Visiting Tokyo, Camera Question, Plz Reply

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cbell86, May 13, 2008.

  1. cbell86 macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    I am about to go on a 4-week study abroad to Tokyo, Japan. I am in desperate need of a compact digital camera to document my trip (a dSLR seems too bulky to be lugging around all the time) and so I'm wondering whether its worth waiting to purchase one there (perhaps better tech, better pricing...region issues?) or I should just go ahead and buy one now. Something along the lines of a new Nikon COOLPIX seems adequate. It should be fashionable, fully featured, and offer superior image quality (8-10MP, stabilization, face recognition, etc etc).

    Please let me know what I should do. Also, ANY recommendations for new compact digital cameras would be highly appreciated. Also, since I'm not a complete camera guru, please let me know of anything else I should be looking for.

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I've been there a few times over the years. My wife is from Tokyo. You can likey buy it slightly cheaper from B&H Photo or Amazon. The Cameras are the same except for sometimes the models numbers differ and of course some of the printing on the outside will be in Japanese. I'd buy it here and become familiar with the camera here before you go. Over there you will have enough to do. Just make sure to test it well before you leave. Never go on a trip with a new camera. If you don't have time to buy it and learn to use it here then buy it there but the current exchange rate is not so good.

    One thing to remember, "mega pixel" is NOT a measure of image quality. One more time: mega pixel" is NOT a measure of image quality. Once you go past 6MP in a little Point and Shoot nothing more is gained.
  3. tony-in-japan macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    Saitama, Japan
    Better to buy in your own country...

    If you live in the US, then I would recommend you get the camera from somewhere like Amazon with user reviews as guidance.

    If you buy from Japan, I don’t think the price would be cheaper. You could get a newer model release if you were interested in a Japanese brand like Nikon, but there are other disadvantages: your adapter would be Japanese, your manuals would be in Japanese (need to check if the camera interface has English language option), your software would be for the Japanese market and worse of all, you would probably not have warranty (I could be wrong as it could have international warranty, so you need to check).

    Plus, you may even have to pay custom tax on the way back (well, people in the UK have to anyway).
  4. Zer0 macrumors regular

    May 22, 2007

    All cameras other that sony's will have english language interface, and the store will provide you with english manual if requested. For the sony's you will have to go for the international model which will cost a bit more!

    They are definitely not cheaper in japan and given the current exchange rate, it might work out more expensive! Only disadvantage would be that the warranty will be local unless you buy the international models! I bought a local model of the D40. The lens has international warranty while the body is local warranty.
  5. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    If I were you, I would go to Big Camera or other major electronic outlet in Japan to purchase the most newest model. From your sig, you are from Boston. Most of the Japanese digital camera's battery can be charged in Japan and USA as is (no "international plug" is needed). If you can speak Japanese, the sales people in those retail stores can help you choose the right camera. I find they are more knowledgeable than the ones I encountered at Best Buy or Circuit City in USA.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Bic Camera or Yodobashi will definitely be the places to go.

    I'd rather go there then buy from anywhere else, since they have EVERY model on open display tables, where you can just pick them up, turn them on, and use them all. Sure, the menus are in Japanese by default, but you still get to handle it, take some photos, and see how much you really like the size, weight, etc. I bought my Fuji F31fd at a Yodobashi in Osaka. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for at a Bic Camera or Yodobashi. ;)

    I swear I answered this same question posted somewhere else in this forum, but I'll answer it again.


    I'd buy it in Japan. More choices, and you get to test a working version of every single camera with no hassle whatsoever, since they're all sitting on a display table for you to test. You also get a real "feel" for the camera, and not just some stupid specs on a website. I bought my Fuji F31fd at a Yodobashi, a massive electronics chain in Japan. In Tokyo, you may have better luck finding a Bic Camera.
  7. macwall macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Cupertino, CA
    Electronics in Japan are not cheap, so you're probably better off buying your camera before you travel. You could probably check slickdeals. They have some pretty good bargains from time to time. Also, don't you want to document the times before you have a chance to go shopping?
  8. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    There is a Bic camera just 10 minutes away from Tokyo Central station on the edge of Ginza District. Also in reply to macmall,you're likely to pay no tax if you produce your passport. I found the prices to be comparable when comparing it to Sterling.

    Ohhh, nostalgia has just hit my brain, I want to be back there!
  9. canonwire macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2007
    North Carolina
    Don't forget, the exchange rate sucks too. US Dollars are weak right now, you'll be paying through the nose...US Dollars don't go far in Japan like they used to.
  10. itou macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    there is no reason not to buy it in japan. you don't pay taxes, the ac adaptor in japan is the same as that in the us, the manual can be in english, the interface is in english, and service is excellent. if you go to big stores like bic-camera or yodobashi-camera (they have one almost in every major station), you can get a point card where you get back 10% of the price to spend on other things in the store. not bad. i purchased a refrigerator from yodobashi-camera last year and got a free nintendo wii from the points.
  11. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    I say buy it in Japan if you want to, but remember that the Nikon/Canon/place camera company here warranty won't be valid if you break it in America, once you are back from your trip.

    You can change the language to English, the adaptor will NOT work in the US, and the exchange rate is BS. The dollar isn't doing that good, but it's not like Japan is soaring above the US market. The strongest bill is the Euro, and it's worth $0.50 more than the dollar. You won't really loose or gain that much from buying it in Japan

    There is no amazing tech cycle over there either. The same camera you buy here will be over there, and vice versa. Japan doesn't have flying cars just yet. ;)

    As far as P&S go, they are all the same pretty much. Buy the one that YOU think is good for you. IQ will be the same, performance will be the same, features will be pretty much the same.
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    That's not true. It would be if the camera were a grey market import that you bought in the US. But as long as you have a Japanese receipt you are covered. Nikon USA generally does not service non-USA cameras but they make the exception if you personally bought it in Japan.
  13. sgarringer macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2004
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    This is not true. I just got back from Japan. All AC over there is 100V 50/60Hz (depending on where you're at). This means that everything is compatible with 100V 60Hz which is what we use in USA. Also, their video is NTSC just like here. I picked up a Wii and plugged it in to my US TV with no issues.

    I plugged in all my electronics without issue while I was there, including some cheap crappy adapters I have.
  14. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Sorry, I did some research on this and yes, you can still get service, but you need the worldwide warranty from Nikon.

    Okay, I didn't know this.

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