Look on this board and you can find references to defective Canon products. In addition, many of Canon's E and H series camcorders had defective capacitors and failed early. Many Canon camcorders of this era have been on E-bay selling for peanuts, now, no one buys them at all simply because they are not worth fixing. My own camcorder of this era, failed at about six years of age. I paid $200 to have it fixed. It failed agian two months later. The shop fixed it for free but now it has recently failed again. I've spent over $1700 for this camcoder and repirs, yet I used it for a matter of only a couple hundred hours. Canon does nothing to help owners out. I beleive this company to be on the road to ruin because you cannot produce bad products and expect customers to "eat it". They will remember and avoid Canon products in the future. Further, they talk to friends and those friends will avoid Canon products. Currently, I've read a top of the line Camcorder ($2000), has "hot pixels" that show up in the picture. I've not heard Canon doing anything to help buyers of this product. As an investor, I avoid companies, who fail time and time again, to design reliable products and stand behind their products when they make a mistake. Ultimatly, these companies will fail IMHO.
I have a Canon HV20 camera which I purchased less than 8 months ago and at the moment, it is a piece of junk. Here I am in Antigua Guatamala to shoot video of the Easter celebration, one of the most exciting in Cantral America. I have spend many hundreds of dollars to get here, not to mention the $1200 for the camera, and on the morning of Palm Sunday, I try to turn on my almost new camera and it doesn't work.
My previous Panasonic camera worked flawlessly for four years before it was stolen. It even continued to work after I dropped it from a Ferris Wheel in India.
Obviously, the fact that the HV20 is unreliable should be enough to disuade anyone from buying one of this camera but I will point out sone other things.
First, admittedly the picture quality is wonderful, the best of any camera I have used, and I have been using video cameras for over 25 years.
On the other hand the controls are terrible, the worst on any camera I have ever used.
To begin with, Canon has decided to eliminate the projecting viewfinder. Because of this I find that everytime I start the shot, my finger bumps into my nose and I get a jump at the begining and end of every shot. (I am forced to view with my eft eye.)
The zoom wheel is small and located in a spot where I always had to search around to find it again, often spoiling the shot. Hiow much better to have had a small bar near the shooting button which could be raised and lowerede by the thumb. Instead they choose to place the menu button there, a button that is hardly ever moved.
Thirdly, the on-off button is quite idfficult to manipulate and I suspect it is the cause of my camera's problem. It seems to be very badly designed and difficult to use, particularly for a westerner with large fingers.
I suspect that the camera makers never really tested the camera with actual users.
I recommend that you avoid buying this camera, at least till Canon makes some serious changes to bring the mechanical quality of this camera up the its picture quality.
I think you are right that a company cannot succeed on the long term with an inferior product. However, I don't think this board is an accurate measure of the quality of Canon's products. After all, customers who have had positive experiences with Canon products have very little reason to post. Also, on-line autions are probably not a good way to judge the value of electonics. In an industry changing as quickly as this one, no used product will fetch a decent price. Most consumer product reviews tend to think highly of Canon equipment.
Remember also that while cameras and camcorders are highly visible, they account for only 10% of Canon's revenue.
Well, here's your chance to post some positive experiences with Canon products. You're right this board probably wouldn't be a good place to research Canon products quality. However, if the product is inferior, it will ultimatley effect the companies bottom line. GM for example put shoddy transmissions in cars in the 70s and had to eat the cost of replacing/repairing them. Also they were installing Chevy engines in Olds and Buicks and it raised a stink. I wasn't in the market then, but I'd bet it effected the stock price. I believe E-bay is the best way to find the true value of a used procduct. After all it is a market of buyers and what the highest amount they will pay for an item. Further, a broken Canon is worth very little, however, a working Sony still fetches a decent amount. Granted, used electronics sell for a lot less than new. Most product reviewers test an item when it is new to the market. Canon may produce a good new product but it is in the long term durability which they fail. No reveiwer is gonna review an old camcorder to see if it still works five years later. I know Canan makes other products. But lets say a company purchase manager has bad luck with a Canon camcorder, do you think he will buy a copier from them? Further, the capacitors go bad in the camcorder. Does Canon use a different supplier for the capacitors in their copiers or other products? I don't think so.