Why I Mark Off the Canon Logos on My Camera Gear

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.

My Initial Thoughts on the Canon 5D Mark II After 24 Hours

I spent yesterday afternoon out shooting with my new Canon 5D Mark II and these are my earliest thoughts. I’ll probably do a series of short posts like this on the camera from time to time rather than any sort of formal review. I haven’t even processed any photos from the new camera yet or played with it’s video functionality so certainly more to come later.

The first thing I noticed about the new 5D is that it feels quieter to me. The sound of the shutter is very different than the old 5D, it sounds less mechanical and more muted. I like that.

The large LCD screen on the back of the camera is pretty cool. The photos feel really large as they display for the 2 seconds after you take a shot.

It is sooooooooo nice not to have to keep resetting my date/time over and over and over and over again. The internal battery on my old 5D died a while back and so every time I’d change batteries I’d have to reset the date and time. I tried taking the camera to a camera battery store but they didn’t seem to have a battery that would work with my old 5D and I was too lazy to do the research to find the actual replacement.

I find that I’m taking less shots when I’m out shooting. I think it’s more mental at this point but something about seeing only 250 or so shots on an 8 gig card makes me pause more when I decide whether or not to take a shot or how many to take. It’s not just about the room on the card, in the back of my mind I’m also thinking about the fact that larger file sizes will just be all around more difficult to work with. They’ll take longer to transfer to my Mac. They’ll take up more space on my Mac’s hard drive. Eventually they’ll consume more space on my Drobo. Bigger files are likely going to be slower to work with in Lightroom, etc. I think that this is still mostly just an early mental thing going on in my head that should resolve itself in time. I did notice yesterday though that I took less photographs in four hours than I usually do and I seemed to think more about my shots. Who knows, maybe this is a good thing too.

I like the new menu on the Mark II better than the old 5D. It seems more intuitive and you scroll through the screens easier.

A few times while working with the camera I accidentally pushed the delete button when I meant to push the play button. The play and delete buttons are pretty close to each other. I’m not too worried about this because you have to confirm photo deletion but it seemed like maybe these two buttons should be further away from each other.

That’s all for now. No real opinion on the image quality yet because I haven’t processed any images from it. I’m heading out to shoot a bit more this afternoon with it and will continue to post thoughts on the camera as I think about them.

Thank You Helen Oster and Adorama, My Canon 5D, Mark II Arrives

I just spent a few minutes unboxing my new Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR that I bought from the good folks at Adorama.

I’m charging the battery on the puppy and will take it out this afternoon to play with it a bit.

I had a heck of a time getting my hands on one of these hot new cameras and while it’s probably too late for any serious review, I’m sure I’ll be posting my thoughts and reflections on the camera over the next few months here and various other places.

I wanted to especially say thanks to Adorama who was finally able to get me a camera after Wolf Camera pretty seriously botched my pre-order in my opinion. I initially wrote sort of a mean post about Adorama when I thought my camera wasn’t going to come through, but they really stepped up and got the camera for me as advertised. Wolf not only didn’t handle my pre-order well in my opinion, but they also botched up other pre-orders pretty badly as well. I’m not going to get into the details here yet, but I’ve heard from other people that their experience in getting Mark II’s from Wolf were problematic as well.

More than just getting the camera for me though, once Adorama was aware that I thought I had a problem with my order, within hours they contacted me and gave it immediate attention. This sort of customer support is refreshing and shows that Adorama takes social media and their brand very seriously. Specifically, Helen Oster does a great job for Adorama in monitoring their brand reputation on the internet. Helen contacted me personally on my order both by phone and email. Helen also has a good reputation of focusing on various online forums and other places online looking for ways to offer customer service for Adorama. Other companies would do well to have a Helen Oster on their staff who so carefully looks after Adorama’s reputation.

I’m excited to finally have the Canon 5D Mark II in my hands and am looking forward to what it can do — especially given that my old 5D is completely dead at this point. I’m going to be sending my old 5D into Mackcam.com who I bought a 3-year warranty from on the camera in the next few days and then once it is repaired I’m planning on using it as a back up camera for my new 5D Mark II.

The Digital Picture Photo Forum Deleting “Anti Canon” Posts

Karel Donk ? Blog Archive ? The-Digital-Picture.com deletes ďanti-CanonĒ post about the EOS 5D Mark II

Karel Donk, who recently wrote up a post detailing some of the quality control problems with the new Canon 5D Mark II, found that when he posted on his post at a new photo forum called the-digital-picture.com that his post was deleted by Bryan Carnathan, the guy who apparently runs the forum, saying that he’d rather not have “anti-Canon” posts in his forums.

As I really hate censorship, it looks like this won’t be a forum that I’ll be checking out.

Apparently Donk’s been banned from the forums at DPReview as well after questioning Canon there in the past.

I’ve been following my own Canon 5D Mark II tracking information with UPS and it looks like it arrived in Oakland last night and is scheduled for delivery on Monday. Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will show up tomorrow for the weekend. Thank much to the good folks at Adorama for getting me one!

Karel Donk: “Canon 5D Mark II: Barely Worth It”

Karel Donk – Blog Archive — Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Barely worth it!:

“Canon has really lost it. It wasnít so long that I wrote why they have lost it, and it seems that they continue to take hit after hit, not only from the competition, but from their own mistakes as well. Itís one thing to be given a hard time by the competition, but itís completely different to be screwing up your own products. It appears that Canon simply do not learn from their mistakes.”

Karl Donk is not impressed with the new Canon 5D Mark II or with the direction that Canon is going. The Fake Chuck Westfall provides an officially unofficial update on some of the early problems with the new camera, adding that the 50D is f***ed.

Personally I don’t have much of an opinion on the new 5D Mark II camera other than I’m sort of pissed that when Canon said that this camera would ship at the end of November, here it is at Christmas and mine is still backordered when I preordered it in the first place.

Canon does at least in this regard seems to have screwed up from a business perspective. Manufacturing a hot new camera and then timing it to ship in November ahead of the Christmas Holiday seems smart. But then not having any of the cameras available for actual purchase by Christmas seems, well, sort of stupid.

An Interview With Wolf Camera on the New Canon 5D Mark II, A Thomas Hawk Exclusive

New Canon 5D Mark II Interview With Wolf Camera, a Thomas Hawk Exclusive

The names have been partially redacted to protect the innocent.

Please wait while we find an agent to assist you…

You have been connected to Carol XXXXXX.

Carol XXXXXX: Hi Thomas Hawk! Welcome to live help at WolfCamera.com

Thomas Hawk: Hey Carol. How’s tricks in Clevland?

Carol XXXXXX: Can you please confirm name and address on the order?
Thomas Hawk: sure thing. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXX, San Francisco, CA 94111

Carol XXXXXX: Thank you.

Thomas Hawk: You’re very welcome Carol.

Thomas Hawk: Hello? Carol? You still there?

Carol XXXXXX: Yes Thomas.

Thomas Hawk: whew. Thought I lost you there for a second.

Carol XXXXXX: Everything is fine with your order and the item that you have order is in back order.

Thomas Hawk: back order you say, bummer, I was hoping to have this camera by Christmas.

Carol XXXXXX: And we are expecting this item to be back to stock in another 1-2 weeks or even earlier then that.

Thomas Hawk: one to two weeks? Aye Caramba. Even though this is a preorder?

Thomas Hawk: It seems like everybody else on the interwebs are getting Canon 5D Mark II’s for Christmas except Thomas Hawk, what gives?

Carol XXXXXX: Yes this is a pre-order.

Thomas Hawk: right.

Thomas Hawk: So originally I pre-ordered this puppy because Chuck Westfall said they’d be shipping new 5D Mark II’s at the end of November.

Thomas Hawk: what happened with that?

Carol XXXXXX: Well we do not have much information regarding this but once the item will back to stock it will shipped out to you as soon as possible.

Thomas XXXXXX: Ok, but before you guys told me that you anticipated shipping on Dec. 4th. Do you think that this is more Canon’s problem or Wolf’s?

Thomas Hawk: obviously it didn’t ship on Dec. 4th of course, I’m just saying. That’s what date you all gave me before.

Thomas Hawk: sounds like we may need to get Jerry Yang involved over there to straghten things out around there.

Thomas Hawk: Do you shoot with a Canon by the way, or do you think Nikons are better?

Thomas Hawk: hello Carol, you still there?

Carol XXXXXX: Actually, both the cameras are beast.

Carol XXXXXX: ” best”.

Thomas Hawk: beast? Haha, are you sure you don’t mean beast? That 5D is a beast to lug around, but I love it anyways. It takes good photos of the kids and all you know.

Thomas Hawk: So what do you say, what happened to the Dec. 4th ship date?

Thomas Hawk: I really wanted to have this puppy by Christmas. I’m heading down to Los Angeles to shoot a bunch of neon signs and I’d much rather be shooting them on a new 5D Mark II than my lousy old 5D if you know what I mean.

Carol XXXXXX: Yes I do understand your problem Thomas.

Thomas Hawk: It’s a pickle of a problem I’d say.

Thomas Hawk: Who should I blame more, Canon or Wolf?

Carol XXXXXX: Its not a Wolf problem because we are depended upon our manufacturer.

Thomas Hawk: Exactly. That’s what I was thinking to myself while you were typing. That and I was wondering if I was going to go with bacon or sausage with my hot cakes this morning. I blame Canon. I’m sure we wouldn’t be having these sorts of problems if Jerry Yang was running the show over there.

Thomas Hawk: But you guys told me you anticipated shipping back on Dec. 4th. What happened with that date?

Thomas Hawk: I chose bacon by the way in case you were wondering. Bacon ROCKS!

Carol XXXXXX: We are sorry for all the inconveniences caused to you and sincerely apologize on this.

Thomas Hawk: I appreciate that Carol.

Carol XXXXXX: Thank you Thomas.

Thomas Hawk: So I’ve got to wait another 2 weeks for this baby? Seriously. I wanted to do a blog review on it but by the time I get it everyone will already have one and I’ll look lame for being the last guy to get one and write about it, no, Thank YOU Carol, seriously. ūüėČ

Thomas Hawk: Two weeks is a long time in internet years Carol. Plus, you guys already told me once, (not your fault, I’m just sayin) that this camera would be shipping on Dec. 4th and we all know what happened to that date. How do you know I’m really going to get the camera now in the next two weeks? Maybe this baby won’t show up until April.

Thomas Hawk: Have you seen what they’re going for on eBay by the way, it’s criminal!

Carol XXXXXX: Really I am sorry for all the inconvenience that cause you Thomas.

Thomas Hawk: I know, it’s rough. I like your picture on the little “live chat” with a customer service rep button by the way.

Thomas Hawk: So anyways, back to the point, what makes you so sure I’ll have this camera within the next two weeks?

Thomas Hawk: Hey also by the way, what do you think is a better service Twitter or FriendFeed and you’re not allowed to so that they are both the best like you did about Canon and Nikon.

Carol XXXXXX: Okay Thomas, I cannot assure you the exact time as this item is not in stock.

Thomas Hawk: But the two week thingy, is that from the manufacturer or just a guess mostly?

Carol XXXXXX: Yes it is the estimated time given by our manufacturer.

Thomas Hawk: yeah see that’s the thing, just that Westfall guy says end of Novemeber. And *then* you guys say Dec 4th (totally their fault) and now your saying *two more weeks* Jimminey Christmas! I may not see this thing until Spring Break. And you never answered the which service is better FriendFeed or Twitter by the way.

Carol XXXXXX: Well, if you are interested in Nikon then you can go for Nikon as this camera is also one of the best camera and customer top rated camera.

Thomas Hawk: YES! Carol. I like the way you think. I mean this whole Canon not getting here by Christmas thing could be a *huge* coup for Nikon wouldn’t you say?

Thomas Hawk: I mean, I’m sure lots of frustrated bloggers are out there that Canon doesn’t give two licks about. Maybe it actually is time to make the old switcherooski to Nikon. I think they’re at least better than the Sonys don’t you?

Thomas Hawk: wouldn’t you agree Carol that the Nikons are much better than the Sonys?

Thomas Hawk: and by the way, if you need a nudge going one way or the other, I’d say FriendFeed is far better service than Twitter.

Carol XXXXXX: Yes I agree with you Thomas.
Thomas Hawk: but you know the only thing is Carol I can’t use a Nikon body with my Canon lenses. I tell you it’s like a speed trap, they get you every time with that one.

Thomas Hawk: I know you’re trying to wiggle out of that FriendFeed vs. Twitter question.

Thomas Hawk: Ok, forget about Twitter vs. FriendFeed, how about this one. What’s better Microsoft or Apple?

Carol XXXXXX: I think Apple is better then microsoft.

Thomas Hawk: Good answer Carol, the kids on digg are so going to love you. I’m more of a dual household kind of guy myself there. I use a Mac mostly, but I think the Windows Media Center Platform is better than Apple TV so you might say I’m sorta bi-polar that way.

Thomas Hawk: did you think my pick about bacon was better than the sausage?

Thomas Hawk: I still haven’t had breakfast by the way so it’s not too late to change my mind at least on that. It’s 5 am here in California so I’ve still got a few hours to solidify that choice.

Thomas Hawk: I’m uploading shots in the background to Flickr by the way while we’re chatting. You want to see my Flickrstream?

Carol XXXXXX: Yes .

Thomas Hawk: awesome. Here I’ll send you a link first to all of my photos that are rated 10 faves or higher. Tell me if you think they’re good. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/sets/72157600097882463/

Carol XXXXXX: Really its great Thomas.

Thomas Hawk: Thank you Carol. I try a bit, but now you can see why I need that new 5D Mark II, something about my photography just seems off these days without it if you know what I mean.

Carol XXXXXX: Yes I do understand that.

Thomas Hawk: I don’t think those guys at Canon really sorted this thing out so well when they said that they’d be shipping these things in November.

Thomas Hawk: I totally don’t blame you or Wolf by the way Carol.

Thomas Hawk: I’d say you and I are on the same side on this one. Which photograph did you like most that you saw on my flickrstream by the way?

Carol XXXXXX: I am invoice.

Thomas Hawk: you’re invoice? What does that mean?

Carol XXXXXX: Each and every photograph is awesome.

Thomas Hawk: Carol you always say the best things. Thank you for the compliment.

Carol XXXXXX: It was my pleasure Thomas Hawk,

Carol XXXXXX: Is there anything else I may help you with?

Thomas Hawk: I like how you use my full name there, it’s sounds professional. Alright, no, I’ve totally taken too much of your time already. I appreciate the offer for additional help though. You have yourself an amazing and awesome day Carol.

Thomas Hawk: You can call me Tom though.

Thomas Hawk: I hope I get you the next time I chat on this thing by the way.

Carol XXXXXX: It was my pleasure to chat with you Tom.

Carol XXXXXX: Thank you for visiting WolfCamera.com. Please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

Thomas Hawk: It’s hard to say goodbye, but at this point I’m afraid we must. Bye Carol.

Carol XXXXXX: Goodbye and have a wonderful day!

Carol XXXXXX: Please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

Thomas Hawk: definitely I will to both! Bye again.

Carol XXXXXX: Thank you Tom, bye have a great day!

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Maybe when I chat back at them tomorrow I’ll see what they can tell me about the black spot artifact problems the new 5D’s have been having.