Camera Buying Tips?

So I finally decided to buy a new camera and I have a model in mind. I want to get one before the month ends, but I don't know on how to go about a few things...

Why am I buying a DSLR? Because I want to. So far, my favorite part about this taking picutres thing is getting excellent macro and bokeh photographs. That's something normal point-and-shoot's (or at least mine) don't do. And luckily for me, a friend told me that going after those things wont cost me an arm and a leg when I buy a DSLR camera. Not unless I go for specialized macro lenses which I know I can't afford and I don't need right now. I just want an entry-level DSLR camera.

First the model - I am definitely inclined on getting a Canon since my point and shoot is a Canon. I figure that things would just be easier that way.

I have a budget of 30k Php, tops. I can't spend a dime more than that with the holidays coming up. This is the only thing that will stop me from getting a Canon - if don't find a model I like below 30k.

Thankfully, I found the model I want. I want the Canon EOS 500D.


The Canon EOS 500D


This is kinda cool because our analog SLR camera was the EOS 500. We had an SLR camera long before it became an "in" thing and a social status here in the Philippines. But this camera practically went to waste. My father bought this just at the beginning of the digital camera age. Which means that money could have gotten us a really nice digicam back then.


The analog EOS 500


It's not like none of us took interest in learning photography. But we simply can't afford the cost of film and the processing. My brother and I were interested but we were barely teenagers then (as far as I can remember) and we don't have the resources. We ended up just using it as a normal camera. We never maximized its full potential and probably never will.


Canon user since way back


Back to the EOS 500D. Canon Philippines sets this baby's street price at 37,950.00 Php which means you can buy it below 30k online. Perfect.

If you don't already know, you can buy a lot of things cheaper online, especially gadgets. And these are all brand new with warranty. That's because online merchants don't have to pay for physical store costs (shop/office space rental, store taxes, workers, etc) and they order merch by the bulk. And their only operational costs are well, their time and an Internet connection. The most popular ones don't even have their own self-hosted websites like Kimstore and DBGadgets. My friend saved 10k when she bought a 450D from Kimstore before. It's a shame Kimstore isn't selling Canon DSLR's anymore. If they are, I can't find it in their Multiply page. I tried contacting her on YM but I'm not getting any response so far.

It's either I buy online or I try Hidalgo in Quiapo. Those are my two choices and here is where I get my roadblock.

The cheapest Canon 500D I found in the Philippines are the following :

DBGadgets - Kiss X3 at Php 26,200



DgiGadget23 from TipidPC at Php 26,499



Ebuystore with Php 25,900



FYI, the Kiss X3 is also the 500D. It's just its Japan version. That camera has three names. It's Kiss X3 in Japan, Digital Rebel T1i in the US and EOS 500D everywhere else from what I understand.

My problem is that I'm not really comfortable buying something that expensive online. Make no mistake, I have bought a few things online before. I bought my iPod and my camera as well as a mobile phone online. I buy using cash (bank deposit). I'm not a fan of credit. Sucks that there is no universal credit rating here in the Philippines. Always buying using cash boosts up your credit like crazy.

Anyway, back to online shopping -

I saved quite a considerable amount of money because of that. But each purchase was well below 15k. If something goes wrong, I wouldn't flip out so bad. I'm not saying I won't flip out at all, 15k is a lot of money and I will be totally pissed off and worried if something happens. But I'll totally go crazy if something wrong happens to twnety-six thousand pesos especially when some of these stores don't really have stellar feedbacks - 1 2.

There is one store that I absolutely love. It's Gadget Grocery. They shipped my camera before I made the payment. You can't any more scam-free than that! And they shipped it on a weekend! I would have bought from them again but aside from the camera I bought back then, their prices are not as competitive as the others. And now their website isn't even online.



http://www.gadgetgrocery.com/

Their profiles across different social networks (FB, Multiply) are not really updated so they're not really on my list of options. They are listing the 500D at 33k anyways. I think that was its price months ago.

So my other option is meeting one of these sellers in Manila or getting a camera from Hidalgo. But I'm not really comfortable travelling with that amount of money on me, or more specifically, commuting. The only way I would consider that is if I would carpool with someone on a trip to Manila. Or getting someone to drive me. Fat chance.

Now I'm torn. I don't know what do to. I really want to get a camera as soon as possible so that I can practice more and take good pictures for the holidays.

Suggestions anyone? Please leave a comment below. I'd really appreciate it! :)