The concept of photography started as early as 5th century B.C.E. while the first camera was invented in the 11th century by an Iraqi scientist and called it camera obscura. It wasn’t portable, didn’t record images but merely projected images and the images appeared upside down. The first permanent image captured by a portable camera happened in the late 1830s in France.
This led to leaps of advancements in photography through experimentations such as daguerreotypes, emulsion plates, and wet plates. Kodak in the 1880s made photography accessible for everyone with the creation of a flexible roll film. In the 1950s, the Japanese introduced the SLR-type cameras that eventually led to the “point and shoot” style of smart cameras and digital SLRs in the 1970s and onwards.
List of Online Photography and Camera Stores
1. Abe’s of Maine: Established in 1979, Abe’s has relocated a few times and is currently based in New Jersey. They are unquestionably one of the most trustworthy online photography & camera stores. They stock a wide range of gear, though not as extensive as Adorama or B&H. They have competitive prices and amazing deals, especially during big holidays like New Year.
Abe’s shipping fees vary, and sometimes they provide free ground shipping. They allow you to return products within 14 days. Returned merchandise may at times attract a restocking charge of 15 percent. If you are an online shopper outside the U.S., the store provides you with a useful resource to help you order your camera or photography gear in a stress-free
2. Adorama: This reputable New York store has been delivering exceptional customer services and well-designed gears for about 35 years. Their merchandise are affordable. They offer a 30-day return policy. However, you should carefully look at the details of the policy to establish if you fit into their requirements. Shipment of their gears is available in Canada and over 200 other nations. Adorama Tip: Join their VIP loyalty program to enjoy exciting discounts and special access on some merchandizes. You can also join their wide-ranging VIP 360 at $44.99 per year to enjoy 2-day delivery at no cost, coverage of drops and spills that extend for a year and a prolonged 60-day return window.
3. B&H: Blimie and Herman opened this camera store in Tribeca back in 1973, hence the name B&H. Today, they have cemented a top position in the e-commerce world, particularly in the distribution of photography and electronic items. Their prices are akin to Amazon and Adorama, and they receive new products and pre-orders at a quick rate. They have a clear and understandable return policy of 30 days. B&H Tip: Buy regularly from B&H and earn points that you can later redeem for discounts.
4. Amazon: This great online store has unparalleled and broad inventory of merchandise. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you will enjoy their amazing service and fast delivery. They are the perfect place for buying both ordinary and sophisticated cameras. Although they don’t upload pre-order links as quickly as devoted camera retailers, you will still find a new camera immediately it becomes available. This store has a fantastic 30-day return policy and provides shipping benefits, such as Amazon Locker, to help you protect your expensive gear.
5. Hunt’s Photo and Video: This family-owned business has been supplying unique camera gears to clients in New England. Online orders from outside of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine are exempted from sales tax. They do not ship their products outside the U.S., but they stock a sizable assortment of gears and have an excellent reputation for high quality and service. Their staffs are knowledgeable, courteous, efficient, and reliable.
6. eBay: If you are already an established photographer looking for a slightly used camera or photography gear, then this store will come in handy. Many photography lovers advertise their products on eBay. Thus, you will have to do thorough research and pick a reputable seller to avoid being ripped off or scammed. eBay Tip: Read reviews about the gear you want on a site like Amazon, then search for it on eBay.
7. Calumet: Renowned across the globe for their reliability, Calumet is a one-stop online shop for Canon equipment enthusiasts. Their collection of camera and photography gears is huge, and their prices are reasonable. They boast a nicely designed website that contains well-captured images of items available for sale.
8. Best Buy: Their prices are usually similar to those of other prominent online stores. You can also pick some of their merchandise from your local store if you want to alleviate shipping charges. Although they lack a broad inventory of lenses and other photography equipment, their user-friendly site carries most of the new Canon cameras available on the market.
9. Rakuten.com: At this store, you will find exceptional deals on a big number of cameras, lenses, as well as accessories. Most products in Rakuten.com have free shipping. If you want to buy a photography gear on a budget, you will be surprised at the many options that Rakuten.com has to offer.
10. Ritz Camera: They have a large stock of camera and equipment alongside reasonable pricing. They offer multiple payment options to speed up the sale of their products. Their in-house support team is reliable, knowledgeable, and friendly. If you want to return a product due to damage during shipment or any other valid reason, they give a 30-days grace period. Ritz has received brilliant ratings across different review sites.
11. Newegg: The reputation of this online giant lies in its ability to provide competitive prices, quick shipping, and impressive customer service. Their camera collection may not be as extensive as other rival websites listed in this article since they do not majorly concentrate on camera equipment. If you make big purchases like a DSLR body, you stand a chance of walking away with free products/gifts.
12. Olloclip: Do you want to grow from a casual mobile phone photographer to a professional one? Then, Olloclip is your go-to shop. Here you will get innovative lenses that will be instrumental in expanding your photography abilities. Check out their website often to land an excellent deal.
13. National Camera Exchange: This family-owned company began operating in 1914. Since then, they have created a thriving offline and online business. If you want a Nikon camera or a Canon EOS, then this shop is an ideal choice. You can sharpen your photography skills by enrolling in their photography classes, which are occasionally offered. They offer free shipping for items over $50. Their return policy covers 30 days, but returns over $1,500 attract a 10 percent restocking fee.
14. Samy’s Camera: Established in 1976 and located in California, this online powerhouse is home to all kinds of cameras and photography gears. They boast competitive prices, a broad selection, and policies comparable to other prominent camera equipment stores. They have an outstanding loyalty program, a 30-day return rule, and free shipping for goods worth more than $49. They also provide some online classes for those who want to sharpen their photography skills.
15. Precision Camera & Video: This shop has numerous quality cameras. Although their return policy is only 14-days, they provide some exciting benefits. For instance, they rent cameras, studio space, and other equipment. If you buy items worth $200 and above, you will enjoy free shipping.
16. Kenmore Camera: Since their inception in 1974, they have grown by leaps and bounds to become the Northwest authority in photographic gear and accessories. They offer free shipping for merchandise over $50. Their return policy is only 14 days.
17. KEH: They have been selling used equipment since 1979. They have a broad collection of used gear to suits the needs of every photography enthusiast. They leverage an 8-category grading rule and offer a valuable chart that compares their grading system to those of other competing stores. They have a price match guarantee, which will grant you compensation of the difference if you spot the same item at a lower price in a recognized store. They have a 180-day warranty and a money-back policy of 14 days.
18. Tiger Direct: If you want unparalleled offers on Canon point and shoots, then visit Tiger Direct. Here you will see a vast collection of new Canon cameras and a couple of DSLR lines. You can also get quality lenses from this site, but their collection of lenses is not that broad.
19. MBP: With brick and motor shops in the UK and New York, this camera store is relatively new. They adopt a 16-point grading system to examine and rate the equipment and accessories they sell. Their products come with a 6-month warranty and 7-day return rule.
20. Dale Photo: This shop specializes in selling and renting high-end cameras, lighting equipment, and professional tripods. They provide dependable advice from a skilled specialist to help you pick the right camera. Additionally, they offer a competitive price and a free camera set-up.
21. Optics Planet: This trustworthy store provides amateur or passionate professional photographer with a wide array of digital cameras as well as 35mm point and shoot gears from established brands like Canon, SeaLife, Leica, Nikon, and Pentax. At this shop, you will find a collection of lenses, camera bags, tripods, filters, and other crucial digital camera accessories like batteries, monopods, and flash memory cards.
22. Focus Camera: This photography and imaging vendor from Brooklyn, New York, focuses on assisting the upcoming generation of artists to realize their innovative goals. With their ever-expanding online business, Focus Camera delivers outstanding camera equipment and other photographic products. They offer leading brands, together with detailed guides, reviews, and videos. Subscribe to their newsletter, so you don’t miss out on outstanding products and deals.
23. 42nd Street Photo: If you want to see a living oasis of all things camera, then you should consider checking out 42nd Street Photo. On their website, you will find almost all types of cameras and their corresponding accessories. You will also interact with the experienced and courteous support team. Remember to go through their return policy before placing an order.
24. Unique Photo: This privately owned business started their journey in a humble Brooklyn storefront more than 50 years ago. Their reputation lies in providing their clients with the best in service, reliability, quality, and price. They stock more than 20,000 top-name products from all the leading manufacturers, including Panasonic, Fujifilm, Canon, Olympus, Leica, Nikon, and many others. Their support team consist of skilled videographers and photographers competent in a wide range of fields.
25. District Camera: Whether you are looking for the coolest, new camera, huge prints, or to transfer old family movies to DVD, this store will surpass your expectations. At District Camera, you will find digital point and shoot cameras, film cameras, mirrorless digital cameras, digital SLR cameras, and camera accessories. Subscribe for their newsletter to get free updates and exciting offers.
26. Used Photo Pro: This unique site specializes in buying and selling new, slightly used, and old cameras, lenses, and accessories. They share individual images of the product they are selling. They give you a warranty of 180 days on all used merchandises. New arrivals are added to the site regularly.
27. Mike’s Camera: This is not just a camera store. They also produce point-of-purchase big-format signage materials and trade show booths. They provide an interesting collection of manuals and classes on the best ways to use the state-of-the-art digital imaging and photographic equipment. They sell new and used cameras. They also allow their client to rent out used gear.
28. Camera Spot: This family-owned shop has extensive experience of selling unique photographic equipment. Their competent and skilled employees work as a team and serve all camera-lovers both new and experienced. They provide a variety of online store services that allow you to digitize your old photos and transfer your video tapes into DVDs at a cost-friendly price.
29. San Jose Camera: Based in Campbell, CA, San Jose Camera provides a huge selection of top-brand cameras, lenses, and beautiful photography accessories. They also stock LED lighting, camera backpacks, tripods, stabilizers, flash, backdrops, and straps. San Jose Camera provides rental services, photography classes, camera set-up, repairs, data recovery, and video transfers. They have done wonderful job in designing and organizing their website. You can easily locate the camera you want by just searching its name and model on the site. San Jose Tip: Register for updates to know everything that happens in the store.
30. George’s Camera: Closing our top 30 camera stores is the reputable George’s Camera that stocks a broad range of photography equipment and accessories. They stock cameras from prominent brands like Epson, Sigma, Nikon, Sony, Benro, and Canon.