Two Promotions Go Different Ways

Canon and Nikon both announced new promotional programs designed to push more high-end product out camera dealers’ doors. It’s interesting how the two programs differ.

From May 1st through July 30th, CanonUSA will provide a 13-month CarePak Protection Plus program for any eligible camera or lens. What this program does is provide  prioritized repair for free, including for accidental damages. Canon’s press release reads “turns whoops into whoopie.” [sic]

The 7D Mark II up through the latest 1Dx Mark II are the bodies that will be covered, while the eligible lenses include eight of Canon’s most popular mid-to-high end lenses. Just remember to register your camera or lens for the program within 30 days of purchasing it (see this site).

Meanwhile, NikonUSA has also gone the “free things” route, though with physical product rather than insurance. The D610, D750, and D810 get a free genuine Nikon battery grip if you purchase them during the month of May. This is on top of the already in progress “instant savings” of US$300 to US$500 on these models. This site’s exclusive advertiser B&H is throwing in other items plus a 4% future purchase credit [advertiser link], so that starts to look like a lot of incentives thrown on the gold box.

It’s not surprising that these promotions come on the higher end gear: that’s where both companies have more margin flexibility. But I’m wondering if the bloom is now off the rose for full frame. Canon, Nikon, and Sony all made big pushes to get people to buy full frame over crop sensor cameras, but at US$1499 with lots of incentives, the D610 is looking not so far outside the crop sensor price range (indeed, it’s below the D500 price by a considerable margin). That companies have to push the high end products that far down means that demand has to be soft in the full frame world.

Heck, we haven’t hit the traditional Father’s Day or Graduation promotions yet and we’re seeing soft pricing. 

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