Canon EOS Digital Rebel and The Unmotivated Fry's Guy

july 28, 2004

Well, the wedding is coming up soon and right after that Eileen and I are off to Hawaii. It is the first time for the both of us and we wanted to capture picture of the honeymoon with a nice camera. The Sony DSC-S50 we have is getting long in tooth -- at least in the digital age, it is just shy of being four years old. And our Sony DSC-U20 is just a non-zooming point-and-shooter. So, I was looking around for a nice camera and a few popped up. Sony's DSC-F828 is a nice one; Canon's EOS Digital Rebel is also really nice; and my friend Howie just picked up a Nikon D100 and he loves that one. Doing my research I found that each camera was a good pick. The D100 was a bit on the pricey side though being some $300 more than either the DSC-F828 and the Digital Rebel. So, I kindly ruled that one out from the running. The Digital Rebel and DSC-F828 are the same price at around $999. But, I liked the Digital Rebel because it is a SLR camera where I can later buy more lenses and interchange them. The Canon "only" has 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Sony has 8.0 megapixels. I doubt that we'll ever need more than 3 megapixels, so the difference between the two is negligible. So, anyways the decision was made it was going to be the Canon -- and even better was that Fry's had it advertised for $50 off, making it a great deal at $949. It's too bad that Fry's has this habit of putting up deals for stuff they do not have. It is a well-known fact with retailers in the markets where Fry's are that Fry's does this quite often. My guess is that they do it to force the retailers around to match the price and take a hit to their sales. Whatever the reason, it is quite annoying behavior from them to do this. I went over to the Sunnyvale Fry's and talked with a sales guy who wasn't too keen on selling today. He told me that the Canon EOS Digital Rebels are all open box. Oh really? How about checking the other stores for me? He was really hesitant to do it -- I came at lunch time, so maybe he was hungry? I asked him to check out the Brokaw location and he told me without looking that there were none there because "he worked there just a few days ago and it was nothing but open boxes also." He told me that the cameras were really popular and that they wouldn't get any stocked for a few days. Well, that kind of defeats the purpose of the sale, now doesn't it? Flustered by the blatantly unmotivated sales person at Fry's, I went to CompUSA to see if they would match the price (and also because I wanted to have some lunch next door at the Galleria). I waited for a few minutes at CompUSA because they really don't have enough sales people on the floor -- but, looking at the amount of customers, they did not have enough customers on the floor either. The sales guy at CompUSA was more than happy to help me out with the camera, he said he'd match the price that Fry's had, but only if he called them to check the price and availability. Apparently Fry's does not let customers know over the phone that they are selling open box items because when the CompUSA guy called the Sunnyvale Fry's guy, he got a resounding "Yes" from the Fry's guy about the price and availability. That's good for me. The CompUSA guy tried to sell me a two-year extended repair warranty, stating that if the camera or lens cannot be fixed within a week, it would be repaired. The warranty was $80. Since I was saving $50 on the camera, I talked him into throwing in a camera case ($30) if I bought into this two-year warranty. He agreed, so that made it like getting a free case and two-year coverage for the price of the standard EOS Digital Rebel, not a bad deal. Now we have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, camera case, and a Lexar 1GB Compact Flash card with two-years coverage for our Hawaii honeymoon. It is too bad for Fry's since the money makers for most retail stores are the extended coverage warranties. That Fry's guy should have worked a little harder and been a bit more enthusiastic. Fry's would have had the sale, but they clearly blew it. I have the battery charged, but haven't gotten to shoot any pictures yet. I'll try out the EOS Digital Rebel tonight and see how it is. I'll post more reports about the camera here soon. Oh and pictures too!