How I saved 45 thousand rubles when buying a camera in Thailand

Let me tell you how I saved 45 thousand rubles when buying a camera in Thailand. Regular readers know that a few years ago I switched to a Sony a6000 mirrorless camera from a Canon 7d DSLR. The main reason is weight / size and the fact that mirrorless cameras are no longer technically inferior to DSLRs. Rather, the question of cost arises, because owning a DSLR can be cheaper..


Having used Sony a6000 for 2 years, I was completely satisfied with its capabilities and image quality. But time passed, it was time to change the camera. Having sold it successfully, I was left without a camera at all, so I bought myself a Canon G7 mark 2 with a built-in lens, a rotating screen, a stabilizer in the carcass, and a good autofocus. This is not a mirrorless camera, but a compact camera (sensor 1?), But there have been many positive reviews about it. After all, I had to go to Thailand and I could not go without a camera. Since I did not want to buy a Sony a6300, I was waiting for the a6500 model (it has a built-in stub), but they had not yet started selling it in Russia at the time of my departure..

Based on the results of a 2-month trip to Thailand, I can say that using a very small camera (Canon G7 mark 2 weighs only 300 grams) is very convenient. It really lies in your pocket and is always with you, and getting it is easier than ever, no additional wardrobe trunks are needed. In general, I often wore it just in a belt bag or in a pocket of shorts. And for blogging, when the main goal is not to show beauty, but to display information, it is quite enough. Yes, ISO leaves much to be desired (1600 is already so-so), dynamic range is not ice and «picture» also not mirrored. But in general, for a small pocket camera, it is worthy. At one time, she was very popular with video bloggers, as it is perfect for selfie videos. I also had thoughts of doing a video blog, but I changed my mind.

I do not argue that for such tasks, in the daytime with good lighting, you can shoot with your phone, but still the optical zoom (24-100 mm), shooting in RAW, the ability to get at least something at dusk and much more comfortable ergonomics than phone outweigh. Therefore, while I cannot always use the phone for work, I still do not take 1-2 pictures, but bring hundreds of gigabytes from travel.

Bought Sony a6500 in Thailand

Bought Sony a6500 in Thailand

How I bought a camera 45 thousand rubles cheaper

Before flying from Thailand to Russia, I went to the Sony website and saw that the camera was on sale in Thailand (and in Russia too). Everything went according to plan. I knew in advance that the European version of the camera is being sold in Russia, which for some reason is much more expensive, while in Thailand a cheaper American version is being sold. There are no differences, as far as I know, except that English is on the menu instead of Russian. I don't know how much it costs in other countries, so I'll just tell you about Russia and Thailand, how much Sony Alpha ILCE-6500 Body costs.

Price in Thailand: 51,990 baht.
Price in Russia: 120 thousand rubles at the time of my purchase, 103-110 thousand rubles at the time of writing the post.

The camera may have been cheaper at the Pantip Plaza in Bangkok, but I went to the official Sony Store in Siam Paragon and bought it for 51,990 baht. I paid with a Tinkoff dollar card, the same one that is here on the blog and more than once advised. $ 1,483.6 was debited from the card. And I bought dollars on the same day in Tinkoff Internet Bank at the rate of 56.95. I was lucky that day (February 15, 2017) there was another drop in the rate. Total in rubles I spent 84 491 rubles.

Do you think that's all? No 🙂

At the time of purchase, I issued a VAT Refund certificate in the store, which allows you to return VAT up to 7% at the airport. I wrote a post about this, how to return VAT. Thus, at the airport, 2710 baht was returned to me.

One of the advantages of Tinkoff currency cards is a 1% cashback from all purchases. Few banks give cashbacks for currency cards. Also, Tinkoff has a 5% cashback by category, you can choose 3 pieces, and they change once a quarter. One of these categories I had «House, renovation». Somehow, the MCC operation code in the Sony Store fell into this category and I received not 1% cashback, but as much as 5% - $ 74.18. To be honest, I didn’t know it would turn out this way, but it was nice.

Thus, the cost of the camera came out: 75,913 rubles instead of 120,000 rubles in Moscow. Not bad, I think. Saving 45 thousand rubles at that time. Of which about 6-7 thousand rubles only due to a correctly selected bank card. So, for this very difference it was possible to fly to Thailand - air tickets and 1-2 weeks of accommodation are fought off. That is, instead of a camera in Russia, you can get a camera and a trip for the same money. Theoretically, the camera can only be bought for resale, but I'm not sure if there would be a noticeable benefit in doing so..

It's funny, in the shopping center and in the Sony store I met readers

It's funny, in the shopping center and in the Sony store I met readers

P.S. If anything, then this is not an advertisement for Sony or Tinkoff. If Tinkoff worsen something on their currency card, I will be the first to run away from them 🙂 And Sony makes, though functional, but rather flimsy cameras. Rather, a post that sometimes it is worth buying equipment abroad. Taking into account VAT and interregional price differences, it may come out more profitable. Remember, before often Apple was bought in the USA, and here.