Monday, February 19, 2007

Still waiting for my new camera ...

Last year was going to be *the* year I got my Canon 20D. I got my IRS refund and was ready to buy. At the same time, the Canon 30D came out. Some reservations I had about the Canon 20D were fixed with the Canon 30D - I researched vendors and got on a wait list. Before the camera arrived, I was laid off. The money put aside for the camera funded a two month vacation.

So... here I am a year later. Once again I'm getting an IRS refund and am going to use that refund to buy my Canon 30D. Well as some of you know there's a point where my patience wears out. Today was that day. I didn't want to wait any more. I wanted my camera NOW. Don't get me wrong my Kodak DC4800 Digital has served me well for years (I got it refurbed). I've taken up photographing live events in low light. Those situations stretch the limits of my trusty Kodak. The photos I've taken for the most part aren't bad - when you compare them to shots by other amateurs (who have better glass) mine shine. But... I'm a perfectionist and I'm competitive. When I start seeing photos shot by professionals with their Canon 20Ds or Canon 5Ds and see the sharpness and depth of field in the resulting photographs, well... my competitive gene kicks in and I just have to see what *I* could do if I had the same camera/lenses. Today was the day that I saw one too many photos taken by others and *knew* I could do better. Well... today's *not* the day I get my Canon 30D.

Today was the day I tried to get my Canon 30D. Wednesday will be the *day* I get my Canon 30D. Today was just the day I spent approximately 4 hours trying to get my new camera. Some background... I don't make many high dollar purchases. I don't make many in-store purchases (preferring the convenience of the always open online store). I don't use credit cards that much (business travel is the one exception). I don't write many checks. With the fact that I don't have my new camera and these caveats, you can probably see where this story is going.

The first credit card I tried to use flagged the purchase as potential fraud - it wasn't consistent with my prior purchase history. If I called them from my home phone they would authorize the purchase in 24 hours. The store couldn't guarantee that the items would still be in inventory. They would be more than happy to take a check or cash. Now - who carries $3K of cash around with them? And who can get access to $3K of cash in one day when the banks are closed with daily ATM withdrawal limits? I decided to take them up on their offer of taking my check. Well accepting a check is easier said than done. Turns out I needed to have used a check for a previous purchase at the store. They call the bank - the bank tells them there is money in my account to cover the purchase. The store managers consult. The verdict... They'd be more than happy to run my check today (which means immediately I lose access to the money as there is an electronic hold placed on the money) but they'd be unable to give me my camera until the check cleared - 3 business days later or on Friday. So basically I'd part with my money today and not get my camera until the day I wanted to use it. When I declined their offer they were a little less than happy with me. I explained that I was going to purchase the camera from a vendor that I'd already made major purchases from and who was more than happy to take my money and deliver to my door what I bought the next business day - regardless of if the purchase was made on a holiday or on a weekend. I'm also *not* going to go back to this particular store. I had a similar experience years ago at a Miller's Outpost (loved their simple Tees, but after an experience where their computers where down and I couldn't use my credit card and they then refused to accept a check as I hadn't had the account long enough, I never went back).

In the end I got the camera body (sans kit lenses which I didn't want), the extra battery (Canon *not* a generic for the same price), high speed memory card, the Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM lens, haze filter, and lens cap for $1,200 less even with paying for next day shipping.