Something that really disturbs me these days is that there are very few camera stores left for photographers to check out and handle the latest and greatest cameras that are on the market these days. I lived for many years in Atlanta and one of the premiere photographic outlets in the city for many years was Showcase Photographics which closed shop last month due to all of the on-line competition from the huge N.Y. stores. This has been a huge problem for years, but the change has really accelerated in the past few years and Showcase just could not compete any more.
I bought my first view camera from Showcase back in the 1970s when it was located in an extremely small storefront on Cheshire Bridge Road. This was a long rail Calumet 4x5 with case and, as I recall, I spent $150 for this camera without a lens. I don't remember which lens I wound up getting, but this camera served me well for many years. Over the years Showcase morphed into a very large camera store a few blocks away featuring photographic supplies for everything from the latest in cameras, lenses, and darkroom equipment. Do you remember having a darkroom?
I've been considering buying one of the Panasonic Lumix cameras lately, but there is nowhere I can go to check out one without making a major trip. Locally I have one small camera store that primarily sells some used equipment along with the consumer Nikon and Canon cameras along with aftermarket lenses. I'm really surprised they're still in business.