where to buy camera

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Photography Singapore : One Thread

Where's the best place to buy a point and shoot camera(in singapore). i am talking about price and reliability of the shop.

-- Ivan (ivan1973@hotmail.com), April 12, 1999


See http://www.singnet. com.sg/~weekh/shops.html for camera shopping guide.

-- Wee Keng Hor (weekh@singnet.com.sg), April 21, 1999.

Ivan, I would recommend Cathay Photo Store at Marina Square. Very helpful staff at hand to assist. Happy shopping.

-- Paul Chuah (the_photo_workshop@Yahoo.com), April 16, 1999.

Hi Ivan, Yeah go to Cathay Photo at Marina. The sales guys there are ok and less pushy than their counterpart at Peninsula. Look for the indian guy Sam or the boss David and say Roslee sent you.; )

-- Roslee (civicesi@magix.com.sg), April 18, 1999.

Do you guys really find Cathay being the best? ......perhaps only if you are dressed well and look rich ..... I had good service when I went in dressed well in my usual office attire ....but once I went there wearing casuals on a Saturday and got pretty bad service ...... I would go to John 3:16 any day for good service and good advice. I find Cathay's staff are only mediocre in their photography knowledge (ie. not really showing a passion for photography....just working retail knowledge) and service is only so-so ...compared to John 3:16, Foto Guide etc....where the person selling you the equipment is a photographer themself........to be fair one good thing about Cathay is their films are very cheap....their REALA is the cheapest in Singapore.

-- (dlee2@bloomberg.net), April 21, 1999.

Regarding buying camera at a shop call John 3:16...
{Message deleted upon request}
Francis Lee
Press Photographer. SPH
Vice-Chairman/Pasir Ris South Community Club Photography Society

-- Francis Lee (huhututu@hotmail.com), May 02, 1999.

What was it that was so bad that they did to you mr francis. That when ever someone says john 3:16 you have something bad to say and only you it is really a wonder to me. But it is funny how you only have bad experience,s in john 3:16 while other people have bad have them else where. I think a person in your kind of position should be more unbias to a shop and should not carry out your own personal vendetta like this. You of all people should know better.Here is aperson asking to buy a point and shoot and you are making it like he is going to war. Oh wow what next, You might as well ask him to go to any shop in orchard road ha as they say "out of the frying pan into the fire" my oh my.

-- Thanaraj (braveheart2nd@yahoo.com), May 14, 1999.

Mr Thanaraj, Yes! I do agreed with you that I'm very strongly against...

Message deleted upon request

-- Francis Lee (huhututu@hotmail.com), May 14, 1999.

Cathay in marina square is not bad. The salesman there are very helpful and friendly. Ask for Sam or John Loo. Place that you should avoid is alley photo in Chinatown.

-- Lecky (lecky@hotmail.com), May 14, 1999.

Excuse me but tell me something . How is it that the agent can tell you the cost price of any item . That is not being very ethical of them . If not then how do you know that they have over charge you. Well the funny thing is i have a friend who was over charged by the guy in 3:16 and they gave him a refund for the difference that he paid.So i find what you are saying is not current with what i have been told. When did this happen to you or when was the last time you where there. Because i find it hard to swallow from what you say. Please enlighten me more maybe we can come to an agreement.

-- Thanaraj (braveheart2nd@pacific.net.sg), May 15, 1999.

Francis Lee---

I totally agree with you Mr.Francis. To add to your comment even cathay lend their expensive lenses to their preferred customers. I have seen one person doing so with medium format wide angle lens. I guess most of these shops operate in more or less same way. I feel really cheated when this happens. I spent over 3000$ on my recent buy and i am not sure if i got new equipment. I don't understand why these guys have to play so cheap when they make good profit selling equipment to stupid customers like me. Its really sick.

Regarding John3:16... they are really sweet and helpful. They are neither cheaper nor expensive compared to other popular outlets like cathay. Son sam has a really big mouth and bites more than he can chew. I still personally suggest first time buyers to go to this shop because these guys remember their customers and its really helpful for a beginners to sort out teething problems with their new equipment.

-- Red (gred@hotmail.com), May 15, 1999.

Thanaraj, Find it hard to swallow? your comments makes.....
{Message deleted upon request}

-- Francis Lee (huhututu@hotmail.com), May 16, 1999.

To add on just in case you need enlightenment again....
{Message deleted upon request}

-- Francis Lee (huhututu@hotmail.com), May 16, 1999.

Yo! Mr Francis Lee! You sure do sound like you're one hell of a pissed off guy. I'm going to make this short, you keep saying that your 'many friends' and 'many experiences' AND 'other sites' can tell of bad experiences with John 3:16. And you know what... most of it are from you! If only you can prove the 'many many many' things you say or even a tiny little evidence would be really helpful. I have always been buying from John 3:16 and their price to me are quite reasonable. Even if I Do pay $10 more than any other shop, I feel that it's worth it as I DO like the service given to me. You were saying that they overcharged you by $60~80, I mean c'mon, you claim to be a Vice-Chairman of some club and you don't even have the slightest of common sense to go check out prices before you buy??? No one is compelling to buy! And do you also mean that all the customers that have been buying from John 3:16 all this time are not even smart enough to check and compare prices before they buy from John 3:16?? I don't think so! I believe you're the only sorry soul to go about yakking about something that you can only blame your very own intelligence on. Really a sad case. Unlike you, I can quote and even provide countless testimonies if need be. Opps.... did I say I was going to make it short?? Guess I was too eager to prove you wrong! You have a nice day! ps: Would really help if you could brush up on your grammar or at least check your article before posting it. And what the hell is this 'No buns intended'???? You selling Char siew buns??? Customer of John 3:16 - Steven Long

-- Steven Long (stlong@usa.net), May 18, 1999.

Steven Long

Well done mr steven long you have hit the nail on the dot. All i would like to know now is . When was the last time you went to john 3:16 mr Frances..And oh ya no buns intended.

-- Thanaraj (braveheart2nd@yahoo.com), May 18, 1999.

There you are, folks!...
{Message deleted upon request}

-- Francis Lee (huhututu@hotmail.com), May 19, 1999.

Yo Mr Francis Lee! Yep, it's me again. What's this 'It is all in their comments, read it! Read it hard......' Don't you think you're being rather vague about what you're saying? I mean the point is if you can't really provide any or even the slightest of supporting materials to your STORY, then please just stay home and watch more of the afternoon soap operas, maybe the plots in these dramas may help improve your story-telling potential.

By the way, you don't have to be sorry about your grammar. So long as you're willing to learn, you can achieve! Hmmm... maybe that explains why you have such a ALMOST great achievement in story-telling! You have a nice day!

ps: I really quite interested in knowing when was the last time you stepped into John 3:16. Maybe your reply could really help clear up a lot of doubts to your claims.

-- Steven Long (stlong@usa.net), May 19, 1999.

MR FRANCIS What do you mean by then and now, there is no difference?? As a professional U should know that the price of camera's is not the same as it is then and now, so it will definitely support your STORY if u can let us know when was your last visit to J3:16. That way we can know for sure if your story is FICTION or TRUTH.

If you could show some responsibility and answer the question for once in your life. That would be nice and not beat around the bush.

-- Thanaraj (braveheart2nd@yahoo.com), May 19, 1999.

dear ivan....

it seeems that your quest for a good camera shop in singapore have spark out alot of fire especially from mr francis lee. but let me ask a few question, mr francis lee.... you claim to be a press photographer... but don't u think u just broke an very important ethic of your trade? you are being to narrow-minded... claiming that john 3:16 have done alot of harm to you, but let me remind u.... if you are really who you claim to be.... you should give good suggestion to ivan not to condem a shop....

secondly, you claim that your are a vice-chairman of a whatever club, but what are your qualification(s)? what have you done to deserve this tittle? do you have any exhiditions anywhere or publish catalogs of your works? or do your have a written column base on your works? please enlighten me on this.....

thirdly, you claim that you have been overcharge by the shop john 3:16 but why didn't you bring out that issue to them? why did you spoke to anybody from the shop raising that issue to being over-charge???? to me, this simply imply that you are out to condem because it just out of you own will and fancy...

next, you brought out another issue, students from art school... i don't stay in singapore very often, but everytime i'm there, i see ALOT of students there making their purchase... if the shop is dishonest, i believe that the whole school will know... "one spread to ten, ten will spread to hundreds" you are a chinese, go figure it out yourself....

then, you wrote that you are here to advise people where not to buy cameras, isn't that what mr thanaraj is trying to say as well, and if you have read carefully, mr thanaraj never recommand to anybody to the shop john 3:16.... so Pooh to you.... you just sound like a poor loser....

now, i'm just wondering.... like mr steven wrote, where's your supporting material or witness?

you also claim to be their shop friend, i believe i should have seen you before, back in '91-93. now, i'm also a "shop friend" as well, but i don't step behind their counters to help myself with their goods.... that's a breech of their trust....

so mr francis, till you can provide proofs to all your claims, please stay home and do all your research, and meanwhile you can watch more soaps, maybe it will help you with you grammer and story telling....

i can carry on if you like.... but till next time... BOO... to you!!!

PS. when is the last time you stop by john 3:16 anyway????

-- peng k chow (demoblk3@yahoo.com), May 19, 1999.

Hey red, steven, Thanaraj and Peng,

I think it is rather ugly and irritating of you guys to gang up and throw insults at Francis. he is entitled to his own opinions, let him speak his mind. If you disagree, just say so. There's no need to throw such abusive remarks.

-- rick (ricksonsoh@yawmail.com), May 19, 1999.

Hi Rick! Who's ganging up against Mr Francis Lee? Like you said, I've a right to voice my opinion. I DO indeed think that Mr Francis Lee is not speaking the truth. If he is, then where are all the evidence to his claims? Don't you think so? Maybe you should read his previous letters and see how critical his remarks was without any justifications. By the way, I'm still waiting for his reply so that MY own doubts can be cleared. If you are a friend of his, maybe it's no point telling you all this. You have a nice day!

Will be here waiting patiently for Mr Francis Lee's reply.....

-- Steven Long (stlong@usa.net), May 20, 1999.

---Rick---- I am not ganging up against Mr. Francis Lee's. He just expressed his opinion and i did mine. I support both sides because both have some truth in their argument. Please don't drag me into this mud slinging activity.

Its been just two years for me in singapore and had my share of bad experience with most of these popular photo stores. I stopped expecting thing called "customer service" and settled for Cathay. They seem to be a wee bit professional in approach compared to rest.

For point and shoot cameras... Just go and buy them at Mustafa at Serangoon. They are the cheapest.

-- Red (gred@hotmail.com), May 20, 1999.

Dear Ivan,

For point and shoot camera, i would recommend John 3:16, firstly they do not charge GST and they have a good before and after sales service. But if the price is a issue... Mustafa is you best choice. However, i believe that they are selling mostly export sets(without warranty) that could be a problem if the camera breaks down.

As for the rest of the arguments, HEY guys .... if you want to "discuss" that issue that mr francis brought out.... my comments to all those against John 3:16, don't you think that mr francis, mr red and mr rick are getting too personal? don't you think that you should advice Ivan on where or what to look out when buying the camera? It sounds to me that you guys are more like from rival shops.....

-- hommer simson (papahommer@yahoo.com), May 21, 1999.

i have been lurking on this thread for awhile now...ok homer's got a point... ivan wants a lead... so here goes...

ivan... if u want a good price (maybe) but dodgy service... go to Cathay Photo. either at peninsula plaza or marina square

if u're just after price but with no warranty from the agent go to mustafa at serangoon road. (i don't understand this export only crap... the warranty is valid internationally!)

ut if u want good service, friendly staff (albeit a small store) and someone to spend time explaining the functions of your new camera to you... go to John 3:16 at Funan Centre. their price is not the lowest that u'll find in singapore... but expect to pay abt $10-$15 more than the lowest offer. think of the time and the cab fare saved.


francic, francis, francis... schooling has nothing to do with it... and neither do your credentials. so what if u work for SPH? crap exists on all levels. what i do find offending is the picture u painted of J3:16 is mean. u gave the impression that they blatantly lend brand new products to regular customers and friends and then sell the used products as new to unsuspecting customers. that is unfair and terribly ignorant of u francis. i speak as a regular... and as a regular u ought to know that sam can occassionally be given to a little exagerration in the name of jest. it's meant to make u smile u idiot... the offer to lend u a body or lens right off the shelf! they have a pool of used bodies from customers who have never come to claim their repaired cameras and from their own extensive private collection. I have been a regular and friend of the family for more than 2 years... heck i even spend christmas with the family... AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN HANDED A CAMERA OFF THE SHELF! when i was in a crunch, sam managed to borrow a body for me from a friend or from his own used stock. he has bailed me out of jams on more than one occassion with his helpfulness... so where do u get off telling us that they are dishonest?

and as for the expensive price... hellooo, anyone home in that head? why didn't u go checking prices first? oh wait... as a press photographer u're probably too busy to check out the shops... just enough time to call the agents on stock availability. look... i have called agents myself. and to be honest, stuff that i know for a fact is not available in any of the shops (like a sunpak 77mm ring flash for e.g. i literally went to every camera store in the peneninsula area) and the agents claim that they have it. hellooooo! if u were a regular and called yourself their friend, why are u taking the word of a stranger at the agent's and not that of your friend? is this how u treat all your friends? with this level of trust? damn, don't ever call me YOUR friend. and as for the higher price... come on... if u're a regular, u know that J3:16 practises a "refund-the-difference" policy if find the same product somewhere else for less! but u mentioned that the item was specially indented for you... hellooo... they normally only do that if your order is urgent or when the agent is really out of stock. no, follow my reasoning here... what if the agent was really out of stock and was lying to u? and what if one of the few pieces left around was in the hands of another retailer like photoguide? and sam has to buy it from photoguide in order to sell to you... he would have to pay a full retail price... and then make a small markup... hence youce your $60-80 increase... get it? u think he wants to do this? what business will want to shoot themselves in the foot by overcharging their customers? J3:16 works on repeat business... they want u to come back, so they are polite and service you well... they won't overcharge... u paid a premium probably because u said u need the item urgently and didn't want to spend the time looking for it. if that is the case, how can u fault someone for getting it for you, though it's at a premium? if u have been working for any amount of time at all in the publishing/design/advertising/photography industry... infact nearly any industry at all... u will know that u will have to pay a premium for urgent orders... evryone does it... to get u something urgently, money has to be used to grease the wheels of commerce... look at RGB, look at contractors... and yes, look at photographers.

so there. i am really disturbed that ppl would want to slander a good decent family business like John 3:16... DON'T BRING RELIGION INTO THIS PLEASE! try getting salesmen at these other photo stores to spend a couple of hours explaining to you in detail abt why you should choose one system/product over another... show me good service and polite atendence to customers' needs and i'll show u John 3:16.

-- Martin Lim (bizarreone@pacific.net.sg), May 22, 1999.

Way to go, finally it's good to see constructive comments from somebody after a long time.

Well, for a point and shoot camera, Mr Ivan, why don't you try walking around, and compare prices. One of the main area where all the camera shops "gather" is near the City Hall MRT Station, at the area of Funan Centre. Then you can chose which shop to buy from.

But just a few pointers, if you have chosen one camera, everything should be in the box or provided for free. Namely, the camera case, the batteries, the strap and of course the warranty. Of cousre films are extra, I believe John 3:16 would give you a roll to try if you just ask them. But if you are buying a digital camera, i believe that, there is no case provided.

Now, to mr Rick, if you can say that mr francis can provide comments of his own, then why can't the rest of them? Why must you take sides? Why don't you provide comments of your own so that we can all share your vision?

Furthermore, I have manage to read the "who is mr francis?" page before it was deleted. You, yourself, can just simply someone ulgy and get away with it? Everyone here deserve to voice their comment, but as for Mr peng, I can understand his feelings. After all he have been with John 3:16 since as far back as '90-'91. Yes, he might be too strong in his languages, But You are just as bad calling him a ulgy singaporean. Now, if you could provide some insight into the topic, I would be very happy to read about them.

-- Hommer simson (papahommer@yahoo.com), May 23, 1999.

While I am new to all this, I have bought cameras from both John 3:16 and Cathay Photo at Peninsula.

Both have very competitive prices and both have good service (if you go to the right people). Of course at John 3:16, being family run, they have a vested interest at getting customers back and so if you are served by anyone in the family you will be attended hand and foot.

At Cathay I noticed that they were generally more 'aloof' except for this one guy. His name is Kelvin Pung. He gets my vote for employee of the year contest. Try him. He is patient and does his best to give you the 'best price'. What's best is he doesn't pull that proverbial 'long-face' when you don't buy something from them.

Try him, you'll be pleasantly surprised. (He is quite popular so you might have to wait for him).

-- Benjamin Yap (ben@mostly.com), July 23, 1999.

I don't like j3:16. They really overchage me by 100% I bought the Rodenstock microfiber cloth at $12.50 from them. A week later, i found out that the same thing is selling at $6 at Cathay marina. Yes it is only $6 difference, but look at the profit margin!

Well, there is nothing i can do, GOD will take care of their sins.

-- Tony (tonyhalim@www.com), October 23, 2001.

a heated argument over camera stores? take a look at the headlines fella's, can you see something perhaps a bit more important than the best place to consume. get a life.

-- Reality Chek (gaiabali@netscape.net), November 10, 2001.

Buying a camera can be interesting and I would like to share with you my experience at Lucky Plaza.

You usually start by asking for the price of the camera that you're looking for. They will usually quote 20% to 30% cheaper than the retail price. Their objective is to find out wheather you are interested in buying a camera or just comparing price. If you decide to buy the camera, then be careful. This is where they kick into action by displaying their salemanship.

First they will ask you some simple question regarding why do you want to buy this camera and what is your burget. Then, they will show you some other model which they claim that has a better performance, feature and value for money. If you listen to them and thinking that they sell cheap camera(from the initial quote), than you're wrong. If you are lucky, they trick you into buying a camera that is still within your burget, but is not more 20% - 30% discount from what you're looking before, instead may be more than the retail price elsewhere.

They will then try to sell you some accessaries like bags, filter, batteries, charger, stand and etc. They will say that since you're buying the camera from them, they will give you a special price for the accessories. If you believe them, then you think wrongly again. The items they sell you actually comes with the camera at a offer package or from someone who brought the camera but wasn't given the accessories.

If you did not listen to their recommendation and still want the camera that they first quote you at an unbelievable low price. They will tell you that the model they quote you earlier is export model or second-hand without warranty. If you tell them that you're willing to accept the camera due to the low price. They will finally tell you that they don't have stock. If you're lucky, they tell you to come back again some other time. If they ask you for deposit to order the camera. Then think twice, because you have not seen the camera yet. You may not get to see the camera and your money back again. Even if you get the camera, the condition may not be what you're willing to pay for.

My advice, don't waste time and go somewhere else to buy a camera. You won't be lucky in Lucky Plaza.

-- Bluebird (lucky@hotmail.com), December 22, 2001.

hahahaha !

francis lee you are a PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER? haha and i though press photographers used REAL equipment!!!!! :)

read this post:

"Hi there! This works for me. I always carry a shower cap(plain & transparent type) with me whenever I'm near water with my equipment. The whole camera can fitted into the shower cap with only the rim of the lens sticking out(Which have a rubber band holding it tightly), its cheap & easily available everywhere. Its FREE too (from the hotel's bathroom). Francis." (http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000mcB)

-- ben (benhouzŠ@hotmail.com), January 06, 2002.

I fully agree with bluebird's thesis on the camera shops. I had a similar experience in peninsula plaza where in the guy quoted the price of the body about 15% less than market price and then jumped in with all these extra offers about accessories. The final price was much higher than the market price...so better be careful. My experience is if you want to buy something very generic like point and shoot camera or just the body of an slr, or 28-80 lens etc., go to mustafa, thats the best place, although the service is poor, you are sure to get the best available bargain. Rest of the stuff can be had from cathay, which is a bit expensive but has a lot of variety. Happy clicking. Regards,

-- ash (chote_1975@yahoo.com), January 08, 2002.

Beware of the tricks when you go shopping!

I had a bad experience in Peninsula Plaza. In early Mar 2002, I went to a shop in Peninsula Plaza (the shop's name is something like "World Wide Camera", #01-38, just opposite Funan Center). I intended to buy a UV and Cleaning kit for my Sony 707. After a round of bargin, I bought them at S$25. Then the sales guy began to persuade me to buy a wide angle lens. It was a 46mm 0.42 super wide angle lens, After trying it, I noticed the four corners of the viewfinder are black. I suspected that it was because Sony 707 uses 58mm lens, so I asked for 58mm wide angle lens. But the sales guy said that there was NO 58mm wide angle at all and explained that this is fish-eye and asked me to zoom in the camera. The blackness did disappear after some extent of zomming in. Finally I was convinced and bought it at S$150 (the guy quoted at S$185). I knew the price was still high, but I thought it worth it because the guy was nice to spend so much effort educating me. After I came back that day and went to Internet forum, I was told that the black corners was actually due to the incompatible lens size. I found that I was trapped !! The next day, I went to ask the sales guy. His attitude was totally changed. He said "there is no 58mm wide angle" meant "we don't have 58mm wide angle", bullshit! And he kept insist that the black-corners was "fish-eye"! He refused to refund and he even refused to exchange it for a 58mm, rudely.

Watch out! You are dealing with those guys whose only goal is to grab as much as they can from you!

If you are new to camera stuff, go to a reliable shop.

-- Ben (sgben2000@yahoo.com.sg), March 06, 2002.

Err Ivan, its been about 2 years, have you bought your P&S? The rest of you(me included) go out there and TAKE SOME PICTURES!

-- Sheldon Wee (eastave5@hotmail.com), March 07, 2002.

I do hope mr ivan made more great shots more than just a good deal.

one man's meat is another man's poison. face it. there's no perfect shop. whichever works best for u, go for it. cheerio

-- leech (changloong@yahoo.com.sg), March 07, 2002.

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