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Is Amazon Prime worth it? 6 key benefits for photographers

How to get the most out of your Amazon Prime membership

Amazon Prime Day 2018 is one week away. For 36 hours, thousands of Prime Day deals will go live for subscribers from noon on Monday 16th July until midnight on Tuesday 17th.

Get a 30-day free Amazon Prime trial

But how worthwhile is a Prime membership for photographers? We’ve put together a list of six key member benefits so you can weigh up whether it’s right for you. 

(And the good news is that you don’t have to be a member to take advantage of Prime Day. If you sign-up for a 30-day free trial before 16 July, you can access all the Prime Day deals without paying any subscription fees – just make sure you cancel before the 30 days are up.)

Amazon Prime in a nutshell

The most important thing to know about Amazon Prime is that members get first access to Amazon’s best deals, together with one-hour deliveries and unlimited access to a huge library of films, TV shows, music and books.

You can subscribe monthly for $12.99/£7.99 per month (or $6.49/£3.99 for students), or you can opt for an annual subscription of $119/£79 per year, which is cheaper than paying monthly. 

So are the benefits worth more than the costs? To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of the best Prime perks for photographers…

1. Instant Prime shipping

One of the headline benefits of Amazon Prime is its upgraded shipping options. Subscribers can get free one-day delivery on millions of items, with same-day delivery available in certain areas; if you order at lunchtime, you’ll get your delivery by evening. Alternatively, when you absolutely need the product there and then, you can use Amazon’s Prime Now service to receive your order as quickly as one hour after placing it. 

This all means that you can have a new camera or photography accessory in your hands incredibly quickly – handy if you’ve broken or misplaced a key bit of kit at a crucial time. And if you’re not in a rush, there are special offers for Prime customers who choose ‘no-rush shipping’.

2. Unlimited Photo Storage in the Cloud

Prime Photos gives members secure unlimited photo storage, without lowering resolution or quality of images. It’s especially useful when you need to free up space on your phone and it’s available anywhere, which means that you can upload, download, view and manage your photos from your desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

3. Unlimited movie and music streaming

Aside from super-fast delivery, two other headline features of the service are Prime Video – which gives you unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows – and Prime Music, which lets you stream a growing selection of over two million songs. 

You don’t need Wi-Fi, either. If you know you’re going offline, you can download songs and movies onto your mobile devices and watch them on the go, which is particularly helpful when you’re travelling. 

4. Prime Reading

Prime members get free access to over a thousand books, magazines, comics, articles and more. The photography section isn’t huge yet – so far we can see the Kindle version of Lonely Planet's Beautiful World for free at the moment, and very little else – but Amazon is refreshing it each month, so we’d expect to see more at some point in the future.

Read more: The cheapest full-frame cameras right now

More usefully, there are all manner of travel guides (think Lonely Planet) and a huge range of fiction options for long journeys, too. Each month, Prime members can also download six editor’s picks for free before the official publication date.

You don’t even need a Kindle to read them, just the Kindle app, which you can get for iPad, iPhone, Android, PC, Mac and Fire tablet.

5. Exclusive phone discounts

Prime Exclusive Phones carries a rotating selection of popular mobile phones that are usually priced lower than you'd pay elsewhere – and regularly go on sale for even less. They’re all sold unlocked, and although you'll see an Amazon widget in the OS, it's easily removed.

6. Early access to lightning deals 

Amazon often runs Lightning deals, which last for a limited amount of time or while supplies last. Prime subscribers get access to those deals 30 minutes ahead of non-subscribers – so if you're a subscriber, you can get a real head-start.

And don't forget: we'll be bringing you all the best Amazon Prime Day deals for photographers on the 16th and 17th July. If you decide membership isn't right for you, simply sign up for a 30-day free trial and you can get your hands on those deals too. 

Read more: Amazon Prime Day 2018: how photographers can get the best Amazon Prime deals

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