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About National Camera Exchange & Video

Family owned since 1914, National Camera Exchange is the premier dealer of new and used photographic equipment in the Midwest. From digital cameras to camcorders to an extensive selection of accessories, we stock everything you need. Whether you're an amateur or a professional, you can count on the experienced staff at any of our six locations to provide unparalleled, personalized attention.


In addition to offering the largest inventory of photographic equipment in the Midwest, we showcase a wide variety of camcorders and video accessories. That’s not to mention our extensive assortment of binoculars, which is one of the largest selections in the Midwest. And National Camera Exchange has the largest selection of used and collectible cameras and lenses in the Midwest! Visit our website at to view the latest selection. One visit and you’ll see why National Camera Exchange is your one stop shop for products and services related to photography, video and sports optics.


But our commitment to service dictates that National Camera Exchange is more than just an extensive selection of products at competitive prices. That’s why we provide services including professional quality photofinishing, video transfer, and a complete wedding portrait department. And it’s why we offer free classes with any camera or camcorder purchase to help you learn how to use your equipment.


Please contact us with any questions you may have. We're here to help!


Service sets us apart


The philosophy of providing exceptional customer service that Herman Liss used to found National Camera Exchange in 1914 continues to set us apart from our competitors today. Whenever you visit any of our stores or turn to our expert staff for assistance, you can expect to get personalized attention, solid advice, and honest answers.


Beyond the extensive product offering and competitive pricing you’ll find at National Camera Exchange, our staff is comprised entirely of courteous professionals who are knowledgeable and passionate about photography. Together, they take pride in helping you choose the new or used equipment that's right for you.


This unique approach to customer service led to the creation of our valued photo and video classes. From basic introductory lessons to specialty lectures, these classes are designed to help you get the most enjoyment from your equipment. Purchase any camera or camcorder, and we’ll give you two FREE tickets, good for four admissions (a $160 value), to attend the class of your choice. Visit our class section for a complete listing and schedule.


Based on our unyielding dedication to service, National Camera Exchange is the proud recipient of the 2000 Better Business Bureau Integrity Award, which recognizes our high standards of business ethics and conduct.




More than 96 years ago, Herman Liss opened a store in downtown Minneapolis with one used camera and a promise to treat customers with respect and dignity. As the current president and third generation owner of National Camera Exchange, Jon Liss remains true to the same service commitment his grandfather and father applied to every phase of business; while continuing to expand the products, services, and store locations his company offers.


See how National Camera Exchange has been a part of photographic history:


1826 - Joseph Nicephore Niepce produces the first photographic image using a sheet of pewter covered with bitumen of Judea, an asphalt that is hardened when exposed to light. The exposure time was eight full hours which was long enough for the sun to move across the sky and light both sides of his courtyard.


1839 - True beginnings of commercial photography take shape as Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre creates the daguerreotype method of picture-taking using iodine-treated silver plates to make them light sensitive. The exposed plate was then developed using mercury vapors.


1888 - The original Kodak camera was introduced by George Eastman. The camera and leather carrying case originally sold for $25...two weeks wages for the average worker of that time.


1912 - Oskar Barnack develops the Ur-Leica camera in Germany, the first camera to use 35mm perforated motion picture film.


1914 - Herman Liss opens the first National Camera Exchange store in downtown Minneapolis and dedicates his business to customer service.


1940 - Morton Liss assumes management of National Camera Exchange and brings a new dimension to the exceptional service provided by his father. Morton pledges to have a complete inventory in stock at all times.


1948 - Swede Victor Hasselblad introduces the 1600F model which was one of the first modular single lens reflex cameras to produce medium format size (2 1/4 X 2 1/4 inches).


1955 - Nikon introduces the Nikon F single lens reflex camera which makes Nikon a manufacturer of choice for many professional and advanced amateur photographers, a reputation that still exists today.


1958 - Minolta offers the AutoWide, the first 35mm lens shutter with a built-in coupled CdS exposure meter.


1978 - Jon Liss becomes president and the third generation in his family to operate National Camera Exchange according to an unwavering commitment to the customer.


1981 - The present National Camera Exchange downtown location opens.


1985 - The Minolta Maxxum 7000 SLR changes photography by integrating Auto Focus on a 35mm SLR. This same year, National Camera Exchange establishes new headquarters in Golden Valley that serves as home to administrative offices, retail space, a photofinishing lab, warehouse space, repair center and training departments.


1993-1999 - National Camera Exchange stores are added in Burnsville, Roseville, and Edina to better serve the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.


2000 - National Camera Exchange receives the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award for business practices that exemplify the highest standards of business ethics and conduct.


2005 – National Camera Exchange opened a beautiful new store in Maple Grove.

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