A camera shop at Peninsula Hotel (just next to Funan) that carries a very wide variety.
Black Market Camera
Hot 11124 6 0
There was only one person tending the store, and I was the only customer. As a newbie to the photography scene, I was not very savvy of what to look out for, and only know at best the existence of functionality in certain products.
I was looking for a pair of clear filters to keep the dust off the lens, and I was mistakenly looking at the step up instead, the staff was a little rude in directing me to the filter section. From that point on, every question that I asked him were met with a very patronising tone. One example was when I ask if he carries a 'sunlight filter that blocks out some sunlight' which I know come to know of as an NDU filter, he would reply in a condescending manner like 'I dont know of a sunlight filter. theres blah blah filter and blah blah filter and theres NDU filter which blocks off UV light, which one do you want?' as if I need to be knowledgeable about what I am looking for before he would answer my queries proper.
Next, I tried looking for the tripod plate as my tripod is missing one, when I wanted to try the plate on, instead of advising me that the plate would not fit my current tripod, he would condescendingly reply with 'it will not fit but if you WANT i will just leave it at the counter for you to try', proceeds to take it off the locked shelf and leave it on the counter.
There were a few other incident that leads up to this point, he was overall rude and unhelpful. When he was explaining the purpose of a variable filter he was reluctant at best.
Bonus: at one point there were 2 dudes browsing a section of a rack while he was explaining some things to me halfheartedly, and he would constantly glance over at them in a way like he suspects them of trying to steal or damage the products, and sure enough after his rushed and unclear explanation, without a pause he would WALK OFF, and proceed to use a slightly raised and agitated voice 'CAN I HELP YOU?' towards the 2 dudes. One of them asks a question I didnt catch and he would reply with the same condescending tone of 'yes, yes yes they are untested.' even before the person could finish their sentence.
The length of this review should tell you a lot about their service. I gave up trying to buy anything from them and decided to buy from another store at the groundfloor, and I even splurged a bit due because the staff there was very kind and polite. They are not the only camera equipment store in Singapore and I would not support such behaviour.
I went into the shop last Thursday looking for a gimble for my video cam..there were a few caucasians and that's about it..the staff were joking with them, bantering, etc. (ie. good friendly service).I went right to the back of the shop and found some small hand held gimbles and proceeded to try them out..staff soon shouted in a loud voice, 'eh eh ...please please don't touch them, don't remove them, wait drop...please please!'... staff came over immediately and said in the most unfriendly and curt and condescending tone, 'please please please, you wanna take them out, you ask us, don't touch'...
Do I look like rabid kid off a leash? there are more respectful ways to treat a normal adult with some degree of respect and courtesy.
I replied, 'sorry there is no sign here that says I can't touch the gimbles, so I don't know'..he replied (in the same curt and condescending manner), ' please please, don't touch ok? please please'.
I left immediately. From the glass window, I see him proceeding to continue bantering with the caucasians (in a light, joking, I want your sales manner).
Black Market - you are blacklisted in my books for sure.
For amateurs like me, whenever I buy equipment I enjoy speaking with the shop owners so I can learn more and at the same time make a better decision. The camera shops I've been to at funan are manned mostly by employees without not much knowledge and expertise. A certain passion is missing.
I was glad to be serviced by a young man (who i think is the owner) who was extremely knowledgeable in all sorts of photography equipment. He was able to demo and explain to me the various things I was interested in. And I was looking for a Glidecam stabilizer, something not common at all in Singapore and he had great knowledge of it and showed me how to set it up. No Funan stores even sell this.
I can't say the same for the other employees though, most looked like they weren't very happy to be there. They were playing facebook games and stuff and I think they lack the knowledge and passion for photography. Looks like this was just a job to get by to them and not something they enjoyed doing.
Anyway, whenever I want to buy photography equipment, I now just head to Black Market Camera or Cathay Photo in the building across and completely ignore Funan.