Saturday, 13 July 2013


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I see the rising need for a FAQ for DSLRs

1) Pitfalls of purchasing a DSLR.
  • i) Camera Body
  • ii) Warranty Information
  • iii) Mount Cap
  • iv) 30~50% charged battery & charger
  • v) Warranty Card *IMPT*
  • vi) USB Cables/FireWire Cables
  • vii) Software
  • viii) Strap
  • ix) Kit Lenses
  • x) Ensure Sensor is fine
  • xi) LCD Works?
  • xii) Paying up

2) Shops to avoid and WHY
  • i) Sim Lim Square
  • ii) Lucky Plaza

3) Recommended Shops
  • i) Which shop(s)?
  • ii) Return Policies
  • iii) Exchange Policies

4) Grey Set Shops

1) Pitfalls of purchasing a DSLR.

Before you purchase a DSLR, you should ask yourself, do you know what you're getting? If you do, then you're good to go. If not go online check the accessories that comes together with the package before you purchase one.

The package contents are mostly similar for DSLRs by different makes, but again this is a guideline to what the package should contain (MUST-HAVE items)

i) Camera Body

Not much explanation needed, 'cos, if you bought a set without a camera in the box. Go kill yourself  J/K.

ii) Warranty Information

DSLRs are electronic equipment, thus like their counterparts - compact cameras, do not come with INTERNATIONAL WARRANTY. Anybody claiming they have sets that are international warranty is a fake.

The widest coverage for DSLR known is the Canon system, covering their DSLRs in China, India and Singapore only if you purchased the set from Singapore as a Tourist. All other makes of DSLRs are covered by local warranties only.

iii) Mount Cap

These are generally used for covering the lens mount when no lens is fixed on, prevents dust and particles from entering through the mount and also to prevent accidental touch to the mirror/prism/shutter inside. Which will cause you to cry because of the fees needed to repair the internal parts.

iv) 30~50% charged battery & charger

IF, IF a shop tells you the set don't come with batteries and needs to be purchased additionally, ask the shop go fly kite.

A TV remote also comes with batteries, how can they sell a camera without batteries? Even if it's a brand-less camera using AA, at least 2 generic AA batteries will be included in the package.

v) Warranty Card *IMPT*

This is the most important part of your package. Without it. YOUR CAMERA IS A GREY SET. No warranty means that all repairs/service will be chargable from the moment you leave the shop. Normal warranty for camera(s) and lenses is minimum of ONE year by the MANUFACTURER, not SHOP, nor promises, nor anything else. ONLY by MANUFACTURER.

vi) USB Cables/FireWire Cables

Alright, before you stone me, yes I know most of us would have owned a dozen of these cables so it might not seem important to you, but still, just a highlight.

Data cables used for transferring images from the camera to the computer directly WILL be provided by the manufacturer.

vii) Software

There will be at least one trial or easy to use software (which normally CAN be downloaded from the manufacturer's website) will be included on CDs.


Nikon - View NX2, Capture NX2

Canon - "Digital Photo Professional", "EOS Utility" and "Picture Style Editor"

These software provides you the capabilities to transfer the images (rotate them, if any) and edit the images. Personally I don't use the bundled software.  Your mileage may vary.

viii) Strap

For DSLRs. Always, a neck strap is included in the package. Canon would have their "EOS Professional" printed on the strap, and for Nikon, "Nikon Digital SLR".

ix) Kit Lenses

For those purchasing sets with kit lense, make sure the lenses comes with a front cap (snap on usually) and a rear lens cover (either a screw on, or snap on as well).

REMEMBER: The above is by far NON-EXHAUSTIVE! Exercise your discretion to search online (google) or the manufacturer's website for the exhaustive list!!


A few things needs to be verified before you say OK and pay (sign in blood? ) Do run through the list.

x) Ensure Sensor is fine

One most expensive part of the camera is the sensor, aka imaging sensor. The piece of chip in the camera that creates the image to display.

Hot Pixels - They show up as a tiny dot of colour that stays as is. Eg: Red/green/blue all the way. Sometimes they disappear after a while, sometimes they never go. Usually, one pixel won't hurt much given that it's 1 out of say... 8 million pixels.(Nikon D80)

Dead Pixels - They show up as a tiny dot of black that will never display colour(s). Forever BLACK. As again, 1 dot won't matter much vs 8 million of it.

For the above, unlikely and very likely, you will be able to even see it on the image printed/taken if it's only 1 pixel. Unless it's multiple pixels near each other and/or really a lot, else, you can't tell at all.

xi) LCD Works?

After taking an image, review it on the LCD behind (do note some LCDs are protected by a film later, peel off to view the LCD in it's clarity).

The LCD behind consists of slightly less pixels, approximately 260K+. However, if the LCD is faulty - dead/hot pixels. It shows up almost immediately when reviewing.

What should you do?

Knock your head if you say it's ok, EXCHANGE for a new set. Well, you're going to pay for it.

xii) Paying Up

Now comes the painful experience of parting with your money. Why is this last in this section?

'cos it's supposed to be done after you've completed the checklist above 

2) Shops to avoid and WHY

Basically, just 2 places to avoid buying.

i) Sim Lim Square

Famous for electronics, hardware, computers, CD-Rs, etc. Why is this NOT a good place to make your purchases?

Most of these shops uses enticing methods (aka super low price) to lure you into their shops, psyche you with a 'good' price only to get you all excited then alas - they tell you no stock. In turn, they recommend you a different model, which they then overcharge you because you haven't been doing your HOMEWORK and pressure you to purchase what they recommended. Once you refuse, they start to hurl abuses at you and make you embarrassed.

It's a tourist trap. Remember that.

ii) Lucky Plaza

Read the above ^

Credit to 

Remember: If it's too good to be true, it ISN'T TRUE!

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