After researching cameras my short list contains 3 models. Didn’t have much hope of being able to fondle any of them in local stores, so was pleasantly surprised all three are available. For each camera, all 3 local stores have the same price, which is also price on the manufacturer’s website.
Hey Mr. Retailer, how about some competition? Found slightly lower prices in two Bangkok photo chain stores, but not low enough to make the 2.5 hour kamikaze piloted, no-leg-room minivan ride worth it. A couple places had prices that seemed to good to be true so it was time to research what that was all about.
Conventional wisdom from the forums is slightly lower prices are for out of stock items, substantially lower prices are for gray market goods. If I wanted a gray market camera, I’d buy one in Kuala Lumpur next month for less than the lowest Bangkok price.
Why a new camera? The Canon S95 has served me well during the last year. But it has attributes that frustrate me: slow focus, shutter lag, and in most light (with my 57 year old eyes) it’s between difficult and impossible to use manual focus. Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras don’t have those problems. A DSLR has it’s own problems: size, weight, cost and a conspicuous ‘Steal Me!’ target. Still haven’t decided if I’m OK with those, even with the obvious solution of keeping the S95 as my ‘carry always’ shooter.