Canon Professional Services

I recently applied to the Canon Professional Services (CPS) program and was approved at the Gold membership level for one year. I first learned about this program in a blog post by Ethan Meleg. I have to be honest, the Canon swag is what interested me at first. So what do you get as a Gold member to this program?

Gold Membership

Once you are approved and have paid your $100 membership fee (Platinum members are $250) you receive a CPS welcome kit via Purolator. Included is your membership card and some Canon swag (more about this later).

The membership card entitles you to preferred pricing on Canon products at photo retailers. Exactly how much you can save remains a mystery to me. I’ve read on a few sites that this means you get Canon products at the dealer’s cost. Apparently retailers don’t make a lot of money on camera bodies and lenses so the savings might not be very significant.

Canon says that membership will “serve to identify you for service priority and discounts within the CPS program and for on site complimentary service support at events supported by Canon CPS services.” Sounds great but I’ve never had any problems with my Canon gear in seven years. Still, it’s good to know that I can get it back quickly if needed. I would love to know more about the complimentary service support at events supported by Canon CPS. There isn’t any mention of upcoming events on their website.

Here’s a quick rundown of benefits for Gold members:

  • welcome kit (basic)
  • service turnaround target of 6 days
  • service discount of 20% for parts and labour
  • subsidized service shipping via Purolator with preprinted waybills
  • telephone support

Is it worth it? Yes, but only if you’re allowed two complimentary cleanings of your camera body as some websites have indicated. I’m trying to confirm this with Canon Canada and will post an update when I know.

In the past I’ve paid $40 to have my Canon 5D cleaned professionally. Two free cleanings per year and the items in the welcome kit would make gold membership a good value.

2012 CPS Gold Membership Welcome Kit


Canon professional services swag.

Included in the welcome kit pictured above is the following:

  • membership card
  • Canon golf shirt
  • 4 preprinted Purolator waybills
  • stainless steel 25 function multi-tool kit in a nylon pouch
  • Canon lens cleaning cloth

Online Member Services

The member services section on the Canon Canada website doesn’t contain very much in the way of benefits unless rental rates and CPS service rates are of interest to you. Members are supposed to receive occasional emails about CPS program features and special offers.

I’ll post an update when I find out about the camera cleaning issue and any other updates that might be of interest to Canadian photographers considering this program.

Update: Canon Canada has informed me that Gold and Platinum members do not receive any free camera cleanings. Cleaning of CMOS sensors from Canon Canada is $40 CDN and gold members are given a 20% discount. In light of this information I don’t think the Canon Professional Services is a great deal.

Lightroom YouTube Channel

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube channel is an excellent resource if you are upgrading from a previous version of Lightroom and want to get up to speed on the new features in Lightroom 4. If you’re brand new to Lightroom or switching from Apple Aperture then these videos area great place to start.

Start with the Getting Started with Lightroom 4 playlist which contains 2 hours of content. All of the videos except the first one (What is Lighroom?) are hosted by Julianne Kost who is an excellent instructor. After watching her presentation, learning about the new features/improved workflow I was convinced that it was time to switch. I migrated to Lightroom 4 after seven years of using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop.

Once you have a copy of Lightroom installed you’ll want to watch the What’s New in Lightroom 4 playlist which contains another two hours of great instructional video. I’ve looked at a lot of instructional video in the last ten years and Adobe has set a new gold standard with the quality and presentation of these instructional videos. They helped me understand their new product in a very short time and made it an enjoyable experience. No, I don’t work for Adobe but I’m happy to give credit where credit is due.

If you’re looking for more videos to learn from then Julieanne Kost has a list of the latest Lightroom 4 video tutorials that are hosted on Adobe TV.