On a recent business trip to Hong Kong, I wanted to buy a new camera. Hong Kong is known throughout Asia as one of the best cities to buy cheap cameras but, like anywhere, you have to know where to shop. Luckily, a Chinese friend who’s lived in Hong Kong for years gave me a heads up on the best camera shops in the city for bargains. I ended up with an inexpensive Nikon digital camera I love and without much hassle. If you’re looking for a cheap camera on your next trip to Hong Kong, don’t miss checking out these wonderful stores.
Quick Tips Before You Get Started – Two things I know about shopping for cameras in Asia was borne out in Hong Kong too.
Just like Thailand, where I buy most of my cameras (but it’s not cheap like Hong Kong), when I asked in Hong Kong camera shops about international warranties if I bought a camera there, I was told they didn’t include one. As I’ve never had a problem with a camera I’ve bought in Asia, the fact it didn’t come with an international warranty wasn’t that big of a deal to me. It might however be to you. In which case, you’d may want to reconsider buying a new camera in Hong Kong.
The second thing I realized was just like Thailand were the number of times I was offered a “free tripod”, if I’d agree to the price they were offering me for the particular Sony camera I wanted. Regardless that I already have three tripods at home, none of which I ever use, three Hong Kong camera shops still thought throwing one in would urge me to hand over my cash. My advise? If you’re offered a tripod, say “No”. Then bargain them down a little more, after all you’re now going to take the camera sans the tripod.
Finally, before you go off on a camera shopping expedition in Hong Kong, narrow down the camera brands and models you’re interested in, as well as the approximate price you’d pay in your home country. After all, there’s no point going shopping for a camera in Hong Kong if, when you’re given the price, you’ve no idea if it’s cheap or not.
Best Cheap Hong Kong Camera Shops – Over the three days I was in Hong Kong, I visited what seemed like interminable numbers of camera shops. But, as I was about to hand over a few hundred dollars, I wanted to make sure I got the best deal. Having taken into consideration a number of things like helpfulness of staff, selection of cameras and accessories, honesty of staff and, of course, the price, I have to agree with my Hong Kong friend and just about everyone he knows. These three Hong Kong camera shops are the best.
Tin Cheung Camera – The minute I walked in the door, I liked Tin Cheun Camera. It’s a big shop, with a huge selection of camera brands – Leica, Nikon, Casio, Hasselblad, Canon, Lomo – as well as filters, bags, flashes, light meters and, yes, tripods. Their staff is helpful but not pushy, like a couple of other camera shops I went to, and they were able to give me easily understandable answers to the questions I had about camera operation.
Tin Cheung Camera is where I finally bought my Nikon and I’d recommend them in a second. Their service was wonderful, the price I was given was fair, and with their large stock of lenses, I picked up an extra lens without much hassle. I was also in love with a Lomography camera, and tempted to buy it as it was $50 cheaper than similar shops in Thailand. But, budget necessitated differently, so I left the shop happy with my Nikon camera and extra lens and vowing I’d be back on my next trip for more.
If you’re camera shopping at Hong Kong camera shops but won’t be able to get to Hong Kong, no worries as Tin Cheung also sells their entire stock online, and you can even pay by PayPal.
You’ll find Tin Cheung Camera Shop 5 Friends House, 6B Carnarvon Road, in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Wing Shing Photo – Second on my list of best cheap camera shops in Hong Kong, the only reason I didn’t buy at Wing Shing Photo was they didn’t have the particular model of camera in stock I wanted. Also, staff couldn’t answer my questions quite as well as they could at Tin Cheung, but that wouldn’t have stopped me buying if they had the camera I wanted in stock. More like salespeople than camera enthusiasts, they were still helpful, not too pushy and brought out a large number of cameras brands and models to show me.
Wing Shing Photo had several models of camera in stock that Tin Cheung Camera didn’t and, on most, prices were pretty comparable – ie: fair to cheap. Again, a great selection of cameras – Ricoh, Nikon, Leica, Olympus, Canon, and a huge amount of extras and accessories. They also bargained down from their original price without much pushing on my part, which was nice. The only drawback is their website is only in Chinese, so for most of us, a bit difficult to understand. In person though, a different story.
Wing Shing Photo is at 55-57 Sai Yeung St., Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Echo Photo and Audio – Recommended to me by several Hong Kong friends, Echo Photo and Audio was a wonderful camera shopping experience too. Helpful and clued in staff, who really do seem to know about cameras, Echo is a smaller store but still has a decent amount of cameras, plus lenses, bags, memory cards etc.
At Echo, I looked at Nikon, Ricoh and Canon cameras, as well as a couple of Sonys. They were able to come down in price to an acceptable rate on almost everything and, if I hadn’t bought a camera at Tin Cheung, i would definitely have returned here to purchase one.
Echo doesn’t have a website, so you have to do everything either in person or over the phone. I’d recommend just going down there, as it won’t be a waste of your time. One friend told me though, when you go to Echo Photo, don’t get sidetracked by other camera shops nearby. The Tsim Sha Tsui area isn’t known as a particularly ‘honest’ one for shopping for electronics so, don’t be pulled in by possibly less honest stores than Echo Photo.
Echo Photo and Audio is at hop D, G/F, Hanyee Building, 19-21 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
Tin Cheung Camera
Wing Shing Photo