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Interview with Craig of Canon Rumors


Craig is the blogger behind Canon Rumors

PetaPixel: Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?

Craig: I am a 34 year old father of one, and soon to be husband of one, living in a small town in Ontario, Canada.

I am the editor and owner of Canon Rumors and an owner of Lens Rentals Canada.

I am a business administration graduate.

I love photography and shoot as often as I can. I made a go at wedding photography but found myself pulled into the direction of web businesses. I gave up wedding photography this season and I’ve moved fulltime into my 2 current ventures.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be working in a 5 star restaurant somewhere on the planet hoping to become the executive chef.

PP: How did you first get interested in photography, and what was your first camera?

C: I became interested in photography when digital came along. I loved the marriage of technology and art. My first camera ever was a Canon PowerShot A60, that quickly became a Digital Rebel and I was off to the races. My first love was landscape photography and I became pretty serious about that.

I moved “backwards” into film a couple of years ago and learned how to develop B&W film and work in a darkroom. A new love for photography itself was born. I have become hooked on street photography and I’m working on a series of images for a self published book.

PP: What equipment do you use these days?

C: I use a 1D Mark III with a 24 f/1.4L II permanently affixed to it.

I also use a Leica M4-P (Made about an hour from me in Canada in 1981) or a Leica M7 with a Summicron 35 f/2.

Tomorrow my Leica M9 arrives and I expect it to replace the 2 Leica film cameras for most of what I do. I also have a Summilux 35 f/1.4 arriving with it.

I love all the gadgets and features coming on the new Canon digital SLR’s, but I read about that stuff every day. The Leica’s are a step away… an aperture ring, a focus ring, a shutter dial and a shutter button. There’s nothing else. It’s calming.

PP: How often do you shoot? Do you post your own online?

C: I shoot my son nearly every day. I’ll be launching a personal blog soon to show some work.

PP: When and how did Canon Rumors get started?

C: I think it officially started in January 2008.

Canon Rumors started almost out of boredom, I had no grand plan. I’d love to say I did!

I found that there wasn’t anywhere outside of what Keith at Northlight Images was doing for Canon crazies to speculate about what was coming.

It has grown beyond my wildest imagination and I’m humbled by it.

PP: How many readers do you have?

C: This is a tough question, it depends what stats I read!

According to Google Analytics, Canon Rumors drew 332,000 absolute unique readers during the month of July 2010. That brought us just shy of 2 million pageviews for the month.

PP: What does a typical workday look like for you?

C: I’m up at 7:30AM to hang out with my son and drink a litre of coffee. By 8:15AM I start on my bookmark list of web sites, I’m at about 70 now. I scour forums for info and read emails. I try to return all my emails, but I get too far behind.

At 9:00AM I’m off to the Lens Rentals Canada office to deal with the orders that came in overnight. Most stuff is done by noon there. I then eat some food and come home and go over more Canon Rumors stuff. My day usually ends at about 5PM when I have to pick my son up from daycare.

I’m tinkering with CR and LRC stuff until I go to bed. This is generally 5-6 days a week.

PP: How much time do you spend blogging?

C: Actual typing, not long…. But I put a good 2 hours into the site every day. Whether it’s reading the forums or working on backend stuff. Even brainstorming ideas takes daily time.

PP: How much email do you receive every day? What percentage is tips?

C: I receive anywhere from 30 to 50 emails a day. Tips are usually about 10% of that and less than 1% is solid stuff.

I appreciate all emails, returning them all is nearly impossible.

PP: How many known and reliable sources do you have?

C: It fluctuates, people pop up and prove to be reliable and then disappear. I honestly cannot give a number. There are more than 5 anyway.

PP: How can you tell the difference between a reliable tip and something completely made up if you’ve never heard from the source before? Is it just gut feeling?

C: A lot of it is gut. There’s also other things I can do I don’t want to give it all away. Sometimes the rumor site admins even pass stuff around and ask “what do you think?”… that helps. The way the communication is written is also a very reliable way to know if something is at least partially legit.

PP: Are most of your reliable sources anonymous, or do you know many of their identities?

C: I know 2 sources by first name, the rest are anonymous.

PP: Has Canon contacted you in the past?

C: Canon USA and I had some discussions. I cannot say much about it, but everything worked out rather quickly.

PP: Has Canon ever asked you to remove content you posted to Canon Rumors?

C: Only once as it was a legal matter we were dealing with.

I have voluntarily withheld a leak from being published to protect a Canon employee from possible trouble. I’m in this for fun, not to affect lives negatively.

PP: What has been your biggest success so far in terms of reporting on Canon products?

C: The 7D was a great success for Canon Rumors. We had word of it 8 months before it was announced. I had all the specs nailed, even the wireless flash trigger. I thoroughly enjoyed that one.

PP: What has been your biggest mistake?

My biggest mistake was the 1Ds Mark IV I said was coming about 6 months ago. I knew it wasn’t coming in my head, I just really wanted it to come. I’ll never make that mistake again.

PP: What advice do you have for someone interested in starting a rumor blog?

C: I think like any blog, you have to stay at it and be patient. They grow all by themselves if your content is interesting.

As for rumor blogs, it’s hard not to post something at least every other day. You have to be really careful to not just publish stuff for the sake of doing so. I’ve made that error numerous times, I’ve learned restraint and don’t do it as often anymore.

PP: What’s the most difficult thing about running a lens rental business?

C: Organization of outgoing and incoming lenses, as well as reservations. Dealing with couriers and Canada Post is also a lot of fun at times.

The customers have by far been the easy and most enjoyable part of the process.

PP: So all of the bloggers behind the camera rumors blogs keep in touch behind the scenes?

C: A few of us do, I speak to Keith at Northlight from time to time as well as Mr Nikon Rumors and to a lesser extent 43rumors.com.

PP: What question are you asked most via email, and what’s your answer to that question?

C: The most asked question is “Should I buy camera A or wait for the replacement”.

It’s a tough one to answer, I usually point out whatever replaces camera A will cost more. I also give the person my best guess as to whether or not an upgrade will be incremental.

I normally don’t answer the question for them, I try to guide them to answer it themselves.

PP: What are your favorite photography-related websites?

C: My 5 favourite photography sites are (No particular order) 1) Strobist 2) Planet5D 3) PetaPixel 4) PDNOnline 5) Nikon Rumors

I should note that I can spend hours just scouring photographer web sites around the web. There’s so much great stuff going on.

PP: Anything else you’d like to say to PetaPixel readers?

C: We all love that you read our web sites, we put a lot of work into them. Just be sure to get out there and shoot, that’s the most fun you can have in photography!

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky