Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Adobe: Upgrade Policy About Face

 Late last year Adobe announced that they were changing their upgrade pricing policy which offered a reduced price for current users of older versions of their products. They had allowed users who were within a couple of older versions a special upgrade price to their newly released products. Currently you can receive a reduced upgrade price for Photoshop (PS) CS5 if you have a license copy of PS CS2 or newer. Their new policy would only offer a discount price to users who were using the current version of their creative suite applications (versions CS5 or CS5.5 depending on the app).
 This caused a huge uproar in the user community and Adobe has since changed it's policy at least for the latest version CS6 to be released early this year, but going forward it appears you will need to be a user of CS6 to be entitled to a reduced price for the next version down the pipe.This change appears to be a one shot grace period for next year only, after that you'll need to stay current or pay full price when you want to upgrade.

Adobe's press updated policy:

Upgrade offer for CS3 and CS4 customers

We’re very excited about the upcoming release of Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 software and Adobe Creative Cloud™. CS6 will be a major new release of our creative desktop tools, with huge improvements for every type of creative professional. Adobe Creative Cloud will be our most comprehensive creative solution ever, giving members access to all of the CS6 desktop software plus additional services, new tools, Adobe Touch Apps, and rich community features. In addition, Creative Cloud members will receive continuous upgrades and updates to all products and services as part of their membership.
With these great new releases coming in the first half of 2012, we want to make sure our customers have plenty of time to determine which offering is best for them. Therefore, we’re pleased to announce that we will offer special introductory upgrade pricing on Creative Suite 6 to customers who own CS3 or CS4. This offer will be available from the time CS6 is released until December 31, 2012. More details on this offer, as well as any introductory offers for existing customers to move to Creative Cloud membership, will be announced when CS6 and Creative Cloud are released later this year.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Canon: One Price Fixes All

Canon Canada has gone to a flat rate repair fee business model. If you send a camera or lens into their service center you will be charged a set fee for the repair regardless of the problem. Depending on the camera/lens model they set the price for your repair even before they look at the unit. This could work to your advantage if the repair were say replacing a sensor or shutter mechanism. The flip side is also true if your repair consisted of cleaning some lens contacts that you could have performed yourself.

The repair fees seem to be based on original model value, for instance a sample of their DSLR models breakout as:

Model Repair Fee*
Rebel T2i $149
EOS 60D $199
EOS 7D $219
EOS 1DS III $299
* plus taxes and shipping

I recently sent in one of my Canon EOS 7D bodies for repair. I was getting an "error 30" code which points to a problem with the shutter. The camera was returned within 5 days and required a loose connection to be soldered. They also performed a sensor and eyepiece cleaning (they normally charge $40 for a sensor clean) and firmware upgrade (not sure about the firmware upgrade, was certain that I was up to date, maybe a reflash?). The complete cost was $247 including taxes and shipping (Mississauga to downtown Toronto). The repair warranty is good for 90 days, I will put this model to work and leave my newer model as a backup.

One has to ask "In store extended warranties are they worth it"? Henrys here in Toronto offers an "Extended Life Plan" which extends the warranty from 1 to 3 years and provides some lemon protection, price protection and full in store replacement in the early months of ownership. For a Canon EOS 7D they charge $219 which is the exact same price as a single out of warranty repair charge from Canon. Is it worth it, that is a great debate for sure. I've owned 4 DSLR bodies and this is the first out of warranty repair that I've had. I've only had one other dealing with Canon's repair center, which was a defective/recalled battery grip for my old 20D. Before deciding if you should spend the money on an extend warranty plan you may wish to first check the cost of an after warranty repair charge at this site: Canon Canada Repair Ctr.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Camera Shutter Life

I was recently looking for information regarding the shutter life for my camera. The manufacture gives approximate shutter life expectancies in their warranty information but how accurate are they? This Web Site contains average measured shutter life for popular makes and models.