Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Camper

Merry Christmas to me! Yes indeed. Yesterday I finally went ahead and purchased – the long overdue – Canon 5DmkII upgrade. I simply could not wait any longer. Needless to say, I am pretty stoked to get my hands on it.
Half a year ago I started my research for a new camera. Initially because we needed a new camera at work (I am a graphic designer/photographer for a design agency which does a lot of work for Coca-Cola, Kraft, Old Dutch and The Calgary Stampede). But it was really an excuse to get myself the camera I wanted, at work. So we ended up with the – surprise, surprise – Canon 5DmkII and the 24-105mm ƒ4L. After a couple of test runs in the outdoors I was sure I wanted one for myself.
So 2 weeks ago, my search began. Who could offer me the best price for what I wanted?

Living near Calgary my first instinct was to look at The Camera Store. I knew in the past they had had a couple of kits in stock. But lately it's been a gong show. I think they had one or two bodies in stock a month ago and since then, nothing. So my search continued. At first I was reluctant to shop elsewhere. But after reading Dan Jurak's post about what he had encountered with The Camera Store, I felt ok about shopping somewhere else.

Second stop was Vistek. I really don't like Vistek. They where about $100 more expensive than The Camera Store. But I was sure, Vistek would be one of those companies that would offer sales during boxing day week. And sure enough they slashed prices – on the Rebel, 7D, Nikon's – but not really on the 5DmkII. Nope they price stayed constant at $100 more than The Camera Store. But I could 'Save $200'. Yeah right. Maybe these little flags work on the unprepared customer but not on me.
I looked at Black's (another company). Same price. It is like everybody around town is looking at one player and are matching their prices to whatever The Camera Store is setting them at. And I mean to the cent. What a load of BS.

Thanks to a reader on Dan's blog I came across CanadaCamera. OK we where getting closer. The 5DmkII was advertised for $9 cheaper than The Camera Store. Hmmm ok.... and after doing a 'dry run' on the ordering I found out that Shipping and Handling was $0. This could not be true! Free? In my book Free does not exist anymore. After some research I found a shipping page on their website that told me I should pay $16 or something for the shipping of the camera. Now their system said $0... So I wrote them an email. And sure enough, it was a 'bug' in their system. Maybe I could have negotiated free shipping but I didn't feel like it. My trust in them was gone.

Dan Jurak (if you don't know this by now, he is an awesome guy) had pointed me towards an eBay seller he has had great success with over the last years. The seller is called 'ProDigital2000' and his price on the 5DmkII was sharp (about $50 cheaper then everybody else). And real free shipping! After a little email the seller confirmed that shipment to Alberta was indeed free and last night I went ahead and ordered it. eBay wins again.