
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How come none of my B&H stuff came with any warranty cards?

I was able to register the kx kit online, but I didn't do anything for the Tamron lens or ring flash.

Is the receipt enough for warranty purposes?

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