Buying digicam in Taipei

I consider to buy a digicam here in Taipei.
I have some questions:

  1. Is it cheeper here than in europe?
  2. I thought about buying a Nikon Coolpix 3100.
    But I thought that there may be cheeper alternatives from
    Taiwanese companies. However I am not shure about quality.
    Has anybody made good experiences with a taiwanese camera?
  3. I have looked around in some markets. However, the dealers there
    will take 7% more if I pay with credit card.
    What is the cheapest way to exchange euros to NTD?
    Thanks for your help,

Just to let you know, you pay the extra 7%: 5% for sales tax and 2% for the credit card fee. Because you use a credit card, there is a paper trail, so the vendor feels that have no other choice but to pay the sales tax. Otherwise, what they are doing is selling to you under the table. This is something I strongly suggest against as things like digital cameras break, and without the original sales ticket, you are technically SOLD (the “D” is for dude).

Things, like consumer electronics, are not necessarily cheaper here. In fact, most often they can be more expensive. I don’t know about Europe, but generally things like digital cameras, video cameras, etc. are cheaper in the States, but not as cheap as to worry that much. In most cases, you want to buy the camera in the location you will use it in, as not all warranty contracts honor overseas repair.

I own the Canon PowerShot S40. My father owns the S45. My brother owns the S50. We have all had great experiences. It is one of the finest consumer cameras out there. I bought it in the States however, and when I dropped it and has to send it in for warranty repair, I had to send it into Chicago … So be careful about the warranty terms.

You can exchange Euros at just about any bank that has a international counter. I use “First Commercial Bank” for my foregin exchange.

the cheapest cameras I found are in Hsinchu science park, in front of Gino cafe. approx 20% cheaper than Taipei for a 4 mega pixel camera.
The person only takes cash but he gives world wide warranty.

to buy or not to buy a digital camera in taiwan is a decision that you need to make. if you spend a majority of your time in taiwan, it doesn’t make sense to purchase it back home in europe! taiwan is the place that you should buy from! unlike notebooks and desktop computers, your unlikely to find a camera that offers a global warranty!

as jeremy had mentioned, he had to send his camera back to the usa to have it fixed! for myself, the $50 or so in savings wasn’t worth it since he spends most of his time in taiwan. by the time you send the camera back to your home country, wait for it to be fixed and then wait for it to be sent back, your wasting much more than the $50 in savings! i’m sure that you’ve already wasted $50 just in postage and you haven’t even started calculating the time factor! as they say, time is money$$$$$$$$$.

over the last 4 years, i’ve purchased about 5 digital cameras! i’ve not purchased taiwan made, but have always purchased japanesse made: olympus, minolta and sony! of all the cameras, i prefer olympus. I’ve had the olympus 5050, 3030 and c-40. for myself, they are all very positive cameras! not only do they take positive pictures, but they use standard accessories that can be found everywhere: usb wires, media cards and batteries (double A or triple A). for example, canon, sony, minolta, use proporiety batteries to power their cameras! i believe that this is a bad design and very inconvient if your battereis die! if you have the option to use normal over the counter batteries as a back, then you can just go to your run of the mill store and get new batteries! granted, these normal batteries don’t take over 30 pictures, but atleast its better than nothing!

as for a store, i would recommened: Michelle and Andrew (english names) of Hyperion (2000 Stone). Tel: 2357-5345. Andrew and Michelle are very knowledgeable, honest and fair!. they might not always be the cheapest, but they’re very honest and honorable when it comes to making purchases from them! plus, andrew is amazing when you need pc’s built with special functions and features! btw, they both speak really good english, mandarin, taiwanese, cantoneese and shanghainese!

let me know if you have any questions.



brian here again!

i forgot to reply to the 7% tax on purchases with credit cards!

then all depends on where you make your purchases! of course large chains don’t include this extra charge. the charge has already been included into the reference price! so when see the price built into the price tage, don’t forget that it’s already been included!

more and more stores are follow this way to let the user feel that he/she is getting more bang for the buck from this stores. furthermore, it causes less hassle to the store when they tell the buyer the the price is including all related extras!

inclosing, if you offer the store a combination of cash and credit card, they will typically cut the % down! just push them and they will typically break and let you have it that way!



I’ve found that digicam prices here are a bit more than US, though you can sometimes get a better price if you can bargain a bit. You’ll get better prices in the smaller shops and if you pay cash, though there’s tradeoffs as already mentioned.

There’s an area between Taipei Main Station and Hsimenting where there’s dozens of camera shops all lined up together. I’m not exactly sure of the area but if you start from Taipei Main Station and walk through the side streets towards Hsimenting (southwest of Taipei Main Station) you should run into a bunch of camera shops. Also the computer shopping district Kwanghua is a good place to look. (Pateh Road near Hsinsheng South Road, north of Chunghsiao-Hsinsheng MRT station.)

When you’ve found some models in your price range, check the reviews on

I like Sony, Nikon, Canon, and Olympus in terms of general quality.

I find that digital cameras are quite a bit cheaper in the US, and a little bit cheaper in Europe. But as mentioned before, you should get it in Taiwan because if you buy the camera in US or Europe the warranty might not be valid in Taiwan.

The price shouldn’t be your primary consideration. As a lot of people have mentioned, where you’re going to use/service it should be the main consideration.

Unless you’re looking for a camera that doesn’t really do much well, I would stick with the big brands. Taiwanese cameras are a great value but generally rate pretty poorly in terms of quality.