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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lots of camera deals at Ritz and Wolf Camera stores this week!

We have lots of interesting deals (for a change) from Ritz and Wolf Camera stores this week. Their four-page ad in the Sunday paper is loaded! So let's get started:

Deals under $100
The 6mp, 3x optical Samsung S630 black is offered for just $80. This price probably beats a lot of internet retailers as well. Not a bad deal at all!

At $90 you can get teh Nikon Coolix L11, with similar specs and a 2.4" LCD.

If you really want to hit rock bottom, for $40 you can get the View Point VU camera with a 1.5" LCD (not a typo, 1.5") for $40. This is a 3mp camera without an optical zoom lens. Limit 3 per customer (as if!). I would recommend getting one of the two mentioned above instead of this, or search eBay for a used camera from a reliable brand if you want to pay under $50.

Deals over $100
The Nikon Coolpix L15 (8mp, 3x optical) is offered at $130 in a special outfit that includes a camera case, an Energizer charger and two Energizer AA NiMH batteries. Available in pink or black. This is a good thing since you need to use NiMH with digital cameras - assuming you don't have any.

Also at $130, another nice price is the Panasonic LZ6 black, featuring a 6x MegaOIS lens and 7mp. Ritz claims they have the exclusive black version of this camera. I don't know if that is true :)

At $150 you can get the older Fuji A900. There is a newer version, the A920, but I am not sure what their differences are (if any).

More interesting is the Fuji F45fd, a different color version of the F40fd, using the 8mp Fuji SuperCCD sensor, which is the closest sensor relative to their critically acclaimed 6mp SuperCCD Fuji sensor. This is however a basic P&S camera, it's more like the F20 in terms of functionality than the F31fd. Oh Fuji, will you ever learn? :) The price is $180 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Interesting?

At $160 we have another nice deal, a Ritz exclusive kit they claim, the Casio EX-Z77, in silver, pink or blue. The kit includes a mini tripod, a case, software and a ...YouTube t-shirt!. I kid you not. This is to celebrate Casio's new YouTube feature. Buy a YouTube t-shirt and get a camera free? The price is $160 for this kit. Thsi is not a bad camera either for what it is: a stylish compact carry-around camera!

More from Casio, the Exilim Z1200 jumps on the 12 megapixel bandwagon at $280, making it a $23.50 per megapixel camera. Just like buying groceries by the pound, we will soon be buying cameras by the megapixel count ;-) (Oh wait, we are already doing that!)

At $200 you can get the Fuji S5700 (aka S700). Unless you have a specific reason to get this one, I would recommend getting one of the dozens of models available that offer image stabilization, and don't cost much more such as the Panasonic TZ3 and FZ8, Canon SX100 or S3 IS, Kodak Z712IS or Z812IS, Sony H3, etc.

And now a trio of sub-$150 models, the Olympus Stylus 760 (7mp, 3x) at $150, the Nikon L14 at $110, and the Pentax Optio M20 (older, AA-based) for $130. Each one has its trade-offs and they are not "young models", but if you shop around you may find these three not a bad deal for what they offer. If you don't mind buying a model from 2006 or earlier that is.

DSLR Deals
Buy one Nikon D80 get one Quantaray 55-200 AF zoom lens FREE! That's what Ritz/Wolf are offering. The D80 body only is at $900 and at $1000 with the 18-55 kit lens. Given that you can get those kits only for $100 less each, the question becomes: how much do you value the free Quantaray 55-200 lens? If more than $100, then this maybe a good price. If under $100, then not so much. Quantaray is usually made by one of the Japanese lens manufacturers are rebranded to the Ritz-brand (Qauntaray)

No gimmick lenses, but a $100 mail-in rebate will get you the Pentax K100D with the 18-55 DA lens for $700. Higher than reputable online retailers for sure.

The Nikon D40x with the 18-55 kit lens is offered at $650. Beware this (and the D40) do not play well with older lenses - they expect the focus motor in the lens.

On the Canon side of the aisle, the Canon Digital Rebel XT 350D with the 18-55 EF-S lens is offered at $550 with a FREE bonus Quantaray 55-200 zoom lens.

Last but not least, the return of Olympus to Ritz/Wolf continues with two specials: The Olympus E410 with the 14-42 kit lens for $500 even, or the two lens kit for $600. The second lens in the two-lens-kit being the 40-150mm. Both are 4/3rds lenses so they work on all 4/3rds DSLRs, but they are "2x" so you can't really use them on your OM-based Olympus film SLRs (not to mention that they are not compatible). But it is compatible the other way round: You can use an OM-adapter and mount OM-lenses on 4/3rds cameras!

Specials with all digital cameras
Ritz/Wolf are offering a big bundle of specials. The specials might or might not be of interest (or of use) to you, so while their list value is $400, their actual value to you personally may range from $0 to $400 :-) Here are some of the items featured in the bundle:

  • No interest until November 2008 with digital camera or camcorder purchases of $299 or more
  • Free personalized photo book
  • Free Epson Photo printer after two mail-rebates of $75 and $25
  • Or instead you can get a free Canon photo printer after three mail-in rebates totaling $130.
  • Free camera classes - selection varies depending on your local stores
  • Free RitzPix, EZ Print & Share software *cough* *cough*
  • Free Big Print Inkjet paper

    Accessories and such
    Two Quantaray digital picture frames are offered with a bonus 512mb Sandisk SD memory card. A 7" version for $90 and a 10.4" version for $180.

    They have 50% off sale on telescopes and holiday gifts, and 20% off on clearance camcorders and 30% off on clearance frames and albums.

    They also have an SD and mini-SD offer, but their offer is poorly worded and not clear whether it's an SD or mini-SD card or both offered.

    They also offer a two-pack of Big Print 2gb SD cards for $40 and they throw in a free ...pedometer to sweeten the deal. Fries with that? :)

    Their print prices continue to be a messy twist of non-sensical terms and conditions. You can get the low prices advertised if you give them the keys to your car, your 401k and your TV and buy 50 or more prints ;-)

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