So you want to know where to buy a digital camera in Bangkok and how much digital cameras cost in Bangkok? People want to know about buying a digital camera and the places to buy digital cameras but there are a number of good quality and trustworthy camera shops in Bangkok. Small, compact, point and shoot type digital cameras, can be bought almost anywhere, but for larger, D-SLR cameras, you'd best go to specialist shops. Avoid department stores as prices are fixed and higher.
When buying your camera, ask where it was made. Often, cameras made in Japan are more expensive than cameras made in China, Malaysia or even Thailand. Personally, we don't think it makes a difference. As long as the camera is legitimate, then being made outside of Japan should not matter as companies employ careful quality control measures. Just make sure the camera comes with full INTERNATIONAL WARRANTY
It's possible to make savings when buying digital cameras in Bangkok but the stronger Baht means that prices are more likely to be higher. Even with UK's VAT of 20% compared to only 7% in Thailand, it is still cheaper to buy from Amazon UK, than buy in Thailand. This is certainly true for compact cameras and often true for SLRs. If you claim the 7% VAT back at the Bangkok International Airport, you will save a little more money but still not enough to warrant buying out of the safety of your own country. Just look at the two very popular compact digital camera prices below:
Nikon P300 in UK is 215.00 UK pounds, USA is 229 dollars Nikon P300 in Thailand is 228.00 UK pounds or 417 dollars with local warranty (comes with 4Gb memory card)
Canon S95 in UK is 250.00 UK pounds USA is 369 dollars Canon S95 in Thailand is 241.00 pounds or 482 US dollars (comes with 4Gb memory card)
Camera prices for Thailand show local warranty. If you opt for manufacturers warranty, then prices go up.
P300 becomes 269.00
S95 becomes 311.00
You are 'more likely" to make bigger savings on the larger Digital SLR cameras than on the smaller compact, point and shoot, cameras where the mark up is small. Again, you want to consider the warranty issues over the savings you might make. Also, when buying a digital camera in Bangkok, choose smaller shops which are run and owned by the people you are dealing with rather than bigger shops which employ sales staff who don't have the authority to offer reductions ( of any significant amount ).
Since writing the paragraph above the exchange rate for the Pound against the Baht has fallen substantially and now ( as of 25th Sept, 2011 ) stands at 48 Baht to the pound. With this exchange rate, buying a digital SLR camera in the UK is now cheaper than buying it in Thailand. Only when the exchange rate gets better will it be worth buying a camera in Bangkok or Thailand.
A quick example based on a Christmas visit to the UK saw the Nikon D300 on sale in duty free for £845 UK Pounds ( roughly 42,250 Baht ). UK shops are selling it from £899 and up although shops did warn us that UK prices were going up by 20% across the board so don't expect this situation to last. Jessop's Camera Shop in the UK now lists the D300 at £999 (post 20% increase). The same digital SLR camera in Bangkok from the excellent camera shop Fotofile costs about 54,000 Baht.
We recently (April 2012) purchased, from Foto File (the camera shop on the ground floor next to Auntie Anne's), a Nikon D7000 and added a different lens rather than taking the kit lens.
First of all, finding the D7000 was quite a challenge as it is a very popular camera. We had called Foto File a few days before buying it and they were out of stock but they called us as soon as one became available.
The camera cost 34,000 Baht (body only) and we added a 24,000 baht 18-105 VR Nikkor lens but after getting the camera home and popping off a few shots, it was clear that there was either a problem with the lens or the camera as I could not get a single image in focus.
I took it back the next day and the lens was changed without incident or question as the lens clearly had an issue. Instead of a replacement, I pushed the boat out and got a 44,000 Baht Nikkor 16-35mm VR lens and it is crisp and "tack sharp".
N.B - The camera body came with a Thailand only warranty but the lens came with an International warranty.
On asking for what else they would throw in for free, I managed to get a lens cleaning kit which was really just something that you squeeze and a jet of air blows out of a thin tube and this blows dust off the lens. I can't remember, but I think I was also given a 4 Gb memory card by an unknown brand and so I opted for an extreme II 16Gb card which apparently saves images faster.
1,470 UK Pounds - ( If you bought both items from Amazon.co.uk it would cost you 1,576.60 as of August 2012 )
2,306 US Dollars - ( If you bought both items from Amazon.com it would cost you 2,236.95 as of August 2012 )
So, you save 100 UK pounds buying in Bangkok but pay 64.00 US dollars more by buying in Bangkok and NO international warranty.....
Hong Kong Vs Bangkok
Many people say Hong Kong is cheaper than Bangkok, and I'd have to agree that you can make some decent savings in Hong Kong, but the trouble with Hong Kong is that you don't know if you can trust the sales folk. After reading about the scams I went there looking for the new SB900 Nikon flash and had various quotes along Nathan road but I spotted a quiet camera shop away from the others, no-one standing outside hustling me inside and I started to chat to the nice old Chinese man behind the counter who explained all about the scams and how you'll probably not walk away with the item you think you are buying. His prices were higher than the others, but he explained why.
I felt comfortable with this man and was quoted 19,000 Baht for the flash against 16,500 in the others, but I decided to wander around and visit some more shops and so off I went to Mongkok area and ended up getting the exact flash I wanted, made in Japan, full International Warranty etc for 15,500 ( it's presently on sale in Bangkok for 19.900 ( as of 8th November 2008 ).
On the 7th November, 2008 I was in Hong Kong again and I asked a shop on Nathan road the cost of the Nikon D300 digital SLR camera and was told 6,500 HK Dollars for body only which is half the cost of buying it in Bangkok. I wasn't going to buy it; just asking prices, but at the airport, I asked a duty free shop and was quoted 16,500 HK Dollars.... same price as Bangkok.
The point we are making is that in Hong Kong, prices fluctuate by large amounts and you never know whether the high price is a rip off or the low price is a scam. In Bangkok, prices are very similar and you almost never get scammed on hardware and so even though Hong Kong might be cheaper, the time it takes to find the honest shop and the best deal might very well negate the savings.
Where to buy a digital camera in Bangkok depends on what kind of camera you are looking for. Small compact, point and shoot type digital cameras can be purchased almost anywhere, but for the best deals try Pantip Plaza or Mahboonkrong (MBK)
If you are looking for Digital SLRs or quality / specialist camera equipment, then you will need to seek out the specialist shops, which can also be found at either Pantip Plaza or Mahboonkrong (MBK)
Shops often change. They either close, move or new ones open and so the list below could very well be out of data but the malls to go to are, without a doubt, MBK, Central World Plaza, Pantip Plaza and Fortune Town (Tower).
Most department stores have camera shops or camera departments. Siam Paragon has a camera section on the top floor, Central World department store area has a good camera department within the electrical department.
By going to the department stores, you'll not be able to bargain the price although you might get items thrown in for free as the sales people have a margin they can work to and they will throw items in for free if they can.
Specialist Camera Shops In Bangkok
Bangkok is a great place to find a camera and save money. Prices differ from shop to shop but as we've already mentioned, be careful of what it is you are getting; especially when it comes to the warranty.
Whether you are looking for a simple point and shoot pocket sized camera or a professional camera with lenses, tripods and flashes, you can find it in one of the many camera shops situated in the center of Bangkok or at one of the shopping malls in the outer areas of Bangkok
BIG CAMERA @ MBK
Big Camera at MBK Bangkok is a new camera shop in MBK and has taken over fromt Big Pro Camera. The shop is modern looking, fairly spacious and reliable. Head up to the 5th floor.
Decent amount of kit on view. Plenty of lenses and other accessories.
You can get all levels of cameras and equipment here but we feel it's aimed at the more run-of-the-mill type cameras that would suit point and shooters and those after something like the Nikon 3200.
WORLD CAMERA @ CENTRAL WORLD
World Camera is a fairly new camera shop that has opened up in Central World on the 4th floor and as the photo suggests, it's aimed at Nikon cameras as well as a few others.
This is for enthusiasts and professional photographers although the more popular point and shoots are available.
We went here to look for a quality lens for our Nikon D7000 and even though we speak Thai, didn't get much of a response from the guy at the counter who seemed more interested in texting than serving.
FOTO FRIEND @ CENTRAL WORLD
Foto Friend at Central World Shopping Plaza is the latest shop to open by the FOTO franchise of camera shops.
It's modern, well laid out and has a lot of camera equipment on display.
Whilst it sells most brands of camera it is aimed at professionals and enthusiasts and so you'll find a lot of Canon and Nikon equipment.
A very good camera shop to go to if looking for quality equipment.
BIG PRO CAMERA @ MBK
Big Pro Camera at MBK Bangkok is a newer camera shop in this large, central Bangkok shopping mall.
It sells all sorts of cameras and all brands and does not specialise in any one particular brand.
It sells cameras up to professional level, tripods, camera bags, lenses and all sorts of accessories including cleaning kits.
Prices are reasonable and the shop is very reliable and so you're certainly going to walk away with the original product
SUNNY CAMERAS @ MBK
Sunny Camera is a Nikon specialist camera shop at MBK. It sells products related to Nikon and all items are genuine and of reliable quality.
Sunny Camera sells all levels of Nikon cameras including lenses, filters, grips, batteries and so on.
With its being a specialist shop, prices are slightly higher but if Nikon is what you are after, you can't go wrong by giving this shop a visit.
Comprehensive camera shop aimed at the enthusiast / professional photographer. Shop is crammed with camera equipment and if you can't find it here, you'll probably not find it elsewhere either.
The staff attentive although busy and are more than happy to let you touch and "play" with the camera or lens before buying it. Great selection of bags, lenses, tripods and filters.
Bargaining is possible and if the price can't be reduced, see what they can throw in for free. View this amazing 360 view inside the shop
FOTO FILE @ MBK
Younger sibling of Foto Thailand (above). It is a smaller shop and can get extremely busy and so if you are looking for advice and a space to talk and test, this is not the place as Thais tend to cram the place and are grabbing the staff's attention whether you are being attended to or not.
If you can bear this can of atmosphere, the shop is a specialist camera and lens shop and you can find the latest and greatest here. Second hand cameras on sale too.
Situated on the ground floor of MBK next to Baskin Robbins at the front to the mall.
BOOTH D @ MBK
Booth D shows that not all camera shops are big shops. Booth D is a small stall and has a decent range of cameras and lenses. It's not up to the standards of the other shops at MBK but is worth a visit if you are after a popular brand point and shoot or an enthusiast's SLR digital camera
Small Stalls make up a big proportion of MBK shopping mall and some of these shops sell small, point and shoot digital cameras as well as the larger, best selling digital SLR cameras such as Nikon D40, D60, D90 and the new D7000, as well as Canon 450D, but mush higher than that and you'll probably have to go to the specialist shops above.
We bought a small point and shoot - The Canon s95 and we paid around 11,500 Baht from a small shop (stall).
We got a locall warranty and a 4 Gb memory card and it's worked like a dream ever since, so don't be put off from trying the smaller stalls.
BIG CAMERA @ CENTRAL RAMA 3
Big Camera at Central Rama 3 has about 3 decent camera shops. Big Camera, as shown here has a reasonable stock of cameras and lenses. In fact, the top picture shows the window display of this shop and so it has cheap, compact digital cameras and goes all the way up to the new Nikon D700 which was priced ( at the time of writing ) at 95,000 Baht, which is roughly 3,000 dollars ( US ) and is for the body only.
Stock is not always available. I asked about the Nikon D300, priced at 54,000 Baht, and they said we'd have to go to MBK to get it or they'd order it in for us.
FOTO FRIENDS @ CENTRAL RAMA 3
Foto Friends is similar to Big Camera. It has a good selection of cameras and lenses but again, only really going up to enthusiast level. Nothing really "pro" here and so if you are looking for the Canon EOS mkIII or similar, you need to go to MBK or Pantip Plaza or, try the shop shown below.....
CAMERA & LENS
Camera & Lens at Central Rama 3 in Bangkok is a great camera shop. It has an excellent range of new and second hand lenses and a decent display of cameras from all brands.
If you live in the Rama 3 area, then a trip to Central Rama 3 might allow you to find the camera you are looking for.
The only negative is that if you can't find it at Central Rama 3, you'll have to make the trip to MBK or Pantip Plaza
Zoom Cameras can be found in the basement section of Seacon Square. Just find your way to the IT Mall section and a brief walk around will find it.
Zoom Camera isn't great as far as selections goes. It sells the most popular digital cameras from Canon and Nikon but nothing more than popular cameras.
It has a few accessories but not a great number and so a visit here is only worth it if in the area and can't really be bothered to travel any further.
Scom is not a dedicated camera shop but you can find popular point and shoot digital cameras here as well as the cheaper but popular Nikon's, Canon's etc.
Scom can also be found in the basement section of Seacon Square, so find your way to the IT mall area and you can easily find Scom.
Camera City is on the second floor of Seacon Square and doesn't open early. We arrived at 10.30 on a week day and there was nobody home but the window looked promising.
It advertises itself as a camera city which would give the idea that it's harboring a plethora of cameras and equipment but it too seems to be selling run of the mill camera equipment which would only please the novice user or someone willing to take the plunge and buy the popular, entry level, SLR cameras.
We didn't enter the shop to take a look around and so we can't comment fully, but from the window display we feel it's safe to say that it can't compete with the likes of Foto File, Foto Thailand or Big Pro Camera etc.