How to buy a camera in Taipei

A few questions:

I want to purchase a new camera here. I’m a photography n00b and don’t know what is a good deal and what isn’t.

I think I probably want a really nice point and shoot or a really inexpensive SLR camera for beginners. I want nice pictures, but I don’t want to spend a fortune. I want pictures with good quality so I can impress my friends with the beauty of Taiwan when I post them on facebook :wink: I’m not really going to be developing a lot of these pictures.

I assumed I could find cheaper electronics in Taiwan than the States, but I’ve heard this isn’t true for all brands, such as Japanese brands.

Which brands are actually CHEAPER here in Taiwan than in the US? I have heard that Nikon is a good brand to buy here.

Also, I want to go to the camera street in Taipei. Best deals, right? This is probably a stupid question, but do people barter on this street? I’ve never been there, but will hopefully be making a stop there later this week…

Yes, people barter.
I’m not sure which models are cheaper here, but there’s a lot of very fine cameras to choose from.
As you’re a noob, what two or three characteristics are most important to you: price, size, ease of use, ability to control various elements so that you can experiment as you learn, yadda yadda yadda?
(Btw, facebook’s a fairly lousy way to share your photos. The compression and size limitations suck. If you’re intent on going that route, go cheaper.)

It’d be a good idea to check out to compare cameras.

Off the top of my head, for compact cameras you might want to have a look at the Panasonic DMC-TZ10 and Canon PowerShot S95. For a good, cheap, small DSLR, have a look at the Pentax KR when it’s announced in a month or so (or Pentax k-x if you can’t wait).

What’s your budget, Robin?

I’d suggest over DPReviews, it’s much easier to follow the reviews there if you’re not familiar with some of the more technical aspects.

Anyhow, BoAi Rd isn’t the cheapest place for sure, but it’s a good place to go and look at things. Usually grey imports are the cheapest here, but that also means warranty issues. I don’t know if you can buy them from any shops here, but there are plenty online listings at places such as

The rest really comes down to budget and how big of a camera you want…
For an affordable pocket camera the Canon Ixus 120 looks like a pretty good deal at the moment for around NT$8k

For what you want, most cameras will probably do the job. Just go into a store, try a bunch out and see what feels best in your hands and what is the most intuitive to use in terms of menus, buttons etc.

Update: I went to the camera road to test cameras without the intention of buying one… and I ended up getting one!

I got a Canon Powershot SX130 IS, which apparently was JUST released.
It seemed like a good fit because it is a really nice point and shoot, but didn’t cost a fortune.
The lady tried to sell it to me for 9300, plus a 300nt case (including 8g memory card). I ended up paying 8850 for everything.
That’s about 295US$, and Canon’s website recommended selling these for 250$. Since I got the case and the memory card, I reckon I didn’t get too bad of a deal?

Anyway, thanks to the above posters for their help!