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andrewcard

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Greetings from Chattanooga, TN, USA everyone! Happy to have found this community. I've been with my Sony rx10iv for about 2 years now (mainly wildlife photography) and am looking to upgrade! After countless hours of research I've settled that that a7iv is the best tool for my needs! My question - what is everyone's go-to sites when trying to find new & used equipment? I've been price comparing for a bit but sometimes it becomes difficult to know which sites/sellers you can trust. Thanks in advance!
 

FowlersFreeTime

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Welcome!
Sounds like you have the ultra portable solution already, but for the full-frame you can't go wrong with the A7IV.
For new, its usually Amazon for me. Can't go wrong with Adorama or B&H either.
For used, I hear a lot of people say www.keh.com but I've never tried them myself.
 

Clix Pix

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I also have the RX10 IV, and I dearly love it. That camera brought me back to photography after having taken a hiatus. After a while, though, I realized it was time to get a new interchangeable lens camera (ILC) and make the switch from my older DSLR and lenses to mirrorless technology. I traded in all my Nikon gear for Sony's A7R IV and some lenses, primarily macro, but kept my RX10 IV, and still use that camera, especially when I just want to grab something in a hurry and run out to my deck to shoot ducks or geese doing something interesting and there's no time to slip a lens on to the A7R IV. It is also an ideal travel camera, as is its smaller sister, the RX100 series of compact cameras.

Since you are in Tennessee, I am guessing that there are no local camera stores near you or within a reasonable drive, even though Chattanooga isn't exactly a small town? Developing a good relationship with a local dealer is always best, but that is not always possible, of course. I use a local dealer for most of my purchases but also I get things from B&H when the local dealer doesn't have something in stock or they don't carry the product at all. I've been using B&H for many years and have never had any issues there -- very reliable, the merchandise is well-packed and arrives in a timely manner. In the old days one could order from B&H and not pay state taxes, but that has changed now. However, B&H does offer what they call the "Pay Boo" card that works around the tax issue. I don't have one so I'm not quite sure how it works, but it is beyond a basic credit card.

I use Amazon for a lot of things but not photography gear or memory cards. There have been reports of counterfeit memory cards, for example, so I just don't take chances. I don't buy used gear but I have heard good things about KEH over the years and they are a good source for items which can't be found elsewhere. Also B&H offers a Used Gear department, too. Obviously if you're interested in the A7 IV you'll be going with a new one since that is brand-new on the market.

Good luck with finding and learning all about your new camera!
 

andrewcard

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I also have the RX10 IV, and I dearly love it. That camera brought me back to photography after having taken a hiatus. After a while, though, I realized it was time to get a new interchangeable lens camera (ILC) and make the switch from my older DSLR and lenses to mirrorless technology. I traded in all my Nikon gear for Sony's A7R IV and some lenses, primarily macro, but kept my RX10 IV, and still use that camera, especially when I just want to grab something in a hurry and run out to my deck to shoot ducks or geese doing something interesting and there's no time to slip a lens on to the A7R IV. It is also an ideal travel camera, as is its smaller sister, the RX100 series of compact cameras.

Since you are in Tennessee, I am guessing that there are no local camera stores near you or within a reasonable drive, even though Chattanooga isn't exactly a small town? Developing a good relationship with a local dealer is always best, but that is not always possible, of course. I use a local dealer for most of my purchases but also I get things from B&H when the local dealer doesn't have something in stock or they don't carry the product at all. I've been using B&H for many years and have never had any issues there -- very reliable, the merchandise is well-packed and arrives in a timely manner. In the old days one could order from B&H and not pay state taxes, but that has changed now. However, B&H does offer what they call the "Pay Boo" card that works around the tax issue. I don't have one so I'm not quite sure how it works, but it is beyond a basic credit card.

I use Amazon for a lot of things but not photography gear or memory cards. There have been reports of counterfeit memory cards, for example, so I just don't take chances. I don't buy used gear but I have heard good things about KEH over the years and they are a good source for items which can't be found elsewhere. Also B&H offers a Used Gear department, too. Obviously if you're interested in the A7 IV you'll be going with a new one since that is brand-new on the market.

Good luck with finding and learning all about your new camera!
Thank you for the advice! I love my rx10iv as well! Definitely keeping it as it's a perfect camera for backpacking/day-hiking when cutting unnecessary weight is a huge factor! I'll do some searching around and see if there are any local dealers within reasonable driving distance, haven't thought of that route before.
 
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Clix Pix

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To me there is great value in being able to walk into a store and talk with the people there, handle the various cameras, try the various lenses on them, etc., etc., and ask questions. They'll answer the questions that you didn't know to ask, too. Once you've made the purchase, if something comes up that concerns you about the new gear a phone call or another visit to the store can resolve the problem very quickly, and of course if it is a serious issue, the camera shop will help you handle the warranty issues or simply exchange the problematic item for a new one.

The store staff will also walk a customer through all the various features and functions in a new digital camera body and setting things up, as these can definitely be confusing at first. Last time I was in my local store buying a new lens one of the staff was patiently and thoughtfully helping someone as he was trying to figure out some of the settings on the new camera he either had already purchased earlier or was just about to buy. This sort of in-person, hands-on service is invaluable.
 

Jeff A

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Greetings from Chattanooga, TN, USA everyone! Happy to have found this community. I've been with my Sony rx10iv for about 2 years now (mainly wildlife photography) and am looking to upgrade! After countless hours of research I've settled that that a7iv is the best tool for my needs! My question - what is everyone's go-to sites when trying to find new & used equipment? I've been price comparing for a bit but sometimes it becomes difficult to know which sites/sellers you can trust. Thanks in advance!
If it's new, I'm going to buy it from B&H. There Customer Service is great. Their shipping is fast and mostly free. I have to admit i8t though, the big thing for me is they pay my California State Sales Tax. I went from zero to a lot of gear in a short time and it saved me a bundle. There is no discounting for most of the brand name gear.
 
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FowlersFreeTime

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@andrewcard I made a silly comment about compact kit; you mentioned having the RX10iv and somehow I thought you meant the compact rx100 series 😅
So if you have the RX10IV, the size of the A7IV should be a good fit in the hands eh?
 

andrewcard

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@andrewcard I made a silly comment about compact kit; you mentioned having the RX10iv and somehow I thought you meant the compact rx100 series 😅
So if you have the RX10IV, the size of the A7IV should be a good fit in the hands eh?
Haha I'm hoping so! Might be a stupid question but the a7iv with the sony 200-600mm lens would be far too much weight for long hikes correct? I've only come from the world of smaller all-in-one cameras so don't have much bearings on what's reasonable/unreasonable to carry for long periods. If it's not too much weight I'd consider trading in my rx10iv but my plan as of now is to keep it as my lightweight/long distance carry camera.
 

Clix Pix

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Chris: The RX10 IV is the size of a small DSLR with a medium-sized lens on it and of course the lens, being a zoom, will zoom out further to whatever length is required for the shot. It balances nicely in the hands, and is comfortable to carry or have slung around one's neck, cross-body, or over one shoulder. My two FF bodies are both thinner and lighter weight sans lens, but with some lenses they are about the same size as the RX10 IV.
 
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Clix Pix

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Haha I'm hoping so! Might be a stupid question but the a7iv with the sony 200-600mm lens would be far too much weight for long hikes correct? I've only come from the world of smaller all-in-one cameras so don't have much bearings on what's reasonable/unreasonable to carry for long periods. If it's not too much weight I'd consider trading in my rx10iv but my plan as of now is to keep it as my lightweight/long distance carry camera.

NOT a silly or stupid question at all. The 200-600mm is a hefty lens, no two ways about it. I bought mine about a month or so after I'd gotten the A7R IV two years ago, and it was in the wintertime so I primarily used it shooting geese and ducks off my deck, which was fine as I could support the lens on my deck railing. Come spring and I realized that there was no way that I, a petite woman of more than "a certain age" was going to be able to walk around the lake or the neighborhood carrying the camera and the 200-600. I went to the store and bought the 100-400mm, which does work well for me as a walk-around lens although it's not exactly a lightweight, either. In the meantime I also realized that the 200-600mm (the Bazooka) would be best suited to a tripod with gimbal, so bought a Wimberley II gimbal head and that works much better for me. I haven't yet taken it on any excursions away from home but at least now I'm prepared for those occasions.

When I first bought the A7R IV and three lenses I decided that I would just hold off on a long lens as I did have the RX10 IV for that anyway, and this worked fine for a short time until one day I was out on the deck shooting the geese as they were squawking at each other on the lake, and the thought drifted through my mind that probably the image quality would be even better with a full-frame lens on my new A7R IV...... The next day I was off to the store to buy the Bazooka and comparison tests using both cameras showed me that I was right about that. However, I still love my RX10 IV and always will.
 

andrewcard

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NOT a silly or stupid question at all. The 200-600mm is a hefty lens, no two ways about it. I bought mine about a month or so after I'd gotten the A7R IV two years ago, and it was in the wintertime so I primarily used it shooting geese and ducks off my deck, which was fine as I could support the lens on my deck railing. Come spring and I realized that there was no way that I, a petite woman of more than "a certain age" was going to be able to walk around the lake or the neighborhood carrying the camera and the 200-600. I went to the store and bought the 100-400mm, which does work well for me as a walk-around lens although it's not exactly a lightweight, either. In the meantime I also realized that the 200-600mm (the Bazooka) would be best suited to a tripod with gimbal, so bought a Wimberley II gimbal head and that works much better for me. I haven't yet taken it on any excursions away from home but at least now I'm prepared for those occasions.
Okay great! I'll hang on to my rx10iv as originally planned then, just might take a bit longer to save up and purchase the 200-600 now 😝
 

Clix Pix

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There is a difference in the image quality, no doubt about that, but I have found a workaround which I have occasionally used with the RX10 IV -- Topaz Gigapixel, which can extrapolate pixels and create more resolution in images, and it can make a difference in some of the images I have shot with the RX10 IV.
 

Brownie

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My question - what is everyone's go-to sites when trying to find new & used equipment? I've been price comparing for a bit but sometimes it becomes difficult to know which sites/sellers you can trust. Thanks in advance!
For new I prefer my local shop if they have it, or B&H if they don't.

For used: KEH, MPB, and UsedPhotoPro all have excellent reputations, offer a 180 day warranty on their products, and are fairly hassle free. I can speak personally about KEH and MPB's return warranty service, but have no experience with a return to UPP.

Oddball stuff like old A-Mount glass usually comes from a carefully selected eBay seller, almost always a dealer.

Might be a stupid question but the a7iv with the sony 200-600mm lens would be far too much weight for long hikes correct? I
I consider lenses like that an 'event' lens. Air shows, races, or maybe a walk into the woods where you'll be sitting still waiting for wildlife. You could certainly do it, and I'm sure some do, but not for me. It's too heavy to walk around with comfortably.
 
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MrFotoFool

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A quick search on Google Maps for camera store shows there are none (other than Best Buy) in either Chattanooga or Nashville, which is surprising. So it looks like it is online. Buying used is always a gamble, I have had both good and bad experiences, and these days I would only buy new (or factory refurbished). As someone said, you probably won't find a used A74 yet anyway, since it's a new model. However KEH does have a good reputation and I have used them a few times over the years.

As for where to purchase, I used Adorama for years and as long as you use their online form it's no issue. However on a trip I had to call in a rush order and they completely messed it up and were not willing to properly rectify it. Their customer service was awful and I will not buy from them again. For my recent Sony purchase I used B&H without issue (though it was all online, so I have not tested their customer service).

I use Nikon DSLR for my "standard" lenses, but for wildlife I use what you are looking at: Sony A74 and 200-600 lens. Since the lens is so big and the camera is so small, I bought the battery grip for the camera, which I find essential for proper balance. Since the lens is so heavy I attached the strap to the strap lugs built into the lens and not the ones on the camera body. If you carried that lens with the strap on the camera it would put too much strain on the lens mount. However, when I am walking around I don't hang it around my neck but carry it upside-down, holding it by the tripod collar on the bottom of the lens. I bought a replacement collar from Really Right Stuff, which fits my tripod head. It is also a bit longer than the stock Sony collar (or I should say foot) which makes it easy to hand carry. The lens can be shot handheld, but I would not want to go on a long hike with it (unless maybe it's in a comfortable camera backpack).
 

andrewcard

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A quick search on Google Maps for camera store shows there are none (other than Best Buy) in either Chattanooga or Nashville, which is surprising. So it looks like it is online. Buying used is always a gamble, I have had both good and bad experiences, and these days I would only buy new (or factory refurbished). As someone said, you probably won't find a used A74 yet anyway, since it's a new model. However KEH does have a good reputation and I have used them a few times over the years.

As for where to purchase, I used Adorama for years and as long as you use their online form it's no issue. However on a trip I had to call in a rush order and they completely messed it up and were not willing to properly rectify it. Their customer service was awful and I will not buy from them again. For my recent Sony purchase I used B&H without issue (though it was all online, so I have not tested their customer service).

I use Nikon DSLR for my "standard" lenses, but for wildlife I use what you are looking at: Sony A74 and 200-600 lens. Since the lens is so big and the camera is so small, I bought the battery grip for the camera, which I find essential for proper balance. Since the lens is so heavy I attached the strap to the strap lugs built into the lens and not the ones on the camera body. If you carried that lens with the strap on the camera it would put too much strain on the lens mount. However, when I am walking around I don't hang it around my neck but carry it upside-down, holding it by the tripod collar on the bottom of the lens. I bought a replacement collar from Really Right Stuff, which fits my tripod head. It is also a bit longer than the stock Sony collar (or I should say foot) which makes it easy to hand carry. The lens can be shot handheld, but I would not want to go on a long hike with it (unless maybe it's in a comfortable camera backpack).
Thank you for this feedback! The battery grip tip is a great idea that I hadn't thought of and makes total sense. I also may look around for a dedicated camera backpack for this lens because I have a couple wildlife spots I would love to take it but they are 3-4 mile hikes to get there.
 
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RSeagraves

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B&H without question. If you sign up for their silly Payboo Card you can save the tax.
Enjoy!
 

andrewcard

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B&H without question. If you sign up for their silly Payboo Card you can save the tax.
Enjoy!
Does signing up for the credit card have any associated fees?
 

MrFotoFool

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B&H without question. If you sign up for their silly Payboo Card you can save the tax.
Enjoy!

Does signing up for the credit card have any associated fees?
I took a quick look just now and the Payboo Card could be a good deal IF (and only if) you pay off your entire purchase within the month. If not, the interest rate is an exorbitant 29.99% which is certainly far worse than any sales tax!
 
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Brownie

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I took a quick look just now and the Payboo Card could be a good deal IF (and only if) you pay off your entire purchase within the month. If not, the interest rate is an exorbitant 29.99% which is certainly far worse than any sales tax!
I can see Jeff's point though, but then again his sales tax rate is very high. And since I pay my cards off every month the interest wouldn't affect me.

I still prefer to deal locally. The goodwill I get by buying from my local store is worth far more to me than sales tax. This was never more evident than when I bought my Sigma 100-400. They stepped in and worked with me and Sigma to get a problem sorted out and the lens replaced. I called B&H about the same issue on the same lens and got a big huge shrug. 🤷‍♂️ Having the dealer intervene directly with the manufacturer was well worth the $54 tax I would've saved,.
 
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