In these days of discount stores, mass merchandisers, and rampant catalog sales, the place you buy a camera or any other photographic product/may not be much help when you need more information--or when things go wrong. Unless you cultivate a relationship with a friendly neighborhood photo shop, you may need to contact a product's manufacturer or distributor directly.
The following alphabetical list helps you make that contact. This list includes addresses, phone numbers, and Web sites for most major U.S. suppliers of point-and-shoot cameras 35mm, Advanced Photo System, and digital models), plus manufacturers of films, batteries, digital products, and storage and display materials. You even find companies that operate photofinishing networks.
Don't send a malfunctioning point-and-shoot to these addresses without first consulting the camera's maker. Repair facilities are often in different locations than a company's headquarters.
Manufacturers usually have technical or customer service departments that can answer your questions about camera operation, film performance, and other photographic matters. Most can also provide you with a replacement camera manual if you lost yours. Some companies have consumer catalogs of their offerings ask for one if you're shopping), but if not, they can mail you brochures on specific products. You may even be able to request materials or assistance through the company's Web site, which is also a good source of information.
Adobe Systems, Inc., 345 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95110-2705; telephone 800/685-3507 or 408/536-6000; Web site www.adobe.com. Computer software for photography.
Agfa Division of Bayer Corp., 100 Challenger Rd., Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660-2199; telephone 201/440-2500; Web site www.agfahome.com. Film, cameras, digital photo products.
Canon USA, Inc., One Canon Plaza, Lake Success, NY 11042-1119; telephone 800/OK-CANON or 516/328-5000; Web site www.usa.canon.com. Cameras, digital photo products, accessories.
Eastman Kodak Company, 343 State St., Rochester, NY 14650-0412; telephone 800/242-2424 or 716/724-4000; Web site www.kodak.com. Film, cameras, batteries, digital photo products, photofinishing.
Epson America, Inc., 20770 Madrona Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; telephone 800/GO-EPSON or 310/782-0770; Web site www.epson.com. Digital cameras, digital photo products.
Fuji Photo Film USA, Inc., 555 Taxter Rd., Elmsford, NY 10523-2394; telephone 800/755-3854 or 914/789-8100; Web site www.fujifilm.com. Film, cameras, digital photo products, photofinishing.
Hewlett-Packard Company, 16399 W. Bernardo Dr., San Diego, CA 92127-1899; telephone 800/851-1170; Web site www.hp.com. Digital cameras, digital photo products.
Ilford Photo, West 70 Century Rd., Paramus, NJ 07652-1490; telephone 201/265-6000; Web site www.ilford.com. Film, digital photo products.
JVC Company of America, 41 Slater Drive, Elmwood Park, NJ 07407-1311; telephone 800/252-5722; Web site www.jvc.com. Digital cameras.
Konica USA, Inc., 440 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632-2720; telephone 800/285-6422; Web site www.konica.com. Film, cameras, digital photo products, photofinishing.
Kyocera Electronics Inc. Contax, Yashica), 2301 Cottontail Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873; telephone 800/526-0266 or 732/560-0060; Web site www.contaxcameras.com or www.yashica.com. Cameras, digital products.
Leica Camera, Inc./Minox, 156 Ludlow Ave., Northvale, NJ 07647-2305; telephone 800/222-0118 or 201/767-7500; Web site www.leica-camera.com. Cameras, camera bags.
Minolta Corporation, 101 Williams Dr., Ramsey, NJ 07446-1282; telephone 800/528-4767 or 201/825-4000; Web site www.minolta.com. Cameras, digital photo products, accessories.
Nikon Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, NY 11747-8518; telephone 800/NIKON-US; Web site www.nikonusa.com. Cameras, digital photo products.
Olympus America Inc., 2 Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY 11747-3157; telephone 800/622-6372 or 516/844-5000; Web site www.olympus.com. Cameras, digital photo products, accessories.
Pentax Corporation, 35 Inverness Dr. E., Englewood, CO 80112-5484; telephone 800/877-0155 or 303/799-8000; Web site www.pentax.com. Cameras, digital photo products, accessories.
Polaroid Corporation, 201 Burlington Rd., Bedford, MA 01730; telephone 800/343-5000 or 617/386-2000; Web site www.polaroid.com. Film, cameras, digital photo products.
Print File Inc., 1846 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka, FL 32703; 407/886-3100; Web site www.printfile.com. Archival film and print storage materials and systems.
Ricoh Consumer Products Group, 475 Lillard Dr., Ste. 101, Sparks, NV 89434-8926; telephone 800/225-1899 or 702/352-1600; Web site www.ricohcpg.com. Cameras, digital photo products.
Rollei Fototechnik, 40 Seaview Dr., Secaucus, NJ 07094; telephone 888/876-5534; Web site www.rolleifoto.com. Cameras, digital photo products.
Samsung Opto-Electronics America Inc., 40 Seaview Dr., Secaucus, NJ 07094-1807; telephone 800/762-7746 or 201/902-0347; Web site www.simplyamazing.com. Cameras, digital photo products.
The Saunders Group Silver Pixel Press), 21 Jet View Drive, Rochester, NY 14624-4903; telephone 716/328-7800; Web site www.saundersphoto.com. Camera bags, accessories, photo books.
Sony Electronics Inc., One Sony Drive, Park Ridge, NJ 07656; telephone 800/472-7669 or 201/930-7796; Web site www.sony.com. Digital cameras, digital photo products.
Vivitar Corporation, 1280 Rancho Conejo Blvd., Newbury Park, CA 91320-1403; phone 805/498-7008, Web site www.vivitar.com. Cameras, digital photo products.
You can order cameras, film, digital products, and accessories by telephone from the following companies, which ship the products directly to you by common carriers. Some have a complete line of photographic products; others specialize, as indicated. A number of these companies also sell photo books, both how-to and coffee table. Call them for a catalog.
Though all mail-order retailers have toll-free phone numbers for ordering, you can also usually order through their Web sites, if you prefer. And most offer overnight delivery service, if you need stuff in a hurry.
If you do buy by mail order, know what you want in advance. Not all mail-order companies are prepared to give over-the-phone buying guidance--nor do the people staffing the lines necessarily have in-depth knowledge of the products they sell. Do your research by talking to friends about their cameras, reading photo magazines and buying guides, and visiting both manufacturers and nonproprietary photo Web sites. And abide by the following tips:
Avoid imported gray market merchandise, a specialty of mail-order suppliers. Although gray market photo goods may be of the same quality as domestic goods, they carry a store or international warranty rather than a standard U.S. one. If you ask, the salesman must tell you that a product is gray market./If you have problems, getting warranty service may be more difficult.
Avoid the additional cost of extended warranties. Although they extend the usual one-year warranty to three, four, or five years, these warranties are serviced by third-party repair companies of sometimes questionable stability and ability.
Don't let the salesperson sell you a different product than the one you want.
Keep in mind that you may be charged a restocking fee if you return an item.
Note that shipping and handling charges increase the bill; ask about them before committing to a purchase.
Beware if merchandise is back-ordered; it may be weeks before you receive it. Try to find a supplier who has the product in stock.
Always pay with a credit card. Getting a refund is usually easier with a credit card purchase than one made with a check or money order.
Here are some mail-order retailers; specialized offerings are described.
Adorama Inc., 42 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011; telephone 800/815-1260 or 212/741-0052; Web site www.adoramacamera.com.
B&H Photo-Video, 420 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001; telephone 800/947-9005 or 212/444-6666, Web site www.bhphotovideo.com.
Calumet Photo, 890 Supreme Drive, Bensenville, IL 60106; telephone 800/225-8638 or 630/860-7447. Photo products and books.
Camera World of Oregon, 700 N.E. 55th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97213-3150; telephone 800/222-1557 or 503/227-6008; Web site www.cameraworld.com.
Light Impressions, 439 Monroe Ave., P.O. Box 940, Rochester, NY 14603-0940; telephone 800/828-6216 or 716/271-8960. Archival negative and print storage materials, photo albums.
Porter's Camera Store, P.O. Box 628, Cedar Falls, IA 50613; telephone 800/553-2001 or 319/268-0104; Web site www.porters.com.
Ritz Camera, 6711 Ritz Way, Beltsville, MD 20705; telephone 800/52-FOCUS or 301/419-0000; Web site www.ritzcamera.com.
Samy's Camera, 200 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036; telephone 800/321-4726 or 213/938-2420, Web site www.samys.com.
Visual Departures, Ltd., P.O. Box 427, Riverside, CT 06878; telephone 800/628-2003 or 203/698-0880; Web site www.visualdepartures.com. Collapsible reflectors, specialized photo products.
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