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Good camera shops in Kuching?
Just can't stay away
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Hi, am newby here. Also a bit of a newby in Kuching, been here about 3 years.

Not sure where to find good camera shops? I have looked at Wisma Serberkas and not bad but any other good choices?

I'm particularly after a Panasonic FX55 or alternatively a good look at some similar. The only dedicated camera shop in WS has only the 12MP LX100, which has too much noise for my liking - I want the 8MP "55" version.

Am currently using (my 2nd) Canon A series, the A510 (had an A60 before that, which was actually a better camera! The 510 is pants)

Both my Canon A series have broken on me, though the 510 still works it under-exposes most shots, lens cover doesn't close any more and the thing is useless at focussing in low light. I really hate the thing now so probably won't go for another Canon (even though I'll forever love my now-sold EOS10 35mm SLR)

Enough babbling, I'll shut up now and just repeat my request - good camera shops? Please give directions, I don't really know the names of roads round here (orang putih, saya belajar BM tapi susah untuk old guy like me..)


W.

Posted on: 2007/10/17 21:54
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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Welcome to the site ! where exactly are u from btw?

Wisma saberkas? lol. if you're thinking to get from Copal, think twice. I won't talk so much about my past experience buying from them though. one thing though, i will never go there again for sure.

Why did you sell your SLR !

btw, for good service camera shops. Try Empress Studio at India Street. the very first shop opposite little lebanon.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 0:03
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
Just can't stay away
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That was the next place I was thinking of, will give it a look over the next few days.

Is Copal the one near the downstairs entrance?

I'm from the UK, met my to-be wife there. When she had to return to Malaysia (she was studying there) I came back with her

I sold my SLR as part of my fundraising for coming here, dowry, house deposit, airfare etc. I spent the first year in a flat, no aircon, tiny kitchen with just a single electric ring, no TV etc. Now have a nice, small but nice, house in Petra Jaya. With air-con! An absolute necessity for me. I don't think I'll ever get entirely used to the heat!

So what's wrong with Copal, do tell?

By the way, I love Kuching! Has some limitations, irritations and weird quirks but overall it's lovely, mostly due to the people. I'll cannot understand though, how Malaysians can be such sweet and friendly people in person, yet such complete assholes on the road?

The driving here is somewhere between hilarious and infuriating. I now live a very simple life and have waved goodbye to my love of cars and motorcyles, today I just drive from A to B. Had a Kancil for first 2 years, now drive a Kembara. Big change from the Porsche, Mercs (do you really prononce it "Merch" here or is that just my wife? lol) and lesser but high-performance cars I used to love. Now I am Mr Sensible, most of the time anyway. By English standards I was a fast driver but thing is, in England they drive MUCH faster than here. Same sort of speeds but in miles per hour, not kilometers. Even little old ladies poodle along at 60 or 70mph on open roads, 40mph on faster town roads - but here people do around 80kph. To me that is very slow, only about 45mph.

Do that in the UK and people would be hooting at you to get the feck out the way. Yet overall the driving standard and politeness is much higher.

So here there is this weird combination of everyone driving very slowly and yet very aggressively. Some old fart doing 26mph will cut you up and then do 28mph in front of you! Weird.

Why?!

But apart from on the road I have a soft spot for Malaysians. I don't know if you appreciate what a pleasant and peaceful place this is. The people are so friendly it is almost embarrassing (and despite living here so long still get complete strangers saying "Hello!" to me, making the tourist welcome...)

Are the members here all from Kuching?


W.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 1:24
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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Quote:

Wiggles wrote:

By the way, I love Kuching! Has some limitations, irritations and weird quirks but overall it's lovely, mostly due to the people. I'll cannot understand though, how Malaysians can be such sweet and friendly people in person, yet such complete assholes on the road?

The driving here is somewhere between hilarious and infuriating. I now live a very simple life and have waved goodbye to my love of cars and motorcyles, today I just drive from A to B. Had a Kancil for first 2 years, now drive a Kembara. Big change from the Porsche, Mercs (do you really prononce it "Merch" here or is that just my wife? lol) and lesser but high-performance cars I used to love. Now I am Mr Sensible, most of the time anyway. By English standards I was a fast driver but thing is, in England they drive MUCH faster than here. Same sort of speeds but in miles per hour, not kilometers. Even little old ladies poodle along at 60 or 70mph on open roads, 40mph on faster town roads - but here people do around 80kph. To me that is very slow, only about 45mph.

Do that in the UK and people would be hooting at you to get the feck out the way. Yet overall the driving standard and politeness is much higher.

So here there is this weird combination of everyone driving very slowly and yet very aggressively. Some old fart doing 26mph will cut you up and then do 28mph in front of you! Weird.

Why?!

But apart from on the road I have a soft spot for Malaysians. I don't know if you appreciate what a pleasant and peaceful place this is. The people are so friendly it is almost embarrassing (and despite living here so long still get complete strangers saying "Hello!" to me, making the tourist welcome...)

Are the members here all from Kuching?


W.


Hi, I'm from Kuching as well. Glad you've made it to Kuching. Angmo well-respect, always. lol. Welcome to Kuching.

If you have no idea why we're driving our cars at minimum speed, you might as well need to understand our road situations. We have clumpsy roads around, holes digged randomly. To avoid our cars from being defaced, we ought to stay alert at all times; avoiding those bunny holes. Drive safely, think smart.

Some old farts u've mentioned perhaps cannot take the speed you're on and cut you. Oh hail, reckless drivers.. ahhaha. Well, that's pure Kuchingite's drivers but not all are like that. By the way, what car are you driving? Maybe they are jealous or what? haha!

However, still you'll find some rude drivers here as mentioned by you. Most of the roads here are 2 lanes so be considerate at all times if you're driving with your family. Left lane for the tortise, and right lane for the horse. Just don't mess up with those Ah Beng (Too Fast Too Furious) car on the road.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 12:03
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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You will be glad you can still drive 80kph and above without problems in the city of Kuching.

Do that in Australia you will be snapped and fined, cbd speed limit is less than 60kmph and in some remote cities like where I'm staying, cbd speed limit is only 50kmph!

60kmph on metropolitan and outside of cbd, 90kmph - 110 - 120 depending on weather conditions on highway and unlimited in the country.

Just before I came back to Malaysia for holidays, I was done for doing 70kmph at a 60kmph zone. It was captured in the speed and red light camera at a light intersection. Total fine was AUD$170 + $30 for offenders levy (whatever crap). So that's AUD17 for every 1kmph over the limit, bull.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 16:27
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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Bytez, I mentioned it, a Kembara. Bounces around like a pogo stick but generally a nice little 4x4.

Sympathies for the speed camera - that is one of the reasons why I lost interest in fast cars in the UK, bloody cameras everywhere now. They are nothing to do with safety, all about money.

In UK, apart from a very few places or perhaps private roads, the lowest speed limit is 30mph. Most major roads in town are 40 or 50, if a central reservation usually 60/70mph (70mph is about 110kph)

On average, in 30mph zones people drive 35, that's about 60km, on 40mph roads average speed is closer to 50, about 90km. On the bigger roads most traffic is about 80mph, or around 140kmh, with a few "speeding" at 90mph or so. The police will ignore you doing these speeds (if driving safely) but the bloody cameras do not.

Even on a 50mph road at 3.00am with no-one in sight, you do 56mph and 'snap!' Very annoying and expensive, plus you get 3 "points" on your license. 12 points, no license.

Driving back from the airport my friend was doing 75-80, with traffic streaming past at 85-90mph. That is TWICE the speed of traffic round here. Maybe that is why they are more polite? You cannot afford to make mistakes at 90mph (about 155kph).

Well I have been looking at camera shops but it was late and they were shutting. I tried the one at the end of India street - was not impressed. Very small selection, the guy showing me seemed bored and uninterested. Also, for a "camera shop" I was surprised they had NOTHING in the way of a flash slave unit.

Went to a little shop near the fish market round the corner, again very small selection and the guy didn't have a clue about cameras but at least he was friendly and helpful, even if he didn't know how many megapixels or anything!

Not sure how to describe it but visited another place nearby, under cover close to sugarbun. Again tiny selection but nearly fell in love with a Nikon P5100. Price, even with haggling, 1300 rinngit and no card, and despite being a lovely machine the lens is only 3x. If I go for such a large camera again I'll probably go for the newer Canon A series, with their 6x zoom. Also I cannot find a review for the Nikon online anywhere, just Nikon's own blurb.

One shop had a Panasonic Lumix FX10, which was nice but why 1000 rinngit?

Ah, so confusing (lah!). Keep finding cameras I like online, go to shops here and all "sudah habis, but look at this nice Casio.."

No I don't want a Casio, I want a Panasonic FX55, why is this so hard?

I think I will wait till later and look in KL or Singapore or something.




By the way, anyone here like river fishing?



W.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 21:52
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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Lol. thanks for sharing all those experience. a very interesting read about what we're like in the eyes of a foreigner. haha. there are certainly some problem with local drivers. that I agree.

I am from Kuching and I would like to say, Welcome to Kuching !

Anyway, back to the camera issue. If you wish to print or develop your photos, Copal would be my very last choice. They are not knowledgeable in printing and color tuning. I think they just set to auto mode and print everything out.

and on sales service, they are always being tricky during promotions. Buy a camera and free tripod and memory card which worth over rm300. I told them, I do not want the tripod/memory card and can you discount RM300 off the tag? They said no.

The problem I had with them was after sales service. I just say its not at satisfactory level.

Another place you can try is "Kot Hua photo". they have a branch at downhill of the "Taman Kereta" building. next to the empty undevelop lot. Beside the shop, you can find delicious barbeque pork.

btw, if you're going for Lumix, you might want to read more about the noise level the camera produce. I heard many complains about it.

I got a friend selling this Fujifilm Finepix A50. [url=http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/fuji_a500.html] for RM300.00 . BRand new set won from competition. Let me know if you want.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 23:21
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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One word of advise, any imported equipments sold here will always be more expensive than the west Malaysia.

I hate to say this, but I think your best place to shop for cameras would be at Lowyat Plaza in KL's Bukit Bintang Rd. There is no better place in Malaysia than there.

What I like to do most is to read reviews online, do some price search online, know what I want, and just go to the shop to negotiate the price and try out the equipments.

I hate going to the shops and ask for recommendations because they don't have that much time for you, they just want sales, end of story.

This is how the world is like today, unlike before when I can spend more than 1 hour in a shop and talked to the salesperson and walked out with nothing but in a deciding mode.

These days, they just want you to come in and walk out with their sales, the more the better.

Posted on: 2007/10/19 1:10
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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There was a lovely camera shop in my old hometown, where I must have spent an hour a visit for numerous visits before deciding on the EOS10 and various lenses with the 430EZ flash (that is one serious flashgun!).

Here, like I said, one guy didn't even know the megapixel level of the camera he was trying to sell me (6), whereas Tim (1st name terms!) back in UK was a keen photographer and happy to chat in general about photography as well as explain equipment.

Even Jessops, a large chain of camera shops with youngsters serving, had staff who were enthusiastic and at least had some knowledge of what they were selling. Here, not so much

Regarding not given the 300 rinngit discount without the tripod etc, that is normal enough. The tripod and card have a selling price of 300, perhaps, but as a camera shop it did not COST them that. So 300 value but cannot drop price by 300 without. All they are losing is the profit margin they would make if selling those extras at full price, which might be 50 rinngit.

A good salesman though would explain that and be apologetic perhaps? That kind of "bundling" is normal - and often the camera maker dictates what the bundle will be as well, with a contract that they cannot discount the price for 6 months after launch for example. So they compete with extras but cannot drop their price or will lose their contract with the manufacturer. No maker such as Canon wants a price war where everyone is selling Canons cheap just to get customers in the door and sell them... a card and tripod!

Car makers do the same, at least in the UK. You can have the alloy wheels, free insurance, full tank of fuel and metallic paint - but no, you can't have a discount! The makers protect their brand and price levels.

Regarding the Fuji A50, I could be tempted as something for my wife's handbag (she complains about the Canon A510, I tell her should be glad I don't have an SLR, as I'd make her carry that instead!) and maybe get myself something better later. But I read it struggles to focus in low light, one of my main complaints about the 510.

I was reading a review of the 510 and they agreed - the low light focussing is worse on the 510 than the previous A series models! Not just my imagination.

Thing seems to under-expose a lot too, real disappointment after the A60, which was great apart from being 2MP. Very good color, perfect exposure, fast accurate focus, great camera really - until it died on me.

Wifey is always talking about going to KL for shopping. This time I might agree



W.

Posted on: 2007/10/19 3:41
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Re: Good camera shops in Kuching?
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I'll lock horns with you re: A510. Mine's almost 3 years but it still works like a pro. Low light photography is always a challenge, especially with consumer digicams, which tend to produce noisy images on auto mode, as ISO will increase to compensate. Ever tried the Manual mode, where you can set all the parameters? Works great with mine. Program AE mode works just as well. If you expect point 'n shoot to work in ALL low light situations, you're out of luck.

Posted on: 2007/10/19 5:28
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