Where to Buy Nikon D300?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by freshstart, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. freshstart macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2007
    I am looking to buy a Nikon D-300. I am not sure where to go to buy it. It seems that they are available at places like Best Buy, Circuit City, Penn Camera, Ritz Camera (brick and mortar & online), and B&H. Has anyone had exceptionally good or bad experiences with a particular dealer, or is there an advantage to brick and mortar vs. online? Online seems to have some slightly better deals, but if I will get better service, warranty, etc. elsewhere, the price will not be the determining factor.

    Any insight or advice is appreciated. Thanks!
  2. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    Unfortunately I can't help you with where to buy it because I am in Japan. But my dad got it on its Japan launch day I believe at yodabashi camera and had a great experience. He loves the camera as well.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Supporting your local store means it may be there when you need something last-minute. Otherwise, all the usual suspects work just fine.

    My list is B&H, Adorama, Calumet and Ritz for online, and Ace Photo and Penn for in-person. So long as you're buying from a Nikon-authorized dealer, you shouldn't have any issues- but avoid non-Nikon extended warranties, they're usually not worth it.
  4. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    I've always had excellent experiences with B&H and Adorama. I also recommend Amazon, if it's being sold by Amazon and not a 3rd party seller.
    Ritz tends to be more expensive than the other options.
  5. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    What is a 'better deal'?

    Is it the " lowest price" ?

    Probably not.

    Is there an advantage to buying from 'brick and mortar' vs online?

    I am pretty sure you know the answer.

    Think of the following scenario ....

    You order from ABConline.com .....
    Camera arrives DOA ....
    now you have to contact ABConline.com to get an RMA, ship it back and wait for a replacement.

    With a 'brick and mortar' shop you have a place to return it to and most likely get a replacement the SAME DAY.

    I prefer to find a local camera dealer and not really a " big box store " like Best buy, Circuit City, and even Ritz because I feel you get better support AFTER the sale.

    You see, the 'better deal' in one where you can get the product and support if needed at a fair price.

    Will it cost more $$$$ ? Probably so, but hey you are after the ' best deal' and not the 'best price'.

    All of my Canon gear comes from 1 of 3 local independent dealers, I like to support them all now so that when I have a need in the future it will be met!

    One ' added benefit' for me in supporting the local shops .... they know me, know the work I do, and steer me away from stuff that won't work for me.

    It's kind of odd, but they will steer me away from something with force, but won't steer me towards something.

    Also they have on occasion allowed me to 'borrow' equipment for a day to try it out.

    You cannot get the support from online or the 'big box' stores that you can get from a local shop.
  6. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    I just bought a D300 and an 18-200mm VR lens a week ago. Where to buy?

    Well, that really depends on who you are, and what your priorities are :)

    Say you are an experienced photographer, who knows his/her way around advanced gear. If so, you already have looked through the various boards and have a list ready of what you want to buy, because many of the best deals are "bundles". If you are not interested in some part of the bundle, you'll look at different deals - and that may make a deal "great" or "poor".

    Do you already have lenses? If not, you'll definitely need to buy lenses at some point. Are you comfortable with buying a lens immediately, or will that break the bank and you have to wait on that? For example, I read up on the D300 and I knew I didn't want the kit lens - originally, I was going to buy the Nikkor 24-70mm. However, that lens has been out of stock for long stretches, so I can't buy it so easily. Meanwhile I wasn't planning on buying the 18-200mm VR, because I didn't think it was worth the listed price of $700. Then, Nikon started running a promotion: a $300 dollar instant rebate on the D300 + 18-200mm VR combo. At that price, the 18-200mm VR suddenly started being interesting. I decided to go for the deal. If you are not interested in the 18-200mm VR, and only want the body, well, this deal is not for you. In any case, various merchants started to compete for this deal. The best I've seen was the short-lived (a few hours) deal through Adray Camera at $2,049.00 with free shipping and no tax (I'm in CA, Adray is in MI, and this was an internet purchase). I got it, and was very pleased. The camera is brand new, and has the NX Capture software included.

    There are many variations on this bundle deal. Some charge a slightly higher price (f.ex. $2200), but include additional goodies, such as CF cards. You must evaluate if you need those "goodies". The very best I've ever seen was a bundle by Cameta Camera "buy it now" on Ebay - it was an even better deal than mine, because even though it was $2,099.00 it included amazing additional accessories (optional grip plus more!). That was truly unrivaled - but again, depending on if you need what the bundle offers.

    There are also the deals that combine coupons - such as Best Buy 10% off with the $300 rebate. Not all BB honor the combo of 10% off and the $300 rebate (technically, they don't have to), but that brings it to something like $2,015.00 - BUT you pretty much can't avoid tax in this situation, which makes this more expensive. The best coupons deal I've seen was a Dell deal with stacking coupons and the $300 rebate into something pretty spectacular, but this is not practical for most people, as you usually have had to accumulate the coupons for quite a while.

    The $300 rebate on the bundle runs through 05/11/08, so you have some time, except for one fly in the ointment. Nikon has been providing the NX Capture software for free (a $100) value with the purchase of a D300 - but this was a temporary promotion, which expired with the last produced D300 at the end of March. This means, that when the stock of cameras produced in March is cleared from the channel, you will not get the NX Capture software. The longer you wait, the bigger the odds that you'll miss that.

    If you don't want to buy the 18-200mm VR lens, it may still be a great deal to go with the bundle - since you can re-sell the brand new unopened lens for a lot more, your cost of just the body can be substantially lower than anywhere if you were to buy just the body itself. More exotic deals are also possible. Say, you go in on a deal with someone: they need the body only, you the lens only or vice versa - buy the deal, and split it for mutual benefit.

    Buying online can be tricky. Stay away from vendors who have bad ratings on resellerratings.com, or have no ratings. Also, be very careful that you buy from an authorized Nikon vendor. If you don't, odds are you'll be buying a gray market camera - this means it's not a camera that's been approved for distribution in the U.S.A. and you may have trouble getting your warranty honored should something go wrong. So, buy the U.S.A. version, not the "imported" version!

    I prefer to buy online, not just because I can save on tax (technically, you're supposed to report the purchase on your state tax filings, but there are legal ways around it), but because I actually trust specific online vendors MORE than local photo shops. Let me tell you why: my trusted online vendors will always send me NEW product. Meanwhile it is very common for local B&M photo shops to sell you a demo model without alerting you to the fact that it's not new.

    Customer service: online vs local. If you are an informed consumer, you already scoured the boards and made a list for yourself of all the commonly reported flaws in your camera model and the lens you intend to purchase. When choosing a vendor, you are already aware of their returns policy. Therefore, the moment the bundle arrives at your doorstep, you inspect it carefully, and you run tests against your list of flaws and test the unit generally. If you find a flaw - send it back in and exchange for a new one (check first to see if there's a re-stocking fee, this you should have done before even buying). There's usually a 2-week or so term for returns, so that's why make sure you are in a position to perform the checks immediately. So, if you are an informed customer, buying online should give you no worse customer service than buying locally - always provided you've checked out your vendor ahead of time.

    Online vendors I've had good dealings with: B&H, Adorama, Cameta, Adray Camera, Buydig, Amazon, Ace Photo Digital, Dell. This list is based only on MY experiences with photo equipment, so it's not exhaustive. Make sure you check to see if a vendor charges taxes (usually if they have a physical presence in your state, they will charge tax). And make sure you factor in any deal you see the cost of tax and shipping (was $0 for me).

    When you get your camera + lens, remember, Nikon offers extended warranties - it's your call if you want this with the D300, but you have up to a year from the date of purchase to buy it. Not so with the free extended (beyond the first year) warranty on lenses - 5 years - this you must send in to Nikon within the first 10 day from the day of purchase, so don't let this fall through your fingers.

    Hope this helped!
  7. Adrien Baker macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2008
    Bakersfield, Ca.
    Amazon! No tax and free shipping with excellent CS. I buy anything I can from Amazon, and if they don't have it I'll buy from BH or Adorama.

  8. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

    Nov 5, 2006
    New York City
    I've always bought from B&H. Good prices, honest people.
  9. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    If you live in Florida and buy from B&H, you won't be charged sales tax, which saves you about $100 over what you'd pay if you bought it from Best Buy or a local camera store. Furthermore, you'll likely deal with more knowledgeable sales people at B&H than any brick and mortar establishment, as well as customer service that it likely to be at least as good.

    The warranty and service won't matter. Good either way as long as you buy it from an authorized Nikon reseller. Any service it needs under warranty, you'd likely be sending it off to Nikon anyway. Your local camera store can't fix it, nor can Best Buy or Circuit City.
  10. freshstart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2007
    Thanks for the info. I appreciate getting the good and the bad about online ordering.

    Oldcorpse, I am looking at the same deal that caused you to buy. This is a gift for my husband, who has wanted a nice camera for a long time. He still has an ancient loaded film Nikon and some lenses, and we had looked at the D200 sometime back before the D300 came out. I read about the Capture being discontinued, but couldn't tell in most of the ads whether or not it was included because it just said something like "software cd" without elaborating about what was included. I guess I'll have to ask specifically. I appreciate the heads-up on the warranty options with the lens as I hadn't run across that info yet.

    I'll post again after I pull the trigger and let you all know what I decided. Thanks again!
  11. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
  12. Driver macrumors member


    May 1, 2008
    Rollingwood, Tx
    Not seeing much on Dell's site. Did a search and the D300 didn't even show up. Oh well plenty of other people sell it and most are within $100 of each other (Costco vs Best Buy at least).

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