My Breakup Letter to Canon

Gear Opinion Originals
My Breakup Letter to Canon

Dear Canon,

I am so sorry the time has come. It is time for us to part ways, unfortunately. But it’s not me, it’s you.

You see, I put my faith in you from the beginning. With my first full-frame camera and a nifty fifty, I put my trust in you. My optimism, my craft — honed and created with your product in your hand.

And you served me well. At least for a while. But as I kept leveling up in my photography business, I leveled up my Canon products as well. Or at least I thought I did. That was my intention — my hope. And I thought I was putting my money where my mouth and mind were. I thought.

Then came the difficult years. The tumultuous period. We were not at the seven-year stretch of our marriage in which we first started having problems. No, it started much earlier than that. Too early. I should have seen the warning signs.

I put my faith in your brand new SLR, complete with two memory card slots, 30+ megapixels, massively improved ISO system, and more. I was smitten. Like any new relationship, or upgrade, I was giddy. I had that new-joy feeling, heightened especially when it is accompanied by top-of-the-line glass — an L-series that my favorite photographers swore by. The best in the business for Canon to get close to my film work. And a pretty chunk of change, too.

And then the little problems started here and there. Missed focus. Extra grain at low ISOs. For a while, I thought it was user error. I thought I was moving too fast, my adrenaline caused me to bump settings or back-button focus on the wrong spot. But these things kept happening. And happening. 

I knew something was up. Thankful for a CPS membership, I was eager to find a gap in my schedule to send in my gear. Putting my faith in UPS to safely get it to a maintenance facility, I prayed for its safe return. And safely it did return. But with a hefty bill for “adjustments” and “fixes” that did not make it clear what was actually wrong. And another charge for “calibration” of the two together, something I assumed would be included with my membership perks. I guess not.

And things were good. We had recovered from our relationship spat for some time. But then it started happening again. Questioning myself as a photographer became a regular habit. And let me tell you, it is not fun to feel like you are the crazy one in the relationship — the one that is failing the other. Trust me.

But it was not me. And around that same time, a dear friend of mine broke up with you. She said, “Adios,” in the middle of wedding season and jumped to Sony. And she never looked back.

My mind filled with doubt. Was there something better out there? Was it me? Or was it you? Checking the balance on my bank account helped me settle with the fact that the problems were probably me. After all, a switch would be costly no matter which way you look at it.

And for some time, I let it go on like this. I let me be the problem child. I examined my film scans and silently wondered, how could I nail back-button focus on a vintage film camera on one shot of film, but it takes 10 of the same shots of a bride and groom on digital at f/4 to ensure one is in focus? Something did not add up.

So I entrusted your leadership again to check if something was wrong. Additional charges for additional adjustments. And that tipped the scale.

One day, I was culling my second shooter’s photos from bridal party pairs. At f/2.2, both ladies were dead in focus — it was something I would have to shoot 4 or more times at f/2.8 to ensure I got the shot. She did not have to take an exorbitant amount of photos to ensure she got the shot. She had faith in her camera (something I had been lacking for some time).

I persisted a little more. A pandemic, like most, set back any goals of upgrading for some time. But then I hit my breaking point. And I did it. On vacation, in the middle of the pandemic, I hit, “Purchase.” I switched over. And my life has never been the same.

One micro-wedding later, and I am a head over heels believer in the switch — that if something is not working for you, make a change. Do what your gut tells you. My gut told me over a year ago, and I did not listen. I let Canon drag me around, convince me I was the problem, take some extra money, and give me a massive headache and feelings of disappointment on the regular.

But how could you switch on the eve of Canon’s newest mirrorless release? It is simple. I was done. I had enough. I knew I was worth gear I could trust. I use my energy and optimism for waiting for film scans. I do not need to have the same passively waiting anxiety to see if my digitals are in focus. Nope. That is not what digital photography is about.

After all, when you invest so much into a relationship, you expect some in return. And Canon was not doing that. It did not matter that they were coming back with flashy promises of a brighter future together. The price tag, combined with bad timing, made me feel “too little too late.” So I said goodbye. And it was hard, do not get me wrong. But it was so worth it.

Goodbye Canon. It was nice knowing you.

Hello, Sony. Let’s build a future (and a career) together. I am looking forward to our potential together because I know it is going to be good.

Much love (well, wavering), 

A Photographer Who Wasted Too Much Time on Canon 

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