Guide to Camera buying in Hong Kong

Since I’ve lived in Hong Kong for about 16.5 years and I’m finally moving this month,  I decided it’s time to do my own guide to shopping for cameras in Hong Kong.

It’s actually pretty simple, but there’s a few things you need to be aware of.

 

Firstly 

USE THIS SITE

http://www.price.com.hk

This site lets you search for many, many products and can give you a good idea of prices in Hong Kong.  Sometimes things will be a tad more expensive, sometimes they’ll be cheaper.  But it’s an excellent guide of price.  VERY helpful, I use it all the time.

Know what you want to buy and ask for that directly.  

Don’t get tricked into buying something you don’t need. 

 

WARNING

Avoid the brightly lit shops with neon signs.

If the shop looks like the one pictured here, avoid it:

Avoid shops like these at all costs

Avoid shops like these at all costs

This sort of shop is a tourist trap.  Likely run by gangs.  These shops are the ones that will be dishonest, try and upsell, get mad when you don’t buy anything and do bait and switch tactics.  Locals NEVER shop in these places.

They are most likely to be found in the tourist rich districts such as Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay.

Now onto the good stuff…

Places to buy cheap stuff.

Sim City (Mong Kong)

Sim City - 47-51 Shan Tung Street, Mongkok

Sim City – 47-51 Shan Tung Street, Mongkok

This multi story mall has a lot of Camera shops which sell second hand gear and cheap Chinese made accessories. If you want products such as Phottx, Yongnuo, Samyang/Rokinon and cheap accessories such as 3rd party batteries, lens hoods and so on, this is the place to go.

 

Apliu Street – Sham Shui Po

Sunplus

Apliu Fleamarket.  A very interesting place, but check the shops on the side for the good stuff.

Home to the Apliu Fleamarket  this dirty but interesting little street has a lot of cool stuff to look at.  There’s a couple of shops along the sides that sell cheap made in China style camera accessories.  I find these shops a bit better for VIDEO stuff than the ones in Sim City.  Though I do enjoy shopping in Sim City more.

 

 

Good Camera Orientated Shops:

Tin Cheung (website here: http://www.tincheungcamera.com.hk/ )

This shop has grown a lot over the years.  They’re now my favourite shop and I buy most things from them.  They’re honest and have competitive pricing.

Tin Cheung is my favourite HK Camera store.

Tin Cheung is my favourite HK Camera store.

 

Cam2 (website here: http://www.cam2.com.hk/)

IMG_8835

 

Cam 2 used to have the best pricing around, however they’re a bit let down by so-so service and have fallen behind Tin Cheung in Pricing (actually according to some reports they actually beat Tin Cheung sometimes so keep that in mind)  Check them out and compare to Tin Cheung prices.

 

Wing Shing (website here: http://www.wingshingphoto.com/)

A shop that always seems to have everything in stock, even when other shops don’t.  The problem is they are nearly always at the higher end of the price range and the service here tends to kinda suck.  The shop keepers are a bit arrogant and only really serve you if you’ve got money.  However, they have stuff that other shops might not have, so go here if you can’t find what you want elsewhere.
Zhao Xiang Guan (website here: http://www.zxg.com.hk/)

This shop I’ve visited a few times.  A lot of people swear by this shop (which is why I added it).  It has a very impressive range of second hand gear and it’s well worth a look.  It also stocks some of the better lighting gear you’ll have trouble finding elsewhere.

This shop is a little tricky to find though.

 

Don’t buy from Digital Rev (yes I know they’re famous), they aren’t very cheap, they’re more orientated for selling to the UK and Europe, so their prices are pretty bad by HK standards.

Don’t bother with DC Fever either.  Popular with locals, but honestly I’ve never been impressed with them.

Avoid Echo Photo Supply (Despite it being recommended on a 9 year old post by Roland Lim) those guys will rip you off just as much as the sneaky ones I warned you about above. Though some have reported good stuff from them,  I’ve personally had them attempt to rip me off big time.  I’d avoid.

 

Chain Stores

Of all chain stores I find Broadway to be the best

Of all chain stores I find Broadway to be the best

Chain stores in Hong Kong are generally OK for camera stuff.  They don’t usually have that much, though it does depend on the district.  Mong Kok shops have a bit more than shops in other districts. They give you a lot of free junk with your purchases (as do all the chain stores), they’re good if you want to buy a tablet or a TV too. 😉 However, they won’t give you the best prices… though I’ve found often you can bargain a bit with them (ask them what’s the best price they can give you, then say you could get it cheaper at another shop, they’ll usually try and match it).

Broadway (pictured above): Generally I like this shop the most.  They have pretty good prices and good service.  They are also pretty good with returns.

Fortress is also pretty good, I find them slightly worse than Broadway overall though, but I’d buy from them if they had something I wanted.

Sunning is another good chain store, quite similar to the other two.

 

So that’s it, make sure you know the local price (use price.com.hk), know what you want and shop at a reputable shop. Remember to try and bargain a little at the Chain Stores too.

 

Thanks for reading,

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  • azbest

    thanks for writing 🙂

  • trabecula

    When you mention Echo Photo & Audio tried to rip you off, you mean the price they asked you for, right? Otherwise it would be ok?

    • The problem with Echo is you’re kind of punished for not asking for the right person. Apparently to get decent service you have to ask for a particular person to serve you and then you’ll get good service. If you get someone else, they’ll treat you like a dumb tourist and try and rip you off. I’m not going to put up with that sort of nonsense.

      I was asking them at the time about an SD card. I knew the price for the card (let’s say $100HKD), but they tried to charge me many times the price claiming it was a special “made in Japan” card or some such rubbish.

      So, no I’d stay well clear of them.

      • trabecula

        Thank you. I ended up buying the camera at Fortress. It did cost 600HKD more but it came with an extra battery, two Sandisk SD cards (I really didn’t want the tripod on offer), a bag and a cheap cleaning kit. Oh, and of course, some peace of mind when to comes to eventually being scammed.

        • Yep, good choice. Fortress will let you return it if there’s anything wrong too. I think it’s 7 or 10 days or something like that.

      • Rick Grogan

        On my last visit to Hong Kong (Nov. 2016), I checked up on a few web sites concerning the best stores to buy photo gear from. Certainly Tin Cheung and Wing Shing were good, and in fact the service at both of the Wing Shing stores was quite O.K., but Andrew Yip or Mr. Yip at Echo (who IS the ‘right Person’) gave me excellent service and a great price on a Nissin flashgun. In all of my visits to Hong Kong camera stores over the years, I would have to say he has been the friendliest to deal with. Interestingly, the websites did recommend that you should only ask for Mr. Yip.

        Totally agree about avoiding the flashy ‘bait and switch’ stores along Nathan Rd.

        • Yeh Mr. Yip is recommended by that guy. Raymond? I forget his name.

          However, I don’t think it’s right you have to follow instructions correctly (get the right guy) in order to get good service. It’s like you’re getting punished for not following instructions correctly.

          So I say keep away.

  • Guilherme Scozziero

    Hello Adrian, I am going to Hong Kong next month and your article will be very helpful. Could you please indicates the address for Wing Shing store? Thanks a lot

  • Clickr88

    I went to the Sim City location and was enjoying looking at all the used equipment and also there was a Tin Cheung store selling new stuff and I ended up getting a Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens for my Sony a6000.was very pleased with the service I received.

    • Carina Sanchez

      Do they offer international warranty?

  • Serene Chan

    This is absolutely amazing! Thank you