The Trouble with Buying a Camera

Buying headphones is a royal pain in the ass, but cameras ain’t so easy either.

The Problem

You want a new camera. You do your homework and research the possibilities.

  • Canon or Nikon?
  • Point-and-shoot, compact system or DSLR?
  • Features
  • Price range

But online research isn’t enough. You need to hold the camera, make sure it’s comfortable, and see how it fits in your pocket if it’s a point-and-shoot. You can’t do that on the Internet.

So you walk into a technology retailer looking to test drive a camera. You made the mistake of going to Best Buy because it was close.

You step up to the camera section and find a very attractive display featuring a ton of camera. The pretty display was clearly crafted by that unique combination of stupidity that only occurs when idiots from Madison Avenue and a major corporation collaborate.

  • Madison Avenue Requirement: It must look sexy
  • Corporate Requirement: Customers can’t steal the merchandise
  • Solution: Something beautiful and completely unwieldy

Add all that up and you’ve got a camera permanently fixed to an aesthetically pleasing dumbbell, which is then chained to the display.

PC Richard's Flavored Camera Dumbbell

The problems with the camera dumbbell:

  • The display weighs more than the damn camera
  • You can’t hold the camera properly
  • You can’t see how it fits in your pocket

Now you can’t tell how much it weighs, how it feels to hold, or if it’s comfortable in your pocket.

So you approach a knowledgeless salesperson in the camera department and ask, “Hi, I’m interested in purchasing this pricey Canon S95. It’s got great reviews online, and I’d like to see how it feels to hold and use.”

To which the knowledgeless salesperson say’s, “Pick it up, and give it a try.”

“It’s attached to a dumbbell, can you detach it for me?” You ask.

The knowledgeless salesperson retorts, “Sorry, we don’t do that for security purposes.”

You respond, “Umm… You’re going to be standing right here with me.”

“Yeah, they don’t give me a key to unlock the cameras,” says the knowledgeless salesperson.

What makes all of this worse? The damn camera on the aesthetically appealing display doesn’t even work. You can’t even test the user-interface. Completely wasted trip.

What’s worse than that? Every camera-bearing store you walk into has some version of this crappy dumbbell display.

Apple may have their faults, but when you walk into their stores, the products work, and you can properly interact with them.

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