I'm sure this is highly debatable, but it seems to me that when you're paying for the "US warrenty" vs. grey market, that you're actually paying for a replacement
camera (or lens, accessory, etc.). In my own case, I was looking at Canon XT's...thru regular distributers, the XT with a USA warrenty goes for around an average of $600 to $700 body only. Grey Market, I saw them for as little as $280 (or less). I.e. when you buy that US warrenty, you've already payed for that second camera (and then some!).
Now from everything that I've read, grey market products come off the same assembly lines as their legit counter parts. As I've said before, with a company such as Canon, let's face it, Canon didn't get to be "Canon" by building cheap crap that's gonna break within the first week of having it. While I don't have the exact numbers, I'm willing to bet the failure rate of Canon camera's across the board is less than 1 per 100 units. Companys like Goldstar, Samsung, Coby, Sansui or others...yes, then I might be worried about the product failing relatively soon and a "US warrenty" might certainly be a factor, but Canon? Nikon? Think of it this way...would you walk into a Best Buy or Circuit City or Ritz camera and fork out $700 or more for a camera and expect
it to fail within the first couple of months? No, of course you wouldn't! If you really thought that camera was going to quit after only a few days or weeks, you simply wouldn't buy it...right? So again here it really seems to me that all you're actually paying for with the US warrenties is simply a replacement product...you've already payed for that second camera. Personally, I've never liked forking out cash just so corporate exec's can go out and buy a new Porchse every year or so and take a 2 month holiday in the Bahama's. Good, old fasion corporate greed...ya gotta love it.....
My only gripe in regards to grey market was, and again this is my own personal experience here, that the camera I wanted to purchase via grey channels, apparently didn't come in English...I could only find Chinese or Japanese models...the camera had to be sent in to be "reprogrammed" for English. As such I got the impression that the grey distributers (at least the ones I tried to deal with) use the grey models for "bait and switch"...they lure you in with the cheaply priced grey market item, then tell you all of these horror stories to get you to buy the more expensive US counter part (and they were incredibly pushy about it to boot!). Had this of been a lens or other accessory, I wouldn't have minded Chinese or Japanese labling on the product, but the camera itself? Kind of hard to learn a new camera if you can't read the menu's! LOL!!! There's also the issue of when they say "body only", they mean body only
...no battery, no software, no charger, no memory card, no camera strap....just the body
. Now a days, memory and batteries are dirt cheap for most digital cameras (I just saw 1 gig CF card's at Staples on sale for $20!) so that's not really a huge deal, but it certainly is worth keeping in mind.
As I said recently in another thread, my solution was to compromise and go with refurbished. Still a great deal, includes a 90 refurb warrenty and best of all, the camera's in English! The one I got comes with a 28-80mm Tamron lens, 1 gig memory card, battery, charger...everything! The new camera is scheduled for delivery tomorrow
Alrighty, just my usual $.02 worth...sorry...no USA warrenty comes with it! LOL!!!
Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes,