Kelby has gone too far now - Launches Canon In Action Tour.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
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In reply to anotherMike, 5 months ago

anotherMike wrote:

You nailed that one. While I'm not a Scott Kelby fan - never really liked his books 10+ years ago when I was learning photoshop (back then there were far better) - but his group does include some people whom I do respect quite a bit (like Joe McNally), but it really doesn't, nor shouldn't, matter what he shoots brand wise. Who cares. I've met some serious (and even semi-famous) shooters in real life and when we talk, it's never about brand names but always about light, location, subject matter or matters creative. My opinion of Kelby or McNally wouldn't change if both decided to change to Pentax, for example, this afternoon. I judge then by their writing and work irregardless of their brand choice.

-m

I couldn't agree more with your personal metric for what matters in photographic merit.

But Kelby's switch is worth remarking: his organization has huge reach, particularly among people just starting their photographic interest. How do people decide what camera to buy? Well, "it's the system my photoshop teachers--Scott Kelby & crew--recommend" isn't a terrible answer.

What's worse for Nikon? Kelby didn't just switch and say "well, it doesn't really matter, they're the same" or "eh, I haven't used Canon in a while so I thought I'd check in." No, he (and many in his crew) have been offering performance-based explanations for switching. They aren't just saying "it's all good;" they're saying "there are many things that Canon does better, so many things that we found it worth while to switch." To the uninitiated, that's a powerful recommendation.

We can argue all we like about whether that message is disingenuous; I agree that if Canon gave me a lucrative sponsorship deal, I'd find things to like about the EOS system, too. Still, the collected crew of one of the most visible media associations in the photographic world flipping--and offering, at length, substantive reasons for the flip--is an undeniably damning optic.

I can't think of a better way to put camera systems in customer hands than by making sure your brand is pasted everywhere and talked about all the time within the world's most popular Adobe training program. Everywhere you see Kelby, you now see "Adobe-Canon" and "Canon-Adobe." It's a brilliant marketing play, an exceptional exercise in the power of co-branding. Canon reps are there palling around with Adobe reps; everyone looks happy and encouraging and ready to help--it's one big, successful, fun fan-damly that you can join. You, Adobe and Canon. Photography is Adobe and Canon.

Meanwhile, what's Nikon got? Ashton Kutcher and that "I am . . . " business? Uh-huh. Does anyone even understand what that "I am . . . " crap means?

Worst of all, it's not just Kelby. I surely wouldn't base my photographic needs on what works for Ken Rockwell, but he is hugely visible and he's gone. Thom Hogan? Also visible, influential, and very, very critical. Chase Jarvis? Influential and increasingly critical. These are all the folks who come up on that first Google search, and among them it's like dominoes falling over one by one by one. We're all savvy enough to know that none of these people ought to dictate anything more meaningful than their own opinion or need; but again, many new photographers just starting--just buying into their first system--aren't so circumspect. Again, "it's what my photoshop teacher uses" seems like a perfectly reasonable justification for picking a system.

If Nikon can't market its way out of a paper bag, we're all in trouble. If they don't sell cameras, we don't get new and better; if they don't sell cameras, what we've got declines in value. I'm not suggesting that Scott Kelby's whim suddenly turns my Nikon gear to dust; but I am saying that a big system is an investment, in part, in the future. So while Kelby's switch doesn't mean much to me directly, or today, it's the kind of thing that could mean a lot for the equipment Nikon is able to offer a generation or two from now.

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