The main store of this five-store chain, BIC Camera claims to have the cheapest cameras in Japan. The store maintains a ... More
The main store of this five-store chain, BIC Camera claims to have the cheapest cameras in Japan. The store maintains a policy that they will refund the difference if one finds a cheaper deal on the same article elsewhere in Japan. They also have a good selection of video equipment, audio equipment, computers and other electrical and digital devices.
I brought my charger but forgot to pack the camera. Same with the cell phones but that is another story.
The place had lots of cameras. Since I own several and just needed one to use on my trip, I found an $89 -8,900 yen camera made by GE of all companies. Does GE make cameras? I was in cheap mode however so I bought it and it works great and is one of the easiest cameras to use. It is a AA camera of course but works very well and had lots of useful features and a dial knob at the top to get to stuff. I was impressed. I wish I could post one of the cherry-tree-in-bloom photos that I took. They came our really great!
The staff spoke enough English to get prices for me and there were brochures in English on many models. They are kind of like the Best Buy blue shirt guys and the Fry Electronics staff, mostly clueless 18 - 20 year olds but willing to help when you grab them.
The store contains an amazing variety of stuff. It is on the second floor of a department store but is all camera. Lots and lots of camera including professional cameras and even telescopes. I spotted a Sanyo HD cam/video recorder and lusted mightily after it, but alas, they were sold out. Good thing because I can probably buy it for less in the US. It had 30x optical zoom and was 1080 p 60 Hz frame rate - Yiles! I really wanted that camera but I am glad they were sold out since I really only needed a cheapie.
But the store is awesome and expensive. Japan is generally expensive - $360 for a leather wallet for example. The 2 GB SD card set me back $20 and an 8 pack of AAs set me back about the same. However, they had everything - every brand with it seemed like every model. Many of the models were mocked up shells to show the color which was useful. All had one color that was functional - some batteries needed charging but really there were a lot of cameras.
You simply have to check it out. I went to the Shinjuku store. If you really want to see everything including models that have not yet made it out of Japan, this is the place. I saw every Sony I had seen in the Sony showroom in the Ginza and it was much more convenient since the other brands were steps away.
When you make your selection, you take the cards that represent what you want to buy and take those to the cashier. The one I had was very helpful and reminded me that I needed to select a color for the camera. Everything in the purchase process was efficient and I was out of there in less than an hour. I spent 5 minutes at the register.
Go and check it out if you love cameras, tripods galore, rows and rows of lenses, and ever cheap cameras that are multi-language like the one I bought.
I could not believe my eyes when I entered the store. WOW. I have never seen so much electronics. Every floor floor was a great surprise. One thing that stands out in my mind was all the stereo equipment. Turn tables, receivers, speakers, WOW
This place is awesome. The first floor seems like it has just about everything you could ever want. When you finally hop on the escelator to the second floor you wonder how this can get any better. By the time you reach the third and fourth floors of electronic heaven you want to start right back where you came from just to see if you missed anything.
It has a different atmosphere than say a "Best Buy" or "Circut City" and quite possibly a bigger selection than either of the two. If your in Japan and headed through Tachikawa it's worth a stroll through if your "BB" "CC" shopper.
I picked up a mint Minolta AF Zoom 75-300 1:4.5 : 5.6 for $74CDN after exchange.
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