Christmas came a bit early for us this year. Well, maybe not Christmcanon-powershot-s3-is.gifas… we’ll call it our early 4-year wedding anniversary present to ourselves. After much deliberation and saving our pennies, we finally bought our camera to replace the one we lost earlier this year. Even though we have 2 other cameras in house- one is borrowed from my parents and the other is a fun find my parents got me- but neither were the ones we were hoping to have once baby arrived.

Though Jeff and I are both self-admitted gadget junkies, neither of us are full-fledged photography aficionados (although, we really wish we were.) After all of the review-scouring and research, we fell in love with a digital SLR-like Canon. It’s an upgrade of sorts from our last very trusty and beloved Canon, so we’re quite smitten with this one. As much as we would have liked to invest in a digital Rebel or something similar, we know our meager photography capabilities don’t warrant that much camera. Canon has been our brand of choice for photography, printers and the like, and so far, our new toy is proving the reasons behind the brand loyalty.

Aside from the camera, I’m still so amazed by the actual camera-buying experience. I’m sure most avid photographers are familiar with B&H Photography. Their west side super store is no joke. It occupies almost a city block and is the epitome of NYC shopping. They boast an extensive inventory of camera, video and other electronic equipment. If you’ve ever been to their website, you’d probably be familiar with their massiveness. In our quest to find the best bang for our buck, including avoiding shipping fees in lieu of a cab ride, we decided to buy from B&H. Considering I’d never actually set foot in the store, I wasn’t quite ready for what I was actually in store for. As soon as you walk into the store, you are greeted by signs, upon signs, upon equipment, upon workers…it was like the Charlie Chocolate factory for cameras. Once I found the digital camera section, I found that you had to get in line to be helped by a sales person, sort of like the deli at our grocery store. To control the volume of the store, each respective department followed this deli-like pattern.

Since I knew exactly what we wanted to buy, Jeff set up my online shopping cart and suggested that I print it out, item number and all, I was able to bypass the digital camera salesperson line and was directed to the Express line. In the Express line, I was quickly seen by one of 15 Express sales people. The guy asked what I needed, I pointed to my handy sheet and he plugged it into his computer. Once he pressed enter, my items were processed to the “warehouse.” And before I could blink, Leroy from the warehouse, brought my camera and memory card. The Express sales guy showed me my items to confirm if those were what I wanted, and I nodded my head in amazement of the efficiency. He printed out my invoice, told me to go pay and that my items could be picked up at the front of the store. He put my purchases in an overhead conveyor belt. Mind you, I had to wade through a sea of people– there were so many tourists, professional photographers and then me. Like usual, whenever I’m in a big city crowd, I cover my belly for fear of the unknown. (Once, when I wasn’t pregnant, some random guy’s book bag inadvertently stabbed me because I got too close. He had a fork poking out of his bag. Ever since then, I learned the hard way that you never know who might have a fork in their bookbag. You just never know!) That’s not my pic, by the way. I found it online. I just wanted to show the craziness of the store.

Just a few steps away from the Express department, I found the cashier line, paid the piper and was then directed to the merchandise pick up line. In the pick up line, I handed my receipt to the pick up guy who then located my items via my invoice number. After interaction with 6 different employees, an impressively seamless transaction, including an overhead conveyor belt and a maze of lines and signs, I had our new camera after 15 quick minutes. It took me longer to get to the west side from my east side office than it took me to actually purchase the camera. It was organized chaos at its best, but a must see for any gadget fan.

Sadly, after getting our fun new toy, I spent most of the weekendJeff and the camera manual laying horizontally and cooped up inside hiding from the heat and sulking in my discomfort. So aside from indoor projects, we really haven’t taken too many pictures of substance. I’m sure, all in due time, we’ll be able learn all of our camera’s many nuances and be able to share them as we stumble along. This is what we did a lot of this weekend. –> Here’s my muse, my husband, reading the trusty camera manual.