It's rare that one store can satisfy both the professional and the neophyte, but Samy's Camera is that store. This four-story, 40,000-square-foot behemoth sells and rents practically any camera you could possibly imagine, from Polaroids to drones, and everything in between. There's even a Leica boutique tucked within. Founded in 1976 by Holocaust survivors Samy and Hedy Kamienowicz (he from Belgium, she from Poland), Samy's Camera is a Los Angeles institution. Burnt to the ground in the 1992 riots that reached right into Beverly Grove, it rose like a phoenix and has expanded to five additional locations throughout California. The Fairfax store remains the flagship. They do sales, rentals, rentals with an option to buy and, of course, repairs. Not only that, they also offer dozens of classes, from intro level to advanced. Buy a camera there, get a free lesson. That's one thing you don't get when you buy online.
Credit: Hillel Aron