Canon 5D Mark II Strikes Again, Captures Sony’s Official Cyber-shot Promo Images

Sony Cyber-shot EXIF 5D Mark II

Canon must really feel flattered with all the press that other camera manufacturers are providing.  Just last week, Panasonic released a behind-the-scenes video (subsequently taken down) that revealed its new Panasonic G2 commercial was shot with the 5D Mark II, although it appeared to be captured with the Panasonic G2 at first blush.

And, while Sony hasn’t gone to the amount of effort that Panasonic did to showcase Canon’s full frame camera, the EXIF data embedded in the promo shots for Sony’s new Cyber-shot cameras (WX5, TX9, T99) reveal that many were shot with the 5D Mark II (see top screen capture).

While the studio shots of cameras appear to have been captured on a Phase One P45+ back, the location shots appear to have been captured on June 15-16, 2010 with a Canon 5D Mark II.  The promo images in question can be found here.

Is this a big deal? Probably not.

Is it a little embarrassing for Sony? Yeah.

Is there a lesson to learn here? I think so.

Sony has been pushing pro photographers to take the company seriously.  At PMA 2010, Sony was the only camera manufacturer that put a pro photographer on stage to give free seminars on the show floor throughout the week.  Canon usually is the big dog at PMA with great lectures from the company’s Explorers of Light, but Canon was absent from PMA 2010 and it looked like Sony was really stepping up its game.

If Sony really believes in the company’s evangelists who shoot with an A900 and Sony/Zeiss lenses in their everyday professional endeavors, why not seek out these photographers for its promo shots and ad campaigns?

What’s more, this isn’t the first time Sony has used a Canon shooter for its campaigns.  Just prior to the release of the A900, Sony shot a killer campaign in Miami, called Foam City.  The still shooter on set there used a the original 5D, a Canon 1-series and Canon glass (see above and below).

Of course, the use of a Canon DSLR on a Sony campaign prior to the release of the A900 can be somewhat understood.  However, I suspect that there were pre-production A900 models floating around at the time, which would have been capable of capturing the very well-lit scenes in Miami.  For that matter, I think the A700 would have sufficed in those conditions.

While this may be rather humorous to many of us, and hopefully a bit embarrassing to Sony, I think there is still a bigger message to take away from the recent slip-ups from both Panasonic and Sony.

And that message rests in camera manufacturers’ marketing…

If you want consumers (both amateur and professional) to put their trust in your products and lay down hard-earned money for those products, perhaps you should first consider using your own products on your own marketing.  Seek out those professionals that trust in you and your products already, and hire them to be your marketing vision on the surface . . . as well as beneath the surface.

If manufacturers want to have marketing campaigns “go viral” in today’s media, you need to start the infection from within.  Otherwise, it will go viral, but it may not be the kind of virus that you are looking for – you may just end up endorsing a competitor’s product.



  1. says

    You forgot one question: Did I get some poor photographer in trouble? Probably.

    Anyway, pretty funny. As a 5D2 shooter, I can’t blame them a bit.

  2. Andrew says

    Yawn… The advert is for compact point and shoot cameras right? so who cares unless they should be using compacts instead of profional dslr’s

  3. says

    Sony Electronics hires outside professionals to shoot our product photography as well as commercials, print and digital ads. Whenever possible we require the use of Sony professional video and still cameras for shooting but apparently not in this case.
    Marcy Cohen
    Sony Electronics

  4. TR says

    Companies HIRE third-party outsiders Professional Photographers to take product photos. They don’t ask what brand they use but whether they are qualified for the job!

  5. MichaelKW says

    TR Says: “Companies HIRE third-party outsiders Professional Photographers to take product photos. They don’t ask what brand they use but whether they are qualified for the job!”

    Uhh… did you even read the Sony rep’s reply above? Of course they require their own brand equipment to be used when they contract an ad agency. They clearly made a mistake this time. If, like *you* believe, they can’t find a qualified photographer that uses an Alpha 900… well, then the Sony brand really is in trouble!

  6. Futile says

    @Marcy Cohen

    I have to be honest Marcey. Although the general consensus is that Sony should be embarrassed that they out sourced a Canon using Photographer to shot their new P&S range, I actually find it somewhat refreshing. I absolutely despise corporations that will not recognize talent because of brand snobbery. The Photographer chosen is clearly qualified for the project and therefore should have gotten it, regardless of the brand of camera he/she uses. That is obviously what has happened here.

    In my opinion the only problem is that the META info should have been removed from the images, not to avoid shame but to prevent this kind of finger-pointing which will no doubt cause you to change your policies and therefore perpetuate the disadvantage to Professional Photographers, based on the brands they use.

    I really hope this doesn’t affect how you choose your talent, more the way you choose to publish your PR images.

  7. ad says

    I’ve worked for many agencies around the world and the most important thing is how good the photographer’s book is – what gear they use is not important. I’d expect that 99% of photographers I hire for shots that require moving around to be equipped with Canon, Nikon or Leica. For studio shots of any significance I would be appalled to see anything less than a medium format camera (film or digi is fine). I’m yet to see anyone use a Sony. I’d be very surprised if Sony would be willing to hand cameras out to photographers (you’d be surprised how difficult it can be to obtain product) and also run the risk of a photographer missing shots as they get used to new gear.

    This is a marketing department mistake – they handle the images that are posted on the website. They should automatically have their exif data removed. Also, the shots obtained by a stills photographer on a tv shoot will hardly ever be used for anything significant other than post-production work.

  8. Lars says

    I agree that the EXIF should have been removed to avoid this kind of internet drama controversies that are at best silly…

    However it doesn´t means you should choose the shooter because of the brand of gear he has, Ad agencies (you know in the real world) and corporate clients don´t care at all about the brand of the gear you use they only care about how good and consistent your portfolio is, your references and if you are reliable or not. The problem is that in the state of the net today everything is reduced to the gear used, in their imaginary world cookie cutter lighting setups, big brand cameras and the like are what makes a photographer good in the field, people think that to shoot a good photo you need x camera or x lighting gear or follow x lighting blog which is uber WRONG: you need talent and the brand of gear you use is irrelevant to talent, the only thing that high end gear gives you is better image quality (sharper images, better color tones, etc.) but what makes the photo is the concept and how you put it in motion.

    This is a screw up of Sony´s marketing department and not the shooter…

    But whatever the internet is just a silly place where people should use x or y brand to be good.

  9. Chris says

    Product photography often needs a camera with a tilt or swing on the lens.

    Sony currently don’t make a lens like that, Canon do. Hence any photographer specializing in product photography is unlikely to be using Sony Alpha cameras. However this doesn’t mean that Sony cameras are not an excellent choice for many other types of photography.

    It is pretty obvious that many Nikon and Canon product shots have been taken with large format or medium format cameras which they don’t make. So what. A professional photographer should use the camera best suited to the job. No one camera manufacturer produces cameras suited to every type of photography.

    The only mistake made was that no one removed the EXIF data from the data which would have avoided this type of silly thread. At least it seems they didn’t put in fake EXIF data which is easy enough to do.

    – C

  10. kopial says

    Dude, the marketing department of any company would hire a professional photographer company that can bid the best price. Got it? Well it appears that this advertising company which bid the lowest contract price was using Canon. So be it…that’s how real world operate…its not like Sony’s marketing department are made up of professional photographers, they are marketing graduates for goodness sake?! Hello?

  11. gerald says

    Is there any professional photographer using Sony Cameras? Not that they are bad cameras (I think they comitted a huge error when rebranding the dSLR product line from Minolta to Sony) but Canon and Nikon just have such a lead when it comes to the scope of their respective camera systems that Sony is still at a significant distance, despite their brilliant decision to team up with Carl Zeiss for lenses. But Sony’s after sales service is SOOOOOO bad (at least in Europe) that a professional hardly can afford to but most of his eggs in the Sony basket). (I complained about the Canon service – even at their CPS Pro level – until I tried Sony…)

  12. gerald says

    BTW, controlling EXIF data on public shoots should be a standard procedure for any marketing manager in charge of the material. Sony was not very professional there…

  13. john says

    Sony, Make.Beleive?, Ha ha ha. we try so hard to promote sony dslr and because of this we die out flat.

  14. Pompom says

    As the cliché goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. Although there were some truth to conflicting ideas about better gears or better photographers, ideally it should be an initiative for discipline that a company such as those giants ought to live out in pursuit of excellence: (1) Product development; and (2) Brand loyalty; (3) Market(able) niche. 

    I think hiring a professional to use a Sony camera for a Sony ad is actually the opportunity to test how well the equipment fares in terms of capacity, as well as, user-friendliness.

    Anyhow, take the case of a qualified recently-turned pro photographer,  should he decline a job because his line of lenses are not that “complete” or top of the line.

    I think it is up to him to give his best in every situation that comes his way, regardless of his gears. You will agree with me when I say that he ought not to wait to complete his line of gears before taking the jobs he is offered for his given caliber. 

    It would be best, too, if the efforts were supported by corporate initiative. In the name of competition, market share & niche, the company ought to take it upon themselves to face the actual and real life situations to see for themselves — are they lacking in a certain area, can their existing line fill the “void”? Exposures such as these will tell them what else they need to “be in the market”. It’s better that it comes from them than the users outside the company. 

    Take this for instance, you’ll never see a Toyota storage or manufacturing facility being moved around by non-Toyota forklifts! Whether within the confines of the company or not, (4 words) IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!! The feedback system is so important to them that they’d rather see for themselves too!

    This is what giant companies of their stature are set for. This is what will comprise their products’ viability, and eventually, the marketing edge. From here, they will know what directions the company should take with respect to certain product segments, instead of being satisfied just trailing behind their largest competitors!

    Going back to Toyota as the worlds largest automotive company, this company naturally earned its niche and market share by creating new brands and markets (Lexus and Scion), not through mergers nor corporate takeovers!

    It is this that keeps a company on its toes (away from corporate complacency and arrogance), and it’ll also be the very same thing that will propel them towards their own brand of success!

    After all, it’s more difficult to be beaten in one’s own game, especially if it was borne out of a niche-created effort. While the longevity of it’s success is another story, it is directly related to the corporate culture in real-life situations and on a daily basis that will continue to fuel the efforts into passion!

    So, don’t give it up for Sony just yet. Cheers to Canon!

  15. says

    I think the point of these images were to show one of the the wx5 key features, the ability to take images that looks like from a DSLR ( to fake shallow dof ), that is why it is a little disturbing that they actually ARE shot by a DSLR.