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Buying cameras in Japan
Posted By: rojaba, 05-10-2017, 12:53 AM

Has anyone ever bought a camera in Japan? These prices seem pretty good (some 700 euros for a K-3ii, which is an atarashii/new one)
(??)PENTAX (??????) K-3 II ??????ID?4549212294006?????? | ??????????????????????????????

Obviously involves a trip to Japan but that would sound to me like killing two birds with one stone

Are there any obvious caveats like not being able to set the UI to English or being given the "wrong" kind of plug/current for the charger?
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05-10-2017, 12:58 AM   #2
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The menus are the same. The plug will be different, but it uses a generic connector that you can easily swap out with one you currently own.

Also, warranty service will cost you 50 euros per incident rather than being free.

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05-10-2017, 01:10 AM   #3
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I'm sure the shop staff will set the menu to English for you if you ask. The D-LI90 battery charger unit itself uses a standard figure 8 connector so all you need to do is use a male cord from your country, something you probably have lying around the house or can buy for a few euros online.

The price of a trip to Japan will probably negate any savings you make, but hey, Japan is fun! Beware of the approaching heat, though - from June onwards it really is hot. Hot and wet in June, hot and sunny (but humid) in July and August.
05-10-2017, 02:12 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rojaba Quote
Has anyone ever bought a camera in Japan? These prices seem pretty good (some 700 euros for a K-3ii, which is an atarashii/new one)
(??)PENTAX (??????) K-3 II ??????ID?4549212294006?????? | ??????????????????????????????

Obviously involves a trip to Japan but that would sound to me like killing two birds with one stone

Are there any obvious caveats like not being able to set the UI to English or being given the "wrong" kind of plug/current for the charger?
You say that it obviously involves a trip to Japan, but couldn't you have a friend in Japan make the purchase for you and ship it to U.S. or elsewhere?

05-10-2017, 02:15 AM   #5
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On the other hand, if you had to go to Japan for business or wanted to go there for a holiday anyway, the cost of the trip becomes immaterial.
05-10-2017, 04:56 AM   #6
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I got my k3ii used on amazon.jp and it was immaculate, about $780 with 18-135 WR and a spare battery, ~3500 shutter actuations. Seemed like a good deal.

The plug is the same as the US. Japan has slightly different voltages (which aren't even the same across Japan itself), but the plugs are standard two-prong.

Menus are easy to swap, if you need any help in that area message me and I can walk you through it if its in Japanese.
05-10-2017, 05:27 AM   #7
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Buying used from Japan

I have purchased 4-5 lenses from Japan, and I have always received extremely clean, excellent+ quality. My most recent purchase was the incomparable Pentax-FA* 85mm f 1.4, which arrived last month. The seller's listing specified that the lens had a spot on the hood, but I went over it with a fine-toothed comb (so to say), and could not find the spot.
05-10-2017, 08:29 AM   #8
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Japanese people are super meticulous. I have very high respect for their workmanship. I worked with a client briefly who was visiting from Japan and he pointed out that the staples on the hand outs I made did not have exact same orientation. Not that it mattered cos the staples were holding the handouts good but then its the way you look at it. That would also explain why MIJ holds value over most things made in other places on this earth.

05-10-2017, 12:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
I have purchased 4-5 lenses from Japan, and I have always received extremely clean, excellent+ quality. My most recent purchase was the incomparable Pentax-FA* 85mm f 1.4, which arrived last month. The seller's listing specified that the lens had a spot on the hood, but I went over it with a fine-toothed comb (so to say), and could not find the spot.
If I may ask, what market place did you use to find sellers from Japan?
05-10-2017, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
On the other hand, if you had to go to Japan for business or wanted to go there for a holiday anyway, the cost of the trip becomes immaterial.
That's what I do frequently and I have bought cameras and lenses on these occasions. Besides competitive prices Japanese shops like BIC Camera or Yodobashi offer a wide selection of cameras, lenses and accessories to play with and sales people who know a lot about photography.
If you are in Tokyo it is also worth to check out Pentax Square! Often they have demo models at reduced prices.
And even when the K3 I bought in Tokyo started with a Japanese menue it was a simple task to select "English" ... it didn't offer the option to select "German" though.

Make sure you buy "tax free" when you are only short time in Japan (although VAT is fairly low, but at least you can save a few percent).

You might want to check if you have to declare the goods at customs when you land at your home country. Import duties/taxes might make the deal less attractive ... if you declare ...

Last edited by volley; 05-10-2017 at 12:36 PM.
05-10-2017, 04:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
If you are in Tokyo it is also worth to check out Pentax Square! Often they have demo models at reduced prices.

Ooh, thanks for this. I'm flying out for Tokyo tomorrow morning!
05-10-2017, 08:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rojaba Quote
Has anyone ever bought a camera in Japan? These prices seem pretty good (some 700 euros for a K-3ii, which is an atarashii/new one)
(??)PENTAX (??????) K-3 II ??????ID?4549212294006?????? | ??????????????????????????????

Obviously involves a trip to Japan but that would sound to me like killing two birds with one stone

Are there any obvious caveats like not being able to set the UI to English or being given the "wrong" kind of plug/current for the charger?
Once you get done at the biggest camera store in Tokyo (video below), the airfare and accomodations will seem cheap.

05-11-2017, 02:57 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I may be going to Japan on holiday in a month but I wouldn't buy a DSLR there as I'd be too worried about needing a repair under guarantee. Lenses on the other hand, if you test them and they're working, have less to go wrong.

My wife may need to take my bank & credit cards away at some point. Probably the first day.
05-11-2017, 03:42 AM   #14
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There are places that sell film SLRs & their lenses too, aren't there?

(Just keeping things in mind if I am ever in Japan for some other reason.)
05-13-2017, 04:56 AM   #15
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I'm heading to Tokyo in a week, and while my budget is more used 24 mm than new body, are there any good used shops I should hit?

Thanks,

-Eric
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