I’m jealous.

It really seems that sometimes, we get the short end of the stick on consumer deals in Asia – perhaps because there’s always somebody a bit lower down the consumer food chain than us who’ll happily pay a bit less for a slightly older model.

Backstory: I’ve been thinking about a waterproof compact to muck around with at the beach for some time, and then I come upon this on Amazon:

Panasonic Lumix TS20 Waterproof Digital Camera – US$137. It’s half the price of what I’d pay locally…except, they frustratingly don’t ship to Malaysia. Sigh. Anyway, I thought I’d post it for the benefit of readers living in the US who might be wanting to pick up one of these for the holidays.

On a better note, memory cards are on sale, too – these I will be picking up a few of. One can never have too much storage, especially with the D800E’s enormous raw files.

Sandisk Extreme 45mb/s 32GB SDHC UHS-1 – $33.60, reduced from $79.99 (again, we pay about $90 locally). Good for OM-D, D800 etc – I’ve got faster cards but don’t notice that much of a speed difference.

Transcend 32GB Class 10 SDHC – $17.99, reduced from $32.99. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a slower, older card, but these are the only ones I’ve used so far that don’t give me write errors in the Leica M9. The above Sandisk Extreme is NOT recommended at all for the M9, I’ve seen failures, corruptions and lockups on four different M9s and M9-Ps. There’s also a 16GB version here for about $10, but you might as well pay $8 more and get double the storage.

Full disclosure: It doesn’t cost you any more, but using these links to Amazon do give me a small percentage of your order value as a referral fee – which I hope will eventually contribute to running this site. (Last month was all of $65.00, so we’ve got a long, long way to go yet). For now and the future, I will only share interesting stuff that I myself will order. Thanks! MT


  1. Thanks for the tips on cards. For what it’s worth, I’ve been looking for an abusable, wettable pocket camera for a long time, but the TS20 was so disparaged by reviewers that I decided that it wasn’t worth even half the sale price.

  2. Yee Meen Chai says:

    Transcend also makes a higher speed card: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/876410-REG/Transcend_ts32gsdhc10u1_32GB_SDHC_Memory_Card.html

    Would this work or be of any benefit in a Leica M9-P? Currently, my subjects are my kids in action so 6 or 7 shots in continuous mode are all I shoot and I then have to wait for the buffer to clear. I shoot compressed raw, without JPEG and am looking for all methods to clear the buffer more quickly.

    • Yes, they do – but I don’t know how reliable it’d be in the M9. That said, the Class 10s work fine without any issue so far (but are a bit slow compared to the Extreme HD cards). Still, I’d rather have a file than a corrupted one. That said, we shouldn’t have to choose in this era of technology, and certainly not at this price.

  3. Lucky Germany. I just bought the sandisk you have recommended in a 16 Gbyte Version for just 14,20 Euro shipping included! The best thing is: I ordered the 30 MB/s Version and they send the 45 MB/s…

    But they don´t ship any CAMAERAS from USA… It has to do something with the Patriot act I think. So the US $ 149,– for a brand new E-PL 1 Olympus Body will just stay a dream…

  4. Even though Canada is allegedly touted as the “cheapest photography gear haven” in the world after US, I recently still ordered a big shipment of photographic supplies from B&H to save a few dollars, simply couldn’t resist. But I do have to check for international warranties or make sure they are photographic consumables that don’t need service, because many manufacturers don’t offer international warranties. Panasonic is one big offender, so I’m not sure, Ming, if it’s a good idea to get the TS2 from Amazon.com even if they would ship to you, unless you don’t mind sending it back to them in US if there’s a problem.

    Nonetheless, it can certainly seem that way: consumers everywhere are getting ripped off on all kinds of things. But reality is a bit more complicated with layers of filters in between. For more insights into these gripping issues, I suggest the following eye-opening books:

    • oops, I meant TS20 in my post above. And Ming, feel free to edit my Amazon links to include your affiliate code 🙂

    • Thanks for the insights. I think a lot of this is due to currency fluctuations – and not everything is cheaper in the US. Some compacts and memory cards may be, but I know Nikon retail is quite a bit lower here.

  5. I only use SD Extreme 16GB cards in my M9s and have only had one problem, and that was long ago before I realised how careful I needed to be with the buffer. I’ll have a go with those cheaper Transcends.

    There are of course several US reshippers who will solve your on-line ordering needs for a very small commission.

  6. Matthew D says:

    any reason someone in the US can’t ship one to you?

  7. Hello Ming,

    It’s not just Asia; here in Australia, too. Amazon will not ship ANY camera gear to Australia—despite B&H and Adorama being able to sell all camera gear here (I remember waiting anxiously for my D3 to clear Customs, ordered through B&H at a decent price, and delivered within a week, and that would have been four months before it would have been available in Australia).

    I do not understand Amazon’s policy in this regard; it will sell books everywhere, and I assume publishers have territories too, like camera manufacturers.

    As an aside, and an important one, only Apple and Leica seem to have world pricing: after adjusting for local taxes (like GST here in Australia) and currency conversions, Leica and Apple gear costs pretty much the same everywhere—and as a result, no one buys these products from overseas dealers. This makes warranty claims much easier, too.

    • That’s frustrating. And I know how much of a ripoff Australian prices are.

      A lot of the luxury goods companies (watches, especially) try to price consistently across the world too. There are still some currency arbitrage deals to be had, but mostly the savings come from buying overseas and getting your GST/ VAT/ TVA/ sales tax back – which can be as much as 20% in Europe. However, warranties are another issue altogether…

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