Canon Professional Services - The Best Tool for Photographers

Canon Professional Services - The Best Tool for Photographers

The Canon/Nikon debate is a Ford vs. Chevy debate for trucks, and a Coke vs. Pepsi debate for sodas. Both systems have their advantages, and their flaws (Come on Canon...make a 14-24mm already!). However, Canon, in my opinion, separates itself with one tool, the Canon Professional Services program.

 

What Is It?

If you own enough equipment from Canon, they’ll offer for you to join their professional services program. The program itself has 3 different tiers in which you can join, each with its own set of qualifications (that are fairly easy to meet). The tiers are broken down into Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Bennys
It's pretty easy to join the program in the Silver entry level, however, the benefits really begin to hit at the Gold and Platinum membership levels. Because of this, I highly recommend going straight to the Gold level membership, as it includes all the the features within the CPS program.

 

The Features

I recently renewed my Gold membership at WPPI, so I received a new package from Canon as a result. Within the package I received from Canon, I got the following items.

CPS-1CPS-2 
CPS Camera Strap
The CPS Strap provided by Canon is a vast improvement over the straps included with their cameras. Unlike their standard strap, the CPS camera strap is padded, and the curve within the strap makes it very comfortable to wear. I, like many photographers, use a third party strap as it is, so this camera strap has no real use for me. But the straps, because of their quality, or some reason unknown to me, sell new on eBay for around $70-$75, which makes the $100 annual fee far more bearable.

 

Lens Caps
They're identical to what you'd receive if you bought a new camera body or lens from Canon. Moving on...

 

EF Lens Work Book
This book is wonderful for anyone who is interested in learning the ins and outs of Canon's lens lineup. Every lens that is currently in production is featured in the book, with bright visuals, and often, examples of each lenses capabilities. The book itself is hardcover, and over 200 pages explaining everything you'd want to know about the lenses Canon has available. Everything from the weight, to the coating used on the glass is covered in this book. Also, if this book has no use for you, it can easily be sold on eBay for $15-$25, though I'd recommend holding on to it as a coffee table book.

CPS-3
 

Clean and Check Cards
One of the more valuable things within the packet you receive is the Clean and Check cards. These allow you to send your lenses or camera body into Canon to be professionally cleaned and serviced. The last time I had this done, Canon provided my camera with a new focusing screen, free of charge. This service is great, as its professionally done (instead of a simple blast from a rocket blower) and often costs upwards of a hundred dollars if done at a Canon retailer. Also, Canon often offers free cleaning of your equipment at different photography expos throughout the year to CPS members.

 

20% off Canon Workshops and Seminars
Personally, I've never used this feature within the CPS services, however I have no doubt that it is useful. Canon sponsors some of the best photographers in the world, who all offer their guidance within the CPS online portal. Classes are often cheap, and the 20% off just further cuts the cost of that.

 

CPS Pin & Membership  Card
Eh, just throw this stuff in the trash, as I assume you probably won't use it anyway.

 

Equipment Evaluation Loan
This is perhaps the best tool within the CPS program. Canon will lend you Camera bodies, Lenses, Flashes or whatever you'd need free of charge (minus shipping and handling). This is exceptionally useful if you often find yourself renting equipment from online vendors, as they'll have deadlines for returning, and will charge you extra for long term rentals. However, its worth noting that while Canon does offer this service for free, there are limits to the equipment you can borrow, and the time you can borrow it for. (Sorry video guys, no 1D-C's for you). A full list of potential rentals is available by clicking here.

 

Discounted & Rush Repairs
Another useful tool for CPS members is the discounted and rush repairs. Nikon, often takes weeks for specialty fixes on their camera gear, and do not offer a service that provides a timeline for returns. With Canon CPS, they are able to guarantee a 3 day turn around (for Gold members, 2 Days for Platinum members) with a discount of 30%-60% of the cost. Aside from this wonderful service, Canon also offers loaners for the time that you're without a camera.

 

How to Enroll

Canon Professional Services is incredibly simple to enroll in. If you've been registering your gear with Canon, enrollment will take only seconds. In order to be eligible for Gold or Platinum memberships, you must reach an allocated amount of points for the equipment you have registered. Pro cameras range from 4-10 points, and lenses range from 2-8. Personally, I've been able to reach 56 points, which is nearly triple the amount needed in order to obtain Gold membership, so reaching 20 should not be much of a problem. To enroll into the program simply click here.

Upon registering, Canon will send you your packet of information, usually within 3 business days. This will include everything you see above, as well as rush shipping labels, in case you do need to send some of your equipment in for repairs.

 

Conclusion

Sony, Pentax, and Olympus offer a program similar to this, however my experience with them is nonexistent (Thank you to Jason from the comments for the find). Nikon offers a program called Nikon Professional Services, but shares virtually no information on the program via their website. If you do shoot Canon, I believe Canon Professional Services is a must have program to be enrolled in. Between the repairs, equipment loans and the beautiful camera strap, CPS has shown appreciation towards its photographers that is unrivaled by their competition.

 

 

PSA : I'm not endorsed, sponsored or paid by Canon in anyway whatsoever. I simply learned that some Canon photographers were still unaware of the CPS program during WPPI, and decided to write this article about it to inform others.

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75 Comments

"Currently, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, and Olympus do not offer a program similar to this"
- Bullshit, Nikon has got NPS. Do some research before you say something like this. NPS is free, it has got almost same benefits as the Canon CPS.

"Nikon, often takes weeks for specialty fixes on their camera gear, and do not offer a service that provides a timeline for returns."
- Bullshit again! I sent my D300s + 70-200 f2.8 combination for repair and after two days, I got it back. Sent it Monday, got it Wednesday. Boom and it's okay, changed focusing motor and calibrated it.

"20% off Canon Workshops and Seminars"
- Nikon gives this free for NPS and even NPU. Free lessons, free workshops, free seminars. NPU = Free, you don't need to be a professional photographer, you just have to have enough Nikon stuff.

Although, NPS doesn't give you a fancy strap or extra caps, but to be honest. Who the heck uses fancy camera brand own straps that reads CANON or NIKON with big letters, making you look like: "Please, come and rob me!" Also, the original and that CPS strap is hideous, just hideous!

Next time, check the facts before posting like this. Canon isn't the only one who's making like this so that's why it's not "so special".

Zach Sutton's picture

"Nikon has got NPS. Do some research before you say something like this. NPS is free, it has got almost same benefits as the Canon CPS."

Nikon has virtually no information whatsoever in regards to their program. Infact, enrollment consists of sending an email to someone and telling them about your photography. Their website does not say a single thing about the services that you obtain by joining. If you don't believe me, feel free to look at their website yourself. http://www.nikonpro.com/aboutnps.aspx

"I sent my D300s + 70-200 f2.8 combination for repair and after two days, I got it back. Sent it Monday, got it Wednesday. Boom and it's okay, changed focusing motor and calibrated it."

I shared studio space with a photographer who sent in his D700 3 different times, each time taking over three weeks. Nikon didn't offer a loaner body or anything of the sort, they simply said they were behind and the repairs would be complete when they're complete.

"Nikon gives this free for NPS and even NPU. Free lessons, free workshops, free seminars. NPU = Free, you don't need to be a professional photographer, you just have to have enough Nikon stuff."

Again, their website mentions nothing of this. Care to look? Here is the web address again. http://www.nikonpro.com/aboutnps.aspx

The biggest difference between the two is that NPS is more of an exclusive club. Meaning you have to prove to them and another member(your sponsor) that you are in fact a full-time professional photographer.

bullshit. you do not have to prove anything... got Nikons? you're welcome.

That's Nikon NPU! NPS needs you to prove that you're pro photographer.

Actually this is wrong! I'm NPS and never had to be introduced by anyone or prove to anyone I'm a pro (even though I am)... The terms and conditions are clearly stated on the site; like it's already been mentioned, "you got enough qualifying stuff, you're in!"

As for the repair time, I'm sure delays - and equally, speedy returns - are going to happen to both camps. Saying one is better than the other simply because of that is completely arbitrary. My experience has been good - although not stellar - but that's life. The support and the various benefits are there and frankly, I think NOT charging for them is kinda honest and fair on Nikon's part (seeing as you've already spent a bucketload of cash on their equipment anyway!) Still, I admit that I'd like some of the other benefits... what are the chances of me using them? Very small, but it's nice to know they're there...

And one last thing: You spend $100 with Canon and you get two caps, an ad booklet on lenses and a strap? Pointless...

A Shitty strap. Think about that :)

http://www.nikonpro.com/aboutnps.aspx

Marian, go read this link... Nikon has to verify that you are a full time pro photographer.... Not bullshit, facts! Oh and you need at least two pro bodies...

Nikon NPS in the US requires a letter of introduction, followed by evaluation, submission of your professional work, and a recommendation by an existing NPS member. I think this is to prevent anyone and everyone from using NPS' limited resources which are aimed at working professionals.

I live in Europe, every body I've ordered Nikon body and lens came with Nikon NPU/NPS paper. I've a member of NPS and when I sent a D300s to a repair with the 70-200 f2.8, they offered a loaner body and lens, a D300S and newer 70-200 f2.8 but I didn't take them since I didn't have a use for them at that time. I had second body, and I didn't need that lens since that was so called "quiet season". They offered them for free.

It seems that the qualification between USA and Europe is different. In here, you just fill an application form. You have to tell about your photography but that's the minor area of it.

From Nikon NPS, I've got free tickets to local photography expos, discount for Photography booths at the nature. Also, by showing the member card, I can get discounts of gears in Nikon Pro Dealers. Nikon also offers free repair in the events. For example, if I go to Monte Carlo to shoot some Formula F1 and Nikon has got a own support crew there, I can get free repair there on location. For example, if my 70-200 f2.8 breaks down, I can take it to their crew, they take it and give me a same lens. I can go and shoot until my lens of fixed. Easy as that!

That repair thing that you said about Nikon, you can't blame that Nikon repair is horrible compared to Canon CPS. It's like comparing that High Quality Premium watch is so precise compared to a shitty, 10$ plastic watch. 3 weeks is normal for person who is not a NPS or NPU member. If you would've registered your gear at Nikon's Site, repair time would've dropped from 3 weeks to 3-5 days. And the registration is free, no application for a member since NPU is free and application free.

It seems that Nikon end of USA has really screwed up of the information of the NPS. I understand that NikonUSA don't give a lot of information and qualification is such a pain in the ass...

You are not being sponsored, but this is exactly the idea that you pass in your text.

While what you say about Canon's Professional Services are accurate, your "conclusion" statement about Nikon's Professional Services (NPS) not giving similar service is inaccurate and negates your credibility for all the good points you made. I'm a NPS member -- and I was also a CPS member -- so I've had first hand experience with both.

I have found hands down that NPS provides not only top notch services for its professional members, but exceeds Canon's in some respects -- especially turn-around speed on repairs. For example, last month I was in Los Angeles and went to it's facility there on a Wednesday with two cameras and a lens needing help. The lens was fixed on the spot while I waited. The two cameras were checked in, repaired and shipped back to me arriving the following Monday -- the day after I got back. I then shipped to them a third camera that arrived there on a Friday whereupon it was repaired and returned to me by the following Wednesday. How do you get better service than that?

As to Nikon taking weeks for specialty repairs, that's possible if parts are not readily available. However the same can be said about Canon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus, Minolta, Leica, etc. The key wording here is "specialty." Camera stores care a bevy of standard items on their shelves. But if you want a special version of something they will have to special order it whereupon you have to wait.

Informing others about a service is one thing. But before you start comparing it to the programs of others you need to do some serious homework first on those other companies.

Zach Sutton's picture

Again, I shared studio space with a photographer who had a button stick 3 different times with his D700. Each time, Nikon held his camera for over 15 days. This was no more than 2 years ago. So while you might have different experiences, I'm just sharing mine. A sticking button is not a specialty repair in my eyes...

You fail to mention if this "Guy" was an NPS member or not. Just having a D700 will not entitle you to be an NPS member.

Oh wow, some trigger happy newb had problems with a sticky button? Did it get all over his pajayjays?

Lemme guess, Af-On stuck and he couldn't take any photos anymore.

Fyi, one person is everyone, bro.

Tx for the article ! I was actually looking to get a gold membership and your post is a very good resume of all the advantages.

Lukas Biba's picture

CPS sucks in our country (Czech republic) - I'm able to subscribe, but there are no advantages for me. It's just a formal membership.

Noam Galai's picture

Im an NPS member - I pay nothing, and I get equipment for free when needed, expedite repairs and all that stuff when needed.
Paying $500 (a year!) for something like that sounds a little crazy

500$ paying for a service which you can get from other company for free...It's Canon exclusive!

Also, I've been in Canon and Nikon Workshops, unfortunately, I have to say that Nikon workshops are cheaper (to NPS user it's free) and they have got more information, more skilled people and more real-world working! Canon is mostly a theory theory theory and "we're done for this workshop, thank you!".

And no, I'm not a fanboy. I don't give a damn what people use to take photos. As long as the quality is good, pictures are nice, I don't care if it's taken with old Holga!

This is just a terrible article all around.

Your thesis is that Canon sets itself apart from Nikon with its CPS program.

Nikon clearly has it's NPS membership available. Your twice used excuse is that Nikon's American website has very little information on it. (luckily I live in Canada and our page seems to be better - http://help.nikon.ca/app/answers/detail/a_id/8133/~/nps-membership-in-ca... )You were kind enough to share a link to that ever so useless U.S. page, which still did have some info on it. They request some information from the Nikon shooter (very little work) and they will send you their information at no cost to you...seems fair. And yes, maybe they could have a little more information on the page, but I would imagine this process is a great way to weed out the serious individuals from those who may not qualify. Also, a good writer does not exhaust one resource and move on. I'm going to give you a HUGE tip, bigger than sharing the CPS membership. There is a website available now called Google.ca, it may be Google.com in your country. This is a wonderful search tool that people can use to find information. It uses the internet which is a really cool new system that connects like-minded individuals, giving them the ability to share and discuss information. I think you may really like it!

Guess what? we all have Google. Do some actual work before making ridiculous claims.

I shoot Canon and I sell both Canon and Nikon professional equipment. I also really hate ridiculous, unfounded FanBoy arguments based in nothing but ignorance and arrogance. But I would have to side with the angry Nikon folks on this one.

Had you written an article sharing CPS information with photographers for the sole purpose of informing those who do not know, you might have a nice little fluff piece of filler here. Instead you taint all of the great info given by leaving a sour taste in peoples mouth for no reason. There was no need to take this opportunity to compare Canon w/ Nikon. Especially since you had no interest in researching what Nikon actually offers. "Canons Professional Services - a more informative website than Nikon's" might be a more accurate title. But hey, thanks for stirring up a redundant argument, sharing all of the information already on Canon's website and the addition of your terrible insight.

This is just a terrible article all around.

So is this a USA thing? I've got platinum membership in Europe and get nothing.

Von Wong's picture

generally disagree with this article too lol.

Nikon's been great to me - as for NPS benefits in canada: http://help.nikon.ca/app/answers/detail/a_id/8133/~/nps-membership-in-ca...

They've sent me anything I've ever asked for... and shipping is free. :)

Zach, I hate to be a hater (get it? Funny eh), but you kinda screwed up on this one. Get your facts straight, Nikon not showing this properly on their USA site only is not enough to just draw this premature conclusion.
Regardless of whether or not you're to blame, you'll agree with me that your article deserves some editing. Now that you know the facts, it seems fair to change your first few lines. What you're stating ATM is just downright wrong.

Zach Sutton's picture

No one has presented the facts to me yet. I've looked through their website, and it says nothing on what Nikon features through its professional services. People have corrected me, but with not credible sources. Nikon makes their entire professional services a mystery to the general public, as I pointed out in the article. Also, this article is, and has been marked as Opinion since the beginning...

Lack of knowledge is no excuse. I am a NPS member and not by mistake, it was a conscious decision based on information provided by Nikon's website...

I'm not sure why you think it's so important that Nikon advertises their NPS system... It's for working pro's who shoot nikon so nikon makes sure they are taken care of. There is no additional money exchanged, they value their professional customers, simple as that. If your a working photographer who shoots nikon you know about NPS.

http://www.nikonpro.com

Mark it as an opinion piece, fine, but you you screwed up, clean and simple.

Zach Sutton's picture

It has been marked as an opinion piece since the very beginning.

And if they want someone like fstoppers to advertise their services, then they need to make their services information available. I cannot simply write a piece about something that has no imformation derivative from Nikon.

Your opinion is fine, but saying these other companies don't have professional services programs is simply false.

Zach Sutton's picture

Show me evidence that says Sony Pentax and Olympus has a similar service then. Cause my article says that Nikon does have a service but provides little to no information about it publicly. If you cannot find that evidence, then take your trolling elsewhere.

Look up, I linked to all the programs...

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