Where To Buy The Cheapest DSLR In Singapore?

Hi Folks,

I get this question quite a fair amount of time – Where To Buy The Cheapest DSLR In Singapore?

Where To Buy The Cheapest DSLR In Singapore Image

Will it be at Harvey Norman? Best Denki? Courts? Audio House? Mustafa?

Not exactly … I find that I usually can get better price at almost any moment, for any given product, at smaller photographic specialty shops.

And the following shops are where I usually buy my DSLR and Photographic Equipments:

Cathay Photo Store (Pte) Ltd
111 North Bridge Rd #01-11/14 (Tel : 6337 4274)
6 Raffles blvd, Marina Square #02-219 (Tel: 63396188)

I bought my Nikon Speedlight SB900 and Nikon AF-D 20mm f2.8 prime lens here.

Update: I also bought my Nikon 24-120 f4 VRII here.

MS Color
Blk 711 Ang Mo Kio Central Ave 8, #01-3501C Singapore 560711 (Tel: 64576380)

I bought my Nikon D90 Kit here.

Update: Also my got my Sony Nex 5 Dual Lens Kit here.

Alan Photo
#05-20 Funan Digitalife Mall (Tel: 6883-0922)
#01-38 Sim Lim Square (Tel: 6336-0922)

I bought my Tamron 17-50 f2.8 lens here and a Fujitsu Digital Compact.

Orient Photo
#06-31/53 Sim Lim Square (Tel: 63391035)

I bought my Sigma 50-150 f2.8 lens here.

Lords (Closed Down Already Renamed iPhoto, I Think)
304 Orchard Road #01-79 Lucky Plaza (Tel: 62354605)

I bought my first DSLR – a Nikon D40x kit from Lords based on recommendations from my Uncle.

I bought my Nikon D700 Body and a Nikon AF-D 50mm f1.4 prime lens here.

Crumpler Wheelock
501 Orchard Road, Wheelock Place #02-06

I bought my Crumpler Seven Million Dollar Home (it’s a camera bag) here.

Tips On Getting The Best Price

  1. Always check the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) against the manufacturer’s website (street price is usually around 15-20% lower than this price … subject to some other factors)
  2. Wait for a Sale Season – Great Singapore Sale, Year End Sale, IT Show, PC Show, COMEX, SITEX, etc (so you get extra freebies from the manufacturer)
  3. Call each and every shop to check the price and availability of the photographic equipment you want (lowest price doesn’t equate to stock availability)
  4. Check that the price quoted is for Cash or Credit Card Term and if the equipment is a local or grey set (note that parallel import set has no local warranty).
  5. Reserve your set with the cheapest merchant with available stock and go get it! (don’t play them out ok!)
  6. Pay cash if you can cos it’s usually the best price
  7. Oh, if you buy more, can bargain more too (a little more)

There are other shops out there … but these are where I buy.

Also, there is not a single shop that will always be the cheapest, you need to check around.

Plus I do not endorse nor am I affiliated with any of these shops nor guarantee that they will give the best price (I just happened to be their customers) … but I do know they are not too far from the rock bottom even if they are not the cheapest at that moment :)

Happy Shopping!


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  1. Hi James

    I am planning to come to Singapore on 1st of December 2011.i want a DSLR with all the features with in S$500.can u suggest me which shop and what model.i am confused with many models.i will be using it for my personal use.i will be i singapore for 2 days.
    request your help.

    Thanks & Regards

    • Hey Vijay,

      Waoh … Brand new DSLR under S$500?

      Hmmm … It’s possible during Clearance Sale and it’s usually on outdated/discontinued models.

      But for the period you are here … I don’t think there is any such sale going on.

      The cheapest model that I know of is the Sony Alpha 290 retailing at S$699 (list price) and you can call any of the above street shops to see if they have any discounts on it :)

  2. Hi James,

    I’m planning to get the Nikon D5100.. but am also itching to get a macro lens. What sort of macro nikkor lens would you recommend, mostly for shooting insects and plants, preferably below $500 if possible? Or would it be a better alternative to get extension tubes instead for beginners?


    • Hey Nicole,

      For your budget, there is only one Nikkor lens that I know of … AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G (list price S$429) cos the other Nikkor Micro lens (that’s what Nikon calls their Macro lens) are above S$1000.

      But I’m not sure if 40mm (effectively 60mm equivalent on 35mm) is long enough to shoot insects … you might end up too close and spooked them instead … so just go to a street shop where you plan to buy your DSLR and ask for a couple of Micro lens to try before deciding.

      I can’t advice on extension tubes as I’ve no experience with them … sorry πŸ˜›

  3. hi,

    I am planning to buy a Nikon D5100. I usually take sceneries and landscapes. I understand that the 18-55mm lens that comes with the body is good enough for close shots but what can you recommend if i’d like some scenic shots? Also what lens can you suggest that is fast enough but not too pricey? I understand that D5100 has no built in motor so if I want to buy lenses what are the models that I should look for? Because as per my research it doesn’t auto-focus olds lenses.

    Thank you.

    • Hey Eriqa,

      I’m not exactly sure what you wanted to ask … do you want lens that go wide (covering as much landscape as possible) or go long (zoom as far out as possible)?

      If it’s wide, your 18-55mm is pretty good for APS-C sensor already … any wider/faster will cost a lot more … such as AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED which has a list price of S$1939.

      If you want to go long, just get a AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR (list price S$599).

      Most of the time you don’t need your lens to be fast for scenery (fast zoom lens will cost more then your D5100 kit) … just get a good and light tripod. :)

      And for your D5100 to get autofocus … look for AF-S lenses cos those AF-D, AF-i & AF lens don’t AF on your D5100.

    • Hey Eriqa,

      For those street shops I buy from (listed above), only Cathay quotes their prices based on all payments and they accept CC and instalments (so they are usually pricier).

      The other street shops quotes cash terms only (hence cheaper) … payment by Credit Card will usually be 2% more and instalments may be 4% more … so do you sums on which is cheaper if you intend to pay using those facilities :)

  4. Hi James,

    There’s a electronics fair going on at Suntec this weekend. Saw the advertisement for Nikon d5100 ($1199) and realized they threw in lots more freebies than the one at Sitex previously.

    I think they are throwing in free SD card, bag, uv lense protector, lcd screen protector, tripod and a 30L electronic dry cabinet.

    Should i jump for it? I’m pretty much decided on this camera already and these free gifts’ making me lust for it more.

    Anyway do you think i could get the camera and the accessories from street shops for cheaper?

    • Hey KC,

      The Nikon “Promo” at SITEX was underwhelming … Canon did much better.

      From what you described … the current offering sound more like what Nikon should have offered at SITEX. πŸ˜›

      Street price for the Nikon D5100 is around S$1000 … 8GB SD Card is about S$20, Bag could Be S$50, UV Protector another S$25, LCD Protector maybe S$10, Tripod hard to call but maybe S$80 and Dry Cabinet another S$100 or so if you buy separately.

      Street shops might be still offering the SITEX Deal (which is actually the current Nikon Promo) at S$1000. So you either save S$200 but pay S$120 to buy a dry cabinet + cash payment terms or just go to the fair and pay by credit card and get everything at one place.

      Oh … just remember that you sometimes can bargain even at the fair one … the most they say “No” only πŸ˜›

      • Hey James,

        Thanks for the reply. Anyway I just went down to the IT fair, unfortunately the d5100 was sold out. Went to funan and apparently it’s sold out at all their camera shops too. Anyway, Alan photo has shifted to #02-07 if I’m not wrong (might have gotten the unit number wrong but it’s definitely on the second floor and not the fifth. They quoted me 950 for the d5100.

  5. Hey James,

    First time I’m buying DSLR and my budget is SGD 1200. Confused between Nikon D5100 and Canon EOS6000D.

    My requirements is to have quality pictures even if its cloudy or taking night shots..

    Pls suggest which one to buy from these two. Are there any other DSLR which you shall like to recommend?


    • Hey Rahul,

      Both the Nikon D5100 and the Canon ESO 600D are capable of doing what you require but you WILL NEED to KNOW how to USE THEM.

      So my suggestion is choose the one among them that you like and attend a photography course to learn the techniques required to achieve those dream shots you like :)

  6. Hi,

    I’m a novice in photography, shopping for my 1st DSLR. Went to MS Color today, the person recommeded Sony A35. Quite like it because it is fast and it’s panorama feature. Would like to ask if you have any comments about this model?

    Any other models you would like to recommend for a novice like me?

    Thank you.

    • Hey Nan,

      Sony A35 is a decent DSLR for beginners … but if you have a slightly higher budget, you can consider either the Nikon D5100 (list price S$1199), Canon EOS 600D (list price S$1199) or Sony A65 (list price S$1399) … all very capable modern DSLR.

      I can’t really recommend further without knowing your budget or what sort of photography you like to deal in :)

  7. Hello James,

    Any idea on a good deal for CAnon 550d or 600d KIT(18-55)?

    My brother will be coming back from Singapore in 2 days. Where should he look for to get a good deal.

    Also I hope the warranty will be valid in India.


    • Hey MK,

      Just get your brother to call the street shops (those that I frequented are listed above) and ask for their pricing :)

      According to Canon, the Singapore Warranty for Canon DSLR will be honored in India … just make sure the Canon EOS DSLR comes with a local warranty card that displays a India Warranty Stamp. :)

  8. Hi James,

    It’s me again. I went emailing quite a few camera shops a few days back for the Nikon d5100. They gave me e-quotes as shown.

    iPhoto: 1170 (kit set, tripod, dry cabinet, bag, sd card, uv filter, LCD protector, cleaning kit.)
    Parissilk: 1188 (above mentioned with card reader)

    They didn’t reply me when I inquired about warranty but I suppose they are insured. Do you think I should go for their equotes or personally ask for a price on the spot? Oh and which shop would you recommend me to go based on your personal experience.

    • Hey KC,

      Nikon DSLR only has Local Warranty and not International Warranty … so if you are using it in Singapore … it should be fine … just make sure your DSLR Kit has a warranty card issued by Nikon Singapore.

      I should think the prices should be cheaper than what you are getting … iPhoto quoted me S$1070 for the D5100 when I asked them in person … so maybe you should either call or show face too :)

      (They probably get tons of calls from competitors to check price too) πŸ˜›

      • Hi James,

        I just bought the D5100 kit set at iPhoto, Lucky Plaza this afternoon.

        Was generally very pleased with the service provided by a staff named Raymond. He busied himself to ensure that all the items i purchased along with the D5100 are applied onto the camera and gave me basic advice on the camera and the dry cabinet.

        He even went beyond himself to secure the dry cabinet box with strings after knowing that i will be traveling by public transport back home.

        I got the the kit set together with the dry cabinet, uv filter, card reader, sd card, lcd protector, tripod and bag at 1170.

        Won’t go comparing prices cause i feel its generally a good deal and i’m a satisfied customer.

        Thumbs up.

        Anyway i was playing with the camera earlier and i realized that when i’m taking pictures using M/A/P mode, the image does not appear on the LCD screen. Instead its displaying a black screen with details. Is there a setting i missed or firmware glitch or something else?

        • Hey KC,

          Sounds like a good deal you have there :)

          Raymond from iPhoto is a Jolly Good fellow … I always get from him :)

          As for your playback settings … check under Menu>Playback>Image Review and make sure it’s on (that’s how I set on my D700 … not sure if your D5100 has the same).

  9. Jus to share with u all I bought cannon 600d 18-55 kit $1080 with 8gb and bag If u don need the tripod dry box s protector etc I think this is a good buy also they are selling nikon d5100 $1060 at sim lim square

  10. hi
    i intend to buy my 1st dslr camera nikon D300s,,,bcoz i might try to be pro,,,that’s why i want to get it,,,mu budget is 2000 -3000…i asked the price is 2388 in challanger,,,do u think it is good price?can u advice me which lenses shall i buy for this moment,i mean for beginners,,,,

    • Hey Koko,

      Wow … you sound serious :)

      Hmmm … if I recall correctly, the D300s priced at S$2388 should be Nikon list price and for body only … you check out with one of the street shops for street pricing … it should be cheaper … maybe less than S$2000 … then you’ve got that S$1000 to buy a lens.

      S$1000 can get you a 18-200 VRII … not a pro lens but very versatile and covers a very wide focal range for you to discover your style of photography.

      Or you can get a shorter focal length working lens such as the 18-105mm with a prime lens such as the 50mm f/1.8G.

      Or save a little more for the pro grade AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED DX … but that’s as expensive as your D300s.

      Your choice :)

        • Hey Gregory,

          Sounds like you are a point and shoot user considering to upgrade to DSLR for the first time?

          OK … D3100 is an entry level DSLR. It’s primary advantage is a big sensor and can change lenses (which again are much bigger than point and shoot cameras) … all this will help you get an image that is typically brighter and sharper than point and shoot (I’m being very general here).

          Battery life is usually good enough for beyond 600 shots on a single charge as compared to point and shoots 200-300.

          Night photography is typically much better than point and shoot and can get better with faster lens … but there are still situations where you will need a tripod to get acceptable results :)

          DSLR is all about optical reach which is determined by sensor size and the lens being use … if you need digital zoom … just crop the image or use a longer zoom lens :)

    • Hey Eliga,

      I’m not really that expert in Tripods but any tripod that can handle the weight of D7000 should be fine.

      With a S$150 budget … you will be quite limited but you can check out SLIK from Cathay Photo or Velbon which usually has pretty good discounts during IT Shows :)

  11. Hi James,

    Im planning to buy a dslr as a gift fo myself, and eyeing for d7000. Can you help me decide if its a good buy for me? I want to know if its better than canon 60d. And what are the usual bundle when buying a camera in your mentioned shops. Thank you so much

    • Hey Mijo,

      The Nikon D7000 should be on par with the Canon EOS 60D.

      Can’t really say which will be a better choice for you … handling, color, image quality are pretty subjective :)

      The bundles changes from time to time but usually should include at least a Memory Card and Carrying Case … if you are able to time your DSLR purchase with IT Show period will get you more freebies :)

  12. Hi james,

    I wish to purchase a DSLR, My preferred Model is cannon 60d-With Kit2,.My purchase mode is credit card, Which is the best place to buy.

    I already got information in some of the shops, the best i got in harvey norman 1850 with 8gb,tripod, and bag, the same they quoted me 1950, in another shop.

    I plan to purchase in this week plz advise the best shop to buy,

    Am a begginer so is this model is right choice to me or can i go for any other model,

    tnx, awating for your Advice,

    • Hey Renu,

      Canon EOS 60D Kit 2 has a list price of S$2049 … if Harvey Norman can sell you at S$1850 and payable by Credit Card … just go for it :)

      The 60D should still be pretty easy to use for beginners :)

  13. Hi James,

    I’m planning to purchase other canon lenses but am not too sure which to invest in. I have the standard 18-55 kit. What are the differences in the various canon lenses and which would you recommend? Thanks.

    • Hey Mich,

      Each lens was design to meet some specific purpose … in order to help you choose a lens, I need to know what sort of photography you like to do … people portrait, landscapes and sceneries, street photography, sports, etc, etc :)

  14. Hi James,

    I went down to SLS to check for Canon EOS 600D w/18-135mm lens. Was pretty shock that it was cheaper then those IT Show prices. I was quoted about $1460+ with a 8gb card, bag and tripod iirc.

    Current price on Canon SG was $1549 with few more additional few gifts then SLS shops. IT shows also tend to have more gifts but follows the Canon SG price. Is it probably because of more free gifts for the difference in price?

    Shop was opp the Apple store with lots of DSLR on display outside, can’t remember the shop name. Only visited 1 store, so I can’t say if that was one of the best deal around.

    • Hey Max,

      Street Shop prices are always cheaper than IT Shows cos IT Shows follow Canon’s List Pricing … that’t the normal practice.

      But IT Shows usually have special Purchase with Purchase deals not available outside and their price includes all charges including payment by Credit Cards or taking CC Instalment plans (Street shop quotes cash terms only).

      So you got to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing from either party (usually you will buy from the more economical one) :)

  15. Hi James,

    Can you tell me which is the best prime lens:
    Is it 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm?
    Can you also suggest any PRIME LENS that will be effective for my Nikon D5000 please?



    • Hey Alex,

      Hmmm … There really isn’t a “best” prime lens. It’s more of whether a prime lens meets your need or not.

      Since u are using a D5000, with no af motor and a crop sensor.

      The 35mm will act as a normal lens. The 50mm a portrait lens and the 85mm a mid telephoto lens.

      You just need to decide which type of photo u are taking and which lens meets your needs. That’ll be the best lens for u :)

      Note: You need to get AFS primes to get autofocus with your D5000 :)

  16. Guys any idea how much a Nikon D7000 with 18-105 lens will cost ?
    i will be coming to sg soon and plan to get it form simlim …..assuming its the cheapest.

    Since i am a student its a bit out of my budget but if i am making an investment for my career i was thinking this is the least i should get.

    also m not a sg citizen

    • Hey Fredrick,

      The Nikon D7000 Kit (w 18-105mm Kit lens) Street Price should be between S$1900 and S$2000.

      Can’t say exactly where sells the cheapest at any given moment … you have to call and check when you arrive (some numbers of some street shops are listed above in the post).

      If you are not staying in SG … just note that Nikon does not have International Warranty for their DSLR :)

  17. Hi James,

    Just to seek your advice in local set & grey set. Grey set is much more cheaper as they are not warranty by Canon Singapore instead its warranty by the shop itself.

    What are the pros & cons for buying local set & grey set?

    Please advise. Thks.

    • Hey Tong,

      Gret sets are usually parallel imported units where the cameras are sold cheaper than in SG … so they can sell you cheaper.

      But when you have a problem with it … and if you want to claim warranty … you got to return it to the shop you buy from and they will sent it back to the country they purchase from to get it repaired … the turnaround time might be very long.

      I’ve not bought any grey sets for this reason but I’ve yet to claim a single warranty on all my local sets too … so it’s really up to you :)

      My personal preference is still to buy local sets … my only grey purchase was a Sigma Lens which promptly broke down on day one!! (and I swear away from getting anymore grey units).

  18. Hi James,

    I am planning to upgrade my camera. I am a point and shoot user, the current model i have is pretty old canon powershot sx100.

    I m really confused between 2 models, Canon G12 or Canon entry level dslr. The price difference between the 2 is not much, and I am confused which one to go for…….

    Your pick ?


    • Hey Steve,

      It really depends on your needs … Do you want an all in one, do everything … which means you go for a G12 (better zoom, smaller and lighter).

      Or if you want better image quality, better low light sensitivity and the ability to change lens … in that case, you go for a entry level DSLR :)

      I’ve own cameras from all price point except those above S$5000 … and I use different cameras depending on the situation :)

      • Hi James

        Thanks for your reply.

        I have tried out both cameras at Harvey / courts etc….

        I find G12, lighter….well yea it is an all in one camera and is much protable.

        Whr as DSLR has much larger sensor size and the image quality is really good, but then the zoom that comes with the camera kit is only 3 times zoom and it is a lil bulky..

        The confusion is becos both the cameras are almost in the same range, only few 100$ difference. SO am not sure if G12 is value for money ? or SLR is a better option to go..

        Really confused! Just not able to decide!!!!

        • Hey Steve,

          Don’t feel confused … you just need to find out what you want/need more … size/weight or image quality.

          Some folks prefer portability and can accept point and shoot IQ … so a G12 is perfect.

          While others need absolute IQ and are willing to lug around a D3S + the Nikon Trinity lenses + Tripod … that adds up to over 4kg worth of equipment worth almost S$20000 when they travel.

          As for the 3x zoom … well, I just came back from HK on a 7 days holiday armed with a Canon EOS 600D kit (also only a 3x zoom) and I’m happy with it (it really depends on how you use it).

          BTW, the Canon 1100D is already very small for a DSLR :)

  19. Hi James,

    I’m currently deciding between a 600d and a D5100. Read many reviews who suggested that the Nikon’s image quality is superior. Can you discuss why is it so? Many shop salesperson have been promoting the 600d instead. Is it just a marketting ploy?

    Thank you

    • Hey Shawn,

      Image Quality is pretty subjective … what I can accept may be condemn by some others.

      So the best is to ask yourself what is acceptable to you … if both are acceptable then look at the features and handling of those 2 cameras and see which you prefer.

      I’ve used Nikon for almost 10 years and just started experimenting with Canon … all I can say is that I like Canon’s colours but prefer Nikon’s sharpness … there is no perfect camera, so just choose which is more important to you (or own them all) :)

  20. Hi James!

    -tourist in Sg
    -point and shoot user
    -dream of becoming a pro DSLR user (like those of national geographic-quality pictures)
    -I want a camera that takes great pictures even low light setting,loves portraits of people especially candid shots and one that I could use while traveling (leaving for Bangkok soon btw, not much of an edit-fan person, I wanna take pictures like how it actually looks as I see it (sorry for my bad english)and could take wonderful clear videos.
    -confused between Nikon and Canon. They say Nikon only accepts Nikon accesories and attachment and has expensive lenses BUT has vivid colors while Canon has great video capacities. Im comparing Nikon D7000 and Canon 5D Mark II
    -are mentioned street shops selling aunthentic brands? I dont wanna buy refurbished ones and felt like Im being ripped off. Some friends told me I should buy at Courts or Best Denki to make sure. Is that true?
    -What do you recommend between the 2 mentioned models then? HELP HELP HELP

    • Hey Maricar,

      From Point and Shoot to pro will take some time and lots of practice … by then anything that I can recommend now will probably be outdated πŸ˜›

      You will have to decide which is more important to you … stills or video.

      You also have to decide if you want full frame or crop sensor … cos D7000 is a APS-C DSLR (crop sensor) and 5D MkII is a full frame DSLR … the big diff is that full frame DSLR can take wider perspective images and the lens are heavier and more expensive (usually designed for Professionals).

      All the shops I mentioned sells first hand equipments … just ask for a new local set to be sure (also do note that Nikon does not have international warranty and Canon Local Warranty only applies to China and India).

      If you plan to buy from Courts or Best Denki … you might as well buy in your home country to enjoy the warranty coverage if the price isn’t that much of a difference.

      Both the Nikon D7000 and Canon 5D MkII are very good DSLR but it’s hard for me to make a recommendation since they are from different class and you did not state a budget. :)

  21. Hi James!

    Went to Courts (toa payoh) and tried the Canon 5D Mark II…wow,you were right, it would take me time to practice it. What was I thinking! LOL. The CILC types (compact interchangeable lens cameras) caught my attention. Reviews suggests the Panasonic Lumix line but Courts people recomend Olympus Pen series… is the E-P3 a good choice over Panasonic Lumix line? I didnt got the chance to try the Lumix though :( the E-p3 cost 1,598 (double zoom kit) free 2 8G memory card, battery and tripod. is that a good deal?

    • Hey Maricar,

      MILS (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens System) are great for folks who wish to have the ability to switch lenses, have a bigger sensor and generally get them closer to the performance of a DSLR in a small package.

      IF you aim is to get a good travel camera with better image quality than a point and shoot … MILS like Olympus PEN, Panasonic Lumix G, Samsung NX, Sony Alpha NEX and Nikon 1 are systems you can consider.

      But they are usually priced to compete with entry level DSLR’s so you need to weigh the trade off.

      For S$1600, I could have bought a Canon EOS 600D with a 18-135mm kit lens … it will definitely outperform the E-Pen but comes in a bigger package. :)

    • Hey Maricar,

      The way you put it makes the 2 seemed pretty close in price … but you should actually be comparing both in Kit II configuration : so it should be EOS 600D Kit II (EF S18-135IS) $1549 OR EOS 60D Kit II (EF S18-135 IS) $2049.

      The 2 DSLR also serves different group of people : The 600D is targets Casual Consumers while 60D targets Photography Enthusiast.

      The EOS 60D allows quicker access to controls (more/better dials and buttons) and information (extra LCD screen on top). It also has better AF sensors and one stop advantage in ISO sensitivity (ok, I’m starting to talk mambo jumbo … so basically it’s better) πŸ˜›

      But you got to know that it weighs more … 160g on the body and is bigger than the 600D :)

  22. Hi James,

    Can you please guide me if the below choice is good (<=600$):

    – NIKON D3100(body) + Sigma 17 – 70 F/2.8 HSM
    – CANON 1100D(body) + Sigma 17 – 70 F/2.8 HSM


    • Hey Chermanna,

      First of all … both Nikon D3100 and Canon EOS 1100D officially comes in KITS only in Singapore and both are priced around S$800 even for street pricing.

      I also don’t think there is a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 HSM … all the Sigma 17-70 models have variable apertures and the latest model is the 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM with a MSRP of USD 690 … so it’s very unlikely to get even the lens alone below S$600 :)

      If your budget is only S$600 and can street just a little (say S$100 more) … you can consider the Sony Alpha 290 or if you can stretch a little more (say S$200 more) … you can consider the Canon 1100D Kit :)

  23. Hi James,
    Thanks for the information you put in this site. I checked almost all the phone numbers, and Cathay photo shop seems to be appealing in my case. As they are offering 0% interest 12 months instalment.

    Initially I was confused with Canon 600D and 60D, so I went to Expo Megatax, for a look & feel of both the Cameras. Since I am a beginner to DSLR, I found D600 more handy to operate than D60.

    In live view mode, both the model having performance issue. Anyway Using viewfinder will resolve that issue.

    I want to ask you, since I am a beginner, how much difference a Pentamirror and Pentaprism viewfinder is going to make ?
    Or these are only Technical Jargon for me at this stage ?

    2nd Question is : I am thinking of buying D600 body only, and to opt EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, instead of going for KIT-II, which will have EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. Your Suggestion please ?

    • Hey HD,

      You are welcome :)

      Hmmm … what live view performance issues are you referring to?

      “Most of the entry level DSLRs use a pentamirror instead of the traditional pentaprism. The pentamirror design is composed mostly of plastic and is lighter and cheaper to produce β€” however, the image in the viewfinder is usually darker” – Quoted from Wikipedia … to me, I’m not too concerned about it.

      Any reason why you are opting for the 17-85 over the 18-135?

      I usually recommend a longer focal length for beginners to play with to you have greater flexibility to play around and discover which focal length you take MOST of your photos with … only then do you go into specialized lenses :)

  24. Hi James,

    Please suggest me lens, that goes well for indoor photography (in low light), also not very expensive (within S$500).

    My initial intention of avoiding 18-135 Lens, was because I heard, it uses a Micro Motor to drive AF. It is neither fast nor silent. Also heard there is not much room to hold the lens behind the zoom ring when shooting in portrait orientation – the built-in flash is in the way.

    For 17-85, I got the review that, its not suitable in low light.

    So please suggest me, should I stick to KIT-II (18-135) lens or there is better option within the same budget ?


    • Hey ND,

      Low Light Zooms are expensive … f4 zoom lens cost between S$1000 – S$2000 and f2.8 zoom lens cost more than S$2000.

      What you really need are Fast Primes … such as the

      – EF50mm f/1.8 II (list price S$159)
      – EF50mm f/1.4 USM (list price S$699)
      – EF85mm f/1.8 USM (list price S$699)
      – EF85mm f/1.8 USM (list price S$699)

      At street pricing … they might be just above S$500 and the only model within S$500 does not have a USM Motor … which means it’s going to be noisy :)

      Unfortunately, there is no lens that is fast, can zoom and is within S$500 that is not noisy πŸ˜›

  25. Hi James.

    I would like to know what would be a good DSLR for me to buy, whether it is Nikon or Canon. As I has heard that Nikon has more vivid image quality than Canon as Canon are better at video recording. My budget should be around S$1500.

    I like to capture landscapes and sceneries, especially cloudscape, so I will consider buying a wide angle lens to fit the needs of my photography. I’ve been using a phone camera and never have owned any other cameras. Also, I will always point my camera directly at the Sun, I do not have any idea if it will spoil the camera in anyway. I hope you can advise me on the models and prices.

    Thank you.


    • Hey FO,

      Hmmm … having own both Nikon and Canon … I would now say it’s pretty subjective to say which is actually better.

      In some instances … I prefer the image/color of Canon while other times I prefer the image/color of Nikon … there is no single solution … just go test and try both of them and pick the one that you prefer most :)

      Oh and if you will be doing more stills … pick your choice based on the still image color and quality but if you will be doing more short videos, decide based on their video capabilities (sorry my Nikon D700 don’t do videos, so I can’t really compare).

      On a S$1500 budget … you should be able to choose between a Nikon D5100 and a Canon EOS 600D (Street price between S$1000 and S$1100) … both comes with their respective 18-55 kit lens.

      For landscape and scenarios, the widest you can go is about 27mm on the Nikon and 28.8mm on the canon (35mm equivalent perspective taking into account their sensors crop factor) … there are wider lenses available but all of them cost above S$1000 for just lens itself.

      So I would suggest that you just still to the kit lens.

      That’s why most landscape photographers perfer going Full Frame (Nikon D700 or Canon EOS 5D Mk II) … but the cost is high … more than S$2500 on the DSLR body alone (FYI only).

      Shooting into the sun briefly won’t spoil your sensor but please don’t look into the sun directly with your eye (you might spoil your eyes) … just glance at it briefly to compose and shoot. :)

  26. Hi james, please help me out here.
    Sorry I am a novice about DSLR cameras.
    I want to get 1 decent camera with not so bulky body but $1k budget.
    I read here abt nikon 5100 & canon 550 or 600 being highly recommended.
    Any other recommendations with dslr qualities but not pricey?
    Purpose is to take my young kids picts indoor & outdoor. olympus pen good? Thx elvis

    • Hey Elvis,

      Both Nikon D5100 and Canon EOS 600D are good choices but with only S$1000 … you will be stretching your budget a little.

      If size is a consideration … you can check out the Nikon D3100 or the Canon EOS 1100D.

      Olympus PEN is in a separate class of cameras known as Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens System (MILS) … their main advantage is size while retaining the big sensor (up to APS-C size) and ability to change lens BUT in most cases, their lens are smaller than their DSLR counterparts and low light performance is not exactly on par with DSLR.

      Most camera, even point and shoot, won’t have issues with outdoor shots as long as there is abundant light … indoor is usually where you start to find out if your camera has the low light capabilities.

      The best way to find out which is suitable for you is to go test out the different model in low light situation and pick the one that you find most responsive with acceptable image quality :)

      • Thanks James for your reply!
        Yes, will try to test out canon 1100 and nikon 3100 for the weight feel. Hope to see gd deal package. Last weekend saw audio house christmas sale for 3100 with many freebies. Tempted to buy it:)

        • Hey Elvis,

          You are welcome … do remember to check the prices at Street shops too.

          Compare the freebies (which chain stores gives but sells at list price) versus the direct discount (which street shops give but with less freebies) to see which is more worth it :)

  27. Hi James,

    I’m a beginner and I’m stuck between d5100 and d3100, what would you suggest??? The d5100 has better quality?
    And since they have the 18-55mm lens that comes with the kit, should i get the 18-105mm lens or just stick with the 18-55mm???

    • Hey Dav,

      If you have the budget … just get the D5100.

      But if recall correctly, the D5100 kits in Singapore only comes with 18-55 kit lens but if you have a choice, go for a longer focal length lens (such as the 18-105) so you can explore more in photography terms :)

  28. Someone asked for low light shooting? Check out the Canon S100. If you’ve tried the S90 or S95, you’ll know that the S100 should be worth a look. It’s not a DSLR, but it might just give meet your needs for indoor shooting. The only concern I can think of is shutter lag, so do your research on this aspect too.

    • Hey David,

      Both the DSLR’s you mentioned are below S$1000 and pretty well match up.

      So it’s really up to you to try them out and see which you prefer in terms of color, image quality, controls and handling :)

      Oh and if you have any friends/relatives who are already on either Nikon or Canon and you plan to share the hobby together … it might be wise to get the same system so you can share lenses :)

  29. Hi!

    Will travel to Singapore in the middle of Februari. I would like to buy a camera then. I wonder what the big difference between canon EOS 500D and 600D is? This will be my first DSLR camera. Wich one do you recomend? I like to take picture of my kids and close up pics. What lens do you recomend?

    Thanks for a nice site! / Annika

      • Hey Annika,

        I buy most of my gear in SG as I stay here and can enjoy the warranty.

        I’ve never purchase any gears from Thailand or Malaysia before so I can’t really advise on that :)

    • Hey Annika,

      Welcome to Singapore! πŸ˜€

      The EOS 500D has already been phased out … the choices you have is between the EOS 550D and 600D.

      The EOS 550D is pretty similar in performance to the 600D but is 10% smaller and lighter.

      The advantage of the 600D is the swivel LCD screen which allows you to take pictures and videos in angles and capture perspectives impossible with a fixed LCD.

      The Kit lens (18-55) on both the 550D and 600D is rated for Macro so it will be able to take shorts pretty close up :)

      So which DSLR is for you depends on which feature you would like to have :)

    • Hey KM,

      The current Canon promotion for the 600D is:

      Free gifts: SD 8GB card, EOS bag & EOS 600D User Guide
      Online warranty registration promotion- option to purchase EF 50F1.8 @ $60.00 ( Usual Price $159.00 ) Available at Canon Customer Care Centre
      Purchase-with-purchase: EF 75-300 III USM lens @ $ 249, usual $ 429

      So remember to ask for the EOS 600D User Guide (it’s a magazine style user guide and pretty good).

      So it looks like they are throwing in a LCD Protector (worth about S$10) and a 58mm filter (worth probably about S$25 since no brand was stated).

      All in all, should be a good deal :)

    • Hey Kutoos,

      I think you meant the Canon 60D. πŸ˜€

      Lenses for movies?

      You might want to stick to the Lenses with USM (Ultrasonic Motors) to minimise noise when it autofocus and also allowing you to do manually override the autofocus without switching mode.

      The lens available to you depends on your budget and focal length requirements :)

        • Hey Kutoos,

          The 18-135mm has a good range of focal length for you to work with but the mirco motor will produce audible noise that will be recorded when it autofocus … so do take note if you get this lens :)

  30. Hi James,
    I will be in Singapore at the beginning of Feb (about 10th – 12th). I am wondering if there are some fair or exhibition or something like that in that period. Could you help? By the way I am longing for a Nikon D90. Sony Nex5n seems to be a dream due to flood in Thailand.

    • Hey Jessie,

      Welcome to Singapore πŸ˜€

      There are currently no fair or exhibition related to consumer electronic that I know of that is planned for that period … but you can usually get better price at the street shops I mentioned anyway so no worries :)

      BTW, the Sony NEX5N is already retailing in SG :)

    • Hey Dave,

      Should be pretty ok with freebies :)

      As usual, the more expensive an item, the more freebies you are likely to get and your bargaining skills will help too.

      But if an item is rare (such as newly launch product) … don’t bother bargaining … just grab and go :)

  31. Hi James,

    Thanks for the reply. I am looking at something that is running out of stock in most stores and Cathay Photo happens to have it though not in the desired color I want. =(

    I am thus currently considering if I should bargain and get it from Cathay Photo or wait for the stocks to arrive and compare to see which shop can throw in more freebies or offer better deal. =P

    On a side note, do you think it is good to take up extended warranty, i.e., buying the camera at stores like Harvey Norman or Gain City and topup for extra warranty coverage?

    • Hey Dave,

      IF you are waiting for the right color, I can understand it … but if you want to compare the best freebies between shops … you might be disappointed cos the extras they can throw in will probably not be significant enough for your wait :)

      Extended warranties? I’ve never bought any for any of my cameras … be it Point & Shoot, Prosumer or DSLR’s :)

  32. Hi James!

    I did bought a Canon 60D Kit I (18-55mm lens)@ Courts last Dec 24, went to Bangkok the following Day and realized that you have actually suggested the Kit II (18-135mm lens) now I am having buyers remorse. Huhuhu! :( With my lens, I cant take very distant subject compared if I bought the 18-135mm lens. Courts priced it at $1699 with 2 8G memory card,a handbook,cleaning kit and tripod once registered online and a canon complimentary training.coz I was thinking Im just a newbie and just start and stick with Kit I, where as Kit II is at $2049, now…Im paying the price of not being able to zoom that far. Huhuhuhu!

    • to top it all, I went to Singapore Expo Hall yesterday and Gain City had an IT Show that sells the mentioned unit same price but with free Dry Box, Digital Photo Frame, a better looking camera bag and a lot more than what I get at Courts. Oh well,I must admit,Im a tourist who has a lot to learn about DSLR’s and waiting for an IT Show here in SG. Haha!

      • Hey Maricar,

        Don’t sweat it too … it happens.

        But if you have waiting for these freebies … you wouldn’t have taken some memorable pictures from your Bangkok trip, right? πŸ˜€

        I’d count those pictures as more than the worth of the extra freebies :)

    • Hey Maricar,

      Don’t sweat it … they beauty of DSLR is that you can change lens to suit your needs.

      Just go purchase a EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM (list price S$429) to add reach to your current setup :)

      • Hi James!

        Yeah, that was what I thought too. Memories=Priceless.
        Above mentioned lens is a Canon too right. I will really buy that, I trust you hehe! And one more thing, when I go back to Philippines, my DSLR will be more of use to take pictures and videos perhaps of my nephew on stage doing some school presentation and take family pictures say on vacation or at home, Im thinking of a good durable tripod. One good one time investment. Pls. help me James! I saw those unique tripod at the stores too called Joby Gorilla? Are they good for travel too, they’re legs seem very short for my needs.

        • Hey Maricar,

          Glad you have some nice images for keep sake :)

          The EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM is an very affordable telephoto zoom … just be mindful that you need to use it in good light to prevent motion blur (at the tele end … 300mm – you will need to keep you shutter speed above 1/500 so any shaky hands won’t make the picture blur).

          There are telephoto zooms with IS that will help but those are typically priced above S$1000.

          Just stick to your current kit and explore it until you feel that there is a need to add more lens.

          Did you get a tripod with your 60D? That one is good enough … I use it to shoot fireworks too :)

          Those gorilla pod requires good mounting post to work … if not, it will be …. errmmm short! πŸ˜€

          • Hi James!

            Tried calling the Canon people for my free tripod but since Im not a Singapore resident they said Im not qualified (since you have to register for an online warranty,and online warranty is for Singapore Residents only) :(

          • Hey Maricar,

            That’s too bad … the tripod is very sturdy.

            You can try Cathay Photo’s … their slik tripods are pretty sturdy and affordable :)

  33. Hi James,

    I am keen to buy the d7000 kit.
    Since most of the stores i went to are out of stock.
    And i called one of the street shops u recommend, they only have the display unit which the price they gave me a lot cheaper than i can find. Less than S$1,800. And comes with warranty too.
    Is it worth it?
    Please advise me.
    Thank you.

    • Hey Edi,

      Have you called all the street shops I’ve listed?

      Maybe some of them may have a new unit (Although I do sense a shortage in the market when I go for my walk around) …

      I have never bought a DSLR Display set … and I don’t know the condition of the set they are offering you … so I can’t say if it’s worth it.

      Display Sets are sold on a as seen basis … so do check carefully for damages, physical wear and shutter count (if possible) when you get it but at S$1800 … it’s pretty cheap (if it’s the D7000 Kit with full local warranty) :)

  34. Hi James!

    Which lens should I be adding to my Canon 60D (18-55mm lens)kit

    a.EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM- which is what you actually suggested,reaches 300mm,I can take videos n pics of my nephew from their school stage afar. but my concern: not an IS, my hands are shaky for sure.


    b.EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS- what Im considering since it has IS,my concern: not USM, might not be that clear AND only reaches 250mm.

    I like the look of big bulky lenses on my cam and the look of a lens hood like that of a petal. (Sorry, just a me thing :) But with my budget, Im confused with the two. Help James!

    BTW, I convinced Canon to hand me the free tripod. They gladly accommodated my plea,I love it! Its indeed very sturdy.

    • Hey Maricar,

      You actually convinced Canon to give you the Tripod!!! Awesome πŸ˜€

      As for the 2 lenses … the deal is this:

      1) No IS means that you have to keep your shutter speed at least equal to the inverse of your focal length for a clear picture (at least that’s the guideline) … meaning at the tele-end of 300mm, you will need to keep your shutter speed at minimum 1/300 … the faster, the merrier. This usually is not the problem when there are sufficient light to begin with but when used indoors … it can be a challenge.

      2) With IS means you reduce handshakes up to 4 stops … i.e. at the tele-end of the 250mm … where your shutter speed ought to be 1/250 … it can now be as slow as 1/16 … definitely more achievable during indoor situations. Do note that 1/16 might induce motion blurs when you subject moves rapidly.

      3) USM Offers 2 advantage mainly … silent operation and full time manual over-ride … which is more for movies unless you love to manually over-ride your autofocus every now and then.

      So my recommendation is this … for a tele-zoom … IS is usually more useful than USM IF you have to choose one of them. Besides, taking movie via a tele-zoom is going to be a hand aching experience anyway πŸ˜›

  35. Hi James,
    I’m wondering which lens is good for street photography x fashion
    Am going to get a Canon 600D soon!
    I also went on a hunt to look for the cheapest price Avail & it’s $768 with bag, memory card & everything , is it a good price?
    + my friend was asking if the new canon 1100D is good!(;


    • Hey Olivia,

      You mean someone offered you a Canon 600D Kit at S$768?!! Sing Dollar?

      I think it’s way to cheap … cos that’s the low end of the street price of a Canon 1100D (Canon EOS 600D street price should be around S$1000).

      Hmmm … street photography and fashion? It really depends on your photography style … whether you like to get close and personal or snipe from a far.

      IF you are not sure of your style, get a zoom lens with a good range … such as the EF S18-135IS that comes with the Canon EOS 600D Kit II.

      It will allow you to experiment with various focal length to find your style … besides, it’s versatile and you will need the zoom for runway fashion shoot.

      Canon EOS 1100D is a good starter kit for beginners … but if the budget permits, a 600D is much better :)

      • Hmm yup! But unfortunately, I went back to the same shop & it was a diff salesman & he quoted me $955 ):
        Yes! Cause I’m doing Blogshop shoots , thanks !
        Do you think Sim Lim square / Funan digital mall will be cheaper?

        • Hey Olivia,

          A Canon EOS 600D Kit at S$955 is still a steal … just make sure it’s a local set with warranty from Canon Singapore (shop warranty doesn’t count) and the price includes GST!!

          You can still hunt around … but you probably won’t get any cheaper that.

          Just get the camera and start shooting!!

          Hmmm … for blogshot fashion shoot ah … got model or just shooting products?

          The Kit lens will do fine.

          You might want to invest in some lighting equipments such as a Speedlite 320EX (you can buy it later when the need arise too) :)

          • Heheh, so $955 is like a super good but right? (:
            It’s β€˜student price’ (: alright tq lots !
            Yeap there’s a model , the studio provides lighting already

  36. Hi James,

    My friend was visiting SG. I have been planning to buy 550d, as i felt it suits me as a beginner. In sg ebay the price was around 740 $ with kit lens. Can i go for it (not sure whether it is genuine) or should ask my friend to enquire the local stores

  37. Hello James
    i am an amateur casual photograppher looking to buy my 1st DSLR..i am a student and keen to learn photography.uptill now..i have been using Point and Shoot cameras and have been able to understand Exposure,Light Sensitivity and some finer details.
    please suggest me a DSLR..i am a student and Suggest wisely (cost effective too)

      • around 600$
        yesterday i had went to sim lim square..and randomly checked out some shops for prices..
        1 of them said i will give you 1 time price of 650$ for a nikon D 5100..i wasnt sure about it so i left, later on i found out that every other shop, it was around 950$..so, in case of such a deal, is it legitimate?? i mean no duplicacy and all??
        anyhow..my budget is around 600$ and i like landscape and portrait photography..

        • Hey Priyanshu Jha,

          S$600 for a Nikon D5100? Too good to be true … unless it’s a 2nd hand or quoted without tax and lens … i.e. body only.

          S$950 is more like it … did they say this figure including GST (tax)?

          For a budget of S$600 … it’s very tight, the only available DSLR near that price point is the Sony Alpha a290 Kit at S$699 … street price price will put it around S$600. :)

  38. Hi James,
    I will be in Singapore at the beginning of jan (about 25 – 27/jan), I’m planning to buy Nikon d700 body .
    Can you held me ,where I can buy …where have best price ,best quality for D700 body in Singapore .
    Thank you very much for you guild . ?

    • Hey Huydang,

      The Nikon D700 street price should be in the region of S$3050 (including tax) … if you get your tourist rebate … it should be about S$2850.

      Just call up the shops listed above to check if they have stock and the best price when you arrive.

      As long as you are getting a brand new local set (warranty by Nikon) … the quality is all the same. Just check & test it before paying :)

        • Mr James
          Sorry to bother with you .
          By the way . i want to buy 2 flash vivitar ( one for me and one for my friends
          1 ,GN42 Speedlite Vivitar Series 1 Flash FOR NIKON D700 D90
          2,Vivitar GN42 VIV-DF-293-PEN LCD P-TTL FLASH FOR PENTAX K-X K-7 K-5 K-R 645D
          Can u give me some addresses that I can be buy it in singapore
          many thanks ^^

          • Hey Huydang,

            I’m not sure who are the dealer of Vivitar Speedlite … when you call up those street shops, you can also check if they carry those models :)

  39. Hi James,

    I’m going to be in Singapore from the 31st of Jan 2012 and I’m trying to get an idea of what prices are like for a Nikon d700 and where would be best to buy from?


  40. Hi James,

    I’m in Singapore now and I am tossing up between a cannon 60d and a nikon 7000d or a cannon7d. I am after the 18 – 105vr plus 55-300vr.

    With a tameron lense 18-270Pzd vc lense

    Can u please help

    Thanks kylie

        • Hey Kylie,

          Of the 3 DSLR … the Nikon D7000 and Canon 60D (Aug/Sept 2010) are newer than the Canon 7D (Sept 2009) … so either the D7000 or 60D’s technology will probably last a little longer.

          Both are also within your budget while the Canon 7D Body itself will cost more than S$2000 (I’m assuming you are talking about S$2000 instead of US$2000).

          You should be able to get either the Nikon D7000 Kit with the 18-105 VR or the Canon 60D Kit II with the 18-135 IS within S$2000 from street shops (like those I mentioned in the article above).

          If you can stretch a little (or if you budget is in USD) … you should be able to get a telezoom such as the Canon EF-S 55-250 IS or Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300 VR for less than S$500. :)

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