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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

DSLR specials at Ritz and Wolf Camera this week

We already mentioned the point and shoot and memory card deals at Ritz and Wolf this week, so now let's take a look at what DSLR specials they are having!

The lowest price is $100, but obviously not for a DSLR! You can get the Canon 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 III AF lens for just $100, as long as you buy a DSLR as well. The promotion does not say whether it has to be a Canon DSLR. Obviously you can only use it natively on a Canon dSLR, but if you are a person with multiple DSLR systems, you may want the lens anyway. If you are in such a situation it is best to contact the Ritz online or in-store customer service and ask whether this is possible.

And before we go to the DSLR themselves, we also have a nice tripod deal at $60, the Manfrotto Modo-Maxi 785B, a travel-friendly tripod that can go from 7 inches to 59 inches in height. Weight is not listed.


The DSLRs advertised
Obvioulsy the hottest DSLR under $1000 at the moment is the Canon Digital Rebel XSi, and the kit with the 18-55 EF-S IS lens goes for $850. Ritz apparently lost the Canon Instant Rebate memo (or is pocketing the difference), because they offer the 40D body only for $1100 and the kit with the EF 28-135 lens for $1300. You can get these at Amazon, Adorama, etc for $940+ and $1100+ respectively.



Nikon has more reasonable prices as their hottest camera under $1000 is the D60 with the 18-55 DX VR lens, going for $700 with a $50 gift card, which brings the effective price down to $650, assuming of course you have a use for the gift card. This price is very close to Amazon. Meanwhie the entry-level Nikon DSLR, the D40 with the 18-55 DX (no VR) kit lens goes for $500 but also with a $50 gift card instantly which brings the effective price to $450 which is near Amazon levels as well. Remember, both of these DSLRs, along with the D40X, expect the lens to have a focus motor, so if you want luxuries such as autofocusing, you need to use lenses with focus motors. Which is why you may have seen Sigma and friends re-issue a number of their existing lenses for the Nikon mount. Bad Nikon, bad!


Good Nikon D80 bundles at Ritz/Wolf!
Good Ritz good because they are throwing in a free Quantaray 55-200mm zoom lens with the purchase of a Nikon D80, which is of course due (or long overdue) for a refresher. But that doesn't mean the D80 is not a good camera. Let's not forget that it gave the higher spec'ed D200 a run for its money when it was announced. And this camera does not demand a focus motor in the lens, making it a better choice for peopel who want to mix and match newer and older lens and retain luxuries such as autofocus :) The D80 body only, with the bonus Quantaray 55-200mm lens goes for $800, which is about $70 more than Adorama and J&R World. Considring the price of a 55-200mm lens, this is a better deal at Ritz, assuming of course you have a use or need for that lens.

But if you prefer a kit with the newer VR kit lens, you pay an extra $100. Not a bad price here, since you are getting the 18-55 DX VR lens, the 55-200mm Quantary for $900 total. And if you want a more versatile and mid-range type of lens, the 18-135 DX (no VR), along with the aforementioned Q-Ray 55-200mm, then you pay a cool $1000. That is not a bad way to get started in photography!


DSLR Accessories
Continuing with Nikon, the very popular 18-200mm DX VR f3.5-5.6 AF-S lens goes for $750, which is a little bit more than the online dealers are charging. This gives you the 28-300mm equivalent on a DX DSLRs (all current Nikon mount DSLRs, except the Nikon D3 and Nikon D700).

And if you buy lots of gear, you need a way to carry it and store it safely, which is where the Tamrac Backpack #4372 comes into your living room and studio for $50, and avialable in fashionable red or black. It can hold a DSLR with a lens attached, along with a couple of other lenses, along with other gear and accessories.

And don't forget that a purchase at Ritz and Wolf stores can get you extra stuff, which you may, or may not have any use for. These include "no interest until May 2009" for purchases over $299, which is nice, assuming you are organized enough to make the minimum payments on time, and also pay the full amount before the special financing promotion is over. You also get free classes if they are available in your lcoal stores, along with free 20 prints and a CD (oh my!), a free personalized photo book, and an all-in-one photo printer from HP after two separate $50 mail-in rebates.


EyeFi cards
IF you want your pictures to fly wireless off the camera, the 2gb EyeFi cards are onsale, starting with the "Home" version for $80. If you want special computer bonuses with the card such as unlimited webshare and uplaods, then you can get the "Eyefi Share" for $100, and if you want unlimited geotagging and hotspot access for one year, along with unlimited webshare, you can get the Eye-Fi Explore for $130. A hefty price to pay for this convenience and flexibility, but if it is something that vastly improves or speeds up your workflow, then it is definitely worth it. It's obviously up to you to decide how much extra value this provides!

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