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February 20, 2012


Is Canon All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

by Darren Stone


I know. I know. Canon is awesome. My EOS-5D Mark II is one of the best cameras I’ve ever owned and my EOS-7D is spiffy.

But…… I’ve purchased and used over $50,000 worth of Canon gear in the last ten years, including every 1D model made and here’s why I think Canon isn’t the bee’s knees anymore.

1- Innovation- Professional DSLR’s have remained in photo limbo. The bodies are essentially EOS -1 film bodies. Still lots of buttons to push. Sometimes you have to hold two buttons at once! Inside they’re full of Willy Wonka firmware (can you give me an error 99?) and awkward menu systems. Innovation has been limited to  making the display screens bigger, zooming the ISO speed to 1,278,560 or something like that, and oh ya…video.

2- 1D build quality- Has gone down….down….down. Starting with the infamous EOS1D Mark III, the “camera that couldn’t focus.” The EOS1D Mark IV  the paper bought recently had the lens release button fall off. That’s right….fall off. But that’s okay. The horizontal shutter button stopped working the next day. Kind of funny because we have 6 DCS 520’s. They ALL still work perfectly.

3- CPS- I used to be a CPS (Canon Pro Service) member. It was free if you were a “real” pro. And  you could get stuff fixed cheaply and fast. A year ago Canon cancelled this program (ironically it’s still called CPS) deciding to allow every Tom, Dick to Harry with a couple of 40D’s to join. For an annual fee.

4- The lenses- Are almost exactly the same as they were ten years ago. Especially the glass. Very little innovation there. And the lenses are stuck to the archaic DSLR template. Especially if your lens release button fell off. Although the build quality on the lenses stills seems okay.

5- Software- Canon has no useable software. If you can’t write code….. how can you innovate inside the hardware?

6- Price- Computers, HDTV’s and most electronics have plummeted in price over the past 10 years. 1D’s? Not really. They’ve been priced at $4500-$5500 all decade. The upcoming 1DX is going to come in at $6800!!!!! Compare that to your baseline 2001 Powerbook G3 $3500 and a new Macbook Pro $1400.

Well….. that was kind of a rant. I should subtitle this into a Hitler video on YouTube.

To be fair, Canon has lots going for it, but it certainly isn’t Apple. Apple figures out what we want. Then they keep making it lighter, simpler,cheaper and faster. That’s why Apple is cornering the point and shoot market with the iPhone. And oh ya, Apple has amazing customer service.

If Apple uses some of it’s billions in cash to develop an iCamera…… I’m afraid Canon will be in danger of going the way of Kodak.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 20 2012

    Join the dark side! Go Pentax!

    All kidding aside, you might send this to Canon’s CEOs. Who knows, maybe they’ll actually read it.

  2. Feb 20 2012

    The price thing has really confused me. In the past few years I’ve gotten an interest in learning to take photos, but when looking up the price of cameras and especially lens I’m left thinking “Okay, so my macbook does 10,000 different things, and this lens does ONE, and the lens costs more?” I really don’t get it. Is it just across the board greed from camera companies, or is there an actual explanation like the glass can’t be made any cheaper than x or it must be assembled by hand and the labor costs x?

    • Feb 20 2012

      Excellent points! I really think it’s because they’re stuck with ten-year-old technology. And they don’t want to offend professionals by making their bag full of lenses obsolete. Although they cancelled CPS, so who knows what Canon thinks. They never ask!


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