David DuPuy Photography, A Journey with Canon Gear and Service

A while ago I decided to take a journey with Canon cameras and lenses.  I figured that if my passion for photography eventually turned into a profession, it would be a good idea to align myself with one company with which I could grow. I was just starting out but I had gleaned enough info to understand that I wouldn’t need to buy new camera lenses as frequently as I would camera bodies.

And, as with any expensive or electronic product, it’s only as good as the company that stands behind it. So, I wanted a company that would guarantee quality and service. I knew just enough then, too, that Canon could provide that service during my journey, wherever it led me.  

I started out with a Canon point and shoot (I can’t remember the model) and grew into a 10D, a 17-40mm 4.0 and a 50mm1.4 lens, eventually picking up at 580EX flash, a 70-200mm 4.0 zoom lens and additional accessories.  It was a slow build of gear, keeping in mind the idea that when I left the point and shoot world, whatever I got should be able to transfer up to the next camera system.

As an amateur, or as I like to think of it, a Passionate Photographer, not yet earning money but loving the photographic image, I knew that in the rough and tumble of full contact street photography and even all-thumbs photography, there would be accidents. Someone had to stand behind my gear.  

Canon service was the answer.  I wasn’t one of the big boys yet but the excellent phone support (24/7 for CPS members by the way) for technical issues and glitches, and the repair centers, took care of me when I needed. I used the same service later for my home office printer and saw service on the office Canon copier at my day job, too.

I liked that Canon had their people here in the USA and that I was dealing directly with the manufacturer, and not an unrelated service center that handled many lines.  When you have someone on the phone, or a tech with a screwdriver who have decades of experience -- you know she or he has seen it all.  

I took the plunge into Canon Professional Services (CPS) when I went Pro (and I wish my bank account would have went Pro with me those first few years!) and got the Gold Membership.  I got my sensor cleaned at Photo Expo Plus that year and sent in my 17-40mm lens to be repaired.  

They also answered technical questions and helped me troubleshoot some issues with my camera, though my understanding turned out to be the main trouble -- not the camera.  But I am sure many of you can relate to the challenge of figuring out the menu system and capabilities of your new camera.  

The staff were always patient and professional, and I never got the feeling that they were trying to get me off the phone so they could make a “call quota” for the day.

It’s interesting to me that the service pros on the phone, whether they are helping general consumers or professional photographers, all sit on the same floor next to each other.  It makes sense that the Canon product line from end to end has the same standards of professionalism and knowledge, with no walls or floors between them.  

Now I use the Platinum service level.  For $300 I get a lot.  It was nice to get the Think Tank Sling Bag as a signing bonus!  I have sent in for a free sensor cleaning (and I get 9 more of those!), a lens to be repaired (my old 17-40mm which I am apparently abusing) with a 30% discount, and a 600EX-RT.  And since I don’t like shipping, the FedEx label to cover shipping they sent me covered both the logistics and the cost!

My Platinum status means I get Next Business Day Service so my equipment has a one day turnaround -- a new benefit for CPS members.  Canon repairs were fast in the past, but now they are blazing!  And since I shoot a lot now as a pro (I’ve stretched to 24 shoots in 24 days some months) getting my gear back ASAP is essential.  

And if it can’t be fixed quickly I can get a loaner to keep me up and running.  

But that is not the loaner that I love.  That is the Equipment Evaluation Loan, which I bet you don’t know about.  You will realize when you read this that it’s hard for me to let this cat out of the bag in case Canon shuts this part down from new overwhelming demand, but here goes...you can get a 10 day evaluation of any of Canon’s Professional gear, including some Cinema lenses.  I just had a shoot of apartment interiors for a property management’s model apartments and I evaluated the heck out of a Canon 5DSR and the 17-4-mm Tilt/Shift lens.  And more importantly, I evaluate my client to be very happy.

I want to thank Darren who stayed on the phone with me for just shy of an hour and a half answering a lot of questions and doing it all cheerfully and knowledgeably.  

Of course, my journey continues and I have dreams of one day needing Cinema support as my Canon C200 garners me new business and clients.   Same rules for this level of service but for Cinema products.  And who knows, maybe Enterprise level support in case I morph into a big-dog commercial studio, a rental house, school, or any large organization that requires lots of gear!  

So from my passion to my profession to my big dreams of next level achievement, I have relied on Canon gear. I have been able to start small and flame my passion with point and shoots and evolve into semi-pro equipment.   Now as a full time professional I especially need service quick and without compromise.  I knew from my early experiences with Canon Service, my professional service needs would be 100% taken care of.  And whether I stay a solo professional, add more cinema gear to my lineup or grow into a behemoth photo-monster institution, Canon Professional Service will be supporting me every step of the way.