The B&H Photo Video mega store is definitely one of the must-see attractions of New York. If you have never been there before, I highly recommend to check it out, because it is one of those unique places that you will not experience anywhere else in the world. Last week, our team member Tom Redd and I had a chance to visit the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in New York (summary of the conference to be posted today). Since it has been a while since I visited New York and I have never been to the B&H store before, I requested a quick tour of the store and asked for permission to take some pictures for our website. B&H kindly agreed to do it for us and we had a great experience that I would like to share with our readers.
Before stepping into the store, I noticed the large dark green parts of the building with the B&H logo. Looking at the whole building, one can see that the store is indeed massive, spanning a whole block over two floors! The store is so huge and segmented, that there are multiple entrances for different needs. For example, there is a separate door for selling and buying used equipment and a separate door for returns:
Our guides for the tour were Yechiel Orgel (our account representative and a super cool and down to earth guy. Check out his product photography website) and Isaac Buchinger, who led the tour and explained everything in detail:
Our first visit was to the professional video studio that B&H set up for television and live broadcast demonstration. While neither Tom nor I are video junkies, we surely appreciated the expensive video camera setups with expensive German Schneider lenses – this one was mounted on a Blackmagic cinema camera (that’s Yechiel in the background, talking to Tom):
This room was full of such equipment, some priced at tens of thousands of dollars:
From there, we were taken to the audio department. After listening to a dozen expensive speaker systems in a room filled with them, we stepped into a soundproof room used solely for demonstrating microphones. An audio guru assisted us in this room and showed us differences between a hundred and a thousand dollar microphone:
We were overwhelmed by the sheer number and types of microphones in this room!
From there, we checked out other parts of the audio department and saw everything from electronic keyboards to headsets, some of which were quite expensive and rare.
As we walked through the first floor, the famous conveyor belt system for transporting packages was continuously rolling, sending packages from one end of the store to another. This is a very unique system that I have never seen in any other store before, something that was apparently designed by someone without a university degree!
Next we visited different electronics departments – from tablets to the latest versions of Apple laptops and workstations.
We then went straight to lighting gear, where I roamed around for the next 10 minutes, going through all kinds of flashes, softboxes, LED lights, stands and a myriad of other lighting tools and accessories:
And speaking of accessories, every wall was pretty much filled with them – adapters, flash triggers, remote camera triggers, lens adapters, rings – you name it and it is all there:
The second floor is the heart of the store – that’s were all cameras and lenses are sold, along with printers, monitors, LCD screens, tripods and much more. Each brand has its own booth, from big brands like Nikon and Canon to smaller ones like Olympus and Samsung:
And if you want to see some Nikon glass, cameras and flashes, this is the place – literally walls full of all kinds of gear:
And several rows of different tripods, monopods and gorillapods to choose from:
The second floor is where Tom and I spent the rest of the time. We were just lost going through each section of the store – there was so much to see! Both Yechiel and Isaac were extremely patient with us, while we were getting buried in all kinds of goodies, like kids in a candy store.
As we walked back down to the first floor, Isaac showed us the large waiting room. Apparently, it is specifically designed for customers to open their purchased equipment, play with it and maybe just relax after long hours of shopping in the store:
Needless to say, Tom and I had a blast. Despite an hour long tour, we thanked both Yechiel and Isaac for the opportunity, then quickly headed back to the store to explore it even more :)
If you have never been to the B&H store, I highly recommend to check it out – it is an amazing experience! Big thanks to Yechiel, Isaac and Mark at B&H for organizing this special tour for our team at Photography Life!