Photo Continental

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iano
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Photo Continental

Post by iano » Sat 21 Mar, 2015 9:10 am

I swear this store is now standing on its last legs and will be gone before long :(

They keep neutering the floor space. First they cut upstairs in half, then reduced it to one third the original size.

Now all they trade is a tiny little area downstairs directly near the car park.

Pretty clear picture this iconic Brisbane business is bleeding to death. Got 3 rolls of Ilford 36exp black and white for twenty bucks. (one roll alone retails for $13.50 so go figure).
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by dan » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 11:20 am

i went in there to look for my last digicam. spent about 30mins playing around with a few models and the staff were really helpful. decided what model i wanted and then bought it off eBay for $20 cheaper. good place.
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by iano » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 12:55 pm

I hope it then either fell in a creek, the sea, under your car, or any other scenario that could have possibly fucked it within 5 days :)
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by cGr » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 2:37 pm

I wont be crying in to my weeties when PC closes, but it will be a sad day. Unfortunately they've fallen into the Harvey Norman trap of not staying current, and I think they will soon be left with no choice but to close.

It wasn't that long ago that PC still had their old website for browsing for products/prices online (where you had to go into a very clunky sub-interface from the main website), and their current website is not that much better (difficult to find prices for basic services such as film processing).

Trolling aside, I think the main demographic for PC (middle aged male) has probably contributed to PC's own undoing by buying stuff online because its cheaper. Mums and dads will wander in to JB where they have a larger range, don't have to wait for someone to serve them because all the cameras are locked up (service at PC has never been astounding, even a few years ago), and ultimately cheaper prices. Young people will buy exclusively from the web. And people like you and I hardly spend enough on camera equipment, film services, or accessories to keep them afloat.

It will be interesting to see how places like Michaels in Melbourne go long term, though I think their location and opening hours are much better than what PC has ever been (it's always been a chore to get there, although I note that they are now open until 4pm on Saturdays rather than just midday). The other thing is how Canon (and its distributors) deal with grey imports.

The bike scene has been interesting in this last respect because two things have happened. 1) Overseas sites have limited the sale of products to places like Australia where distributors have already been established, to protect the local distributors. 2) The local market has wised up and dropped their prices to a point where it is feasible to walk into a local bike shop and not be charged double what the cost is online. There is still some way to go with this (tyres especially, $80 for a pair online, $80 EACH locally), but just like data retention and limiting torrents, there will always be ways around the limitations put in place.

Now, speaking of which, who overseas wants to start shipping iPhones to Australia....?

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Re: Photo Continental

Post by iano » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 6:40 pm

Can hardly see Michaels folding any time soon. That being said there used to be an excellent second hand camera exchange barely 4 doors up from them on Lonsdale St which I've bought several lenses from. They couldn't pay the rent moved into the burbs a year or two ago.

Always been happy with cust service standards at PC, best you'll get anywhere imo. Camera Pro is run by hipsters who think they know they're technical shit but don't (seriously ask any one of them a mildly curly spec related question and they will 9/10 get it absolutely wrong). Digital Camera Warehouse staff are flat out rude to you - that's on a good day. In fact probably PC and Teds lead the pack in this respect. I bought my latest Lowe Pro hiking pack/bag/behemoth thing from them not so long ago and the woman there bent.over.backwards to get the sale, which I happily provided in the end.

Things that did not play out in PCs favour though (and cGr touched upon most of them):

- shit location for a lot of people
- shit carpark that's a prick to even find unless you know the area well/live locally
- shit trading hours
- the fact the staff are exceedingly polite and wear those pale blue starched uniforms that are as stiff as a dead fkn cat is umm....a bit outdated? Pass the doily and teapot will you love, and yes I'll help myself to a digestive biscuit as well thanks.
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by daBOODA » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 6:45 pm

PC and Teds CBD are the only two stores in Brisbane where you can buy Canon cameras and lenses and qualify for CPS. If PC go then maybe Canon will open up the CPS eligibility to other camera stores. It's bullshit that you can only buy our gear from two shops to be 'allowed' to pay $X per year to be in the programme (loan gear when your shit breaks, expedited repair etc).
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by cGr » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 7:12 pm

cGr wrote:1) Overseas sites have limited the sale of products to places like Australia where distributors have already been established, to protect the local distributors.
I suspect the same holds true for CPS, its Canon protecting their investment, and I can all but guarantee that there is a certain cost for Teds to own the rights to CPS.

Out of interest, do you deal with Teds for any CPS services? Drop off, pick up, loan equipment, etc?
iano wrote:Always been happy with cust service standards at PC, best you'll get anywhere imo. Camera Pro is run by hipsters who think they know they're technical shit but don't (seriously ask any one of them a mildly curly spec related question and they will 9/10 get it absolutely wrong). Digital Camera Warehouse staff are flat out rude to you - that's on a good day.
6 of one....

I've walked out of Teds because no one even acknowledged I was there (they were busy, that's fine, but at least make me feel like I'm not just a walking ATM to give money out), and conversely I've had fantastic service from digital camera warehouse.

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Re: Photo Continental

Post by daBOODA » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 7:55 pm

I'm not in CPS. The rules are that you must purchase a number of L series lenses and I think two 'pro' level bodies - 1DX, 1DC and I think the 5D3 counts too AND these things have to be purchased from a CPS authorised shop like PC or Teds.

The only non second hand item I own is the 5D3 and I got that from JB Hifi when it was discounted to below $3k.

Meh, who needs CPS anyway?
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by cGr » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 8:37 pm

Just curious, maybe there are reasons why Canon doesn't hand out CPS store membership to anyone who asks? Perhaps they don't trust the likes of those dodgy hipsters at camera pro, or they know teds always has sufficient spares to give to CPS members on the spot? Or maybe Canon cant keep a larger number of stores trained up to a level to keep CPS members happy?

Ultimately, I think its Canon's way of ensuring that the stores which do have CPS membership are going to keep selling high volumes of Canon gear. I mean that from a Teds point of view (Teds need, or already are, retail high volumes of Canon gear), not so much that Teds will automatically sell gear because they are CPS. Think about it from Canons point of view, you'll protect the investment another company has made in retailing your gear in return for continuing to perform at that level. If they don't, then the CPS store membership will move elsewhere.

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Photo Continental

Post by iano » Sun 22 Mar, 2015 10:11 pm

If you're in the CPS club then can't you just have all your pro spec gear supplied directly from Canon and bypass a brick mortar altogether? The top Nikon shooters (Delly Carr, Marcus Bell, Rocco Ancora, Jasin Boland + a handful of others) wouldn't simply walk into the closest Teds or Camera Pro and say oi fellas I kinda need a $10k 400 f2.8 for a job on the weekend - have you got one? No no, they'll ring Nikon Australia directly and have it sent out via express freight the very next day.
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by daBOODA » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 6:43 am

I know during an Olympics Canon have huge store rooms full of bodies and long white glass ready for the sports shooters (all canon and all cps). But that's a special situation.

The stores would have to be the point of service for handing in gear and borrowing loaners. Tough shit if you're shooting on the weekend, though, be PC is shut from 2pm on Saturday and closed on sunday
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by iano » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 8:01 am

Heh yeah, I've seen pics of those Canon vaults. Nikon had identical ones at Beijing and London. Racks full of D4 bodies - at least 20-30 of, then the same again for the glass. Someone reckoned there was over 1/2 a million $ worth of kit. Easily I'd say.
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by daBOODA » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 8:37 am

Why would anyone use a Nikon for sport? :P
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by cGr » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 12:15 pm

Nikons are used for sport, the sport of being compared as the poor second cousin to Canon. *wonder whether the fish are biting today*
iano wrote:If you're in the CPS club then can't you just have all your pro spec gear supplied directly from Canon and bypass a brick mortar altogether? The top Nikon shooters (Delly Carr, Marcus Bell, Rocco Ancora, Jasin Boland + a handful of others) wouldn't simply walk into the closest Teds or Camera Pro and say oi fellas I kinda need a $10k 400 f2.8 for a job on the weekend - have you got one? No no, they'll ring Nikon Australia directly and have it sent out via express freight the very next day.
Hmmm, would I rather wait up to 2 full days for a replacement (break on Monday morning, courier doesn't arrive until the afternoon of the next day)? Or if I break a lens/body the morning of a shoot would I prefer to walk in to Teds/PC and have them give me a replacement on the spot. Decisions, decisions.

I know that the top Canon shooters get given camera bodies in person prior to them being released to the public. I cant blame Nikon for not doing the same thing, I wouldn't want some smelly bird watcher who has been sitting in a hide for weeks on end without a shower coming in to contact with me either.

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Re: Photo Continental

Post by SecaBoy » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 12:43 pm

lol @ the nikon/canon rivalry coming into any thread about cameras. :P


i bought the missus a nikon d3300 on the weekend................from jbhifi. *gasp*
who cares if PC goes outta business. if they're not keeping current with their pricing/service/etc, then BYE BYE!!!
same goes for any sort of business.
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by iano » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 3:59 pm

I will for a start. Picked up a Nikon F601 film SLR recently for 45 bucks. In 1991 this was a $1600 body. Batteries are pretty hard to find (thanks Jaycar) but it still works flawlessly, apart from a rather loud AF motor.

If PC shuts down, then fotofast in the CBD is about the only other place I can think of that can still develop film, without having to mail it interstate and/or overseas.

You want a nibble Cameron? Ok then. Nikon lenses and bodies die hard. See above for proof. Find me a Canon SLR from the early 90s that even still works and oh wait hang on....can accept every Canon lens ever made since 1959 actually fuck that just forget it.
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by iano » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 4:03 pm

cGr wrote:
I know that the top Canon shooters get given camera bodies in person prior to them being released to the public. I cant blame Nikon for not doing the same thing, I wouldn't want some smelly bird watcher who has been sitting in a hide for weeks on end without a shower coming in to contact with me either.
Shame on you, were you never given National Geographic mags to read during your upbringing? I sure as hell was. Tell me the most common photo ads by far which used to grace the pages.

Wildlife as Canon sees it.
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by Ted » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 4:40 pm

I have never been a fan of Photo Continental. I have tried to like them, but their customer service has always been woeful. I did buy a Lowepro bag from them years ago, and they were helpful that time. I have no problems with Camerapro, in fact my Leica and one lens came from them. They were easy to deal with. A mate who lives in Melbourne has picked up a couple of things from them over the phone with no problems. I have never needed technical information from them though, I am not very technical.

I do like the little shops, and its customer service that will get me spending my money. CameraLane in Melbourne is nice place to look at. I did buy a Canon S120 recently and spent my money at Ted's in Garden City. That was one I shopped around (3 places) and went back to the place that actually bothered to talk to me rather than just give me a price.

While in Japan, I set out to buy another lens. I knew what I wanted. CameraPro has stopped pushing rangefinder stuff but they could get it to me for $1460. CameraLane in Melbourne said $1250 so I figured I would get it sometime when I was next in Melbourne. But in Japan, the huge chain - Yodobashi Camera - had it for $1100. However, two stores I went to had no stock. BTW this is what a tiny fragment of a Yodobashi store looks like

Image

I had also read about this place in Tokyo, on the 8th floor of a little building. Found it, and entered camera heaven. Old cameras, new cameras, all top notch stuff (Hasselblad, Leica, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Yashica.....) but no photography allowed (he did let me take a couple of shots). Asked them for a price on the lens I wanted, and he came back with $910. Also picked up an Artisan and Artist strap to try. He did ask me how I found them. Great customer service, simple to deal with and good stuff. As far as I am concerned, places who are happy to treat me like a customer can have my money any time. I am over being treated with disdain, and I am also not a big Internet shopper.

Image

And for the Nikon fans, something I walked past

Image
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Re: Photo Continental

Post by cGr » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 6:47 pm

iano wrote:If PC shuts down, then fotofast in the CBD is about the only other place I can think of that can still develop film, without having to mail it interstate and/or overseas.

You want a nibble Cameron? Ok then. Nikon lenses and bodies die hard. See above for proof. Find me a Canon SLR from the early 90s that even still works and oh wait hang on....can accept every Canon lens ever made since 1959 actually fuck that just forget it.
That's because the world moves on, just like how leaded petrol has gone the way of the dinosaurs. If you want to develop film, then buy the kit for $500 and do it yourself.

I don't see the point in making lenses backwards compatible from 60 years ago, just like I don't see the point in people going back to own a car from 1960 because of how good they remember it was. Sure it was good at the time, and you have a lot of fond memories about it, but even a modern $20k car is going to outperform it in almost every way.

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Photo Continental

Post by iano » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 7:13 pm

Heritage and exclusivity.

Those two words pretty much debunk both of your paragraphs above.

People still use film - and old camera bodies and lenses because frankly, they don't give a damn that a brand new 20mp $200 compact from Kmart outperforms it technically. Pride of ownership wins over outright performance in this respect.

Reminds me when Clarkson pitched a 2005 Honda Accord against an Aston Martin and Jag E-Type I think it was, both made in the 1960s keep in mind - in a plain old 400m sprint. The Accord kicked the old girls' arses. But would I take the Honda over a classic Aston or Jag?

Most definitely not.
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