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Pros and cons of Buying a Grey or Store Camera

Updated on June 2, 2014
Research Buying a new Camera
Research Buying a new Camera

Why Pay More for a New Camera

Have you ever wondered whether to buy a grey imported camera or one from local store and pay nearly double? When thinking of buying any photographic equipment for the first time you need to look at all your options.

The choice is yours so never spend your hard earned money without doing your research or you could be disappointed. I have listed a few things below before you make your next purchase.

Blue Honeyeater

Blue Honeyeater taken with Nikon D3200 Camera
Blue Honeyeater taken with Nikon D3200 Camera | Source

What do you Want from your Camera?

  • Take the odd photo
  • Take Family and nature photos
  • Need one to last for years
  • A cheap one that is easy to use
  • One that takes movies and stills

Choosing the Brand and Type of Camera

There are so many brands on the market that it is not easy to choose that special one with which to capture your memories of your favorite moments.

I believe the most popular brands on the market are Canon, Nikon, Sony and, Panasonic. Once you have decided on the brand of your choice, then ask yourself if you want a simple point and shoot or a more expensive digital SLR camera. These decisions will make a huge difference as to which camera you buy.

Do want a small one that fits in your pocket or one with a bigger lens to capture those shots to show to everyone?

How much will you pay?

This will depend on your budget and of course where you buy your camera.

Once you have made all of the above decisions it is time to make your purchase.

This is where it gets more difficult. If you have limited finances I can see why people will risk buying the grey one online as they are cheaper and they are both made in the same factory and are identical.

What happens if you have a problem with it? Are you still covered with a warranty? I have made a comparison on buying either local store or the grey one online.

Wild Flowers

Picture of Wildflowers taken with Nikon D3200
Picture of Wildflowers taken with Nikon D3200 | Source

Pros of Buying Camera from Local Store

  • When you buy from your local store, you can pick the camera up and see exactly what it looks and feels like in your hand to use.
  • You have a manufactures warranty usually 12 months (stores can offer extended warranty)
  • If you ask the sales person they can give you more information on using and making your choice of camera.

Cons of Buying your Camera from Local Store

  • They are far more expensive buying from a local store.
  • Be sure you know where to return it after purchase if there is a fault with it. It should go directly back to the manufacturer not to the person you bought it from.

Pros of Buying a Grey Camera

  • This will cost you nearly half the price of a store bought one.
  • These are still (from our experience) exactly the same ones as sold in local store.
  • Therefore you could buy two for the price of a store bought one.

Cons on Buying a Grey Camera

  • Buying camera unseen
  • These are still under warranty although you still have to return it if faulty

Something to extra to think about.

  • Many online companies have a chat section where you can ask the relevant questions. Make a copy of the chat session so you have proof. If it will not let you make a copy then hit PrtSc SysRq on your keyboard and paste into photo shop or your current photo editor.
  • Make sure you know exactly what you are buying before committing yourself.

Authors Note: My husband bought a Nikon D3200 Kit AF-S 18-105mm VR Lens Digital SLR Camera online and it has been right around Australia and taken thousands of photos with it. We have had no problems with this and is now 9 months old. He is very happy with it.

He paid $608.00 AUD online - Quoted $1200.00 local store. This camera was made in same factory as far as we know as the one we looked at in the store.

Disclaimer: This is our personal experience only. Therefore everyone needs to do their own research and decide for themselves.

Easy to Carry Stick Tripod

Buying online or in store

Where would you buy your next camera

Would you buy a grey camera online - Please leave your experiences in Comments sections

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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      5 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks ologsinquito, No matter where you buy your cameras and camera gear, you can have problems. Our daughter bought hers locally and had all sorts of problems getting it repaired under warranty. So I would not hesitate to buy grey again, as they way you can buy two for the price of one. So you would have to be in front.

    • ologsinquito profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      This is very interesting. We bought our last camera in a store and paid top dollar. The photos in this article are beautiful and very crisp. Great resolution.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      5 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks Just Rodney, yes thats the beauty of saving money where you can because you can buy more equipment as it is cheaper and use in a variety of ways like you say.

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 

      5 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      I too have a couple of grey's! hence me developing a long term relationship with a photobuddy! Not pnly for the fixing sife but with some of the technical sife of a particular style of shooting.

      Such as push proccesing to get low asa shots to max deptj of field in midday, old fashioned film days, used Some 50 ASA, and shot some street photo at midday sun at 1/250, woth amaxing effects, the darkroom procesing was the tricky bit as you can imagine, especilly when printing on 16 x 20 paper.

      Today gone to the other extreme shooting longer exposures 0:4 @ f5.6, mainly night shots or heavily overcast.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      5 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks Just Rodney, Our Nikon is covered for 12 months with the online company that we bought it from and it is stamped the same way(place of manufacture) as the earlier model nikon camera that we bought from the local store. Which we paid double the price. And we did have a problem with that one and the store lost it for a couple of months.

      So there are problems with all purchases. But as we paid half the price I think we were a mile in front. We also bought lenses cheap there too.

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 

      5 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Hi Ellen,

      The biggest problem is that there is no warrenty or guarantee for the same camera covering the camera bought, in Taiwan or the States.

      The first thing thate they check when you bring your camera, even if you go in with all the boxes and bits and bobs, is the serial and other numbers that are on the body, or lens.

      They then know it as a grey import, and then they do not honour the said guarantees.

      There are some companies, that will "fix" the problem, if you have bought said article from them. These stores will advertise it.

      The only problem they will charge a premium on the repairs, if bought else where. Another tip is to be very friendly with one of the more reputable used camera stores, I have been dealing with the same shop and owner for nigh on twenty years! He has, in his employ some very good camera techies, who will fix the problem, at a fraction of the cost.

      But overall if you buy a Canon, or I believe a Nikon as well, they go through a pretty good post assembly quality control.


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