Today was one of the happiest days I’ve had in the last 3 years of working at Canon USA. For the first time in almost 3 years, I was able to answer the phone and check my email and hear only praise and compliments from happy and excited customers. At the end of the day I sat behind my desk, my eyes filled with tears, and I actually felt that all the hard work we’ve all been doing here is starting to pay off. Those crazy bastards in Japan are finally starting to listen to us! I’m writing this with tears rolling down my cheeks. I’m sorry to get all emotional here on my blog, but most of you know what I’ve been through for the last couple of months, how depressed I’ve been, and now I’m finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. And the reason?
It started with all those fuckup notices being released by Canon all of a sudden, even for the 3 year old and obsolete EOS 5D. It looked like they realized in Japan that they had a lot to make up to all of us. And now, they’ve actually listened and are going to release a new firmware update for the 5D Mark II which will enable manual exposure control in video mode – a feature that many of our customers have been asking for ever since the release of the camera last year. This move surprised everyone and has gotten everyone very excited. Not only because of the actual feature that’s going to be released in the new firmware, but also because of the goodwill that Canon is displaying by doing this. This is the Canon I have always known, the Canon I joined and have worked for for all those years.
We’ve managed to piss so many people off in the last few years, it’s just unbelievable. That’s why we have people like my pal Thomas Hawk walking around with their Canon gear with all the Canon logos covered with black tape. Like he explains on his website, he got so pissed at us recently over the 5D Mark II that he decided he’s not going to walk around advertising our products anymore. And who can blame the guy? It’s still difficult to get a 5D Mark II today! Even the goddamn battery for it is not available anywhere. We’ve recently launched two new tilt-shift lenses as well, but guess what? You can’t actually find one anywhere.
So there is still a lot to be done, still a huge mess to clean up, and a lot to fix, believe me. And even though I’m more hopeful now than I’ve been for a long time, we’re in a time right now when the competition is becoming more and more frightening to us. And I think that this is one of the reasons why the old farts at Canon Inc. are starting to do something about all the issues we’ve been having.
They’ve still not managed to stabilize the situation at Canon Inc. in Japan, which I reported about earlier. After my update, Pentax announced the K7 camera, sending Maeda into intensive care, and we learned that Sony is now in the final stages of preparations for the launch of an A500 and/or A550 camera. And so is Nikon for their D400, which according to the information I have, is going to cast a very big and dark shadow over our release of the 60D later this year. But until that happens, I’m going to enjoy these precious moments we’re having right now.
Finally I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Bryan Carnathan of the-Digital-Picture.com with his daughter getting published on the cover at the age of… 10. She was using a Canon Powershot S400. And that’s a pretty good picture too. Now, when you see this, you undoubtedly start to think. We had a discussion in the comments of the previous post about soccer moms now being able to take better pictures at an event with cheaper gear compared to pros with heavy and expensive gear, and I think the fact that today a kid at the age of 10 can take a picture using a relatively cheap point and shoot camera, that is worthy of a front cover, is something to start worrying about if you’re a pro photographer. Yeah, you’re probably laughing right now, but you won’t be laughing when you start to hear about Jeff Ascough losing a wedding to a 12 year old. And that will be roughly at the same time when John Harrington will publish an article on his blog, specifically targeting those kids, explaining to them the concept of “bad karma” and how it relates to photography. Meanwhile Ken Rockwell will update his website telling them why they should be shooting film instead. And when Dan Heller, shortly after that, publishes a 50 page essay on the subject on his blog, is when you’ll know it’s time to start applying for that job at Mc Donalds.