This Review of a Canon 300D is Everything Wrong with the Camera Industry

UPDATE: Chris Niccolls has been in touch with Phogotraphy. Niccolls says the scene the the end of the video was not faked as stated elsewhere. Niccolls now says the drowned 300D will be used as a prop in further videos.

Phogotraphy maintains that the stunt at the end of the video, wether it was intended to mislead or not combined with saying the camera has no use is a bad example to set to future camera owning generations.

I want to talk to you about a mediocre video that’s currently blowing up on the Photography subreddit at the moment. It’s not particularly funny and despite its promise, interesting either. The premise is sound enough; review an old DSLR by comparing it with a modern equivalent. It’s something most photographers could do without picking the thing up, but I stomached the whole 12 minutes to see what transpired.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 14.17.54

Chris Nicholls comes across genuine enough and once you can get over the fact he sounds exactly like Owen Wilson (isms et al) his candid review of a working Canon 300D DSLR flows like any other tech video. Niccolls takes the silver beast out into the wild and snaps away landscapes, macro florals and reveals just enough to show the camera isn’t actually a bad piece of kit. There was definitely an opportunity to stop and rethink the several thousand $ he spent on his last camera.

Niccols doesn’t do that. He ends the video rather flippantly by launching the camera over his head, drowning it in a pool.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 14.16.51

“The fact is we do live in a technological world nowadays and innovation and design does have some huge advantages so I’m still going to use one of these [latest Canon Model] when I go with an SLR. I’m not going to use one of these [Canon 300D]. Out with the old.”

You see, sat right next to me I’ve got a Canon 350d. It’s a model ahead of the one featured, but in the same breath can be considered a step down because of a slightly smaller sensor and poorer build quality. It’s not my favoured camera but I still consider this little chap a work horse. In fact on more than one occasion I’ve lent the camera to visiting friends who are more than happy with the results.

Sure, innovation and advances in technology have improved many aspects of the Canon Rebel range, but surely you can’t be naive enough to say it’s a completely defunct piece of kit. This isn’t an outdated piece of tech way passed any prospect of backward compatibility. It’s a charged, working model that looks to be in mint condition. WTH Chris Nichols?

After what seemed like relentless waffling for two and a half minutes the review starts around 2:45. If you want to skip all that and see the ugly deed for yourself drag your marker to 10:30.

This is more than a just a stunt to shock viewers and have them gasping at the frivolous way a guy wrecks a $100 camera without consideration like the ‘Will it Blend’ series. This was the genuine acts of a man with too much money, detached from reality with no respect for anyone but the customers he serves on his ever lasting conveyor belt of commercialism. Chris Niccolls is exactly what’s wrong with the tech industry.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 14.17.17

The Canon 300D is without doubt now destined for the scrap heap or best case scenario a recycling plant. How else could Chris Niccolls ended the video? We’ve listed a few ideas.

  • Donate to a local school
  • A Youtube giveaway to one lucky commenter
  • Sell it on eBay, give the proceeds to charity
  • Keep it in store as an example product
  • Sell it to a collector

If you disagree with all I have said and like some Youtube and Reddit commentators can’t see why people are getting so enraged, then you don’t just not understand the problem, you’re probably part of it too. Please think twice before wrecking something for the sake of it. Consider its use and who could benefit and then think about the bi-yearly product renewal we’ve all sadly become accustomed to in all things tech.

I’m done.


21 thoughts on “This Review of a Canon 300D is Everything Wrong with the Camera Industry

  1. Grumpyrocker October 12, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    TCSTV said in the comments that both the camera and lens were none-functioning models and not the ones used to shoot the images. I enjoyed your amusingly sad and bitter blog post though.


      • Joe Fonebone October 12, 2015 / 6:27 pm

        So what evidence or proof do you have given that you’re effectively calling him a liar?


      • Phogotraphy October 12, 2015 / 6:31 pm

        The presenter is either lying after the fact, or lying during his presentation where he states the 300D is useless to him. So he’s a liar or a liar. If he’d like to contact us directly to clarify which of the lies is true, we’ll happily apologise and edit the post.


  2. Andrew October 12, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    Whether the camera he threw in the pool was a working model or not I agree with this article that it represents something sad about the tech industry. There is no reason to show a lack of respect (or give the appearance of lack of respect) to a working tool that still takes pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joe Fonebone October 12, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    I note that you replied but that there doesn’t appear to be a further ‘Reply’ function hence this comment.

    The very first reply you received addressed your point: “TCSTV said in the comments that both the camera and lens were none-functioning models and not the ones used to shoot the images.” It’s two different cameras and lenses – how difficult is that to understand?

    Chris Nichols is a professional with years of experience and over 150,000 followers on YouTube. I see your Facebook page has less than 300 likes. Says it all. Calling it a “sad and bitter blog post” is spot-on.

    Craving contact from someone you’ve basically defamed is a low attempt at creating publicity / attention for your own blog. Try producing decent, FACTUAL articles instead.

    I’m done.


  4. Jordan Drake (@TCSTVJordan) October 12, 2015 / 11:34 pm

    I shot the episode, and I’m here to contact you directly as requestedabove.

    We received several Digital Rebels in our ‘trade in an SLR for a mirrorless’ promo. Only one was functional though. We shot the tests with the functional unit and tossed one of the defective ones, with a broken lens attached. I still have the functional Rebel at my place.

    Not sure what to do with it, as no one I’ve asked has wanted it. Might be a timelapse camera for me.

    Sorry you were so mortified by the camera dunking, we’ll try to keep our cameras on dry land for the next few months. In the meantime, go easy on the hyperbole, ok?

    Jordan @ TCSTV

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shawk Parson October 13, 2015 / 12:34 am

    i agree with PHOTOGRAPHY one hundred % on all said here!

    just because some people are so rich they can buy every single high tech device, use them, analyze them and eventually TRASH them in childish ways does not qualify them in having a right to review things, or worse, give a wrong analysis on things they don’t even quite know!

    for one thing at least, he fails to mention that most older digital cameras used a CCD sensor with a much wider DR, which does make them also much slower than the CMOS sensors used in practically all digital cameras today, mostly because of delay / speed issues, but certainly not because CMOS has a higher quality image, which it simply does not! people are still using some really old digital cameras JUST because of their better quality CCD sensors! they surely don’t use them for weddings and sports, but for many other jobs (landscapes, studio etc) the CCD sensor is much better!

    even his comparison tests are totally wrong in that video: shooting an extremely ‘high contrast’ subject such as that of the brightly lit clouds against the rather dark leaves with the older camera, versus the much lower contrast scene of the boy by the pool in near-twilight conditions, and then claiming the older camera cannot ‘deliver’ is just not fair at all … it is only a clear representative of someone who is not knowledgeable enough in the field about which he is giving ‘professional reviews’ and ‘expert advice’ …

    (as we all know: the correct way of making tests like that would be to photograph exactly the same subject, using exactly the same lens, most preferably under studio ‘fixed’ lighting conditions, by adding some color/contrast chrats to the scene too, and then work on the test images later in post in order to find out how things truly work …)

    more than `nough said i think although i’d like to go on talking about this forever … last but not least: i agree with PHOTOGRAPHY’s suggestions on how that camera, even if it’s a ‘dead’ one, could have been used in much better ways than to be thrown in a pool the way this gentleman did! not even funny unless we consider a rich spoiled child’s rotten behavior “funny’ at all?!


    • David j November 11, 2015 / 3:15 pm

      Good to hear Jordan Drake still has it. I havent seen any amendments to the post though….


      • Phogotraphy November 11, 2015 / 3:18 pm

        Amendment is at the very top of the post which draws from comments made by both Jordan & Chris.


  6. Chris Niccolls October 13, 2015 / 3:46 am

    I’m aware the Internet is a forum full of both slander and opinion and I try not to get embroiled within it. Calling me frivolous, or wealthy are hardly the worst things I’ve been called either. But calling me a liar, assuming that I donate nothing to the community, and stating that I am a soulless tool of the industry is going to get a response. Firstly our organization donates old film cameras to darkroom students not only to benefit the community but also to keep them from the dump. The exact repurposing of old tech you seem to champion. We also donate our time and I myself on many occasions donate my time to our local camera clubs. And please keep in mind it’s not something I like to advertise either but you’re calling me out. Jordan and I further make TCSTV because we want to make the community more vibrant and because we think we’re pretty good at it. We only want to inform and entertain and we do it all in our minuscule spare time and on a budget which only allows for the show to continue on further. You incorrectly make me out to be disingenuous and so wildly wealthy as to use brand new cameras as toilet paper. We do it because we want to be a better part of this industry (which we have failed to do hideously in your eyes). Then on top of that to call me a tool of the industry is ridiculous. We pride ourselves and are known for being honest in our reviews, harsh on points we feel are poor, and certainly never get kick backs or pay to sway our opinions. And yet the manufacturers still get us the gear because they want there products fairly evaluated. I’m gonna keep trying to provide what I feel is a service to our viewers as an informed and honest person. So to clear things up: I don’t feel I’ve lied, I don’t feel our pool gag is the worst crime ever perpetrated against tech, we donate lots of stuff, the soaked Rebel is still with us ready to be reused as a prop in the future, I am a tool for the industry but try to respect as many sides of it as I can, I can be a douche once in awhile, if someone owns something they can ultimately do whatever the hell they want to it, and lastly I assume you’ve never thrown out a piece of technology in your entire life or else your above claim would be hypocritical. Also it’s spelt Niccolls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shawkparson October 13, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      dear Chris Niccolls, the way you ran that DR test comparing the two old and new cameras is totally wrong and shows very well how unprofessional you are in your approach to such technical topics! (hope you read my first comment here …)

      ok, fine: you’re a ‘good’, perhaps even “great” reviewer for the *prosumer* market, which is considered anything BUT professional! you know: PROFESSIONAL, which is a well known word with a clear and straightforward meaning and application! (just as “prosumer” has a clear meaning and application too … or “amateur”, or “enthusiast”, or semi-pro and so on …)

      and ok, you’re not stinking rich, you’re a hardworking individual on a meager budget and so on …

      all that said, what you are doing as a reviewer of digital or whatever cameras is surely decent but also mediocre if viewed from a really serious VP …

      it’s certainly true your whatever the social page has 150,000 followers and i’m also sure you have many teenage youngster fans and some old prosumer ones too, while this page and many other ones like it (including the ones i manage on my own, some of them photography related) don’t have even a few followers, but believe it or not, like it or not, offended or not:

      > > quality does NOT come from quantity necessarily! < <

      in order to further illustrate that point, it is just like the Canon cameras you have reviewed, which are very fine ones and they both come from a company that sells the most lenses and bodies perhaps plus a number of truly great products too, but it doesn't mean Canon is the "only best" camera system out there, does it?

      another example: right now, Donald Trump (a filthy rich man but with no 'class', who has also filed for bankruptcy multiple times, abusing regular folk's hard-earned tax money) and considering himself 'best in the business' as well as a "hardworking" person (!!!) too, is enjoying a lot of followers in the "politics market", who will certainly vote for him as THE president of the United States in the next year … (meanwhile, a Mexican cartel has also put $100M on his head btw …) does all that mean Donald Trump is truly qualified for politics really? (well, if you think he is, then we have nothing more to talk about simply `cause we belong to two totally different (perhaps opposing?) worlds!)

      last but not least: there is nothing wrong with being unbelievably rich financially, as long as one knows how to make the best use of one's money, including lighting up one's Havana cigar using a burning $100 bill! and that doesn't mean one has to donate his money necessarily, so as to be considered a 'good rich man' or whatever … (late Steve Jobs never donated money to any charity, while Bill Gates claims to be investing all of his fortune in charity activity right now … but the truth of the matter is, the former guy's product was and still is much better than the latter one, while the latter is also lying: he is not doing charity work in Africa, he is stopping the Africans from having more children by injecting them with heaven knows what! so, he is doing "genocide" in fact, only without using real weapons and disguised under humanitarian activity!)

      good luck with more reviews! you're doing fine in your own genre anyway!


      • David j November 11, 2015 / 3:11 pm

        Give the guy a break man, it was a light hearted comparison to discover just exactly how far dslr technology has come. The DR test is valid in such a comparison, how is that as you say “unproffesional”? Wouldn’t you want to know how far DR has moved on in the last decade or so?

        Also, your ramblings above have nothing whatsoever to do with his review, in fact i would go as far as to say your points above have nothing whatsoever to do with anything other than to direct your vitriol at some people.


      • shawkparson November 12, 2015 / 3:30 am

        how `bout u give a break 2 urself, mind your own business and leave others alone?
        i wasn’t talking to u in the first place, was i?
        (shall i call the cops now or would you rather talk to my lawyer for that?) 😀

        and no, thanks don’t need u (especially U or the likes of this guy!) to brief me about DR!

        the fact that u and people like u consider people like him “professional” tells me more than enough how knowledgeable in that department all of you are!

        a truly good technical reviewer doesn’t even let viewers see his face (or even hear his voice) and just concentrates on the main topic and not showing off how more handsome than Brad Pit he is!

        this is “selfie” culture turned pseudo-professional taking advantage of cheap and easy video production industry! every kid in town has a fancy cameraphone now and they even make feature-length movies for Hollywood using their silly smartphones!

        how so “advanced” indeed!


      • lightwrite January 10, 2019 / 12:04 am

        Jeez! Get a grip on yourself!

        “a truly good technical reviewer doesn’t even let viewers see his face (or even hear his voice) and just concentrates on the main topic and not showing off how more handsome than Brad Pit he is!”

        “so, he is doing “genocide” in fact, only without using real weapons and disguised under humanitarian activity!”

        These statements are outright ridiculous. End of story.


  7. shawkparson October 13, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    sorry the above input was a repeat!
    want to delete it but apparently there is no delete button there?!


  8. shawkparson October 13, 2015 / 10:44 pm

    thanks to the ease of making a video cheaply and in minutes that is available to just about about everybody these days, there happen to be many amateur / enthusiast / pro(sumer) camera “reviewers” online these days …

    some of them are fine reviewers though, worthy of a praise for the decent job they do, but the rest sound like they have no idea what photography is all about, much less to know a thing or two to do with the camera or lens or whatever they are talking about!


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