Monday, July 26, 2010

CPS (Canon Pro Services) swag package arrives today

Here's the goodie bag from Canon that arrived at my house today:
Canon Canada recently launched a revamped professional services program "CPS" with a tiered, paid membership system ( I joined the Platinum plan which offers a number of features, most important to me being speedy service on gear. As a side bonus, they sent a package of Canon swag which arrived at my house today. The goodies include an EF lens book, Canon magazine, lens cloth, lens cap, USB data stick, pen, notebook, camera neck straps and a stack of pre-addressed courier waybills for shipping gear. 
Although I joined the program for the repair & loaner servcie benefits alone, the swag is pretty cool. I've long wondered why Canon didn't better connect with pros in Canada and this seems to be a leap forward. The revamped program is supposed to result in much faster repair times, which thankfully I haven't had to test out yet!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Photo Van conversion - phase 1 (screens)

I had been contemplating a new vehicle for a long time, something that could meet all of my needs -  short distance travel (grocery store, etc), plenty of room for photo gear and ability to live out of it on  extended road trips. I settled on a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, with tons of space and the magical stow-and-go seating system. Never thought I'd be a mini-van owner.... this is an image killer for my bachelor lifestyle!

I'm in the process of customizing the van and the first step was to have screens made for the windows and doors. Good ventilation is critical to camping out in a vehicle, both to prevent moisture buildup and to stay cool in hot weather. But most importantly, screens keep out the bugs!

I had a local upholstery shop (Grey Bruce Upholstery in Wiarton, Ontario) custom make screens for the back hatch, side doors and front windows. The screens attach by velcro and/or sleeves that fit over the door frame. The cost was about $625 plus tax.... well worth it for good sleeps!

Stay tuned to the blog for more details as I continue to trick out the van for photo travel....