I was recently in Beijing to shoot a few interviews for a corporate video, and during a free day I discovered a place that should interest any photographer who visits Beijing:
Beijing Camera Equipment City.
Beijing Camera Equipment City, on Wukesong Road, is a large and densely packed building ﬁlled with row after row of tiny shops where one can buy just about any camera or camera accessory imaginable. Some of the more interesting things to me were Chinese-made strobes, LED panels and DSLR Rig knock-offs. There were so many things I had never seen before, which is rare for a photo-geek like me. However, if you plan on going there to buy super cheap cameras or name-brand lenses, think again. Since all of the large camera manufacturers are Japanese, the price in China isn't that much cheaper than in Europe or the U.S. You will ﬁnd the best deals on used equipment and accessories. I bought a 5-in-1 circular reﬂector for about 5 bucks.
The entire ground ﬂoor is packed with aisles like the picture above, but perhaps the most interesting thing about this market is what is on the 2nd and 3rd ﬂoors:
That's right, wedding dresses. As much as the ﬁrst ﬂoor is photographer heaven, the top two ﬂoors are bride heaven. At ﬁrst it seems a bit of an odd combination, but somehow it is logical. Photography and weddings go quite well together.
If you ﬁnd yourself in Beijing, I recommend checking out the Beijing Camera Equipment City. Even if you're not interested in buying anything, it is a fun visit.