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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ritz and Wolf weekly ad camera specials

Let's take a look at what Ritz and Wolf stores are offering in this week's weekly circular. Any good deals?

Well, it looks like Ritz is having a Fuji sale, starting with the critically acclaimed Fuji F45fd going for $180. This camera uses an 8mp 1/1.7" SuperCCD sensor, that is just one generation after the critically acclaimed 6mp low-noise SuperCCD sensor. Not quite as good as the Fuji F31fd in terms of noise, but quite possibly the second best. If the name F45fd does not sound familiar, it is because the F45fd is simply a different version of the Fuji F40fd. The F45fd is available in a different body color and sold through a few select retailers such as Ritz and Wolf in the USA market and Jessops or Argos or something like that in the UK market.

You can find F40fd reviews at DCResource.com, TrustedReviews.com, and Digital Camera Review among many other places which include CNet and Steve's Digicams.

But enough F45fd. How about the other Fuji cameras? The adorably colorful Z20fd (10mp 1/2.3" standard sensor) goes for $160, while the AA-based A900 can be yours for $150. Two superzooms are on sale as well but sadly neither one has IS. The S5700 (aka S700) goes for $180 and is a continuation of the older Fuji 2800/3800/etc line-up but with a 10x optical zoom instead of a 6x optical zoom. Meanwhile the Finepix S1000fd looks more serious, but lacks IS as well which is really shooting it in the foot, unless of course your shooting style does not require IS - camera glued to tripod or monopod or use "organic" stabilization techniques.

A special bonus for all these Fujifilm digital cameras mentioned is that Ritz/Wolf are offering 9c digital prints for a whole year! See website or store for the details of this promotion.

Okay, enough with Fuji! How about the other brands at Ritz? Well, you don't need to buy a hybrid to become an eco-smug! All you need to pay is $200 for the green Nikon Coolpix S52. What makes this camera eco-special is that Ritz will make a donation that would offset 2 tons of Carbon Dioxide. Why didn't I think of carbon credits before? :) This camera has a 3" LCD, 9mp 1/2.5" sensor (ouch!), and a 3x optical zoom with folded optics. It may remind some a little bit of a bad attempt to clone the Sony Cybershot T-series :)

And speaking of Nikon a trio of Coolpix models are in the weekly circular, the S210 for $180 plus a $20 gift card instantly, so you can buy the camera, and then turn around and buy a bag or memory cards with the gift card :) Then the Coolpix S550 goes for $230 with a $20 gift card and the S600 for $270.

A trio of Canon Powershots follows, with the A580 going for $150 + $15 gift card, while the A720-IS is waiting for you at $200 plus $20 gift card, which is actually a good price considering this camera is not as a generally avaiable as it used to. But also keep in mind that Canon will likely announced a replacement for this model at this year's Photokina 2008 trade show. LAst but not least, also with a $20 gift card is the SD1100-IS, available in multiple delicious colors. This is intended to be Canon's new mass-market Elph (Ixus and Ixy too) and once the older models are cycled out of the market, this should be a super hot seller, certainly a very popular gift during the holiday shopping season of 2008, where a big chunk of digital cameras are sold. Statistics seem to indicate that December and November may account for as much as 40% of annual digital camera sales!

What is quite possibly the worse price difference in the world among Amazon and Ritz, the Panasonic TZ4 is going for $270 at Ritz, while you can buy it at Amazon for under $210! Ouch!

Memroy Cards
Ritz has a fetish of bundling memory cards together. I guess that's one way to get people to buy more, like Costco ;-) A three-pack of 2gb Ritz-brnded SD memory cards is $30, making it $15 per card, which is an okay, but not very good, brick and mortar price. A 2-pack of 4gb Ritz SD cards goes for $50, making it the standard brick and mortar price of $25 per 4gb SD memory card.

If you are the gadgety type and like to mix and match cards and technologies, the Sandisk 1gb Ultra II SD Plus USB card will help do all that as it offers a USB connector built-in the memory card. Obviously you are paying a small price premium for this convenience. And Ultra cards usually have a price premium over the standard Sandisk cards.

Last but not least, Sandisk Ultra II CompactFlash for those DSLRs who refuse to embrace SD. Oh the memory card stone age? :) A two gig card is $30 while a one gig card is $23.

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