Now that cameras that shot RAW and 4k are priced for the masses, one of …
For your first camera, there is no better option than the Canon Loyalty Program. It’s going to get you 20% off their refurbished rates which are already about 20% off list.
First off: What is the Canon Loyalty Program?
The fact that it’s not advertised, and that there is no official online presence of the Canon loyalty program is one of t reasons why is has fallen into urban legend. The loyalty Program, DOES indeed exist, and it is one of the best ways to get started with low-cost, reliable hardware so that you can start making movies.
One of the first things you learn as a shooter is to invest in the lenses, not the camera. This doesn’t mean that the camera is not important, but while the technology for cameras has improved in leaps and bounds, the basic way a lens transmits light has remained unchanged for twelve billion years. Some of the best glass you can get for your camera comes from vintage lenses, and they can be picked up cheaply because they don’t have the microchips to communicate with the autofocus systems of modern cameras Now, as much as tracking technology has progressed and it HAS gotten better, it simply cannot convey the story the way a good, well timed focus pull can. It simply doesn’t have a home in video. When i am shooting fashion, editorial work, street photography, or sports, then autofocus takes a component out of the process that allows me to focus on getting the shot, but save the money you would have invested on the latest and greatest camera with all the bells and whistles, and get yourself a nice lens or two instead. Your pictures will thank you.
This brings us to the biggest barrier of entry for a lot of people: cameras are expensive, and they don’t know which one to get. My answer is simple, get the least expensive DSLR you can find with an APS-C sensor.
If you can’t afford one of those, there are some Lumix Micro 4/3 cameras that will run you around $135 bucks. Just get the camera and start taking pictures. Your first 10,000 photos will be middling to fair and for good reason! You should be experimenting with every button and setting on the camera and combination of settings to see what that does to your image. You should find out what you do like and what you don’t like. Educational blogs and books are helpful, but nothing will improve your eye better than just taking pictures. And try not to get frustrated. EVERYONE’S first 10,000 are not so great, so get them under your belt and get moving.
Making films is the same as photography, but you are taking 24 photos per second, (and no, that doesn’t get you to 10,000 any faster). SOme of my favorite cinematographer come from a photo background Vincent Laforet is a stellar example. The same elements of composition, lighting and depth all apply
Directing is a collaborative process, and while you may need a whole crew to get a feature or short film off the ground, as a photographer, you and your camera are all that you need.
Now which one to get? I had worked with several independent filmmaker before, and they all shot with canon. I knew they weren’t the only game in town, but it was nice to know that I would have resources available if I didn’t know how to do something. I researched a bit online, and someone had mentioned the canon loyalty program I. One of the forums
A quick google search turned up no official hits from Canon, although I did find a few other people mentioning it, and finally: a toll-free number.
Here’s how it works: If you have purchased ANY canon product in the past- including old film cameras and point and shoots- EVEN if they no longer work- you can trade that camera in for 20% off the purchase price of a REFURBISHED camera from their online store.
Now, a lot of people hear refurbished, and they think “used”. But remember this comes with a warranty backed by one year warranty straight from Canon. My camera had a shutter count under 1000 (including live view actuations), which is about 1% of the shutter life. Considering I was getting an additional 20% off items that are already discounted about 20%, I could live with that.
Now, Canon has been one of the leading manufacturers of point and shoot cameras for the last few decades. Before the camera phone revolution, you would be hard pressed to find a camera on vacation that wasn’t a canon. But if you don’t- and your friends don’t- remember: broken is fine. A quick search on eBay for an old Powershot listed for parts should yield something less than ten dollars, which translates into a few hundred as a trade-in. Some think that this is cheating the system. I would say buying a camera so that you can buy a camera is a pretty good marker of loyalty.
When you call Canon, they are incredibly helpful, and to be quite honest- this program is one if the best forms of customer appreciation I can think of. You can get a camera of comparable value to the competition for much less, and have some extra money in your pocket to buy a prime lens.
The first thing thy will ask you is what you’re looking for, then they will talk through some of the models with you. Going in already familiar with the offerings on the website will make it a lot easier. Then they will ask you for the serial number of the loyalty camera you are returning, and a credit card, and that is it!
On a few days, you get your big box of “new-to-you” gear, and you are on your way to taking your first 10,000 photos.
Canon Loyalty Program Hotline: 1-866-443-8002