After binoculars or a camera? Try

A positive piece to finish the week.

I’ve been looking for a pair of good quality binoculars as a birthday present for my partner. A couple of weeks ago I embarked on the usual research fest that precedes any significant purchase of mine, and after much to-ing and fro-ing, concluded that the Nikon Travelite V 8×25 CF best fitted the brief.

The hard stuff done (I thought), I moved on to Phase 2: comparing prices at local retail outlets. Annoyingly, forays to department stores and a multitude of camera outlets scattered around the Perth CBD were fruitless. Ditto the nearby suburbs. The ranges were generally poor, prices high, and none of them had the Nikon Travelite Vs.

Camerahouse in Leederville had the best choice of binoculars, but again, not the Nikon Travelites! These had been well reviewed and widely recommended on various web forums – I assumed they would be readily available locally.

Slightly daunted and running out of time, I hit Google and found a few Australian-based online stores that looked promising. I noticed their prices varied considerably, but were generally much lower on a model-for-model basis than those the Perth retail outlets were offering – and the range available online was far better.

For years, I’ve been buying CDs and books online, but prefer to shop locally for fragile items. I was wary of buying binoculars off the web, partly because of concern over damage in transit, partly because I have no knowledge of the online camera stores. I was aware that a lot of “grey” cameraware is sold as the real thing through Ebay and some less scrupulous online stores.

I narrowed down the Australian-based online stores to:

I finally settled on I liked the look of their website, they responded promptly and efficiently to my emailed requests for information, and they had the Nikon Travelite V in stock for a good price (only had it cheaper, but they didn’t respond to my email queries – and I don’t like their tacky website).

Most importantly for me, responded to my query about the authenticity of their products with the following reassuring statement:

All the products sold at Camerastore are official Australian release products for sale within the Australian market and purchased from the official Australian distributors, like Canon Australia, Panasonic Australia, Nikon Australia, Sony Australia and many others.

We do not and will not sell “grey import” or direct import items, and never buy from anyone other than the official distribution channels within Australia.

All subsequent emails were answered promptly. I subsequently put in my order, and a camerastore staff member phoned me within 30 minutes to confirm my shipping address prior to dispatch of the goods.

Two days later the binoculars were delivered to the door by Australia Post (insured against damage in transit). They were in perfect condition, well packaged, with airbags to protect against any rough handling. Most impressed.

So, if any readers are after binoculars, a camera, or related accessories, I’d recommend you include on your shortlist. Going by my experience, they are a professional and reliable online store where you can shop with confidence.

Note: I have no association whatever with, other than as a satisfied client who believes good service should be acknowledged.

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