CPS membership... what is going on?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by paulie_smith, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Canon Pro Service has changed its terms so now a number of older members no longer qualify. Have been shooting full time for some years, commercial and editorial work. EOS 3s', 40D's and a number of Canon and Nikon lenses that have tested sharpest for what I use them for. 4x5 and 8x10 gear also for studio and architectural work.
    Now the EOS 3's are no longer 'pro' gear per CPS. The 200 f/2.8 is not either, must upgrade to the model II to qualify. I specifically don't get the newer one because each time I have gone into Calumet to test shoot it against my current one I find my old trusted lens is sharper and has less lens flare. Why get a new one?
    So, CPS doesn't think I own enough NEW canon gear to be worthy of their service, get a few free camera straps, welcome letters and such. Funny thing is that my brother in law, the Dentist, qualifies easily and he has never sold a photograph in his life. The new qualifications are based on what current equipment one owns, no tear sheets, letters from editors or similar.
    Given that I keep the 40D's for news sports shooting because I tried and failed to get 3 1DMkIII bodies that would work(AF unreliable on all three even after the "Fix") - and finally gave up on them and will wait for the MkIV to come out, and I shoot Velvia with the EOS 3's as well as using them for photographing artist pieces for juried show entries.(some venues still prefer slides and I do a lot of it for a number of artists) The 4x5 gets used a lot for art reproduction as well as architecture.
    How can a 'pro service' cut off the people who use the gear for the very purpose the service is supposedly designed for because we use tried, tested and reliable gear rather than constantly buying new?
    Below is the link so you can go on and see if you qualify. Don't think that having a good 400 f/2.8 or 600 f/4 will do it. They aren't IS and no longer count as 'pro' gear according to CPS.
    http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=StandardDisplayAct&fcategoryid=111&keycode=CPS
     
  2. Maybe it's really about following the money trail not the livelihood? Makes more sense economically as Canon stands to gain more by providing service to those whom buy the most gear. After all, Canon is a business. Pleasing gear hounds means pleasing stockholders and increasing the bottomline. In my business, music retail, pro musicians are the cheapest, most demanding and least loyal customers. My gentleman amateur customers keep coming back for more, are appreciative and thus get my full attention with all the trimmings.
     
  3. PF makes a valid and cogent point, but I suspect Paulie might feel better if Canon came right out and said that, rather than:
    "We are also introducing equipment ownership requirements for each level to help keep this program strictly for the pros. Our intent is to strengthen our member population of true working professional photographers which are the people the program was created to support."​
     
  4. Paulie:
    Why do you want to join CPS? The main benefits I see are repair discounts, better turnaround around times for service, and a loaner program.
    My guess is that if you don't own current equipment, they can't guarantee fast response times for repairs.
    I can see why they wanted to get away from having to pass a value judgment and instead have objective criteria that determine who qualifies. Their requirement of deriving 51% of your income from photography would most likely disqualify your brother-in-law, the dentist.
    I believe I understand their objectives. It's hard to put black and white rules in effect to support exactly the photographers who should benefit most without excluding some inadvertently. Should somebody who buys a Rebel and starts shooting pictures for money while his/her spouse supports the family qualify for membership? How do you prevent that without making value judgements on how "professional" somebody is?
    That said, I think current members should be grandfathered in. Seems fair.
    Eric
     
  5. It does make you wonder a little, regarding the new requirements for CPS. Canon spends money advertising specific camera bodies and lenses as "professional grade." To me it makes sense not to enable a person to receive the benefits of membership in Canon Professional Services, when that person doesn't own any of the "professional grade" equipment (or very little).
    In my business, music retail, pro musicians are the cheapest, most demanding and least loyal customers. My gentleman amateur customers keep coming back for more, are appreciative and thus get my full attention with all the trimmings.​
    I see the same issues at times with professional photographers, as those mentioned by PF about muscians. Note that the 40D's still qualify, and it is possible to pick-up 5D's at reasonable prices now.
    I agree that CPS probably should have "grandfathered" current members into the new program, but not forever .... possibly a year. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  6. There is no longer a requirement for tear sheet or proof of any kind one actually makes their living from photography. Just write it, own the newer gear and you are OK to go. The dentist and lawyer and weekend photo guy qualifies now if they are willing to lie on the application. No proof, just equipment receipts driving the deal.
    With a number of lenses and pro bodies one doesn't need to constantly upgrade unless there is a measurable improvement in image quality. Why would I want to buy a new EOS macro lens when the one I have tests out higher than anything they have in the new ones? I use the gear to make a living, not to be seen and only purchase new when what I have gets too worn or won't do the job. New for the sake of new is a waste of money for me. On some jobs I shoot film and it works great. Still a number of editors who love getting handed a page or three of Chromes to look at. They don't even have to turn on a computer to see them. Other jobs are digital and that works well also.
     
  7. Canon do seem to have changed the nature of the CPS program by demanding that all members have a subset of "approved" equipment, and dropping any requirement to actually show that you are a professional photographer (by submitting tear sheets or other proof of publication). It seem to me like a bit of a step backwards.
    I notice too that you have to be a digital photographer (or at least own two digital bodies). I'd have thought that there would be a least a handful of pros who are still shooting film.
    The lens requirements seem to be aimed at getting you to buy the latest gear. Presumably the equipment on the list will get updated as models are discontinued, so while you may qualify today, you may not qualify next year unless you upgrade your bodies/lenses. If you have a 200/2.8L, an 85/1.2L and a 200/1.8L, I'm afraid you're SOL because none of those lenses count. You have to upgrade to the "II" versions of the first two, and sell your 200/1.8 and buy the 200/2.0L IS in order to have your lenses count. None of the older non-IS telephotos count and I know there are still nature photographers making a living using the older 400/2.8, 500/4.5 and 600/4L lenses
    The new program makes little sense other than from an economic point of view. You now have to pay for what was equivalent to the old program (gold/platinum) and you have to buy into the latest and most expensive lenses. Seems like those damned accountants have been meddling again.
    As you say, those "doctors and dentists" with bags full of the latest gear can qualify (if they simply say they make 51% of their income from photography), while a working pro with $10,000 worth of older lenses may not qualify, especially if (s)he is still shooting film and hasn't bought two recent DSLR bodies, even though (s)he may have bought two brand new EOS -1v bodies last week.
    It would have been more reasonable to have an alternate qualification process as well. If you didn't own the "right" equipment they could have had an option where you could still qualify under the old procedure of submitting proof of professional status. The new qualification process seems like a bit of a kick in the teeth for some (now) ex-CPS members.
    BTW Canon will be taking a look at this thread, so please add any comments here that you'd like Canon to read. Constructive criticism would be best rather than "This just sucks"! I've temporarily bumped the thread up to the top of the list here so that we can get a few more responses.
    I guess Canon have now answered the often asked question here about what makes a "pro" and whether a lens or body is "pro" or "amateur". A professional photographer owns two cameras and three lenses from the approved list, and if a lens or body isn't on the list, then I'm afraid it's just not professional gear! I don't care if you shoot gymnastics for a living using the 200/1.8L and an EOS-1v. You're still not a Canon professional. If you're unemployed, have no job or income but happen to own the right gear and you sell a couple of pictures, you're a pro!
     
  8. It seems CPS has varying criteria in different countries. Here in Oz we still need to produce the documented proof of professional photo activity. Registered equipment is 3 `L` series lenses and 2 pro series `1` bodies purchased from an authorized Canon professional dealer. A 5D will only be accepted if a pro ` body is owned as well. amongst other things we have to be registered with a canon approved photographic association such as AIPP. many of us dropped out of AIPP in this area due to one photog getting preference to most referrals passed on into the area, what was annoying was that person only used a P&S. Maybe the CPS will change as well here, I don`t know where I stand here nor bother anymore. Is the CPS directive from canon or left to the management in each country ?
     
  9. IMHO the vast majority of working pros will qualify without a problem. What about the minority? Well, I don't know. Maybe Canon just don't care.
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  10. EF 50/2.5 Compact Macro is on the list -- I had to laugh. Sharp lens, but a strange bedfellow with most of the rest of the list, especially in light of the lenses mentioned above that are not on the list.
     
  11. Ha ha ha. They wont let some other L's in that are actually pro lenses per the L, but they will let you in with one of these EF 70-300/4.5-5.6 DO IS piece of crap lenses.
    Give me a break. This is nothing more that modivation by $$$. Not taking care of the pro's. I need one more Pro lens that qualifies and 100 bucks and bang, I get a CPS Gold membership. I classify myself as a pro because I run a company selling photos etc. But I do not earn 51% of my income doing so. Not yet anyway. But, one lens will allow me to get in the way of a real professional who is on assignment totally earning his living with their equipment. Now mine is in front of his and costing him money. My perceptions was CPS was for the guy who is shooting an event and his gear dumps. He walks over to the service tent and they get him back up and running. Or he could get super service turnaround. Like the platinum 2 day turnaround.
    ANY L lens should qualify....period. What Canon is doing is training people that if they buy that expensive lens today, its longer their top lens tomorrow and screw you. You has been pro. I think they should do the following:
    Allow someone like me to joing bottom CPS service because I own a 1D3 and 40D. I own 2 of the listed pro lenses. Let me join for expidited service and turnaround. I deserve that for spending coin on pro gear. Obviously I earn money with it.
    But allow pro's that earn more than 50% of their income(proven) with Pro bodies(past or present) to have Gold level expidited service that goes ahead of someone like me. Both of these for free and the Platinum for those who want to pay the fee for the super service.
    I mean I'm not a memebr of CPS nowand I already get unbeliveable service from them now. So join CPS and step up a notch, but the working pro's should never be kicked out because their gear has been updated. And a dentist with a big credit card or bank account should never get in the way of their working pro's. Thats BS. The dentist should get something too for dropping the coin, but not go ahead of a staffed pro. Comon Canon. Tighten this up. I'm very pleased with your service, but dont piss of the full time pro's. Take care of those guys. They made you who you are.
     
  12. I should be eligible too -- HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR ME I know of three other people who would NOT be shooting Canon DSLRs today. Influence.
    I have bought 4 Canon SLRS (no Rebs!) and 7 Canon lenses (3 of those fully pro). I also buy & recommend pro equipment: Speedlites and Canon remote control devices.
    Should I qualify for CPS or not? I definitely think so even though I sell very few prints.
     
  13. If Canon is going to read this (and respond), I am curious about the 51% of income requirement.
    Is that for an individual or for a household? The reason I ask is that I know several "pros" who make 100% of their individual income from photography. Meanwhile, their spouse pays the bills, puts the food on the table and the roof over their heads. So like Bob said, if a photographer doesn't do anything but sell a few photos a year, he'd qualify with a working spouse.
    On the other hand, a bonafide pro who happens to be married to a successful lawyer or doctor shouldn't be penalized, either.
    By the strict definition of 51%, a successful photographer who also makes a significant amount of money in other pursuits doesn't qualify.
    What's the point of the 51% requirement?
    Eric
     
  14. It seems to me that they should just rename CPS something like "Canon Select Member" program and be done with it. It's aimed at people who buy large amounts of expensive equipment (professional or not - the 51% is just a meaningless check box) and that's fine - Canon are in the business to make money. I have made 100% of my income through photography for 25 years (and no, my wife is not a lawyer and doesn't pay the bills). I buy the equipment I need, when I need it. I have never joined CPS as I have ample redundancy for everything, so it's never an issue for me - I shoot advertising and editorial and not events.
    I do see a need however for accredited sports and press professionals to have access to a REAL CPS program which should be purely for pros and require verification of that fact. It could be paid annually like AAA membership or an insurance plan. This way it would be independent of recent equipment purchases, or specific bodies, etc. As long as you use Canon gear, are professional and pay into the plan, there would be expedited repairs, preferential rentals and service, and support available at large events for the real paid up professionals from the Canon Service Facilities.
    This way both sets of photographers are catered for - pros and wealthy amateurs - and the programs could be better tailored to their individual needs - also no-one need (or could) lie on forms about the source of their income. Clearly the current system is flawed.
     
  15. Maybe someone can explain to me what precisely the benefits are? I'm a member but on three occasions of trying to make use of the benefits of a professional service for repairs, the service offered has been, in my opinion anything but "professional".
    The last time, repairs to a 70-200 (dropped, my fault), which was desperately needed for a job seven days later would, I was told, take two weeks to repair – and no replacement was available or offered. I took it straight round to Fixation who repaired it in five days.
    I'm a professional, I don't care what it costs, I want it fixed. Discounted repairs are no good to me when there is work to be done.
    I don't even bother to register my kit with them anymore.
    Hopeless.
     
  16. Several people have made the comment "Canon are in the business to make money" which is exactly right, but CPS are in the business of providing a service to professionals, and these are two entirely separate issues, and we should not confuse them.
    "Professional" status you held last month should not be lost because Canon brought out a Mk2 version of your lens, thats just nonsense.
     
  17. I can see Canon's point in a way, in that they may only be able to offer full support for current or recent equipment. However that shouldn't exclude those who own cameras or lenses that can't be fully supported (such the the older non-IS telephotos), as long as it's made clear that expedited repairs (or even any repairs) may not be available on equipment which isn't listed as currently supported by the CPS program.
    There's much more to being a professional than owning a given set of gear. I still think that if someone can provide proof of professional status, they should be eligible for CPS membership, on the understanding that only items on the equipment list qualify for expedited repair and/or loan replacement. If you bring in your EOS-1v for repair, you don't get a loaner and you don't get rapid turnaround.
    Professionals should be smart enough to be capable of understanding the terms and conditions of membership.
    I still don't really see why Canon dropped the requirement for proof of professional status. Maybe it's cost cutting again, since (presumably) someone would have to check those credentials. With the current system in theory nobody would ever have to look at the application. It would just go into the database and, if required for your chosen level, your credit card would be charged the cost of membership. No humans involved, no staff needed!
     
  18. Unfortunatly, this is the way of the world. I am the North American Customer Support Manager for a large Japanese company that makes contruction and stamping (automotive) machinery. A business model that has emerged some years ago relys on "market segmentation". This sales tool is not new, but using it on the service end is. How it works is this: your customers are segmented by how much money they spend, this determines how much attention they receive. Customers at the top of the list get special promotions and special deals on parts / service, as well as more attention to being kept "happy". Customers near the bottom of the list do not receive this type of attention. I don't consider this fair, but from a sales and business standpoint, the customers who spend the most are encouraged to keep spending. Right, wrong, or indifferent, the CPS situation does not suprise me, nor would suprise any other Service / Sales Manager today.
     
  19. zml

    zml

    I still think that if someone can provide proof of professional status, they should be eligible for CPS membership, on the understanding that only items on the equipment list qualify for expedited repair and/or loan replacement.​
    Expedited/discounted repairs and loaners are the only tangible benefits of CPS and CPS is not a "professional association" of any kind so, unless you are after chachkas or a monopod cover or a free coup of coffee or sensor cleaning at supported events (but you must be credentialed and have access to non-public areas, that's where the CPN/CPS trailer/tent is usually located...) membership only makes sense if you can get speedy turnaround on repairs of the eqipment that Canon fully supports. And since they don't want to be put in a weird position of having to refuse a discounted repair of - say - EOS 1n to a member, there are certain arbitrary entry requirements of owning a small quantity of current equipment. As an aside, it was much harder to qualify under the old equipment/proof of status rules...
     
  20. What Michael said...
     
  21. Yes, but it's quite possible to own, say, both an EOS-1v (not supported) and a 1Ds MkIII (or even just a humble EOS 40D) and shoot with a 400/2.8L or 200/1.8L (not supported) and a 70-200/2.8 IS (supported). You would not qualify for CPS membership and so even though you could potentially get expedited repair on your 1Ds MkIII (or 40D) and your 70-200/2.8L IS, since you can't join CPS you can't get it, even if you're shooting at an event at which your 1Ds MkIII and 70-200/2.8L IS gives you a problem and CPS have a tent and support both cameras. Maybe this isn't a common position, but I'll bet it applies to some.
    There are some benefits to CPS other than "on event" repairs. There's a loan program, there's a repair discount (which I think applies to all repairs, not just those on the "approved" equipment list), there's telephone tech support from someone who knows what they are talking about.
    While I'm sure that the new program will probably cover 80% of professional, maybe 90%, it just seems unfair to the other 10-20% who shoot professionally, make "more than 50% of their income" shooting with Canon gear, yet who are now excluded from the CPS program.
    I can scrape in by the skin of my teeth as long as I don't sell one of my "qualifying" items of equipment and Canon don't force me to upgrade my 5D by dropping it from the eligible equipment list (which presumably at some point they will) or bringing out a new version of one of my "L" lenses and dropping the old one (like they dropped the 200/2.8L MkI and the 85/1.2L MkI in favor of the MkII versions). I'm happy with my lenses. I have no need to upgrade. I have no need to sell a 50/1.4 USM (not supported) and buy a 50/1.2L (supported).
     
  22. Michael Liczbanski wrote:
    Expedited/discounted repairs and loaners are the only tangible benefits of CPS and CPS is not a "professional association" of any kind so, unless you are after chachkas or a monopod cover or a free coup of coffee or sensor cleaning at supported events (but you must be credentialed and have access to non-public areas, that's where the CPN/CPS trailer/tent is usually located...) membership only makes sense if you can get speedy turnaround on repairs of the eqipment that Canon fully supports.​
    Agree entirely.
    My experience of CPS in the UK is that it is not worth a light. Canon's can claim "expedited" repairs for its "professional" CPS members only if the "general public" have to wait far longer. As a CPS member, I was quoted two weeks for a repair – how long would I have had to have waited otherwise, 4 weeks? A commercial independent repairer did the same repair in five days.
     
  23. Has anyone mentioned that they seem to want for gold and platinum CPS $100 and $500 respectively? I'd imagine it was just another piece of business ... under the pretence that we have your best interests at heart. And since times are hard it is now getting some publicity here ... Again.
    Preditors. People get paid to think up these schemes.
     
  24. Oh grow up, Al - nobody with a brain in his head is under any illusion that CPS is altruistic.
    It's a business "gesture", pure and simple, which Canon offer because they choose to, not because they have to (taxi drivers don't get preferential treatment from Ford as I'm aware - and they're professional car users).
    Is there anything you won't turn into an anti-Canon bitch-fest?
     
  25. Let's keep it civil folks. Yes Canon's purpose in life is indeed to make money. However you get and keep customers by offering the best possible service. There are plenty of Pros who I'm sure will be willing to pay $100 or even $500 to join CPS, and there is a "reduced benefit" free option. For $500 you do get 60% discount on pro repairs. If you have a couple of major repairs in a year, you could save that $500. Some repairs take longer than others of course, it depends on parts being in stock here in the US (rather than having to be shipped from Japan).
    Obviously Canon regard the CPS program as beneficial to their bottom line. If CPS members didn't think it had value, they wouldn't bother joining. It's a program that is good for both Canon and (some) Canon users. The gripe here is that Canon have shifted from a program which recognizes professional status directly to one which is simply based on the equipment owned. If you are a pro who makes a living using Canon equipment and you don't own the right set of gear, you can't join. I think that's the major complaint now.
    Sure the program could be better with a 24hr turnaround on all repairs (of supported equipment), but that's another issue! In fact the "platinum" CPS membership does claim a 48hr turnaround on repairs of supported items.
     
  26. Bob,
    It would appear that the level of CPS service offered varies wildly around the world. The platinum and gold service to which you refer in the US does not appear to be available in the UK - and it is the first time I have ever heard of it.
    On three occasions that I have approached Canon for repairs under CPS in the UK, I was never quoted any repair turn around shorter than two weeks – not the within six days they quote on the US CPS. Maybe I was unlucky but I don't consider two weeks to be much of a professional advantage.
    The last time I needed a repair – a broken shutter on a 1DMkll last summer – I didn't even bother to contact CPS. I had it fixed within five days by an independent repairer. The cost was around £300 if I remember correctly. Perhaps someone on here who has had a similar repair carried out by CPS in the UK could tell me how much their "discounted" repair was and how long it took, just for comparison.
     
  27. fj5

    fj5

    Anyone know how to get a hold of CPS Canada? Do they even exist?
     
  28. I don't know, but if you call the Canon customer support number for Canada (I assume they must have one?), I'm sure they'll be able to tell you.
    The only number I have for Canon Canda is their main office number. It's (905) 795-1111
     
  29. fj5

    fj5

    I emailed customer support through their contact us page and I usually get an answer back in a day max. I haven't heard from them in about a week. Even google doesn't pop up anything which is rather odd. Thanks Bob, I'll try the number.
     
  30. fj5

    fj5

  31. I've been a CPS member for over a decade and before CPS, I was a Nikon PS member, that is, before I decided to move from Nikon to Canon. As a long-term CPS member and having both a film system (EOS 1v) and digital (MIIn), I found that I am no longer eligible. With plenty of lenses to qualify, neither my former 20d nor my eos-1v made the list. Pissed, disappointed, and betrayed are about how Im feeling about Canon. Yes, the CPS program didn’t offer much but it was helpful when I needed quick repairs or wanted to try a new lens, which recently resulted in my buying one. I did email the CPS membership and my regional Canon representative about my disappointment. They have not responded. They could have at least let existing members continue. I am now reevaluating the pending upgrade to a 5D MII. I suggest that if you are having the same issues, contact CPS membership and your regional Canon representative to express your views. They should be made aware of the impact of their business decisions.
     
  32. If it costs $500 MORE just to get good service what is that saying? Good service should go without saying, after all one has already paid for the product. This is quite a shifty little scheme if you take the time to think about it. Buy more stuff to qualify then give us $500 ... oh wow.
    :)))
     
  33. You can't give 48hr turnaround to everyone unless you have a huge repair deaprtment that sits idle much of the time just waiting for work to come in. These days that's not something most companies can afford to do. Do you fix things in the order that they arrive, so the $200 broken A520 P&S from Aunt Betty gets worked on before the EOS 1ds MkIII from a CPS member? That's the question. You can try to give everyone decent service (say a 14 day turnaround), but if you want priority 48hr treatment then you have to pay for the extra staff to cover it.
    Nobody has to join CPS, nobody has to pay $100 for gold or $500 for platinum status. That's a choice you can make (if you qualify - see later). This is not a "bitch-fest" against Canon. The problem here is that a percentage of working professional photographers who actually WANT to join CPS can't do so because they don't own enough of the "right" equipment to qualify. And even if they do, unless they keep upgrading it, it's likely that their qualifying items will eventually be dropped from the "approved" list when new models are introduced. That's the issue.
     
  34. zml

    zml

    unless they keep upgrading​
    (Please read the entire post before reacting..) There is something I don’t get it here: if you depend on your equipment for livelihood(and CPS is meant for people like that…) and want to deliver high(est) quality photos with digital, you need to upgrade often, no matter what. In the film era, I’d replace a worn-out Canon F1 with another F1 and do it rather infrequently: I’d shoot 20-30K frames a year so the body would last a long time even if it did require a shutter or a clutch exchange. And if I wanted higher resolution, I’d simply switch to a different film or work on my technique. With digital, I shoot 75-100K frames a year and must upgrade the camera body to get higher-res files. One of my 40D bodies has already over 70K actuations, not to mention the 1D3: both have over 100K already. And these numbers are not unusual; in fact I’d say that I’m a bit on a low end of the number of shutter actuations per year. In a word, you need to replace the equipment often with current models, so often in fact that a working pro shouldn’t have any problems with qualifying based on the current US CPS equipment list.
    Besides, CPS or not, I get very good service from Canon as opposed to many horror stories with some other manufacturers (Mamiya, Hasselblad, Arca Swiss come to mind…) so the courtesy of faster turnaround to CPS members means a few days, not weeks or months, faster than for non-members.
    I’m afraid that the CPS membership is more of an ego trip for some than a real necessity but AFAIK there are no “knowing glances”, no secret handshakes: CPS membership is meant chiefly for equipment repair/loan convenience even though Canon may sometimes ask questions, seek feedback from its members or offer educational opportunities and token “freebies.” If you need these conveniences and you qualify –pony up a few bucks and enroll. But if one craves to join a professional association solely because of the need of belonging, one should pick one that attracts people with similar interests (NPPA for PJs, NPN for nature photogs, etc.) not the CPN/CPS.
    As with any other arbitrary requirements some deserving people will be left out no matter what: equipment alone professional photographer does not make and there are legions of folks who do wonderful paid work using Rebels and such and who need/want to join CPS, and they should contact Canon and ask for changes in the program but don’t expect that Canon will allow all equipment to qualify; there always will be a fairly high equipment hurdle.
    Opinions differ and I’m not trying to defend anything or anybody here but the new CPS program in the US is in its first year and I have a feeling that Canon might fine-tune it based on constructive feedback even though the grumbling about the new rules seems to be confined to the ‘net.
     
  35. The problem here is that a percentage of working professional photographers who actually WANT to join CPS can't do so because they don't own enough of the "right" equipment to qualify. And even if they do, unless they keep upgrading it, it's likely that their qualifying items will eventually be dropped from the "approved" list when new models are introduced. That's the issue.​
    But, Bob, why do they want to join? Is it more an ego thing that suddenly they are not perceived as "professional" photographers by Canon, because no one has yet answered my question as regard to tangible benefits, certainly here in the UK.
    I would like to believe that CPS in the UK could offer me a much better service at a cheaper price than I could get from an independent repairer but, so far, no-one has yet been able to come up with any evidence to show that that is the case.
    If so, I suggest that people move on. Who cares if Canon no longer classify you as professional? After all, "cowboy" builders would be classified in their particular trade as a "professional" – they earn their living from the building trade but how many of them get repeat jobs or jobs by recommendation?
    I would maintain that professionalism cannot be measured by how much of your living is earned from photography, just as it can't be in any other trade. There are some dreadful exponents of the art of photography out there who still manage to find someone stupid enough or gullible enough to employ them. No, professionalism is a state of mind, craft and attitude, providing great results for clients on time, again and again, irrespective of whether you earn 100% of your income from photography or 1%.
     
  36. I couldn't agree more with Michael Liczbanski.
    My old F1s I used to be able to keep for 10-15 years or more and EOS film gear for 10 or so. In the, what, 6 or 7 years since the introduction of the 1D, I have had a succession of Mkls, Mklls and Mkllls just to keep up with the vast improvements in quality that each successive model has brought. And I feel I owe that to the clients I work for.
    And don't tell me photographers can't afford it. I didn't drop my charges when I went digital because although I saved the expenditure of film, chemicals, processing, etc, this money was instead re-allocated to keeping up with the new technology, i.e. investing in equipment.
     
  37. Sure, upgrading is something we all do. However (for example), the EF 200/2.8L II is a qualifying lens, but the EF 200/2.8 L isn't! The difference between these two lenses is small, no real incentive to upgrade. The EF 200/1.8L isn't a qualifying lens, but the 200/2L IS is. Some might argue that the 200/1.8L is actually better, especially for indoor sports (which is where it's probably most used). The EF 85/1.2 L doesn't qualify, but the 85/1.2L II does. Now the new MkII version is better, but not all that much better and I'm sure many will be able to do perfectly good, professional, work with the 85/1.2L. And so on.
    While some may regard having the latest and greatest version of everything as essential for professional work, others realize that once you have good gear, it stays good gear. There's really no need to "upgrade" every time a new product appears. I don't really think the standards of professional photography are getting higher and higher every year (some may in fact argue the reverse!) and if you can do professional work with a 5D and a 200/2.8L II today, you may not feel the need to "upgrade" to a 5D MkII and (if it ever appears) and IS version of the 200/2.8L.
    Again (for those who missed it), this isn't in any way a discussion of WHY someone would WANT to join CPS. It's a discussion of why only equipment (and a subset of the latest equipment at that) is taken into consideration as a qualification for those who do want to, to the exclusion of professionals who don't happen to own the necessary set of (two) "approved" cameras and (three) "approved" lenses.
    As with any other arbitrary requirements some deserving people will be left out no matter what: equipment alone professional photographer does not make and there are legions of folks who do wonderful paid work using Rebels and such and who need/want to join CPS, and they should contact Canon and ask for changes in the program but don’t expect that Canon will allow all equipment to qualify; there always will be a fairly high equipment hurdle.​
    But why, and why an "arbitrary" equipment requirement. If it's Canon PROFESSIONAL Services, why not a "professional" requirement. They don't call it "Canon Approved-Set-of-Equipment Services". In fact no proof at all of professional status is now required (it used to be). If you say that you are a professional, they simply believe you. In some ways it's like the old "no income verification" mortgages. If you said you could pay it, they believed you. Look what happened there...
    Maybe they should just have changed the name. If they'd called it "Canon Platimum Program", available for advanced equipment users for $500/yr, I suppose nobody could argue with them!
     
  38. zml

    zml

    if you can do professional work with a 5D and a 200/2.8L II today, you may not feel the need to "upgrade" to a 5D MkII​
    Well, true, but with very few exceptions of the "infrequent shutter pushers" your 5D is going to fall apart if you make your living with it: 30 weddings a year times 2-3K pics per wedding gives an awfully high number of actuations. And when it does fall apart, or gets relegated to a backup status, most shooters tend to upgrade to 5D Mk next , or a higher-end camera, instead of getting another "new-old-stock" 5D Mk. previous (if still available...) That alone keeps your equipment list fairly current.
     
  39. While some may regard having the latest and greatest version of everything as essential for professional work, others realize that once you have good gear, it stays good gear.​
    That may be true with, to a large degree, with lenses but not so with digital camera bodies. The 1DMkl was a good camera; in my opinion, the first true digital alternative to film cameras for sports/press work. However, the Mkll provided a significant improvement and, despite some people's experiences to the contrary, the Mklll a further leap forward. The Mkl was a good camera but, from the point of view of taking the best quality pictures, it cannot stand comparison to a Mklll.
    If it's Canon PROFESSIONAL Services, why not a "professional" requirement. They don't call it "Canon Approved-Set-of-Equipment Services". In fact no proof at all of professional status is now required (it used to be). If you say that you are a professional, they simply believe you.​
    This assumes that you accept the definition of professional as being someone who earns all or a majority of their income from photography. See my response above. There are "cowboys" and incompetents in every profession. They still manage to find some mug to give them work. When busy, I have in the past subbed work to others or suggested where customers might find someone to work for them. On many occasions I have been embarrassed at the quality of photos and level of service that has subsequently been provided. Yet these, by definition, are professional?
     
  40. So now, if you afford the latest equipment, albeit you're a retired truck driver, you're a professional and qualify for Canon CPS. I get it.
    If Canon CPS didn’t make the new rules, who did?
     
  41. zml

    zml

    So now, if you afford the latest equipment, albeit you're a retired truck driver, you're a professional and qualify for Canon CPS. I get it.​
    Well, apparently you don't "get it" because one must still declare one's pro status quite explicitly while enrolling. Whether or not one is truthful, it is a matter of personal integrity. (My apologies for bringing up this - apparently alien - concept...)
    Those seeking the real skinny about the US CPS 2009 program should log on to the Canon USA CPS pages and read the rules and conditions for themselves.
     
  42. Canon's definition of professional is that you make more than 50% of your income (I think they actualy say 51%). As I said above, they take your word for it, no proof required.
    If you make $5000/year and $2501 comes from photography, you're a pro. If you make $200,000/year and you only make $99,999 from photography, then you're not.
     
  43. fj5

    fj5

    FWIW, when I spoke to Canon Canada over the phone regarding my desire to apply for CPS Canada, he asked me if I make 99% of my income through photography. He never mentioned anything around the 50% mark. Is this something strictly stated for US?
    Anyone know why CPS Canada does not publically list their terms and conditions? Why the only contact info I have for them is a single email address? Do I sense a bit of "secret society"-ism here?
     
  44. Canon USA state:
    3. What constitutes a full time professional photographer?
    A full time professional photographer is defined as someone who derives at least 51% of his or her annual income from photography.​
    I do sense a lack of coordination (contact?) between the various Canon CPS groups around the world. Requirements and benefits seem to differ.
    I'd say that requiring 99% of income via photography is probably NOT the official requirement since I'm not sure anyone would qualify for that if they have any investments at all! Even 99% of earned income would be unreasonable.
     
  45. "Well, apparently you don't "get it"​
    Not questioning “alien concepts”, but both conditions can be true and you can still be a retired truck driver (or whatever). I don’t think CPS sets the industry standard for being professional, but they have changed the terms for membership that has eliminated former members from qualifying.
     
  46. Found this on another forum, thought I would pass along the info:
    Items added to equipment eligibility list for CPS membership qualification:
    EOS-1D
    EF 85/1.2L USM
    EF 28-70/2.8L USM
    EF 35-350/3.5-5.6L USM
    EF 70-200/4L USM
    Also, CPS email in US is cpsmember@cusa.canon.com
     
  47. Hot dang. Including the 70-200/4L, I have FOUR lenses on this list. All I have to do is aquire another 40D, and I qualify? Hot Dang. To0 bad my 10D, my flash units, and my pile of primes don't count.
    Oh wait . .I have to earn 51% of my income on canon. .as opposed to spend 51% of my income? Oops.
    Honestly though. . as an amateur, I have no interest in this service so I would not be inclined to fake credentials to get in. In terms of prestige. . if my IMAGES don't do it. . if my SACK of camera equipement doesn't do it. . the CPS card won't do it either.
    And honestly. . I don't have enough problems with Canon equipment to warrent fibbing or paying for the premium repair services.
    Now, if I was a PRO, relying on the Canon equipment to the point of requiring two (or more) bodies. . .I would probably start having redundant lenses as well. Afterall, The Krebelobock Wedding is not going to have CPS event support. If a 24-70/2,8L breaks. . . I better be able to whip out another lens be it a 24/1.4L or a 17-40/2.8L within minutes.
    And paying $500 for expedited repair support. . .just sounds expensive. How many of these things am I going to break in a year? Geez. . .I I broke a $1800 (or whatever) 85/1.2L today. . .I probably could get one from B&H tomorrow without paying a $500 premium .. . .which in many cases I would have to do regardless.
     
  48. Yes, but for that $500 you also get a 60% discount on eligible items. So if your repair costs for the year come out to $1000, you're $100 bucks in pocket! Plus you get 6 free "clean and adjusts".
    You don't need that many repairs or "clean and adjusts" on high ticket items to rack up $1000, especially if your gear takes a beating.
     
  49. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The problem with this policy is that many amateurs, who don't need fast turnaround on repairs, meet the equipment requirements but many pros don't. It's incredibly stupid.

    I shoot fights. All I need for what I do is a 24-70, which I have, and maybe a 70-200, which I have rented but don't usually need for shots that can be published. I have a qualifying body, but exactly one lens that qualifies. It doesn't matter that I do regular assignment work for magazines, promoters and gyms, and get regular book publication through an agent, apparently to the people running the program, what you own is more important than what you do.

    On the other hand, I have no problems with Canon service, and when I have explained when I need something back, they always comply. So maybe I should be happy, I don't have to join their program but my needs get met.
     
  50. The problem with this policy is that many amateurs, who don't need fast turnaround on repairs, meet the equipment requirements but many pros don't. It's incredibly stupid.​
    Why? Canon chose to focus on pros because pros need these advantages, while amateurs only want them. Also, I'll bet most pros do qualify. I - as an amateur - almost qualify in terms of gear. All I need is another body and I'm sure that if I was a pro I'd buy one.
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  51. fj5

    fj5

    FYI:
    Thank you for your interest in the Canadian Canon Professional Services
    program. CPS is a great program for professional photographers who generate
    100% of their income from photography and who use or are considering using
    Canon photographic equipment. Please fill out this CPS application form
    and mail it back to us with the appropriate required information. Please
    note that if complete information is not supplied, approval to CPS can not
    be administered. Please allow 4-8 weeks for processing.
    **IF APPLICABLE: Please note that we now require a hardcopy of your Retail
    Sales Tax Purchase Exemption Certificate (PST) to be mailed with your
    application, Vendor Permits will not be accepted**
    Should you have difficulty opening and viewing these attachments, please
    follow this link to install the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
    (See attached file: ONT PST Exemption Form.pdf)(See attached file: CPS
    Application Form ENGLISH.pdf)

    (Embedded image moved to file: pic08953.jpg)
    -----
    100%?!?
     
  52. Canon CPS comes through! the EOS 1v is now on the list (along with some additional lenses).
     
  53. NOTE: Canon has updated the list of qualifying bodies and lenses. Old favorites such as the original 1D and 1Ds, as well as the original 85 f/1.2 and the 28-70 f/2.8 are on the list. Somebody at Canon has listened (or read this thread).
     
  54. Somebody at Canon has listened (or read this thread).​
    I wish..... :-(
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  55. Bob, I don't know anyone that has $1000 repairs in a year, I think once I had $800, but that was a year where I was working on a film in Death Valley in the summer and all my equipment was full of sand.
    I tend to think that if you regularly need $1000 repairs in a year, then maybe something is lacking in the equipment. I mean this is supposed to be professional equipment!
    What I object to is the notion that we have to pay for the privilege of having our equipment serviced. A 2 week turn around for a professional photographer is a long time.
    And to judge a photographer based on what equipment one owns is silly. Photographers are judged on their professionalism by their images, that is what is important.
    I have always received great service from CPS and I'm sure it will continue, whether I pay $500 or not and I don't need a pin to tell me I'm a professional.
     
  56. When I was an ameteur I needed expensive equipment to trick people into thinking I was a pro. Now that I really make money on photography I have learned less is sometimes more. I shot a cover (actually back cover) of magazine and had to use my backup Camera the original Canon Digital Rebel 6MP with the 18-55 kit lens. However, by setting aperture at F8, 1/250 top sync speed, using a tripod and light meter to get my non-pro Alien Bee 800's dialed in I took a shot that was one of the best of the shoot.
    All this is to say although I like pro equipment, it is absolutely not required to be a professional photographer. Matter of fact When I am in challenging situations with inferior equipment, it makes me think more and use my mind to be creative rather than relying on the just the equipment.
    CPS looks cool and its not that expensive. However, as I stated earlier I have enough old backup equipment that if caught in a pinc I can bail myself out.
    PS - I just sold the Drebel on E-bay for $300 bucks Yea! I purchased a new 5d Mark II to compliment my Canon 85 1.2 L. My new backup camera is a Canon Elan 7NE which I will never sell. I also use Tamron 28-75 and Sigma 70-200 which altough they are not on the list have made me plenty of money.....
     
  57. Interesting how a "professional service" club is even required to get service that should be considered a part of customer care. Why should one be required to pay extra for services that should come as a benefit for paying good money for the product in the first place, especially when the entry requirements seem somewhat arbitrary?
    Silly to think that with my 1D, 1Ds, and two L lenses I still wouldn't be eligible for "the club"
     
  58. It's sad that as a newer professional with only a few years working I qualify for higher levels (or at all) in the revised CPS than many veteran shooters I know and have worked with, simply because my gear is newer. These are people who have been shooting with Canon for over a decade and have introduced many people to Canon's gear, including me, yet because they haven't upgraded quickly enough to suit Canon's accountants they are marginalised.
    Not good Canon...not good at all...
    I think a much better solution would be:
    Level One: At least one xD body, one xxD body and two *qualified* lenses^
    Level Two: At least one xD body, one xxD body and three *qualified* lenses^ or L1 plus proof of professional status
    Level Three: At least two xD bodies and three *qualified* lenses^ *plus* proof of professional status
    Level Four: L3 held for ten years or more - will always be placed in the top tier of the CPS as long as the CPS system exists and at no additional cost to the photographer, *head of the line* privileges for repairs/etc
    ^qualified lenses include *any* L lens (current or discontinued) plus the outliers such as the Macros/etc that normally qualify one for the CPS
    However, the caveat would be that any body or lens not in the current lineup would be subject to regular repair/etc times/costs outside of the CPS. The expedited times and discounts would only apply to the current range.
    That would allow existing CPS members to gain some benefits (event loans/etc) while still rewarding those who keep Canon's R&D department's going. Under that system, almost every professional photographer I know would qualify for at least Level Two. The highest a gearhead non-pro could ever get would be Level Two and the real veterans that keep Canon going over the long haul would likely be in the Level Three or Four range.
    But given how hard it is to even *find* CPS Canada, it may be moot in the end anyways...at least for me...
    And it's really frustrating having to go back and change correctly spelt words to the American spelling in a system that otherwise allows such horrible mispelling... Either correct *all* the spelling to a given standard or leave it all alone... /rant
     
  59. my old CPS card says "valid until 2012".
    i am not a lawyer, but is it legal for a company to issue a document first and then arbitralily cease its validity period?
    i could imagine that according to your rights as a consumer the old CPS card should be at least valid till the end of the original period.
    may be someone with more knowledge could comment on this?
     
  60. "We are also introducing equipment ownership requirements for each level to help keep this program strictly for the pros. Our intent is to strengthen our dentist population over true working professional photographers which are the people the program was created to support."​
    Fixed.
    CPS dumped the support for my 40D as well, and it still brings home selling shots.
     

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