Beijing's best camera shops

The capital's best places to pick up digital and film cameras

Whether you prefer to go digital or film, here are the best places for professional and amateur photographers in Beijing – plus places to stock up on lenses, camera accessories, and get film developed.

Where

Wukesong Camera Market

In spite of a recent clean-up that has left Wukesong Camera Market more sterile than the days of yore, and the emergence of Taobao, this two-floor camera mecca is still a good place for professionals and amateurs alike to update their SLRs or pick up specialist equipment. The first floor is jam-packed with booths stocking all the big brands – Nikon, Canon, Sony et al, but those who know know that Rolleiflex and Hasselblad are the brands to be reckoned with. We'd recommend taking a pal who knows what they're doing, as cameras can be a tricky proposition for the uninitiated, but this quirky market is a fun day out as well as an opportunity to pick up some tech at great prices.

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40 Wukesong Lu (Haidian, Haidian)

LoOne Commune

Like your photography strictly digital? Then you’d best keep walking right on past this Andingmennei Dajie shop that’s devoted wholly to the realm of film and lomo cameras. If the idea of a vintage Polaroid or Hong Kong-imported Holga sets you aflutter, however, then a venture to LoOne won’t be a wasted one. A range of film, instant and lomo cameras (plus film and accessories) are stocked here, starting at 400RMB and ranging well into the thousands for more esoteric tastes.

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310 Andingmen Nei Dajie

Spring Cameras

Spring Cameras hosts an enviable selection of analogue equipment and accessories at reasonable prices. Two walls are adorned with old SLRs and lenses from Canon, Panasonic, Nikon, Pentax and smaller brands, plus a glut of fun and funky Polaroids.

The gear here is in varying degrees of working order, but any problems are clearly marked and prices modified accordingly – Liu Yang, the boss, checks all of them, and can repair too. A reliable point-and-shooter will set you back around 200RMB, and film is cheap, with Kodak and Fujifilm rolls starting at 20RMB; the team also develop into both prints and digital formats (from 20RMB, colour; from 30RMB, black & white).

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17 Zhong Jianzi Xiang (Dongsi, Dongcheng)

Sundan

While electronics emporium Sundan (顺电, shundian) has outlets across the city, none feature quite as extensive a range of digital cameras and accessories as their Sanlitun flagship. A large area of the store is dedicated to point-and-shoots and DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm, with both entry level and full-frame professional gear on display and ready to test out. A side cabinet contains a decent selection of lenses for all brands, plus a fewer higher-end cameras, including some eye-watering five- and six-figure Hassleblad specimens. Accessories include tripods, filters, memory cards, bags and more. Another plus is that well regulated Sundan can be trusted for its fair, fixed prices, guaranteed genuine products and warranties. Fingers crossed you won't need them.

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19 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)

She Mao Jin Guangjiao (摄贸金广角)

This digital camera specialist store, perched on a corner just opposite Zhangzizhonglu subway station, hosts a strong selection of Canon, Fuji and Sony cameras and accessories, though it is the full line of current Nikon equipment that stands out, including cameras, lenses, filters, straps, lens caps and more. (Indeed, as its lacks a translated English name – its Chinese name isn't the snappiest either – you'll most likely first spot it from its huge Nikon authorised seller signage out front.) Across the brands, it's still mostly geared towards the out-and-about enthusiast – if you're looking for heftier studio equipment, head to Wukesong.

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201 Dongsi Bei Dajie (Dongsi, Dongcheng)

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