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  1. #1
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    SW MN

    Difference between USA and import.

    I was looking at Ebay and found a Canon 40D with 3 lenses, wide angle converter, flash, tripods and much more, for only $1399. That sounded awful cheap, considering I've seen the 40D go for just about that alone. The ad didn"t mention a warrantee, so I inquired. They told me it was an import. I assume this means, buyer beware. Where do these imports come from? Where is Canon manufactured? Import must be the same thing as gray market. I imagine that the camera and lenses are the same, but if something goes amiss, you are on your own?
    Canon 30D X 2, Canon 100-400L, Thrift Fifty, Canon 18-55 IS 3rd generation lens plus 430 EX II flash and Better Beamer. :thumbsup:

  2. #2
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Re: Difference between USA and import.

    Import = grey market.
    You're right, there is no warranty at all on it.

    "That sounded awful cheap, considering I've seen the 40D go for just about that alone"
    As you know, if it sounds to good to be true, it is.

    To me the bad news is the "flash, tripods and much more" - it's got hallmarks of the bad dealers that people find online, or phone up. Selling loads of low quality add-ons that you don't need.
    Like a wide angle converter - for a DSLR ?
    You use a wide angle lens, not a converter !

    I wouldn't touch this with someone else's barge pole.

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    McCordsville, IN

    Re: Difference between USA and import.

    All Canon cameras and lenses are made in Japan, whether import or USA/Canada warranty it's all in the same factories. The difference is the fees paid to enter the US/Canada, and the amount you pay to cover those fees.
    When/if you need service it is soley up to Canon whether they will do it under warranty or not when it comes to imports. Worst case id you have to to pay to have them fix something. and since 95% of their gear lasts much longer than the warranty it's not really a big deal... unless you get one of those in the 5%.

    Canon 1D
    Canon 1D MK II N
    Canon 70-200mm USM IS f2.8
    Canon 200mm f1.8 USM
    Canon 300mm f2.8 USM IS
    Canon 28-300mm USM IS f3.5-5.6
    Canon 50mm f1.8
    Vivitar 19-35mm f3.5-5.6

  4. #4
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Mineral Point, WI, USA

    Re: Difference between USA and import.

    I bought my DRebel in one of those kits on ebay, but mine wasn't gray market. Like PAul said, the "extras" that come in the kit are JUNK!! Unless you need a box full of paper weights, I would steer clear of those kits. I think the only thing from my kit that I'm still using is the camera body. Oh, and the camera bag too. I use that for my video camera. The bag I got with the kit wasn't even big enuf to hold all the stuff that came in the kit!!

    As far as the gray market stuff goes, JS summed it up pretty good. It's a gamble, but one you may be willing to take. I have checked out some of the prices on lenses at B&H and compared the US and gray market lenses. Some of the gray market lenses are only $5-$10 cheaper than the US lens. I think the warranty is worth the extra $10 on a lens. I'm sure there is a bigger difference in the bodies tho.

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  5. #5
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    wa state

    Re: Difference between USA and import.

    I always check the seller to see if they are an "authorized" dealer. They only sell items specifically imported for usa or canada and thus have manufacturers warranty. The ones who aren't authorized dealers sell grey market and will give you a store warranty which they say can be used in places like circuit city and such. I've read stories that when people try to use the warranty the places that are supposed to honor them don't know what they are talking about.
    Mjs is right about those kit deals. I wouldn't even buy one of those from Cameta even though they do have a good reputation and I bought my D80 there.
    Those 'professional' tripods, bags, flashes, etc are low quality stuff that even the seller doesn't identify by brand name.
    Keep Shooting!


    Please refrain from editing my photos without asking.

  6. #6
    Member Jumpseat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Gold Canyon, AZ

    Re: Difference between USA and import.

    There are three different levels of photo equipment sold in the USA:

    A. USA Market - Items built by foreign manufacturers, like Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc., and imported into the USA by those companies with the intention of selling them on the US market. These items are sold with the full support of the manufacturer's USA branches and carry a fully supported USA Warranty.

    B. Gray Market - Gray market items are identical items made by the same manufacturers but not intended for sale in the USA. Individual retailers will import these items and sell them in the USA at reduced prices. Beware: These items do not include a manufacturer's warranty that is valid within the USA. And, some manufacturers will provide no support for these items inside or outside of a warranty here in the USA. There is, also, a big misunderstanding about gray market items being covered by their international warranty here in the US. Take Nikon for example: Yes Nikon does offer warranty service here in the US for equipment not sold by "NikonUSA" (Nikon's US distributor), but to get that service you must present a foreign bill-of-sale. So, if you present that expensive DSLR for service with a bill-of-sale from a New York camera store you are just plain out of luck. As some consolation, most reputable gray market retailers will provide a third-party warranty thru someone like Mack Camera (a well known camera service company).

    C. Refurbished - A refurbished item is exactly that. When refurbished by the manufacturer these items will normally carry a limited manufacturer's warranty.

    The problem here is not that these gray market and refurbished items are being sold, it is that some unscrupulous retailers don't tell you that they are selling you one. I have purchased both types of items but do so within limitations. For complex items with computerized electronics, like expensive digital cameras, I want a full USA warranty. After that, I tend to prefer gray market over refurbished for items like simple, less expensive lenses and flash units. If you want a USA Market item deal with a reputable retailer such as my favorites: B&H, Adorama, and Cameta. But still ask the salesman if it carries a "manufacturer's USA warranty".

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