Something To Think About – Service – Is Sony The Best Choice? What About Other Brands?

by planetMitch5 Comments

I saw this interesting article on PetaPixel and I also just saw this story on canonrumors and it is all a great reminder that there's more to owning a camera than the sensor or the body or even the lens. Support can be critical! 

Matt Granger is a pro from Australia who's put together a great video that reminds us about what great support is like. In his case, Sony's support has been atrocious. And, for many of us, support is a good piece of the battle.

If you are a very small shop (meaning maybe just one body – tho I don't know how any pro could survive on just one body – they do sometimes break after all) then you may not even be eligible for support from the major brands.

Sony has just announced their own Professional service level – but you have to own at least 2 full frame bodies (plus 3 lenses) and pay $150 a year just for the privilege.

I was with Canon Professional Services for a while – which I think I was paying $100/year – and note like Matt mentions in the video, you have to have a certain amount of gear to even qualify – and I did receive very good support when I had problems. They were attentive, responsive, and much better than what Matt reports about his experience with Sony. I just don't shoot enough to justify the added expense.

But, as is pointed out in the video as well as the Canonrumors story – there's more to getting excited about camera gear and buying it… there's the ‘what happens if it breaks' issue and for some, that can be a huge part of the battle. So while many are bashing Canon and Nikon for not ‘keeping up' with other brands like Sony, there are some very valid reasons for sticking with brands that do offer excellent support.

Have you ever worked with Sony support? How was it? Did you get what you needed?

Here's the video from Matt Granger – which you should watch the entire video… it does make you think!

From canonrumors – which has his own reports on service times as he used to run LensRentals of Canada.

about Australian professional photographer Matt Granger and his experience with the Sony A7 cameras and the level  of support you receive when you own Sony gear in Australia.

His experiences seem to mimic mine in Canada, the quality of service from Sony Canada is abysmal at best. I’ve had a number of items that have needed repair, and every single one of them took more than 12 weeks to get back to me, and one of the items I haven’t seen for 6 months.

I  tracked all of our Canon repairs when Lens Rentals Canada was open, and 90% of the repairs done by Canon Canada took less than 2 weeks door-to-door.

The quality of image that the Sony system can produce is outstanding, but I don’t feel it’s worth being without a camera or lens for months if something goes wrong.


Source: There’s More to a Camera System Than Just the Gear

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. That lack of service support is really horrible and I understand why the photographer would dump Sony. However, I also know of a similar horror story from Canon service involving a 5DII. So I don’t think Sony is alone in that regard. Unfortunately, good customer service is rare these days.

    Personally, over the years I have had good results with Sony broadcast equipment, but there is a local engineer in my area who is a Sony certified service technician, and his work is done to perfection. When he retires things probably will change. Regardless of the manufacturer, any company who hopes to compete in the professional arena should make good repair service a priority. Unfortunately this is probably not going to happen in my lifetime.

  2. >> I’ve been buying Sony consumer-electronics products for 50 years. I’ve probably owned as much Sony consumer electronics as every other brand put together. But, as a company, I’ve never found Sony particularly prepossessing. Perhaps their most-infamous behavior was (around 30 years ago) announcing there’d be an across-the-board price increase — then lowering prices. *

    >> My Sony D-7S failed several days after its skimpy 90-day warranty expired. I was obliged to blackmail Sony to get it fixed. (It was due to a bad Sharp laser diode, which plagued this particular model.)

    >> Sony makes great products, but I don’t trust it “to do the right thing” meeting its customers’ needs.

    >> I own two Canon EOS SLRs (one film, one digital) and a bunch o’ lenses ‘n flashes. When I griped about a noisy sensor, I had no problem getting Canon to look at it — even though Canon’s written warranty explicitly excluded it from any responsibility for high sensor noise. I also like being able to call Canon on Saturday mornings and get customer service from people who usually know what they’re talking about.

    >> In short… I trust Canon. I’m no so sure about Sony.

    * J Gordon Holt told me that, at a Sony press conference, a videographer told how he’d rushed to buy some needed equipment — and then had the price drop. He was not a happy camper.

  3. I can Honestly say that Canon service is 2nd to none – I have used them nearly every year since 2003 (service every 12 months or so) as I work in around 15 countries a year – I have 3 x 5dmk3 bodies and a array of lenses – I’m also a silver Canon pro member which i think of memory is around $75 Australian – my equipment is seldom away in service or repair for more than 3 to 4 days in Sydney and even had some work done on my gear in the US and South Africa with amazing service – would love to purchase a Sony but concerned about the service side – It’s Unknown to me at this stage.

    The only real issue that I have with Canon is the dead pixel issue in extreme heat – its a pain in the butt.

    Still they do fast repair/s and a lot of times (dead pixels – Bad cases) they don’t even charge or its much cheaper than I was thinking to have work done.

  4. My experience with Canon customer service was excellent when I had questions about my 7D and 6D. I converted to the and A7S sold all my Canon glass. When I had problems with my Sony Glass, it was a nightmare just to get someone on the phone who somewhat knew the product and was the appropriate person to talk to. Even though it was the appropriate person to talk to, they spoke very poor English and did not know the product. It was some type of overseas call center. I would think since the US market is so big they could have specific US support, but of course they go for the cheap third world labor to save money. If Canon had the same product offering I would choose them because of their excellent customer service, but unfortunately they are not keeping up with innovation.

  5. Back when I was in NY, I had taken my camera directly in to the Sony NJ service center. This was a pro level video camera – DXC 327a ( dating myself ) and had time directly with tech that was going to work on and align the camera. learned a lot, got my camera back a few days later exactly setup as I wanted. That was 15 years ago. However this service center was for broadcast gear, not consumer gear.

    Likewise I’ve been to Canon chicago service and had a good experience too there. What I would expect for pro level service. calling the cinema EOS support line is also good – you directly connect to some one who can take care of what you need and is knowledgable about the product. hate to say it but I know the sound of their voices now as I’ve been working on issues with C300 Mk2 – one a repair, the other firmware bugs / short comings that canon REALLY needs to fix ASAP.

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