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Old February 18th, 2003, 03:10 PM   #1
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Gear in Chicago

I'm still researching and reading about all of the hundreds of choices for video equipment, but would like to get some touchy time with some of this equipment. In the past I been set on a certain item, but when I see it in person, I am totally turned off and end up buying another choice.

Specifically, I'm looking for as local source to compare cameras (PD150 vs. GL2 vs. XL1S), tripods (Bogen/Manfrotto vs. Libec), microphones (shotgun and wireless), basic lighting rigs, cases, and accessories.

Of course these would have to be out on the "showroom" and not in a box in the warehouse.

Anyone know of such a place in the city or NW suburbs?

Thanks

Carl
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Old February 18th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #2
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If you're looking to just touch and feel, I would check and see if Helix has the items in stock. Helix would not be my first choice of retailers when you're ready to buy, unless you want to buy local. Fair pricing and knowledgeable staffs are the hallmark of our Sponsors.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 04:36 PM   #3
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Unfortunately for the retailer, I'm most likely going to buy online. If I buy Sony it will be (B&H) and if it is Canon I will certainly give the sponsors a chance to get the business.

As far as looking retail and buying online, I know it's not fair to the retailer, but..

1. I don't do it that often.
2. I won't follow up with a retailer for support after buying online
3. It happened to me a billion times when I was in the retail computer business so I won't feel bad about a couple of times in my life.

I'm not too keen on spending $3000+ for a camera without getting my grubby paws on it first. Unfortunately, that's the downside of online purchases.

Thanks for the info. I see that Helix a suburban location in Highland Park which is not the far from me.


Carl
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Old February 21st, 2003, 06:49 AM   #4
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Hi,
sorry I didn't get into this earlier, but in the Chicago area, probably the best place to go is Roscor. They are right in Mt. Prospect and should be able to help you better than Helix. Many years ago Helix downtown was THE place to go for still photo eq, and I've been to the website to look at the vid stuff. They are very limited.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 11:24 AM   #5
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Roscor's "retail" site is here, although like Helix, Roscor's online strategy seems to be sitting sometime around 1993. Still, if their HQ location has a store where you can actually see gear before buying it, good for you!
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Old February 21st, 2003, 11:38 AM   #6
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I called Rosco and they don't have a showroom.

I was also thinking that being as big as Chicago is that we would have some sort of shop where all the pros, semi-pros, and indies went to check out the new gear. If not, it would seem like there is a void that could be filled.

I'm going to try to check out that DV Revolution presentation on the 13th and maybe I'll get some ideas from it too.

Thanks

Carl
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Old February 21st, 2003, 11:50 AM   #7
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Carl,
I would have been rather surprised if Roscor had a retail sales showroom. Their history is that of strictly commercial services.

Basically, the Chicago area does not have a B&H Photo. Period. Local production professionals use one of a few professional sales and rental houses like Fletcher. Everyone else seems to go to suburban electronics superstores or online.

It would be nice to have a local prosumer-grade video store in Chicago. But it's far too costly of a business, with far too slim of margins, far too much online competition and far too small of a market, for any sane person to consider establishing.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 12:07 PM   #8
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Wow, even though I've talked to Roscor a number of times and know some guys that have done some business with them, I never realized they didn't actually have any kind of showroom. Well, it proves once again, you don't know what you don't know.
I too wish Chicago had a place like B&H. I recall about 30 years ago going into Helix (I was in still work then) and just browsing around seeing what was available kind of like a kid in a candy store. I also left quite a bit of money there but they had it all. Oh well, dream on.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 08:39 AM   #9
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The lasy time I was in the Apple store in Indy they had a GL2 hooked up to a computer you could try out. You could even try the edit program. There is a Apple store at the Woodfield Mall. I think the mall at Oakbrook has one now too.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 09:41 AM   #10
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Some of the Apple stores have XL1S also. But they only have low end tripods and no lighting or audio (mics etc) gear to speak of. Mail order and internet sales have all but eliminated large show rooms of professional gear. The profit margins just aren't there to justify all the square footage of display space, plus all the overhead (parking, sales force, training etc.). The one exception of course, is NYC with B & H Photo. It's really a one of a kind. A well stocked rental house may be your best bet.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 09:53 AM   #11
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Some CompUSA and Microcenter computer stores have Canon displays. The Microcenter here (KC, not Chicago) has an XL1 and a GL2 on display. Although the cameras are actually powered up, they are chained to the display. You can pick it up and play with it a bit, but you can't get more than about 2 feet or so from the display, and you have this retractable cable pulling on you all the time. However, at least you can fondle the camera and look at its image on a monitor.

You definitely wouldn't want to buy a camera from a computer store. They seem to sell at full retail or even above retail on some items like that. And don't expect anybody to know anything about the gear.
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DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
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