Buying A Camera In The UK? Mostly A Miserable Experience

Buying an A77 or maybe also an A35 leaves me the question of where in the UK to buy a camera. Generally I don’t much like the choices I have of camera shops.

We have a nightmare zombie chain of stores called Jessops which drove most of the excellent local stores out of business before floating on the London Stock Exchange, running into financial difficulty and eventually going into liquidation. Refusing to die, it currently operates as a ‘Zombie company’, owned by a consortium including the bank to which it owed most. So now most towns in the UK have a camera store that’s run not by a photography enthusiast but by HSBC.

A few really good local stores such as HarrisonsĀ of Sheffield still exist, and I’d be happy to go there if they sold Sony, but they don’t. So for now I’m wondering where to buy.

If only I lived and worked in the US, I could buy from a really good camera store such as BHPhotovideo or Adorama. But because of PAL/NTSC Video, I can’t even buy an A77 when I’m over there this autumn.

Sony A35 - where to buy in UK?

Sony A35 - where to buy in UK?

This entry was posted in Prices, Rants and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Buying A Camera In The UK? Mostly A Miserable Experience

  1. et says:

    I’d be really surprised if the a77 doesn’t let you choose frame rates so you could shoot PAL/NTSC with a camera regardless of where you bought it. Many cameras already do. Another thing to consider if you buy in the US is that you will be left with just Sony’s warranty and not any consumer rights like what we’re used to in Europe. (not that having any rights would help much if you’d have to go to the US to claim them)

    • David James Ross says:

      I didn’t realise PAL/NTSC could be changed so easily – I thought it was set in firmware? But you’re right, in any case the warranty issue would rule out a US purchase for me, though I might be tempted to buy a lens or two in the US.

      • David James Ross says:

        I’ve checked, and unlike other manufacturers, Sony fixes PAL or NTSC according to where the camera is sold and this can’t be changed in the camera settings.

        • et says:

          Disappointing. Let’s hope they change this practice. Sony should really take a leaf out of Canon’s book on this.

  2. r. bresson says:

    the US are so far but Europe just is “ante portas”.
    there are o lot of excellent shops esp ind Germany and Austria – run by enthusiasts.
    and some good and reliable Internet shops too we have.
    maybe you’ll have a look at or you visit big shops like Sauter in Munich or a littler smaller ones like foto frenzel in Ulm (Danube) –
    I never had a problem.
    Besides also Switzerland isn’t too far. … …
    Maybe the next vacation is just round the corner?
    Hope that helps a little
    My very best
    Robert Bresson
    Neu-Ulm /Germany

    • David James Ross says:

      I’m going to be in Switzerland in a few weeks – too soon for the A77. But it’s good to know there are still decent camera shops in Germany and I’ll look at the ones you suggest. Thanks again.

  3. phil wright says: THE best mail order photography dealer in the uk. buy online on a friday afternoon,and get it delivered saturday morning.wonderful service!

    • David James Ross says:

      I think I may have bought and had a good experience with them before – will check them out.

  4. Martin Drazsky says:

    I have used Robert White many times and have been really satisfied (and I not longer live in the UK and I still buy from them, from time to time)

  5. Simon Grason says:


    I am from Harrison’s in Sheffield. We do sell Sony products and we have a large range of Alpha and NEX cameras and lenses in stock in the shop, we just don’t sell Sony on our website.