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Canon USA – extreme price competition

You may well ask how any other maker can compete when Canon USA is offering – througn a reputable dealer like B&H – a bargain like this. Photoclubalpha has not covered other camera brands much in the past, but this is such an extreme price deal we feel obliged to let readers know, and also to speculate on exactly what Canon is up to.

First, it’s photokina next week (from the 18th for the public). The big Cologne biennial show is always a time when the old makes way for the new. And we know that just as Sony is about to be forced to revise many lenses to handle on-sensor PDAF, Canon is about to convert most of its basic lens range to ‘STM’ – a stepper motor silent focusing mechanism which is compatible with contrast-detect, PDAF-on-sensor, and live AF during video. The present micromotor and original USM lenses won’t cut it with the EOS-M and adaptor even if they ‘work’ just as Minolta and early Sony lenses will with tomorrow’s bodies. Both companies now need to update the focus mechanism, exit pupil geometry, and protocols of their lens ranges.

Secondly, if you see the number of Sony models now on sale in major stores in the UK, the displays are for the first time matching Canon. We don’t have the figures but by the end of the year Sony will be showing significant market share gains in various regional markets. Canon may still be riding way above Sony sales, but they must also be worried.

That’s why you can get – now – a Canon EOS Rebel T3i (known as the EOS 600D outside the USA) complete with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS II kit lens, a 55-250mm f/4-5.6 EF-S IS II tele (correction to original post – B&H’s email gave the impression it was not stabilised), a spare third party Pearstone battery pack, a SanDisk 30Mb/s Ultra SDHC 16GB card, and the substantial PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II A3+ printer with 50 sheets of its biggest paper size – Canon’s own 13 x 19″ Photo Paper Plus semigloss…

For $599.

That’s ridiculous to anyone in Europe. The equivalent for the UK, bar the horrible taxes we have to discourage our economy here, of £375.99. This price depends on some sharp reductions, bundling, an instant in-store saving of $250 and a write-in cashback claim of $400. It’s a bit of hassle but this is a seriously good DSLR, even if it does have the name Canon on the front, with two useful stabilised lenses covering 18 to 250mm without a gap, plus a professional quality inkjet.

We’ve been testing the PIXMA Pro1 here, and it’s hard to fault, working well with Canon’s DPP software (take notice, Sony, that Canon users often actually USE their bundled software!) or Photoshop through two different printing methods, one of which offers full job management and lots of options for batches or runs or smaller prints on large paper. The Pro9000 MkII is a product at the end of life’s retail journey so you can consider this a kind of clearance offer, and the $400 payback is dependent on buying the printer. Guess that ink will make a big profit back over the next few years…

Here is the link to B&H’s offer with the rebate details. However long this lasts, whether you are a Canon user just visiting Photoclubalpha, an Alpha user looking for a complete second outfit to give to the dog to use with that new litter of puppies, or maybe a college student on a really strapped budget looking for a kit ideal to take you through to graduation – we would say grab it now.

And Sony, please do something like this for your user community and the unconverted yet-to-buy masses!

– DK

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