Intrigued by Shanghai Scrap's report of alleged gangsters selling used iPhones in my local Best Buy (Xujiahui), I popped in for a visit. Actually, I was more interested in looking at the cameras but I did stroll by the mobile phone section on the way. No apparent gangsters on this occasion but I did observe throughout the store a staff ratio of two salespeople for every customer. In this way, visiting Best Buy in China was somewhat akin to my experience there in the States, four sets of eyes watching your every move. Prices on cameras had a markup that hovered around 25 percent. Selling Canon 7D kits for 2,700 RMB ($400) more than the camera malls in Shanghai seems to be Best Buy's plan for funding their job corps program. Seriously, the prices there are CRAZY (memory card prices are worse; on the other hand, I've found some good deals on portable hard drives at Best Buy).
The 7D is a solidly constructed camera which may be why it was one of the only SLR's on display that wasn't obviously broken. I've never seen such a bruised and battered lot of Canon and Nikons- lenses that don't focus (even in manual), hand grips ripped off, etc.
I've been intrigued by the Samsung NX10 along with the 7D (two wholly different cameras, I realize). I've played with both in stores before but today was hoping to get another feel at how they felt in hand- I'm a constant traveler and photographer and having a camera that fits well in the bag and in the grip is essential. The 7D grip felt suprisingly comfortable, I think I'd rate it the highest of any of the cameras on display for shape. A downside to the 7D, though, is its somewhat ample size and weight (perhaps inevitable given 7D's near-pro quality focusing and processing). I did not like holding any of the Nikons (D7000, D300X, D3100), the grips felt a bit too shallow for me. Sony cameras were the worst- the A55's are built like those fiddly super zooms they sell at Wall-Mart and the A550 was enormously fat for the rather unimpressive engineering it contains inside. The Olympus EP-1 mirrorless didn't have a true grip at all- holding one well requires firm wrist control or a pair of hands bracing either side.
Ergonomically, the NX10 is by far the most pleasing mirrorless cameras that I've seen, but Best Buy wasn't selling them so I didn't have a chance to take another look.