My very first camera was a Kodak. It was a PhP500 point and shoot film camera. I think I first got it when I was in elementary or high school. Anyway, the next camera I’ve got was another Kodak, this time it was a handy down from my younger sister, who was already working then. It was a good point and shoot camera, too but it became worn and old that the focus very poor unless you expose the image for a long time–and you hold it very steady.
I always wanted to be a serious photography hobbyist and wanted to enroll to a formal course, however, my late college adviser was against it and said that I can get formal short courses in the future, which I wasn’t able to do so. Anyway, when I started working and as it involved documenting events, I just learned along the way how to shoot for a documentary purpose, creatively and, well, randomly–ehehe! I wasn’t sure I was doing it correct with the prosumer cameras I was using then but I’ve got my inspiration from magazine shots, newspapers, internet among others.
If you’ve guessed it, the reason for this blog–well as the title suggest, is camera. I’ve never owned a decent camera of my own, well as a family man, OUR own. As our trip to Australia draws near, we calculated what else we can invest before going Down Under. We’ve already invested some money on a laptop, guitar and keyboard. We have a long wish list but in the end after some calculations, reality set in that we’ll only be able to buy just one last item out of the short list of our wants and needs.
So, since we still have to own a camera, we settled to buy one. It was a long time of prayer and consultation. We searched the internet and emailed a professional photographer friend. My friend has yet to answer but we already got an offer from a store in Siam Paragon. He offered us a cheap alternative to Canon350D–an Olympus E500. THB19,000 as against THB23,900. He raised the stakes by offering a sigma zoom lens for only THB4,000 including free bag, 1GB memory and tripod. Very, very tempting. But I was the most eager one so, I have to hold on to myself.
We went around Bangkok and asked for the best deal. We never came with a choice, this was last Saturday.
Sunday morning, no answer from Bro. Dan. My wife decided to call him but I was the one who talked to him (actually I was reluctant to call him out of shyness). Anyway, I’ve given him the situation between the Canon350D and the Olympus E500. I told him that I read the reviews among others.
He immediately told me that I should go for a Nikon D40, which I was staring at the laptop at that very moment! He was the one of the authorities on cameras and photography that we trust (see his website/blog as to why), so Nikon is a cheaper and better alternative. I’ve searched Nikon’s site and found out that they have a fresh camera in the market, the Nokia D40X.
So, we rushed to Siam Paragon, we went to the Department store first only to find out that they don’t sell Nikon there. We went to the IT City branch also in Siam Paragon and they don’t have it either. So we rushed to MBK to the Nikon authorized dealer and two other shops selling Nikon. They were selling the camera at a very steep price without any freebies. We were also looking at having an international warranty for the camera.
Alas the last straw was to go to the one of the biggest IT malls, Fortune Town in Ratchadapisek. We asked two more stores and another IT City branch there. We settled for a store, which claimed to have an international warranty for the camera. The representative also offered free bag and 1GB memory including a 512MB thumbdrive for only THB1. We thought hard whether we’ll go for the twin lens (valued at THB30,500) or the single lens (THB22,200).
My wife went downstairs to withdraw some cash. I was inspecting the goods and preparing for the paperworks, I kept on asking the man as to where the warranty cards are. The manual was also missing. When my wife got to the store, she was adamant to take the goods without the manual, which for me wasn’t that big deal. I was frustrated as I and my wife argued. Is she going to take a more expensive camera, few thousand baht difference just because of a missing manual?
Anyway, as loving husband, I followed and we went to see the kits on the other stores. They also have photocopied manuals of the camera and the warranty, as it turns out, is only good in their store (they claim that it is only in Thailand).
We moved to IT City, a more reputable IT store. When I saw the kit, I was ecstatic to see that the box has yet to be opened, as against the unit that we inspected previously. It was complete with accessories and while we are going to pay a few thousand baht more, we’ve got a Nikon camera bag, IT City camera bag, camera cleaning cloth, lens cleaning package, tripod, 1GB memory and card holder for free.
So, after shooting a few test shots, we closed the deal. The Nikon D40X was THB27,900 with one year Thailand warranty on the body and an international warranty on the 18-55mm lens. The kids were excited to get a hand on our new DSLR, so was my wife and, of course, me! Here’s our new baby!
These photos were taken with a Sony DSC-H1, which I borrowed from our organization. 🙂