Buying Camera Gear in Japan [FAQ in Description Box]


– Buying Camera Gear in Japan. How do you do it? Where do you do it and how do you save a lot of money by buying second-hand equipment? We’ll answer all of that in this episode of Jason Inducing More Gas and Making You Want To Spend More Money That You Don’t Already Have. And this helpful guide is made possible by our friends over at Squarespace. Welcome back to my channel where your wallet thinks you’re abusive and your spouse hates me. Today we are at Yodobashi in Shinjuku, in my opinion the camera shopping central in Japan. Think of Yodobashi as Best Buy meets B&H ’cause they literally sell
every single electronics that you can think of here. And what I love most about
Yodobashi in Shinjuku is that they have floors. Floors of camera equipment that you can lose your
entire day to looking at. Starting at floor one, you have your general selection of cameras that include point and shoot, camcorders, and action camera, as well as sound equipment. Floor two is a lot more
focus on SLR cameras, and mirrorless cameras
along with their lenses. Floor three you got the
lighting and telescopes. Floor four is a sea of tripods. When you get to floor five, it’s camera bags galore. Floor six is event space which I assume they would host events in. So the next floor is not listed here, but it’s actually heaven, and the only way to get there is by having your significant
other send you there, and to get them to do that all you have to do is just
spend your entire life savings on camera gear here in Japan. That’s horrible advice, but you know what they say, Jason Vong is never wrong. Now I wanna clarify that
Yodobashi is not just in Shinjuku but are also in other
major parts of Japan, including Akihabara, Kyoto, Osaka etc. I just happen to like
the one in Shinjuku more. So shopping for cameras
and lenses in Japan is way better than it is in the US, at least for introverts like me who are too shy to talk to our reps at our local camera store. You’re laughing now, but you know it’s you in RL. But seriously though, this is where you’ll
get the most unbiased, hands on experience on any of the cameras and lens here, and they’re all laid
out here for you to try. You can try out the brand
new Canon mirrorless camera that you’re hearing mixed reviews about. You can try out the latest Fuji camera that everyone is raving about. You can even try the latest
and greatest G Master lens on your Sony A7III. Everything you want to take a
look at is at your fingertips. But what your girlfriend, or your wife, or your husband? What are they gonna do while you test out a bunch of cameras? Come to BICQLO. It’s on the other side of Shinjuku. BICQLO is a combination
of Bic Camera and Uniqlo. It takes the best of both worlds. A beauty product, electronics, alcohol etc. From Bic Camera, and the best life wear from the greatest clothing brand, Uniqlo. And they say Marvel’s Avengers is the most ambitious crossover ever. I still can’t get over… (fake weeping) (bleeping) Okay, so what about price? Is it significantly cheaper or more expensive than our home country? It kinda depends. And I can only speak for the US. First, we got to talk
about the tax free program. As foreigners we are exempt from paying the 8% consumption tax on all purchases that are over ¥5,400. All you need is a
passport during checkout. With that said, all prices in the store are tax included. So with some rocket science math, we just need to deduct
8% to see the final price we would actually be paying for. For example, let’s take
a look at the Sony A7III. After deducting the 8% tax
and converting it to USD, we’ll be paying about $1,939 if we were to buy this camera in Japan, verses buying it in
America for about $2,000. In this instance we are saving about $60. Let’s take a look at another example. The Sony 24 millimeter F/1.4 G Master. The price we’ll be paying
for this lens in Japan would be $1,599 verses the $1,400 price tag in the US. In this instance we’ll be
over-paying about $200. I would recommend running the math first before making any purchases. Personally, I like buying
second-hand camera gear here in Japan because I can save a lot of money. Now buying things used is
actually very common here. They literally have stores that
only sell second hand goods like books, and magazines at Book Off and music instruments at Hard Off. You think I’m lying to you, but that’s really its name. Now the Japanese people
tend to really take care of their stuff, so even if it’s used and being resold, you can often find whatever
it is you’re looking for in pristine condition. For used camera gear there is Map Camera and Kitamura. Now unfortunately, these are types of stores that I can’t bring my camera into, so I have to pull up some
Google images for you. Quick story time. Two years ago, I bought three Sony APS-C lenses here for almost half the original price. It was Christmas season and they were running a massive discount that could be stacked
with the tax free program that I was talking about earlier, if you’re a foreigner. It really help brought down some of these thousand dollar lenses if you were to buy them
brand new, to 500 bucks. Now, I don’t know if they run that Christmas
special annually, but keep your eyes peeled. So here are some tips for buying second-hand
camera gear at Map Camera. I recommend going to the website first and checking the stock. Next to each listing you’ll
find their conditions, and if you can somehow read Japanese Map Camera actually does a really good job of describing the condition of the lens and they’re pretty honest when it comes to even
the most minuscule issue about the product. Now the reason why I recommend
checking the website first is because you can actually
click on the conversion to show you what the tax free
price would be for foreigners. So when you’re ready to buy, you’ll have the price in mind already. Now, no doubt I’ll get
questions about returns and exchanges. I believe you are able
to test out the product prior to purchase, but you do have up to
two weeks to exchange or return the product, if you happen to find any defects with it. Excluding junk items though because those are final sale. By the way, I also did a camera shopping
guide for Hong Kong. Go ahead and click up
here to check it out. And let me know in the comments down below if I should do more of these
camera gear shopping guides in other countries. Just don’t tell your significant other or else I’m gonna get more death threats. By the way, before you go happy shopping, again Vivienne and I
are in Japan right now. For 2019 we are focused
on re-branding ourselves as traveling hybrid shooters, and we’ll be populating those photos and videos on our website
hosted on Squarespace. With Squarespace we’re able
to re-build our website with their clean templates Everything is as simple as click and drag. Definitely check back in the next month to see our progress. However, you can try out
Squarespace for yourself right now with a free trial. Whether you’re building a portfolio or setting up an online shop, Squarespace is an all
in one solution for you. And when you’re ready to launch, go to squarespace.dom/jasonvong to save 10% off your first
purchase of a website or domain. You’re welcome! See you guys in the next N card. Peace.

99 comments on “Buying Camera Gear in Japan [FAQ in Description Box]

  1. Had a good experience at MAP Camera Shinjuku, their staff can speak English and really helpful.

    Japanese people really take good care of their lenses, bought a secondhand like new conditions Sony Zeiss 50mm 1.4 for just USD 1.100 after tax deduction.
    All secondhand lenses and cameras are graded and tested, you can check the conditions via web as described in the video.

  2. …err you aren't saving if you need to fly to Japan to buy it…. flight from America… probably usd1k… so wheres the savings?

  3. Ive been there a year ago. i went in the afternoon. came out at nightime closing already. you can get lost window shopping lol

  4. Nice video Jason! I've been living vicariously through your Instagram stories and videos! You forgot to mention that additional 5% off for foreigners when paying with a Visa card. I was in Japan a week ago and got to play with all of the Sigma primes and Batis lenses. You're right, the OLED is dope AFFFFFFFF. I ended up buying an FE 85 1.8. from Yodobashi. Saved so much monies! Also, if you can find another reputable reseller, Yodobashi is willing to price match!

  5. My wife is from Japan so I have been there about 7 times. I went to a Bic Camera store in 2018 and saved $150 US on a Sony 55mm f1.8 lens. Not only did I get the 8% tax free savings but I also got another $80 US off for signing up for a rebate so it was a wicked deal. I could sell my lens tomorrow and not lose a cent. I can't wait until I go back again.

  6. Jason is the mannnn!! I have taken of ur style, I jumped out of my comfort zone and now I am on target to make my dream. I’ve been just created a YouTube channel to follow my progress. My videos are just to showcase my work and passion towards on filmmaking. I would love some support/feedback, so please subscribe and check it out, peace

  7. I would love to peruse the used camera gear market in Japan…
    I had a buddy who found a used Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 ATX lens in Canon mount for me in Japan. He knew that I was very fond of Angenieux lenses and this lens was made from the plans of the Angenieux 28-70mm f/2.6 lens. Angenieux found that this lens was too expensive to profitably produce and sold the plans to Tokina. Tokina produced the lens which was designated 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8 ATX in the USA and just 28-70mm f/2.8 ATX for the Japanese market.
    I don't know where he got the lens (except that it was in Tokyo) or how much he paid for the lens because he gave it to me as a gift. I absolutely love it.
    A follow on to this story is that Tokina also found the lens too expensive to produce and watered it down into a lens designated as the Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 SP which stood for special value (it wasn't). The SP version is inferior to the original and is the one that is most often found in the USA.
    BTW: I just love this lens for shooting people on my full frame Canon DSLR camera…
    https://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Other/Point-and-shoot/n-nDMWv/i-kXmVhWX

  8. Jason hi! Question at f4 is there a difference in image quality between the 18-105 and 18-135? And At the same focal length?

  9. Wow that’s an amazing store! Lol testing out is awesome I’ve been to Best Buy’s that don’t have functioning demo cameras

  10. Thanks for this , I bought from both Yodobashi and Bic camera the last time I was there, I will try Map camera for some used lenses. People need to be cautious of their duty free limit as if it exceeded they may have to pay import duties to bring the items back into their home countries.

  11. In Japan it’s very Common to negotiate the final price in Yodobashi & BIC Camera – You can end up with 600$ off the A7III if you negotiate a bit – You should’ve mentioned that with a bit of research

  12. Hi Jason. Japanese version of Sony A7 III cannot select English in language setting menu. People who wants to buy Sony A7 III, they should ask English speaking sales rep and see if it is the international version of Sony A7 III.

  13. I just came back from Japan, I purchased Sigma 16mm 1.4 lens for Sony E-mount at Top Camera (Nagoya) for 37,800 yen which is about $80 US cheaper than I could get in Australia. I feel lucky that the lens that I was after was cheap, but looking at most of the lens available I noticed that were generally more expensive.

  14. I seriously recommend Kitamura Camera when buying used as I recently bought a very good condition Canon 80D body for about 58000 Japanese yen(520 USD). Also bought a Canon 50mm F1.8 for about 80USD(Brand new) and a Canon 55-250mm lens f4-f5.6 for about 40$

  15. How about the sony mirrorless cameras that japanese language menu settings only you didn't mention in this video, if you want sony cameras in english menu it's hard to get and expensive

  16. The new camera gear is usually not cheaper than it is in China main-land, but the second hand ones would be much cheaper, especially for old ones like some kind of film cameras. However shipping them to other countries may require tax.

  17. I travel to Japan at least twice a year. however I looked into the A7 iii . and lenses . Yes if you get the Japan version it was like $1600. Lenses were more expensive than on Amazon US .
    The Japan version only has software in Japanese. ( not useful for me ) The international version was more expensive than in the US.

  18. Try out the new Leica Q2 oh wait…. nobody has em:(
    Been to Yodo before… i find that small camera shops you get better attention… maybe not the best price though.. Thanks.
    This was a pretty good watch.

  19. lol, yodobashi things too expensive even tax-free. If u want to buy some gear in Japan, you'd better go kakaku.com to check the lowest price and find the cheapest store. Some cheap electronic product shop also produces tax-free.

  20. I think $1.400 for high quality glass are very… very… best price
    South East Asia or Middle East countries would paid around 100-200% from the price tag before tax !!
    Shinjuki and Akihabara are the paradise for me so far…

  21. MAP camera is the BEST, I echange my kit lens for other lens and they give me good price for the kit and for the other one. And they are really professional

  22. Right now at mapcamera, with tax free, a new a9 = 2947 usd (and it was the price 2 months ago too), and a new a7iii = 1770 usd. 1 year warranty. Yes, the menus are in Japanese, but once you configure them, you know which button does what, and you can check menus online in English too, and also use google translate (video mode) to translate them in real time. To me, it was worth it, and my Japanese got better too, free lesson!

  23. I can't believe you didn't even mention the fact that if you use a Visa card to make any purchases (above 10.000 yen) you will automatically receive a 5% discount. Just like that. On anything. You even have a shot of the sign that says this. And yes, this does stack with the tourist tax free. Fun fact. The visa discount used to be higher when the consumption tax was lower, so it evens out to the same anyway.

  24. Good morning I say your channel with interest I bought a sony a6400 and have moire aliasing I can return the camera because it is in warranty and will it be that if I receive new camera will come with the same problem or happens in all Sony 6400 in I come from Canon and never had moire aliasing … waiting Reply thank you and I like the reviews

  25. Good morning I say your channel with interest I bought a sony a6400 and have moire aliasing …can return the camera ????because it is in warranty and will it be that if I receive new camera will come with the same problem or happens in all Sony 6400 in I come from Canon and never had moire aliasing … waiting Reply thank you and I like the reviews

  26. This videos comes in the perfect timing since I’m travelling to Japan in 15 days. What about film cameras? I’d love to get a Nikon fm2 or fm3. Any advice?

  27. domain purchase at Rs. 399/- for one year
    https://bigrock-in.sjv.io/c/1425131/496679/5632

  28. Book off also has toys and video games. Hard off will have camera stuff. I got a Ricoh GR at the More's in Kawasaki for US$220.

  29. Would not buy any new camera gear in jp as a tourist, any warranties arent valid in any other country usually

  30. You're never wrong. Well maybe not wrong but you leave the most important thing out, don't you?

    So you didn't bother to mention the grey market you do know what that is, don't you?

    Well, let me explain you buy a Japanese camera you can only get it repairs in Japan they won't even touch it. O and if you want to say get it repaired and pay for it out of your own pocket bad luck they won't do it. (and that is with every camera manufacturer they do it to protect local markup and local market profits)
    So yeah you save money but you better wish you gear never breaks down.

    But then if you were to mention that it might drop the money you make on affiliate programs. But I guess I will give you the benefit of doubt and say you didn't know but then that makes you someone that just doesn't give a damn doesn't do proper research and pretty much you get the picture.

  31. Great video ! Btw, have you ever tested the a7rii/a7iii with Atomos Ninja V ? As my current problem is when you call Memory by change dial to 1/2, if record with Ninja V, the auto focus ( wide/ zone) not working at all with all record setting , included full HD 24p or 60p ? The auto focus is totally fine with Ninja V if change dial to Video mode.

  32. Going on a biz trip in a week. I will bring a camera for the first time. I am thinking about bringing only one lens and having a hard time choosing which one to bring. Would you go with 24mm (f1.4 / gm) or 24-105mm (f.4)??

  33. For used equipment I recommend Fujiya Camera in Nakano (take the Chuo Line to Nakano Station and it's right there). I bought a very nice Sony E 24 1.8 lens for about $500 there (retails for $1100 or so). Their grading is conservative- an AB rank item looked new to me. The staff let me test it as well.

  34. Map Camera is the best. I like how they set up their store with different brand of camera & lenses for each floor. Really makes it easier for me as I was looking only for Canon gears.

  35. Another note to consider when buying 2nd hand camera gear (bodies/lenses) is that if you buy a Japanese model vs Export model (usually this is known by the first 1-2 numbers of the SN) that you may not be able to get them serviced (even at the brand official service centers) outside their region.

  36. do you think as my first full frame/sony camera the a7ii is a good choice? I am looking to get into photography and videography. I want to create travel videos

  37. In order to get the sales tax refund, you must pay the full price plus tax up front. They will wrap your new gear into a special bag that CANNOT be opened until you leave the country. Then once you're at the airport on the day of your departure, you bring your receipt and your (still fully wrapped) product to a refund counter, and they will refund the sales tax portion to you in Japanese yen, which you will then need to convert back to your home currency. In my opinion, for camera gear, it's not worth the hassle. You will want to use that news lens right away, and testing your equipment is mandatory.

  38. re: 7 – you answered in 8… There are Japanese models that do not do English language. So yep need O/S model. BEST suggestion for these is just go to Sony Centre in Ginza, go to overseas model purchase (up with the gallery) and they have them for a great price. Like amazing good. (last I was there anyway)

  39. This video is very helpful. Would just add 3 things you forgot to mention. 1. Only if you are TRAVELING in Japan, you can get away with not paying the 8-10% sales tax. The reason they ask for your passport at check-out is because they will look for your travellers visa. So foreigners living in Japan are not exempt from this since we don’t cary travellers visas. 2. A lot of camera products, including the a7iii, are locked. Meaning they are only available to use in the Japanese language unless you download software (free) online in order to unlock the camera. They do this to limit markets. 3.There are actually cheaper places in Akihabara where you can get the camera AND the general lens kit at a much cheaper price. They’re just tiny stores you have to look for within smaller side streets. I recommend going there instead of Shibuya/Shinjuku or Ginza where they tend to sell you only the body at a cheaper price.

  40. Btw, something else I’ve noticed with my a7 iii (bought in Japan – Japanese version)—> there is NTSC but not the other one. LAN? PAN? so no 25fps options. Instead you’ll have to change your shutter-speed.

  41. I really thought it was a lot cheaper in Japan. I was Vong… I mean wrong! Thanks for clearing that up 🙂

  42. wow Camera store heaven.. I live in the Philippines the plane tickets from here to Japan is already gonna burn my wallet,just too expensive!

  43. Coming to Japan? We offer custom SIM card and WIFI packages for people both visiting and living in Japan. Thanks!

    Discount: INSTA2019SAKURA
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  44. Map camera is pretty good i bought a sigma 18-35 1.8 for my canon 80D pretty much in brand new condition even tho it was used for 570 and sold it for 600, thumbs up to map camera for amazing used equipment

  45. Just bought EVERYTHING I was looking for at Yodobashi in Yokohoma. Geeze that place is amazing and slays even the Shibuya Bic stores.

    I found my obscure shoe extension, Video Mic Pro+ Deadcat and even the dual plate for my Ronin S. I'll be honest after searching 8 different camera stores in Tokyo I had my doubts but Yodobashi is legit the best!

  46. Shooting on the a6400 here? What lense are you using in your intro? I notice you throwing up your hands.. tripod or is your better half recording?

  47. I wonder how much money those outlets lost when the industry went digital. How much film stuff ended up i in the trash?

  48. Ok man. I totally spit my drink all over living room floor after I heard you say ‘Jason Vong is never wrong’ lol. Nice. You speak the truth. Wasn’t expecting it though.

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