Buying a new camera in Boston
When buying a new camera, it’s important to make sure it comes with an American warranty, as opposed to a foreign one. That way, if you have any problems, you won’t have to send it to the Far East. Worth asking about.
Apart from big sales in department stores, the best way to save big money on a camera is to buy one secondhand. Well cared-for, a good camera will last longer than a good car; most used models still have several years of snaps left in them. Downtown Crossing is one of the best places to shop, with many stores in the same area.
Konica TC 35mm camera with semiautomatic features. It originally retailed for around $250. Stepping up just a bit, they had a Canon AE-1 ’the most popular camera of the seventies,” said the salesman for $175. These cameras come with lenses, and there are other used lenses to choose from as extras. Add a used leather case for another $10.
Nikons start around $250 and up. At the other end of the range, Mine saw a Polaroid “One-Step” for just $25. All cameras here come with a 30-day full warranty; or you can buy a seven-year extended warranty from the store for an additional $50 (an extra bargain this used to be a four-year plan!). Open seven days.
Cambridge Camera Exchange
• 727 Revere Beach Pkwy. Revere; (617) 284-2300
This full-price camera and film developing shop has a good selection of used and discontinued cameras and lenses at reduced prices. Mine found an old Nikon “F” camera, with manual exposure and focusing, for $160; also a more recent Minolta 7000, with manual or automatic functions, for $290 with lens. This was an unused, discontinued model; the version that has replaced it sells for around $500 today.
You’ll also find used lenses and filters and even a box of outdated film (all varieties, $2 each). The equipment comes with a 30-day full warranty; you can purchase a one-year warranty for $20 extra. Knowledgeable staff, too. Open weekdays only, from 8:15 a.m. to 6 P.M.
Cameras Inc. Stereo and Video
• 474 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington; (617)648-8111
In business for some forty years, this store has really kept up with the times, adding video and other electronics to their lines of 35mm cameras. Video equipment, in particular, are good deals here; you can save as much as $100 over the prices even at the major chains on 8mm and VHS camcorders, as well as VCRs, televisions, and audio. One reason for the low prices: They’ve been here so long, they own their building hence, lower overhead costs. Yowza.
Prices are competitive on still cameras and accessories, whether you’re in the market for pro-grade or point-and-shoots. The store also buys, sells and trades used cameras; because of their unique mixture, you can even trade in a used camera toward a new television, Walkman, or whatever. Used items for sale carry a 30-day parts and labor warranty. Cameras Inc. is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to
6 P.M. (ITiursdays til 8), and Saturdays from 9 am. to 5:30 p.m.
General Photographic Supply Co.
• 71-73 Canal St. Boston; (617) 742-7070
In business since 1946, this large store near North Station has a tremendous selection of new and used photo equipment, mainly in 35mm still cameras. There are always lots of brands to choose from, including Minolta, Canon, and especially Nikon. New cameras are usually priced just above cost; used equipment is even less. A used Nikon 5005, with auto focus, may be around $300. General Photo is very choosy about used cameras; they only sell stock that is in good to excellent condition, and all items have a 30-day warranty.
GPS has used enlargers and tripods; and new supplies, like chemicals, paper, and film, all sold at 30% off list price. They also rent cameras, projectors, and screens, and do their own repair work. Open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays from 12-5.
International Camera, Inc.
• 4 Bromfield St, Boston; (617) 423-2968
This seems to be one of the few camera stores that has compact, automatic cameras among its used models. A Nikon “One Touch” 35mm camera, the kind with the sleek body that fits into the palm of your hand, sells for $89. It’s a point-and-shoot type.