Tuesday 28 September 2010

A quick look at Canon prices

Every so often, I do a quick check on prices of the main photographic items such as bodies and lenses.  One of the things that those of us who buy gear got hit with big time were massive price hikes back in the beginning of 2009.

Now if you look at the British pound to Yen exchange rate at that time and compare it to now, you will see that it is now at about 130 Yen to the GBP, compared to, surprise surprise, about 130 Yen to the GBP.  So blatant profiteering I hear you say - Canon mugging us off again.

However, if you look at the 2008 graph below and look back to say August/September and you will see that it was about 200Yen to the Pound.  So that's about a 35% devaluation of Sterling.  I have handily provided you links to the graphs for the currency exchange rates below.

2008 British Pound to Yen Graph

2009 British Pound to Yen graph

2010 British Pound to Yen Graph

So how has that manifested itself in terms of bits of kit.  I will ignore new gear, as we know that Canon do mug us off with new gear and the RRP they choose to launch their stuff at. For example, 1Dmk4, launch RRP, £4500, price now, about £3400, 70-200f2.8 IS L mark11, Launch RRP of £2500, price now £1689.

But if we look at a lens I know and love, the 500f4L which has been stable through the financial turmoil, we can see from this graph how the exchange rate has has knocked the price up from about £3700 to up to over £5000.  I make that percentage change about the same as the currency devaluation.

So there are two things at work here.

For established kit, we can blame the legacy of Gordon Brown and his rubbish financial policies for screwing the UK economy and let Canon off the hook.

However, for new kit launched at stupid prices that we then see drop drastically over a period of six to nine months afterwards, we can blame Canon for mugging us off with their stupid pricing practices.

OK I have taken the blog perilously close to political waters - I will steer the ship away again.



  1. Totally agree Martin - if anyone lost their kit now or had to replace for any reason, who could afford it ????

  2. Hi Martin,
    I think a major source of frustration amongst us canon users is not simply the priv
    Ce rise but the fact that the exchange rate movement seems to be passed on in full to UK photographers but not to US photographers.
    I think the yen has strengthened similarly against the dollar but somehow the US market seems immune.
    I am sure the US is a much bigger market than the UK for canon and they need to remain competitive there,plus they will hedge their dollar exposure for sure but maybe not so sterling.
    Good article and we should keep on their case.

  3. Hi Pete
    The prices in the USA may seem cheaper than the UK but dont forget that you need to add taxes on to the prices shown on the web, Also UK prices drop very quickly whereas if you look at say the Nikon D3X which is a couple of years old and came out at $7999 you will still see it at around $7400 over here whereas in the UK it has dropped considerably, Saying that i am glad to buy kit here instead of Europe, I believe the guys in Scandinavia have it a lot worse than the brits