Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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My wife has her heart set on the Nikon D3100, so I'm researching the best place to buy it, as well as what I should get with it. has the camera for $631.18, which is the best price I've seen to date, and they give a free camera bag of I dunno how good quality.

What are the essential accessories for someone getting their first DSLR? She loves taking nighttime photos with her current (point and shoot) camera so I'd like to get her a lens for that.

Should I be looking to get a service plan as well? The sales rep at the camera store tried pushing their 3 year warranty/service plan for something like $300 that'll take care of all repairs and maintenance of the camera, but for half the price of the camera itself, I'm not sure how worth it that is.

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closed as off-topic by TFuto, MikeW, Dan Wolfgang, Hugo, Nir Nov 2 '14 at 12:24

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product or service recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – TFuto, Dan Wolfgang, Hugo, Nir
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possible duplicate of Where can I buy a camera off the internet? – mattdm Feb 27 '12 at 2:39

You really have a few different questions here...

For accessories, check out this post which has quite a bit of good information.

As for where to buy, Amazon usually has great prices and is quite reputable. Other popular online vendors include B&H Photo and Adorama. Be wary of companies that offer deals that seem too good to be true - they often are. There are a number of companies that offer gray-market imports at cheap prices but then forcefully try to upsell you on an accessory package. If you end up looking at a vendor that you haven't heard of previously, do some research before giving them your credit card number.

As to service plans, it's a judgement call but I generally don't bother. Any of the cameras will have a decent warranty and as a professional I have my gear insured against accidental damage. Some folks like them for the peace of mind, but if you're looking at a $600 camera, paying 50% of that price for a warranty seems quite steep.

I hope she enjoys the camera!

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