July 12 A Rant and Thoughts on Brand Loyalty...

by Russell Smith July. 12, 2019 155 views

I am not sure where to start or if this will get published or live in my manage posts zone but here it goes. I read an article about brand loyalty on Fstoppers this got me to thinking. Why should I be loyal to a brand that is not loyal to me or their products?

I shoot with Canon bodies because well that is the gear that I have. Give me a chance or the funds to either invest more in Canon or jump to another brand and well 99% chance I will switch to another brand.

Why might you ask? No it is nothing to do with the camera bodies or glass. Yes Canon is in an odd spot for their product line but honestly what I see developing has more than amazing potential. Even if this potential is achieved in short order I would still have a 99% chance of leaving them. Again Why if they are amazing. Well in short because they do not care about me as a consumer. The body they put out and the features in the body is what I get. Ok so whats the problem. Problem is the bodies are capable of so much more just look at the 3rd party firmware site for them. Fujifilm and Olympus are the ones that made me stop and realize how much more potential a body has through firmware in some cases enough features to be considered a new body. This is important to me because it shows me that the company stands behind its product and believes or appears to believe that it cares about me and the product I bought.

Now on to another part of this thought stream. Service and repairs. Things go wrong items break sometimes end users fault other times flaws in the product. How a company handles when things go wrong is more important to me than a lot of things. I have had companies go out of the way to get something fixed and that caused me to stay with them even though I paid a bit more so to me service matters. Now on to the first major thing that started me thinking about this subject. Vitec Imaging Solutions. WTF who are they? Well Manfroto, Gitzo, Lowepro to name a few brands that they control.

A little over a year ago I bought a tripod to be exact a Manfroto Elements Tripod. A beginner/hobbyist tipod in their mind so this is where the story starts. It has rubber grips to tighten things down well the glue holding the rubber tight has let go so the rubber pieces spin freely making it impossible to tightening. I contact email support and they ask me to tell them the problem and send them some photos. That was done on 06 June 2019 and this is 12 July 2019. I have called the NJ company center 3 times and left a message and nada. So I had to figure out a work around of sorts..

Tape so I can put enough grip on the parts of the tripod to tightening it. Not ideal but it sort of works well enough. Now I am shopping around for tripods and I was considering a Gitzo tripod until I found out that this is the same company. If their customer service is this bad when things go wrong on a low budget items what makes me think I should expect anything less for any of the other parts of the product line as a average consumer ie not a youtube or ig with 1000s or 100000s of followers.

I do have one other issue and that is with a San Disk Card. This one I have not checked into but I will soon. I have a card that is about a year old and it is a 32gig SD card. Works great relatively fast and reliable but it is now a 29.2 gig card. Loosing almost 3 gigs of space. Not a major issue to me but I am curious about what is the expected rate of capacity loss in the cards. I mention this because one characteristic of SD drives is loss of capacity as it ages things like a "Pro" SD drive will have this happen at a slower rate. I will let you know when I know more about their stance on it.

***Edit***
Contacted SanDisk who has great and responsive customer service. The issue with my card is a combo of two things. 1 measurement of a gig for a operating system vs the companies measurement. 2 there is some age on the card in so much of the number of images that have been run through the card. As I though capacity loss is to be expected with use and reuse most likely it has been happening slowly over time but I did not notice it until it hit an odd number. With 20-30k images being put through the card and reformatted every week or multiple times a week it is with in acceptable range. While not the "perfect" answer it is an honest and likely answer.

Why should I be loyal to a brand that is not loyal to me or loyal to their products when something goes wrong? This is the question I keep asking myself. In the mean time I will research tripods a bit more I think I have it narrowed down to 2 or 3 different ones. They will be a much heavier duty one than what I have now because I want stable with heavier lenses and I want to be able to get lower to the ground or even a bit taller if necessary. I want a longer leg on it because well uneven ground and stability. Once I collect those thoughts I will most likely do a post on that and my thought process.

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Berckmans Peter 3 months ago

Very good blog. Am I loyal to a brand? To a point yes. Love Fuji, but they have a gap in their range of bodies. No full frame. They go from cropped sensor to medium sensor. Maybe it will come because Panasonic has now fullframe. Also their lenses are superb but very expensive. I have some third party lenses for the system. Customurservice is like most brands slow. You should find a shop that can give you a replace body for the time. Overall I am happy with Fuji. Tripods,well I always used Velbon an old brand with good quality,but limited range . Now I use a Cullman tripod and that is stabile good head and not to heavy . Remember you always can buy the head loose,so you can buy a strong tripod and choose the head that suits your needs. For the question, do we have to be loyal. Answer a big no. Brands just want to sell and not many listen to their fans. I think if had to change it would be Panasonic,also they are the best in filming and they went forward with big steps the last years. We should buy what we want and feel good with or you should be sponsored or be a proffesional. Customers expect still big names,like Nikon or Hasselblad when they pay for photos. Success with your tripod hunting.

3 months ago Edited
Shane Coleman 3 months ago

I’m on some Facebook photography group pages and it’s almost comical the heated arguments that occur over brands. Some people actually get angry about this stuff.

3 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Shane Coleman 3 months ago

Yea that part amuses me too.

3 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 3 months ago

Brand loyalty is just bollocks. Brands trying to make you feel guilty when they are the guilty ones. I've never been loyal to a brand and never will. My camera is a Nikon D3200, my 18-55 lens and my 55-300 lens too, but my macrolens and my super telelens are Tamron. If I judge something to be 1) affordable for me, 2) necessary, and 3) offering me the best balance between cost and quality I will buy it.

So chances are big my next camera will be a Nikon again (all my lenses fit Nikon), but that's not because I'm loyal to that brand smile

3 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Björn Roose 3 months ago

I would agree with you about brand loyalty. One thing I am excited to see is more and more mirrorless brands/bodies out there. Soon I think within next 5 years or less we will be able to have a camera body and shoot the lenses we want to or have with little to no penalty. Yes there will be brands or sensor sizes that are the outliers but I look at Sony,Fuji,Olympus/Panasonic and see the adaptors that are developed or being developed an with in 2 generations of that adaptor you will notice little or no loss of focus speed or other things.

3 months ago Edited
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