Where can you buy DSLR Cameras + Gear in Korea?

Are you looking for a good place to shop for cameras or camera gear in Korea? What about older vintage film cameras or very expensive DSLR cameras, Lenses, Tripods, etc?  If you are a serious camera lover or professional and not just looking for a simple pink Hello Kitty digital camera~  Namdaemun 남대문 Camera Market is a place you should check out!  This is one of the best areas to buy SLR, DSLR gear (used or new) in Korea for people who know what they want.

Even if you do not read Korean, the camera street should be hard to miss!

The camera street is a row of tiny stores that have opened up side by side, but don’t let the small size fool you. They sell simple ‘point and shoot’ cameras to even ‘Hassleblad’ cameras which cost over 20,000 USD. The stores are located near the busy Namedaemun market offering a large selection of anything a camera buff could ever want or need.

Namedaemun camera market street overall is modest in size and just stretches down maybe 10 stores or so, but these places are all stuffed FULL with cameras and very expensive parts! Camera enthusiasts will appreciate the selection and ease of hopping from one store to the other to check out what is available and compare prices.

Generally the prices are very fair to the Korean market value in these stores.

Generally this street is fairly quiet compared to other areas of Namdaemun, and the shop keepers are pretty relaxed and do not hassle you as badly as the other markets because generally people shopping here know what they want.

Nara thinking about what new lens to add to his collection.

Come to Namedaemun Camera Market if you know what you are looking for and are familiar with the going price for your piece/camera/etc new and used, the prices for a NEW camera will be as cheap as Korea’s market value goes. You are not going to find DSLR Cameras or lenses *dirt cheap* here. If you do, then there will be a reason for its cheap price. They will have whatever it is you are looking for used and new, and you will see a lot of older photographers here inspecting the gear before they make the purchase.

The prices are very fair here for used gear and if you find one extra cheap, they will generally tell you where the defect of the gear is but it is also the buyers responsibility to find out the flaw

Lenses, Lenses, Lenses!

Since Namedaemun Camera Market deals with reselling used cameras they have quite a selection of older pieces from Leica, Bessa, Voigtlander, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Contax, Rolleiflex, etc. as well

It should be noted that another very popular place in Korea to visit for camera shopping is Yongsan Electronics Market which also has quite an impressive selection in *Some* buildings, but overall they tend to sell more of the smaller “casual” digital cameras vs dealing with the big DSLR gear like these shops. In Yongsan you can see different point and shoot cameras displayed nicely along with DSLRs and can browse around to choose the camera you want within your budget.

♥ ♥ ♥

Here in Namdaemun you will need to tell them what you are looking for in what condition and they will bring the model out according to your description. You will be able to find a lot of used items as well as new (in fact, most of the things in Namdaemun market are used VS Yongsan which is mainly all new).  They are a bit less sneaky with selling to you at Namdaemun VS Yongsan where they are almost always trying to get you to buy a very inflated price and are a bit more intense and pushy at times.

This is also one of the better areas to SELL your camera or parts here for money or credit towards a purchase, but the price will depend on the demand of that piece in Korea for the most part, not the price tag value.  About a year ago Nara exchanged a new 3D camera set from FujiFilm which he got as a gift~ the market value was at the time around 600 USD but he ended up getting only 250 USD store credit because of how low the demand for that camera was in Korea

Directions to Namdaemun Camera Market

Namedaemun Camera Market

ADDRESS 서울시 중구 남대문로 4가  20-14

Hours: Vary depending on the shop, generally 10am~ 8pm

Namdaemun market is one of the best places to go for supplies in bulk, wholesale, or just have a vast selection. The area can get really cluttered with people and seem a bit confusing, but for those of you looking for the Namdaemun Camera Street you are in luck ♥ It is on one of the outer streets and a LOT easier to navigate since it is not deep within the market stuffed with people.

If you are coming from the metro you are going to want to take the Light Blue Line #4 to Hoehyeon Station ~ this is right in-between the busy Seoul Station and Myeong-Dong.

When you arrive you can use Exit #5 and walk straight through the busy market till you hit the “outside” street where all the shops are located.  Inside the market streets can get a bit chaotic so you can also opt to walk outside exit #5 a ways and take the other road on your right which is another “outside” street and not quite as crazy. I have marked the general area of the shops in pink on the map, they will all be in a row for the most part and pretty obvious!

You will know you are in the right place when you start to see shop after shop filled with expensive cameras in the window and camera brand names like Nikon, Canon, etc plastered all over the signs.  A few of these shops have a staff member that does speak English, but it is usually a little bit and hit or miss so come prepared if you have important questions.

Have you been to this market before? Have a shop here you recommend or an experience to share? Comment below!!

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29 Responses to “Namdaemun 남대문 Camera Market”

  • Custom avatar Reila:

    “the camera street should be hard to miss” lol, I actually managed to miss the street first. I only noticed it after I had bought my camera in a shop right before the street when coming out of the market, sort of, oops. But I still think I got a good deal! (at least it was a better price than in the shop next door :B )
    The only thing I kinda didn’t like was how I got the display camera they had, which had a few nicks and scratches. I don’t know if it was because that was the only one they had or if it was because I’m tourist but eh. At least I don’t have to worry about scratching it myself :D

    • Custom avatar Nara:

      Hey Reila. I’m sorry that you missed the street. Between each store prices will vary slightly. The ones out on display are generally all used since they tend to keep the new ones in their packaging ^^ Whenever I need a part, I usually run through the entire street and inspect the condition of the part in each store. Then make my decision after and make the purchase. One thing for certain in Namdaemoon though – Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean best ^^ Also keep your receipt in case you find a flaw when you get home. Although they keep all the serial numbers on record, it still makes it easier when you give them the receipt when you want to exchange the part for a different one. :)

  • So many pretty cameras and lenses! Very cool feature Liz! And I even saw one Olympus sign, I’m not completely irrelevant yet ;)

  • Custom avatar Ami:

    Can i find Polaroid cameras there O.O ?
    and if not, do you know where ^^?

    • Elle:

      Are you looking for vintage Polaroid cameras? I dont recall any at Namdaemun Camera Market off-hand, they mainly sell DSLR and higher grade cameras….however they have a LOT so it may be worth a look (if you do check it out please come back and let me know!). If you just want a polaroid in general have you considered the Fuji instax? I think they dont sell a lot of polaroid cameras here because anyone interested in that style of camera buys that model atm, they are extremely popular here and TONS of stores sell the various models and types of instant film for them, its mini~ but really great. I actually own one myself! They just made a really nice pastel color range of them recently too and you can buy lots of bags and photo albums made for the camera as well ^^

  • Custom avatar P.A.:

    Hello Liz! ^^

    Would you happen to know if the camera shops along this street are wholesalers of Fuji Instax?

    Thank you! ^^

    • Elle:

      Hello~ some shops may have a few of them, but this area is for more higher end and vintage cameras. Also, none of these sell wholesale~ just new or used. Instax is very easy to buy in korea now because it is popular, many of the book shops sell them especially in younger areas like hongdae.

      In hongdae the “lomolab” shop I feature in another post ( please use my camera category or search in my top searchbar for the post here) has a large number of instax and film on sale so that would be worth a visit.

  • hi, first of all…congratulation on this website. Thanks a lot for this wonderful information. I am from Bhutan. I am visiting Seoul for few days and wanted to check the cameras and lenses. Your information was very helpful. I have three days meeting in Incheon but I will visit Seoul for some stuffs…like camera and others. Cheers

  • Custom avatar Michael:

    Good overview. It would be worth mentioning the Chungmuro photo district too. Chungmuro has lots of specialty shops that lean toward film and studio gear, but you can find digital as well. The best film processing shops are in Chungmuro. There are not many tourists there – it’s a lot of local hobbyists and pros. The Metropolitician’s blog has a map with descriptions of the shops on his blog.

  • Custom avatar James:

    Hi Elle,

    did you ever see any Hasselblad 500c large format film cameras there?

    Also, in general are the old cameras competitive with the global market? I took a quick look at eBay in the US, but with importing there is a huge import charge. So wondering if that makes Korea more expensive in general.

    Thanks!

    James

    • Elle:

      Hi James, it has been a little while since we visited… but they DID have hasselblads, just not sure what models since we do not shop for those personally! Overall we found the prices very fair for the quality and service in that area… not insanely overpriced and not dirt cheap. The main perk really is being able to shop around the area and see all the cameras in such a vast amount of price ranges and the staff there are *extremely* knowledgeable in the equipment, issues, repairs etc. Most are hardcore camera guys vs other areas in korea where they are just selling stuff… at least in our exp. Its great if you have issues with gear or need service.

      The posted prices for the 2nd hand (which is mainly what this area deals with) are technically korean market prices, but they are fair when compaired to prices internationally usually! So maybe that + being able to skip out on the import and shipping charges will make this a better deal for you.

      Nara has shopped in both the usa and korea for his gear and is quite happy with this area as a whole :) best of luck

  • Custom avatar James:

    Just thought I’d let you know that I visited Namdaemun today… picked up a Hasselblad 503cxi and based on ebay prices it was about USD500 less than I would have paid overseas, plus it is in mint condition :) Very happy! It was at the Daekwang Camera store…

    • Elle:

      So glad to hear the visit paid off! Just curious for future visitors, was someone able to assist you in English at Daekwang Camera or can you communicate in Korean? Happy shooting!

      • Custom avatar James:

        Thanks!

        I don’t speak any Korean, but there was a guy who could speak an amount of English. However, to be honest I went loaded up with everything I needed to know about camera (watched a youtube video on what to check and test) so I just asked for to look at several cameras and they let me get on with it. They pretty much sat back and didn’t say anything unless I asked, they weren’t pushy at all. Then we were able to communicate about simple thinks (accessories, film, price and all that).

        I didn’t get the feel that I was being taken for a ride at all, they were pretty much ‘take it or leave it’. Plus they gave me their business card when I left, so I figured that mean they felt confident that I could contact or recommend them.

        • Elle:

          I’m SO glad to hear that, especially since that was the impression we got as shoppers and how I state it on the blog~ always good to hear others experience the same, I always worry! Yeah, a lot of the areas for buying equipment (like yongsan) they will REALLY try to hustle you and you have to be on your toes, but this market area is mainly for people who know what they want and the staff truly know what they are selling so they are extremely chill for Korea… which we love. Hate being pestered when I am looking to drop serious money haha!

          Thanks for coming back to comment and share your exp and the store here on the blog, even if people do not comment I know they float around and read these when looking for info ;)

      • Custom avatar James:

        Oh, also I forgot to say that the store is the one the 8th picture down in your post, under the “Lenses, Lenses, Lenses” title :)

  • Custom avatar Kim:

    Hi Elle!

    I’ll be going to Korea in December for a holiday and I’ve been wondering where I can get film for my instax mini camera. I’ve done a lot of research but can’t seem to find any locations. Do you know where to get the film?

    Thank you! :D

  • Custom avatar Giancarlo Ferrari:

    thanks for your help, I was getting crazy looking for a place to buy some lenses and fix my ef 70-200 broken. i really enjoy the way how you explain everything.
    att. Giancarlo Ferrari.

  • Custom avatar brant:

    Would this also be a good place to find studio equiptment. IE flash units printers and other lighting supplies

  • Custom avatar elise:

    hey elle,

    do you know if they sell any vintage/leather dslr bags and how much would it cost or range to at namdaemun?

    • Elle:

      Sorry I only ever saw the cameras, thats the main draw to the area. You may be able to find new bags for cameras in general, but I highly doubt leather or vintage… its a bit hard to find leather bags in general in korea. If you found any I think the price would be insane though!

  • Custom avatar manoj:

    how much the price of canon 70d including lens in fixed price to brand new?

    • Elle:

      I have no idea, do I look like I keep price inventory on all of namdaemun? Go to the market and look for yourself.

  • Custom avatar Arik:

    I’ve been there, it is a great place for buying camera than yongsan i presume. I also got one of the store that has cheaper place but good quality than the other… ^^

    • Elle:

      Yes, Yongsan is a bit more stressful and easy to get ripped off with camera equipment like these since the staff are more like salesman. Namdaemun camera market shop owners are much more familiar with what they are selling and the prices are not much of a haggle game :)

  • Custom avatar Mal:

    I’m interested to buy a Canon 100d and I was thinking I could either buy at Namdaemun or online at Gmarket. Either way, I’m concerned about the language settings, instructions, warranty or whatnot, whether it’s in Korean or would they be any English options, since this will be my first ever DSLR and I’m a total noob, even though I’ve researched tons about the camera.
    Hoping you could help me a bit here. Thanks! :)

  • Custom avatar nikj:

    Hi Elle…A very good overview…kudos…I’m going to korea in Aug…not to Seoul but to Busan…is there any kind of this camera market in Busan? ^_^

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