Is there an advantage to buy MF at your local store vs buying equipment online? I know equipment is slightly more expensive at the local camera dealership...
Generally speaking this is not the case. Most digital backs, bodies, and lenses are distributed primarily through dealers rather than big-box stores. Pricing is often less when buying through a dealer as they follow the various promotions, bundles, trade-ins, demos, etc to get the lowest price on a particular product.
Regardless though anyone selling this equipment purely on price is doing you a grave disservice as your dealer should fill two very important roles:
1) pre-sales advice: it takes a lot of time, conversation, and knowledge to ensure a customer is buying the best equipment for their needs and budget and is allocating their resources in the most logical way (e.g. save money by buying a older generation lenses and use that money instead on an accessory which will help them more)
2) post-sales support: a dealer is meant to be your first line of defense for any questions, concerns, problems, repairs etc.
If you have a dealer within a half-day drive of you it just makes sense to talk to them first and see if you feel they will be a good match for your needs (partly professional - do they know their stuff? partly personal - do you like them?) you should go through them. If it's more than a half day drive then my (highly biased and very self serving) feeling is that with tools like video-conferencing, screen sharing, and cell phones always-on that anyone within overnight shipping of you is just about the same "distance" away.
Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
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