I had a few questions regarding why I mark off the Canon logos on my camera gear based on the video I posted earlier today with Marc Silber. I thought I’d explain that here in a new post.
In 2007 I had the tremendous honor of having my portrait taken by photographer Bill Wadman as part of his 365 Portraits series. Bill’s project involved shooting and posting in the same day a different portrait every day for an entire year. Bill is one of the best portrait photographers working in the business today, and in addition to my shot (which is probably my most favorite shot anyone’s ever taken of me) Bill shot a number of amazing people, including folks like astronaut Buzz Aldrin and CNN commentator Tucker Carlson. If you missed this series back in 2007 you should definitely check it out for some truly inspirational portrait work.
Anyways, when I met Bill I noticed that he had all the Canon logos on his gear taped off with black tape. I asked Bill why he did that and he said for two reasons, 1. Because he wanted to make his camera gear look less expensive (and hopefully less interesting to steal) and 2. Because, what had Canon ever done for him and why should he give them free advertising.
And so those are probably the exact same reasons why I do that now myself. I’ve had two Canon cameras stolen now — A 5D and a 10D. I know that some people will steal anything, but I think a big Canon or Nikon logo on your gear only makes it that much more of a target. By changing my Canon strap for a plain black one and taping off (with black electrical tape) all of the logos, hopefully this makes me and my camera less of a target. I taped off the red rings on my L series lenses where I could as well. I’d rather be incognito than look like the hot shot photographer.
Secondly I got kind of pissed at Canon over the whole release of the Canon 5D Mark 2 and especially felt after that why should I walk around every day advertising their product on my body. I shoot all the time and so that’s a lot of free advertising for them. I was pissed because I had such a hard time getting a hold of a 5D M2.
Originally I talked to Canon back in July of 2008 at the Microsoft Pro Photography Summit and asked if there was any way that I could get a review copy ahead of the release so that I could write a review on it. Not a free one mind you, just a loaner, like any other member of the press, that I could use to write a review in the same way that newspapers, magazines, and everyone else does. Canon told me that they didn’t do that sort of thing which was fine I guess. Although I’m pretty sure that some people got them based on the early reviews and press on the product.
So I did the next best thing and I got on a preorder list ahead of the release (which was slated for the end of November 2008) — but come early December I still hadn’t gotten mine. I was pissed because I saw all of these other reviews being published and I wanted to publish one myself and couldn’t get my hands on one to review. So I contacted Canon and basically said look I want to write a review. Is there any way I can get a review copy or can you at least help me out and point me where I can get one of these? I felt I’d done everything right by preordering and yet still was not getting the camera to review.
Canon responded saying that I should probably expect my preorder from Wolf soon because a new shipment had just been sent to them. So I didn’t get my 5D Mark 2 in the next week. In fact I didn’t get it until over a month later from an entirely different vendor in January. What was worse though is that Canon just blew me off. After I sent them multiple emails they simply never responded to repeated additional emails on the situation.
I want to be clear I didn’t want special treatment here. I felt that as a blogger with a prominent photography blog that I should be treated like any other member of the press. But if they couldn’t provide me a review copy then I’d hoped that they could at least point me in the right direction where I could buy one so that I could review it. You’d think publicity would be good.
The fact of the matter is Canon doesn’t give a rats ass about social media or bloggers. Their PR and marketing team are happy to treat the mainstream press well but view the sort of stuff we are doing as insignificant. So that made me mad too and probably contributed all the more to my not wanting to advertise their product.
Even though I use my Canon 5D Mark 2 every single day and love it, I have no interest in promoting their products. I never did write my review on their new camera, because what’s the point in writing a review in January on a camera that came out last November?
So those are the reasons why I black off the Canon logos on my gear and they are the same reasons that I tell to everyone who asks me (and I get people asking me about it every single week). Hopefully someday Canon decides that our opinion on their products matter.