If you’re wondering where you can buy dSLR cameras and other photographic equipment in the Philippines for the cheapest/lowest prices, then it’s in Hidalgo, Quiapo. Another option is buying from reputable online camera stores.
I know Hidalgo and Quiapo, in general, is notorious as one of Manila’s shabby and crime infested areas (full of pirated CDs/DVDs, counterfeit electronics, snatchers, garbage).
I was surprised myself when I found out that it is highly recommended by other photographers in the Philippines as a place to find a wider range of photographic/videographic equipment at a cheaper price than in malls. I bought my first camera, a Canon Powershot A700, in Hidalgo Quiapo when I was in college and a Nikon D40 last year.
I have nothing to complain about the quality of my purchases there.
The price difference if you were to buy a camera in Hidalgo Quiapo as compared to most stores in most cases is significant. In a store here in SM City Iloilo, the difference is enough to cover my round trip airfare to Manila and a few days’ expenses.
If you’re wondering why the stores in Hidalgo Quiapo sell it for such a low price. It’s because space rentals in Quiapo are much cheaper and because they sell most items with a local/store warranty. Meaning, if you need to have it fixed/replaced, you won’t be able to do it in just any service center of your camera brand, but only in the store where you bought the camera.
How to go to Hidalgo
Hidalgo St. is very near Carriedo LRT 1 Station. To get there, ride the LRT (Yellow Line) and get off at Carriedo Station. Using the Google map as a reference, walk further along Carrideo St., at the first intersection you will find SM Quiapo to your right. Enter SM and go to the other side of the building. When you exit, you will be somewhere in front of Watson’s and Henry’s. the other stores are not far from there. There’s a Banco de Oro branch along the street to your right, in front of it is Mayer.
Check prices online
If you want to check camera/lens prices before your visit, follow the links to online sellers listed on this page. Prices listed are not much different from Hidalgo-Quiapo stores. To make sure, you can always contact the Hidalgo, Quiapo stores directly using the phone numbers listed below.
List of Camera Shops in Hidalgo-Quiapo
- Henry’s Photo Supply
Tel: 733-7723, 734-6198
- Mayer Photo
Tel: 733-7598, 733-7722
- Watson Photo Shop
- Aperture Trading Corporation
Tel: 732-8991, 731-1708
Fax: 741-9743 (telefax)
- Avenue Photo Supply
Tel: 733-2761, 733-5474, 734-3307
- 24K, formerly Fotohaus
Tel: 734-4471, 734-3304 to 05, 733-4565, 733-5531
- JT Photoworld
Tel: 523-4396, 536-6590, 536-6591
For point and shoot cameras and DSLRs, Henrys and Mayers are two of the most popular stores.
As an alternative, check out the online camera shops based in the Philippines.
Remember to be on high alert when you’re in Hidlago Quiapo! It’s not one of the safest places in Manila so the quickest you can go in and out, the better. The safest places there are: inside the LRT Station, inside SM, and inside the stores. If you’re anywhere outside these areas, walk fast and be extra alert. It would also be best if you bring one or more persons along with you during your visit. More tips could be found at “Hidalgo Quiapo Warning” in the DPP Forums.