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Canon EOS Accessories - Buyer Beware!

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#1 JeffBosworth

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

For those of you who purchase accessories for your Canon camera, note that I have been going through a "bait and switch" issue with an online retailer of these accessories.

I ordered a Canon AC adapter online for my T4i camera last week. Shortly after I placed the order I got a phone call from the retailer that the Canon adapter was out of stock (though they continue to list it as in stock on their website) but they had a "newer model with a thermal cutoff switch". It would only be about $10 more. So I say OK. My credit card was charged $69.99 which is $13 more than the Canon adapter I ordered.

A few days later I get a package with an adapter made by a Chinese company called Kapaxen. NOT made by Canon. I look it up online and this same model is being sold for just $12.50 everywhere else (check it out on Amazon.com). And the online reviews of this item are terrible - one of the reasons I didn't order it instead of the Canon adapter in the first place. I need a quality product that isn't going to fail in the middle of an imaging session.

I emailed customer service at the online store (in NYC) and got a rude reply about how they had a recorded phone call of me accepting this "newer model" and it was my fault that I never asked if it was a Canon brand. So now I have to get a return authorization (RA#) and send this thing back then worry about them actually crediting my CC. And I don't have an AC adapter for my camera.

Another email to them asking for an RA number and I get a reply from another person who says they will refund $30 to my credit card to simply keep the item. So this $12.50 item is now just $40! How could I refuse?? :jump: But I did refuse and again asked for the return authorization. I get another reply that they will send it to me by close of business today - in other words, when they get around to it.

If anyone is interested, let me know and I can tell you who this online retailer is. You can then avoid the kind of run around I am getting from them.

Jeff

#2 terry59

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

Why not just say who it is?? :question:

#3 Tonk

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

Because its against the CN terms - and for rather obvious reasons

#4 jgraham

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

Super crud. Thanks for the warning. I was lucky to find an AC adapter for my XTi locally. I may not get so lucky for my T2i.

#5 nofxrx

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

First off, sorry to hear about your issue!!
I hate the bait and switch scammers...


Why do you NEED the Canon version??
The 3rd party ones are not going to just 'die on you in the middle of an imaging run'.
I can guarantee you that the Canon one has JUST as likely a chance at doing the same thing as most (high quality) 3rd party models..

I have owned both Canon and 3rd party AC Adapters for EVERY Canon model I have ever owned(literally, every model from the 20D to the 1D Mark IV...with the exception of the 50D and 60Da..) and EVERY one works exactly like the Canon version..

And, they are ~$15, not $150 for (some) Canon models...

I know that is not what your post is about, but just wanted to make sure people understand this..

#6 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

Hi Jeff,

That is a bummer.

It's usually a good idea to check out any merchants with http://www.resellerratings.com/ before buying anything.

A lot of this bait and switch goes on, especially with camera equipment.

I believe you are absolutely correct in demanding original Canon equipment.

Let me tell you my experience with trying to be "frugal" aka "cheaping out".

I bought a Canon TC80-N3 remote interval timer about 8 years ago. It has worked flawlessly every time I have used it. I get done at the end of a long winter night with sub-freezing temperatures, and it will be covered in frost, and I just shake my head in amazement.

Then I got a second camera and wanted another remote interval timer. But I was too cheap to buy a real one, so I went with a cheap Chinese clone. It worked for a while, then developed a short somewhere inside of it.

Then I got another one, a different brand and model. It gives a low-battery indication even with a fresh battery in it. And sometimes it just stops working while using it. I simply don't trust it, so I don't use it. The amount of work I put into my images, and clear dark sky time is just to precious to waste.

Then I got yet another one. I mean, at some point I have to luck out and get a good one, right? Nope, same story. Unreliable.

Now, by this time I have spent $100 on 4 "inexpensive" timers.

For just another $25 I could have had a real Canon TC80-N3 and had something I could trust and depend on.

Now, If I buy a real Canon model for $129, it will have cost me $229.

But I have no one to blame but myself and my own foolishness.

You get what you pay for.

Jerry

#7 Toxic Coolaid

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

I have 4 of the "cheap" remote timers. I often run 3 Canon cameras, then I have 1 backup timer. I've never needed it. They've been covered in frost below 20F many times. The recharageable batteries usually last over a month between charges. They range from 3 to 1 year old. I may have just been real lucky or Jerry real unlucky. Canon's timers look to be better built. I have 1 Canon power supply and 3 cheap ones. All have worked fine. If someone tries the bait and switch definitely report them, leave poor feedback, whatever you can do. If I buy something cheap and know it that's on me. When you pay for Canon quality, you should receive Canon quality. I have my own business and I can't imagine doing business like that. I'm sorry you're having to deal with that mess. Thank you for the heads up.

#8 harbinjer

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:51 AM

I too am sorry to hear of your troubles. I've come close to buying from one of these shifty places. Many of them are in New York, and they often have no real store front. They move around and always call you, and if you refuse their upsell, they'll say the item is out of stock, and say they'll get it in a month or more. If you bought this on a credit card, and their refuse the full return, you might be able to have the credit card company help you out. If you agreed to a new model that doesn't mean cheap knock-off or off brand. It might even quality as mail fraud, which the postmaster general's office IS interested in. The more people that fight them on their weaselly ways the harder a time they'll have screwing people over. Good luck. And since you can't post the store name here, make sure you post it where you can, so that $storename$ swindle comes up in google results for others to see.

#9 Tonk

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:08 AM

Let me tell you my experience with trying to be "frugal" aka "cheaping out".


Jerry I guess is statistics and (bad)luck. My canon TC80-N3 developed a fault where random cells on the LCD no longer work - I have to rigorous count the clicks to set it up after reseting it each time. I have two Hong Kong clones that have worked flawlessly for 5 years - bar one feature - leave the batterys in and they drain much faster than the Canon ever did - so all I do is take the battery cells out after a session.

#10 JeffBosworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

Thanks for all the responses folks. It has been really hard to find one of these AC adapters that also gets good reviews. Harbinjer, that sounds exactly like this place. It is in NYC and the caller that upsold me sounded like a woman in her kitchen at home with little kids in the background. They claimed to have recorded the conversation and that a man was the one who explained the reason for the "newer" model. When I told them it was a woman they said that this man, named Mark, sounds like a woman!

I have no issue with non-Canon equipment. Chances are the Canon adapter is built in the same factory in China but on a different floor. A third party accessory is fine with me - as long as it works as well or better than the "genuine" equipment.

Had this store told me it was a different brand I might have said, "wait, let me look into this one." But they made it sound like it was a new Canon model and I'd come to them because the Canon model was on backorder at many of the more reputable places. If you were to go to this website now you won't find the cheap adapter listed but it appears as if the Canon adapter is in stock. They know that if they listed the cheaper adapter at $70 it would never sell so they get people to order the Canon model they don't even have then switch them to the junk.

I did post the website address on FB. FB has some amazing power to get the word out - friends of friends of friends see the post ultimately. It gets logarithmic... :smirk:

Jeff

#11 mmalik

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

Sorry for your troubles. My thoughts are that there would have been no harm posting vendor name after such an experience.

Here... is link to genuine adapter kit if you still would like to get. Thx

#12 JeffBosworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:24 AM

I usually buy camera equipment from B&H or Adorama. Those guys have been around forever. I did see the genuine Canon model at B&H but the price is high. Some dealers (like the one that's messing with me) sell this one for about $56

Maybe I'll buy 4 or 5 of the cheap models and then if one fails, I'll just hook up another one! I've seen the Kapaxen model at some sites for just $9. I could get 6 of them for the price of the Canon... ;)

#13 austin.grant

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:45 AM

Forgive my possible naivete, but I always thought the danger of the failing "cheapo" adapter was the possibility that it fries some camera internals on the way out.

Of course nobody cares if the $9 adapter dies, but the possibility of taking out the camera as well is not appealing. At least with that "expensive" genuine Canon brand, there comes some peace of mind.

And for the record, none of the 3rd party knockoffs I've seen have ever been anywhere near the build quality of the genuine Canon ones.

#14 JeffBosworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

Austin, precisely my concern, too. Ostensibly, a Canon branded accessory will have been thoroughly tested before granting some Chinese factory the right to build it. The "replacement" models likely weren't tested or approved by Canon. Thus, if one of the cheapos fries the camera, the warranty is probably toast, too.

Jeff

#15 fco_star

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

I have 2 cheap models one even came with tape all over from a CN member and both work great with no issues, I'm maybe lucky I guess.

#16 JeffBosworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:36 PM

I am sure that there is at least one manufacturer in China that is building these adapters reasonably well. Matter of fact, the "Kapaxen" adapter I received I've also seen under several other manufacturer's names - the exact same design just a different name on the casing. And with pricing all over the place. So who to trust? If I can find one that is exactly the same in appearance for $9 why should I pay even $12.50 for it? It's a *BLEEP* shoot...

#17 JeffBosworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:41 PM

The "*BLEEP* shoot" CN so astutely inserted was "cr*p shoot". A legitimate game with dice... :)

#18 Dan Watt

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:05 PM

Another point for the cheapo adapters. They are relatively simple electronics that are pretty hard to screw up. I've been using mine for years and so far so good. No way on Earth I'm paying more than $100 for a simple DC adapter.

#19 TimN

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:16 PM

I use a cheap adapter with my Nikon and have found that the weak link is the cord in very cold weather. A replacement cord from Radio Shack and I have been using it down to -25C without a problem.

#20 nofxrx

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

Forgive my possible naivete, but I always thought the danger of the failing "cheapo" adapter was the possibility that it fries some camera internals on the way out.

Of course nobody cares if the $9 adapter dies, but the possibility of taking out the camera as well is not appealing. At least with that "expensive" genuine Canon brand, there comes some peace of mind.

And for the record, none of the 3rd party knockoffs I've seen have ever been anywhere near the build quality of the genuine Canon ones.


Really, there is VERY little that could go wrong here, in the case of a AC to DC adapter..
VERY little/no damage to the camera is possible.
And that goes for/is possible with the Canon brand one, too!


They(Canon) buy the SAME equipment from China(albeit it may not be the exact same as some of the cheap 3rd party units), put their name on it, and sell it at a VERY high premium simply because people want the 'brand name' because; "if it is the brand name, it has to be better, right? so why not...(even if it costs 5-10x more than the 3rd party one)".


The only "issue" I have seen in 3rd party AC adapters is the actual cable becoming very fragile when in extremely low temps..
I dont have this issue, being in Florida lol but have heard a lot of people have this complaint.
And I am pretty sure that even the Canon ones have come under scrutiny for this problem, too...


Also, if you do have to have the Canon brand AC adapter, just buy the AC to DC adapter. The EXACT same AC Adapter can be used on ANY Canon Models(*other than the 1 Series*) by simply buying the model's "fake battery/slug".
Use the same adapter for your new/upgrade camera in a few years by just buying this(for example): ***HERE***

just FYI

I am a BIG promoter of 3rd party accessories. Great way to save some $!
But, I am NEVER going to recommend 3rd party batteries or grips *to anyone who is VERY serious about their photography, professional, or count on their gear to work/last for a job*!
If you are a hobbyist, the 3rd party batteries and grips are fine!

Grips are mainly just for the MUCH better build quality and durability of the Canon branded one(be careful, there are a LOT of counterfeit units out there that ARE branded/boxed/packaged "Canon" and are total fakes!)

Batteries have HUGE differences. I dont know why, but there is.
Canon LP-E6's would last me a year or more, 3rd party maybe 2-4 months MAX...and would hold a charge 2-3x longer than the 3rd party batteries, easily 1k+ shots per battery on the Canon, maybe 500 if I was lucky on the 3rd party battery.

Just IMHO and YMMV :grin:

#21 Alex McConahay

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:16 PM

I want to emphasize that the Canon Batteries are way better than any third party batteries I have ever tried. My original Canon was still going strong when I sold my 20 D. In the meantime I had bought and trashed 9 third party batteries for the same camera.

Alex

#22 nofxrx

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:26 PM

I want to emphasize that the Canon Batteries are way better than any third party batteries I have ever tried. My original Canon was still going strong when I sold my 20 D. In the meantime I had bought and trashed 9 third party batteries for the same camera.

Alex


Agreed!! So very true!
Not sure what makes the batteries so much different in quality vs other accessories, but if you NEED your gear to work no matter what, get Canon batteries!(I do (still) highly recommend 3rd party AC adapters :) )

#23 Silicon Owl

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:55 AM

Really, there is VERY little that could go wrong here, in the case of a AC to DC adapter..
VERY little/no damage to the camera is possible.
And that goes for/is possible with the Canon brand one, too!


Quite wrong, there is certianly a risk here. Having designed commercial AC/DC power supplies I know all to well what can be done wrong, particularly if the goal is to cut costs to the bone. I have seen things inside cheap Chinese supplies that are truly scary. True, most of the time a failure will simply smoke slightly, then stop working. It can also burn or create a situation where mains voltage is present at the output. A switching supply has 150-330vdc present on the input capacitor, switch FET and transformer primary.

Components with inappropriate isolation ratings, poor winding design or lack of proper insulation in the switching transformer, or the most common... simple poor workmanship leaving wires or other components to come free from pads and contact high voltage.

A supply from a reputable manufacturer will seldom have any issues. For $9 you are rolling the dice. A battery operated intervalometer poses little risk, an AC/DC supply? There is a real question about.

#24 JeffBosworth

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:56 AM

Andrew, totally agree. I had electronics training and experience in the Navy. Worked on and around some VERY high quality equipment with high voltages. Equipment on a ship at sea undergoes incredible stresses. Failures were rare but sometimes catastrophic. So buying quality in something seemingly unimportant as an AC/DC supply makes perfect sense to me.

The problem we've revealed here is that quality isn't necessarily tied to a major brand name. So, to choose among all the manufacturers out there one has to do a little research and see what other people say about one brand or another. With the internet and the web this is pretty easy to do.

And then one has to buy one and deal with it!!

Thanks all for a great thread!

Jeff

#25 Gary Honis

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

Andy and Jeff,

I can attest to problems with cheap AC to DC camera adapters from China. In 2011, I bought one from BestBatt Com off Ebay for a T2i. The camera kept giving a high temperature warning. If I swapped the adpater out with a battery the camera worked well. I contacted the company and they said they would send a replacement. The replacement gave camera problems as well with the T2i's red LED light staying on and the camera would not power down unless I removed the adapter. I contacted them again and they said they would send another replacement. The third one worked well and is still working. The company never had me return the two bad units, so I have them for spare parts. I guess they are so cheap, repairing them is not worth the hassle or return shipping cost. My original post on the Dpreview forum is HERE.






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