Camera companies: Do better

I’ve stayed silent about the industry’s shortcomings too long. It’s time to speak up.

by | Jul 9, 2020 | Business, Gear

Today, Canon announced its biggest products of the decade, the EOS R5 and R6. Yes, I realize this decade began only a few months ago, but still. These two cameras plot a bold new course for Canon’s EOS R line and raise the bar for the full-frame mirrorless segment.

But I have one big problem: the lousy press pictures. I mean, just look at this:

Very boring product photo on white background

The 1995 B&H catalog called

As a technology journalist covering the camera industry, time after time, press release after press release, I’m forced to write stories about product announcements for which the company has provided zero good photos. Let me remind you: Canon is a camera company. I don’t know what industry could possibly have it easier when it comes to producing high-quality studio or lifestyle product images.

And Canon is not alone. Nikon is just as bad, and Sony is but one step above (it provided one lifestyle image with its recent lens announcement). Fujifilm and Leica — of course Leica — tend to be better. But every non-camera company already seems to have figured this out, and I simply can’t understand why the people who make the things that take the pictures choose to unveil their own products using generic white cutouts. They could literally let an engineer photograph the camera sitting on a desk and it would be an improvement. It costs nothing. There are no excuses.

Instead, take a look at what I have to work with. Even for a white cutout, this is bad. 3M could introduce a new adhesive and it would come with a better picture than this.

Surround yourself with positive people, but negative space

Help me help you, Canon. Good images get more clicks, and when that happens, you and I both win. We’re in this together, so let’s not let each other down.

(Alternately, you could send me new cameras ahead of time — I’ll sign an NDA, don’t worry — and I’ll take product pictures for you. For free. You know, like you do for for DPReview. I’m not bitter. Not at all.)

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