DC Area Retailers

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nbs2, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #1
    I'm in the market right now, but I figure this may end up being useful for more than just me - I was hoping people could post their experiences with retailers in and around the DC area (big box, specialty, online, etc) and if you would recommend them or not.
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #2
    You should get in touch with our very own ChipNoVaMac - Penn Camera. ;)
     
  3. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #3
    Do you know which store he works at (apparently he hasn't been here since Saturday)? I'd rather he get the commission (I assume they run on commission), but a 1 mile jaunt to the nearest Penn is so much more convenient than a 30+ trek to the VA stores, so I guess I'd be relying on his opinion of the rest of the company.
     
  4. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #4
    The one closest to Tysons, I think?

    I have his work number if you e-mail me:

    garyreich@mac.com
     
  5. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #5
    I almost missed this thread.....

    Yes, Chip works at the Tysons store, which is on Route 7 a little ways past Tysons Mall.... I don't believe that they work on commission there, so it probably would be easier for you to shop at your local Penn. However, if you've got the time and inclination it would definitely be worth the trip to Tysons to meet Chip and chat with him! He is a fun guy and very knowledgeable about the products Penn has to offer.

    In Virginia, we have Penn Camera (a couple locations) and we also have Ace Photo, which is out in Sterling, and we have Photocraft, which has two stores, one in Burke and the other in Annandale/Fairfax. We also have Fuller and D'Albert in Fairfax. I've been in all four, but Penn is the store which I have frequented for about eighteen years and it's the source of most of my gear. Chip can rattle off a list of my lenses and such almost as well as I can! LOL! All four of these stores offer "full service" as far as cameras and equipment, going beyond just cameras. Penn is an authorized Apple reseller as well (although with the Apple store just around the corner at Tysons I've never bought an Apple product at Penn). Penn has darkroom equipment, studio lighting equipment and everything to support the needs of everyone from your basic point-and-shooter to advanced amateur to professional photographer.

    As you know, Penn has stores in Maryland and DC, but I don't know what other fulll-service retailers are in Maryland. I would not really recommend going to Best Buy or CompUSA or Micro Center for a camera, especially when you're uncertain as to what you need and want; it's best to be able to talk with a knowledgeable person who can show you the different cameras and discuss the pros and cons of each.

    As for online: B&H in NYC would get my vote, as they are a reliable outfit and provide quick, prompt service when someone orders from them via the phone or online.

    Hope this helps....
     
  6. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #6
    Thanks for the info - I feel kind of awkward having this discussion about Chip when he seems not to be here, but we've got our Tysons trip for next Saturday planned out, so I'll be calling during the week to see if he is working then. Hopefully so....
     
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #7
    I think Chip must be on vacation; I seem to remember him having mentioned a while back that he was planning to go somewhere this summer.... He usually does work Saturdays, from what I remember, but I'm not sure if it is every Saturday or if they rotate their weekend schedule. Unlike mall stores, Penn closes at 6:00 PM on Saturdays, by the way, so keep that in mind when planning your visit.

    If Chip is not going to be there, let me suggest that another good and knowledgeable person there is Arlene. She's been there as long as I've been shopping at that store and knows more about cameras, photography and the store's merchandise than you can imagine.... Actually, anyone there is really helpful and knowledgeable.... I just usually gravitate to Chip or Arlene.

    You'll have fun "doing" Tysons, what with the huge Tysons Mall and all its stores, including of course, the Apple store (which maybe will be filled with new goodies about which we'll know more tomorrow) and the almost as large Tysons Galleria just across from it..... The Galleria has the best restaurants (IMHO): Lebananese Taverna, Maggiano's, Legal Seafood, Daily Grill..... My favorite restaurant in Tysons itself is California Pizza Kitchen, but I also dearly love Brio Tuscan Grill.

    If you need any computer stuff (printer paper, inkjet cartridges, etc.), CompUSA is in the same shopping plaza as Penn Camera. They have Apple products, too, but as I've mentioned, with the Apple store right around the corner at Tysons, I buy anything Apple there rather than at an authorized reseller.

    Oh, yes: if you need anything in the way of appliances or electronics, Circuit City is right adjacent to the Tysons Mall, or if you are looking for home furnishings such as glassware and china, Crate and Barrel has a huge freestanding store just across from Tysons Mall. Best Buy and Borders are also along the Rte 7 corridor very near to the mall, and if you're in the mood for pizza, Bertucci's is right there, too. Looking for something more upscale? Tiffany's, Hermes and Louis Vuitton are in another small shopping area of their own on Rte 7 directly across from the Tysons Mall and there is a restaurant in there as well, but I don't know what it is....Primi Piatti used to be there a long time ago but I think it is gone now.

    ...And there you have it, my impromptu guide to the Tysons shopping region! :D With the internet it's easy now to look online and see which specific stores are in which of the two malls; in some cases there are duplications. Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue are the "anchor" stores at the Galleria, while at Tysons Mall you've got Hecht's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor. The space where Woodward & Lothrop used to be is now fllled with new stores, restaurants and movie theatres.

    Have fun on your excursion to the Tysons area! :)
     
  8. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #8
    Arlene? I don't know her, but since you vouch for her I'll trust her. Also, thanks for the timing info. We're planning on being there midday, but if we run late, it's good to know where to go first.

    I should clarify - we know Tysons pretty well. Our Tysons trip is called that because it's too far a away to justify more than one trip every couple of months. Lori used to work at Microstrategy, and depending on how well you know folks at the Apple store there, I had a mancrush on Shane the Genius. Man was brilliant. Now that she doesn't work there, we don't really ever head down that way - Columbia Mall and Arundel Mills have more than enough to keep us happy. The only thing that we don't have up here is the peep show Viki's. When it first opened, it was off the Unintentional Comedy Scale. :D
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #9
    Ah, so..... Right, from where you are -- Laurel -- the Tysons area is just far enough away to consider it an "excursion...." :) I've got a friend who lives in the Russett area of Laurel, so usually when we're planning to do something together I figure on it taking a lot of the day by the time I add in my travel time back-and-forth (I'm in Falls Church, VA).

    A different friend and I were talking tonight at dinner about how it would be perfect for you all out there if they put an Apple store in at the Mall in Columbia. That would certainly be a popular store in a hurry!

    I know a lot of the guys at the Tysons Apple store by sight but not necessarily by name.... Hee, hee, when they see me coming in the door I'm sure dollar signs start flashing! Last time I was in -- a couple days ago -- I left without anything because they were out of stock on the new wireless Mighty Mouse and of course I wasn't about to buy anything major this close to WWDC. Eagerly awaiting the Steve's keynote address tomorrow....

    When you're at Penn, get Chip to introduce you to Arlene (if he's there and she's there), as she's a cool lady. She knows her stuff!
     
  10. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #10
    Ask and ye shall recieve......done.

    We were up there for Lori's birthday at the end of June, and the little map pamphlet already has the space marked for the Apple Store. I don't think it said when it is opening. I didn't get a chance to check out the site, so I don't know how big it will be (if it is a mini or full size)...
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #11
    Fantastic! My friend who lives in Laurel will be tickled! I wonder if there is any indication on the Apple site of a possible opening date?
     
  12. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #12
    According to the Mall, Fall 2k6. Actual date? I don't know - but Fall is close enough...
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #13
    Hey guys, I took a break from MR. Was bored tonite, so here I am.

    I work at the Tysons store. I am off on Sundays and Mondays. Thanks for the kudos from everyone that know me<blush>.

    Drop by when I am working and mention MacRumors and I will give you a gift (just one per a howdy for the first time). Just my way of getting to know everyone in the DC area here on MR.
     
  14. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #14
    Lori and I didn't a gift! ;) Unless, of course, you count the incredibly helpful info, which I honestly don't think I've gotten anywhere else I've been - of course, the options I'm considering have just doubled...
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #15

    Sorry about that. I was just having a great time with you and Lori! Remind me the next time you come by. :)

    Glad that you felt that I helped out of sorts.

    Wish you had stopped back after the haircut. Would have liked to have seen the "new you". Just an FYI, I am off on Sunday and Monday's.

    Just so that you know, I do not get a commission on my sales. That allows me to be blunt and honest on what I hear from chatting with you all. Clix will chime in that I really grilled her on wanting to buy the Nikon 200./2.0 when she already had the the Nikon 180/2.8. :)

    To that end it was great meeting the two of you. Looking forward to helping you all with what ever final choice you all make. Just name the baby after me is all the thanks I need. :D
     
  16. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #16
    Hey, Chip, where's MY gift!? <pout> :D :D

    Yep, I will indeed say that it was kind of interesting: here I am standing there talking about plunking down a significant amount of $$$$ and Chip is quizzing me on why I want this lens, do I really need it, etc......?! He knows my lens collection just about as well as I do (inasmuch as my lenses have come from Penn!) and so he wanted to make sure that I was buying this lens, the 200mm f/2, for the right reasons..... He knew that I had the 70-200mm and the 180mm so he wanted to be sure that I realized that I was talking about something that is in that same focal range.... I explained that I use the 70-200mm and the 180mm under different circumstances and that I would be using the 200mmf/2 in still other circumstances. Each lens has its own place....

    Heh, when Chip saw that I was standing there tenderly stroking the 200mm f/2 the whole time we were talking he finally realized that no matter what he said that lens was coming home with me! Bertha and I had already bonded..... :D

    Anyway, glad that you guys all got to meet today! Shoot, wish I could've been there, too, but I was working at the library. So I'm gathering from what I'm seeing here that so far no camera decision has been made yet...
    Well, there's some time, but you definitely want to get something at least a month or two before the baby arrives so that by that time you'll be really familiar with its features and controls.
     
  17. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #17
    Again remind me on your next visit. :)

    Blush... Thanks. I take the look that money is to hard to come by. I like the best bang for the buck. That is why I did the Tokina 12-24 for both my Canon kit and now my main Nikon kit.

    One of the joys in being in a non-commision shop.Being able to take the time to know the customers needs.

    Wish you were there too. It seemed to be MR Day at Penn Camera.

    You may have hit on an idea there Clix. Given the Digital Showcase that we have at the Tysons store, and that we can speak Mac - maybe I can talk the powers that be in to an MR event at my store.

    Will post a thread to judge the interest. Thanks for the idea....

    Chip
     
  18. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #18
    Alrighty, I will do just that!!!! :D :D

    Oh, wouldn't that be FUN?! Well, there are quite a few of us around the DC/MD/VA area!!
     
  19. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #19
    It was a blast meeting Chip - but it is a good thing Lori was there with me - I couldn't remember what Chip looked like from the MR Pics thread and would have just sat there and given up...

    We still haven't decided on a camera, but I think I have it down to the S3, FZ7, D50, XT, or K100D. I just keep going back and forth. Chip - how much do you trust the other Penn stores? We just don't get down to Tyson's as much as we'd like, so I might drop into the Laurel store to play with the K100 (for which I cannot find any reviews). But with the rare good reviews on the kit lenses, I am leaning towards holding off on the DSLR until I am sure that I have a bit more money to spend on a better lens and maybe waiting for the full frame bodies (whatever that is - I saw it in another thread) to come down a bit more. But, with a kid, speed is everything - so I may end up with the DSLR anyway....

    And as for the MR event at Penn, I'm sure we will be able to make the trip down for that. Just let me know when!
     

Share This Page