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Photo shop etiquette

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eldonito View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eldonito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Photo shop etiquette
    Posted: 28 September 2018 at 11:11
Dear Dyxum,

It may seem like a silly question, but I've never done this before, so here goes:

Presumably it's perfectly possible, so what's the etiquette for walking into a new store and asking to try out several thousand dollars' worth of camera gear?

I'm really interested in actually getting my hands on an A6500 and an A7, probably with some appropriate glass to get a real sense of weight distribution, button feel and placement, nose rubbing on a sensitive touchscreen... you get the idea! I'm seriously considering switching to an E-mount camera this year, and there's a lot of controversy online about their ergonomics, so I don't feel confident enough to simply place an online order based on specs and reviews.

So.. how do you do it? I'm in a completely new town (new country for that matter) so I have no buddy shopkeepers to indulge me. I was thinking about walking in with a friendly smile at a moment when the store doesn't look too busy, and ask to try out an A7iii with a 24-105 G lens, if they have one, please and thank you. Am I likely to get booted out or (perhaps more likely) politely declined for having unwittingly triggered some red flag? I mean, I doubt there's a secret hand-shake, but maybe there are ways to go about it with better chances of success.

This feels like a letter to a dating advice column but, believe me, I am equally anxious about it :-)
 



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Love View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Love Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 11:25
Hi there and welcome to Sweden! :-)
Well, Im not the best to answer in general about shop etiquette, but we have a new photostore in Stockholm, close to central station who is designed a bit like a "center for photography" where I think you can try a lot of stuff. Check with them if they have your things in stock and pay them a visit!
https://www.scandinavianphoto.se/butik/stockholmvasa

But be aware! Every visit there tends to be expensive..
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Muby View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Muby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 11:32
It may be culture specific - I often go in the major photo equipment retailer over here and test the gear they have on display. They have a few units from each major manufacturer available for the specific purposes you mentioned (so I never felt like I was crossing any line) and even ask for some of the lenses they have in closed/exhibit only cabinets (once they even went down to the warehous and brought me a lens to test out even if I specifically told them that I just wanted to check it out and not buy it at that time).

You may be better off with getting responses from Dyxum members from the specific country/town yo are in right now, but never underestimate the power of a smile .
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 14:39
If you go in to try and buy elsewhere, etiquette says "never". If you go in and potentially buy there, you can do it. Just go in and let them inform you about your options. Just tell them you're considering the A6500 or the A7 and ask them what the advantages and disadvantages are of these cameras and then ask them if you can get a closer look. And when you decide on buying, buy from them. You do not have to buy from them there and then.

This kind of shop exist to try and then buy the camera. There might be slight differences between countries/cultures, but in general this is it.
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eldonito View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eldonito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 14:56
Thank you for all your responses! I guess my anxiety was a bit ill-placed -- the idea is that they want you to try out the camera because they want you to buy it: it's something I completely missed when online shopping. And checking with them in advance whether they have something in stock also takes uncertainty out of the equation.

I'll try to wait a few more weeks to see if Sony will announce a new APS-C body, but I'll definitely check out Scandinavian Photo: that place does look amazing.

Thanks again!
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Fred_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 17:35
Just organise a Dyxum meeting, that is a perfect place to try out other stuff from fellow Dyxumers (with a high GAS risk though)
 



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eldonito View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eldonito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 21:38
Originally posted by Fred_S Fred_S wrote:

Just organise a Dyxum meeting, that is a perfect place to try out other stuff from fellow Dyxumers (with a high GAS risk though)


A wonderful suggestion, except I'm a terrible introvert (you may have picked up on that from the original post )
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Fred_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 21:43
Even more a reason, it feels like family with fellow Dyxumers
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horizon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 22:12
G'day eldonito,

I am an extreme introvert, but I am more than happy to meetup with other Dyxumers and share knowledge and even try out others members photogear when the opportunity presents itself. I personally find it easier to meet up with fellow members here than actually go into a store.

My suggestion would be to place your Dyxum meetup request prior to going into the camera store, that way, you can actually get the owner / operator perspective, pros/cons on the camera that you are considering, without the marketing sales pitch.

You can still see alot of the gear and who knows, it may lead to doing a group trip to the camera store that is being considered and this may lead to better service and deals for all.

Again as stated in previous posts, if you go into a store and get good service and help there, purchase there. Support those that support you. And if you get good service from a particular sales staff, always go to that same staff member if possible, this will assist in building up a rapport with the person and possible better deals when they become available.

Regards,
Craig
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eldonito View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eldonito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2018 at 21:59
So... I did check out Scandinavian Photo. What an amazing place! Just seeing all the latest gear physically laid out in front of me was a first for me.

And here comes a part I have mixed feelings about: I bought a new camera, the Fujifilm X-H1. As an A-mount user with APSC lenses it was a wash financially whether I stuck with Sony or jumped ship. Ultimately I was sold by the xh1 ibis, sensor capability and ergonomics: its grip dimensions are practically identical to my a77's but it's miles ahead technologically: sensor, color, af gimmicks and mf aids... Much to be happy about. I also got the 10-24/4 (new hiking walk-around) and 35/1.4 for a normal. I look forward to adapting my A-mount lenses (15/4 & 100/3.5 for macro, 16/2 for astro). The 8/2.8 fisheye and 135/2 by Rokinon are on my Xmas list :-)

But this also means I won't be able to benefit from critiques in the dyxum community. I really appreciate dyxum, and I've still much to learn from your artistic and technical expertise, so I'll continue to admire and be inspired by your work as I have since I got my A100 in 2006! Thank you.
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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2018 at 00:52
First, get a pair of these:



Then go play as much as you want. That's what open box sales are for. Large dealers often get comp equipment from the manufacturer just for the purpose of hands on demonstrations. The sales staff wants you to hold and touch and click and snap more than you do. For the luxury of doing so, buy from them and start to build a relationship with local dealer. My 35 year local dealer calls me before putting anything in the used case, and puts me on top of any new camera order list, even when I'm late to order. When Sony couldn't deliver my second a99II on time, he called the Sony rep directly and had a new one there on the same afternoon. Patronize your local dealer, develop relationships, and encourage others to do so. Just make sure you balance your browsing with some buying.

When I must buy online, I insist on buying from the same sales person. Did that with KEH for twenty years. That man is now general manager of camera sales.
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eldonito View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eldonito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2018 at 16:59
LOL, I will also learn to whistle nonchalantly Thanks for your advice. I feel I don't have enough disposable income to establish a regular relationship with a photo store, so I've developed an approach whereby I would market-research everything to exhaustion and then gone for the cheapest solution, usually online.

Moving to Europe is going to change a lot of that, as I feel local shopping is much more encouraged. It helps that swedish post home delivery pretty much involves the postman dropping a note saying that you need to go and collect your parcel from post counter at the local grocery store: it takes much of the online shopping convenience out of the picture.

And yes, KEH is terrific. I'm amazed they can maintain such a high level of customer service while dealing a very complicated and diverse inventory.

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Steve-S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Steve-S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2018 at 18:08
Originally posted by eldonito eldonito wrote:

... I would market-research everything to exhaustion and then gone for the cheapest solution, usually online...

Me too... until I realized how much I was acting against my own self interest.

You see, I WANT to have a local camera-store where I can go in and get a feel for the gear in-hand. And if I USE their counter, their clerks, their gear, then I buy from them (if I buy, and unless the clerks/shop lose it for rudeness/incompetence/etc); if I try their stuff then buy cheaper online, I can only expect they'll close shop for lack of sales. Oh, not that MY purchases are enough to keep them going, but I don't want to be "part of the problem" as it were.

It's the same for book stores. I just LOVE a good book store! Yes, I bought from Amazon early-on, but when my local book sellers started dropping like flies, I quit Amazon. Now I only but there when I have no other choice.

And again for a bunch of other fields.

If I value having a local "brick&mortar" store, I'd better vote with my dollars! Or I can expect "the market" to take my vote away from me.
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