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Sony Isn't Thinking Very Highly of DSLR Users in New Ads

11.14.12 @ 10:45PM Tags : , ,

Speaking of Sony, the company has recently made another PR move — this time via Sony Australia, and with a definitively greater amount of calculation than the Sony Japan release from earlier today. While we ’round these parts are probably focusing a lot more on Sony’s pro line of digital cinema acquisition tools, there are lots of things going on in the world of weekend-enthusiast consumerism, another niche to which the company wishes to market — in particular, their NEX series of non-DSLR interchangeable lens stills cameras. I think the idea is to make these cameras seems preferable to DSLRs in casual stills-taking contexts, or maybe not — either way, any and all readers of this site who found it by searching for something along the lines of “DSLR cinematography,” click through and see what Sony thinks about you.

Yeah. Mhmm. Oh yes. They went there. I have to say, “targeting” is certainly a piece of marketing terminology that would be aptly used here. I think we’re supposed to be taking this all in good fun, because, what are we if we can’t make fun of ourselves a little bit? I have to come clean — I can’t say I didn’t find this one hilarious, if not ludicrous. Then again, depending on your personal reaction, maybe it’s gone a little too far for comfort? And what are they actually selling, anyways? Are they trying to market these NEX cameras over conventional DSLRs (which Sony also makes, by the way) because of compact portability and ease of use, or are they trying to offer a respite from hanging out with hyper-annoying, dim-witted, motor-mouthed DSLR enthusiasts? All questions to which I welcome responses in the comments below! Here’s some more, in case you need more material to make up your mind:

I think at this point, I’m just finding them hilarious as opposed to offensive — or maybe I’m just in denial, and in my mind simply don’t associate myself with the type of DSLR user these commercials are apparently lampooning. What do you guys think?

[DSLR Gear | No Idea via The Verge]


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  • I’ve been watching these videos for the past 12 hours. Waha. they are hilarious!

  • I don’t find it too offensive. We’ve all made those gaffs like having the lens cap on, not having the right lens for the shot, or just wanting to chat someone’s ear off about gear. My favorite was the “HOLD STILL!” guy. Sony is a big company with a large and diverse consumer spectrum. Their marketing guys need to keep busy so they can keep their jobs.

  • So funny! I can take a joke.

  • “What DLSR owners really want is a bazooka lens.” That shit really cracked me up.

    I mean, while it seems like a strange move to blatantly lampoon what’s likely a viable segment of the photography market (the beginners looking to take their skills to the next level with more expensive gear), I feel like these little skits are lighthearted in nature rather than a real critique of any kind.

    However, I think that the reason they are so funny is that we all know people exactly like this. Literally, exactly like this…

  • I’m totally guilty of some Vidiot moments, especially when testing out new gear.

  • As a nerdy gearhead, I can relate. This campaign is kind of reminiscent of Spinal Tap too. Alot of cinematographers are into guitars too…

  • Ahaha, this is by far the funniest campaign i saw this year!
    I’m not sure of the message or the target, but i could see myself in every single situation pictured ;)

  • Ben Incahutz on 11.15.12 @ 12:56AM

    Hopefully Sony is mature enough to make a video lampooning their media sticks and love of propriety formats.

  • This is always a critical mistake. Never embarrass the customer for giving you their money. Ever. Period.

    The core problem with this campaign is, they aren’t showing you how it should be done, exactly. Because even if they did, the details of how it should be done would also be somewhat awkward and embarrassing. This is just an awkward thing to be doing, if you have a crew of two dozen it is equally awkward it just seems OK because there are so many people agreeing to take it seriously.

    Own goal for Sony. A handful of larfs in the short term but more likely to lower sales in the long term. The message should be this is always cool, it doesn’t matter if the behind the scenes is ridiculous as long as the product is awesome. Making the customer self-conscious is the fast lane to bankruptcy.

    • They aren’t making fun of their own customers. They are parodying the higher-end gearhead DSLR cameras (Canon, Nikon) and attempting to woo prosumers on the fence about their next purchase down to simpler, more user-friendly cameras like the NEX line Sony offers.

      Do you work in advertising? Because I’m not sure your “rules” are actually that valid.

      • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 7:04AM

        It’s a pretty standard advertising concept to not insult your potential customers. You can try and shame them for having ring around the collar, but you can only go so far without violating their trust in you. The very people they are insulting are the people they *really want* to buy their FS100/FS700/F3 and beyond…

  • I feel like they’re showing us the PC without showing us the Mac. If DSLR users look so ridiculous, then what’s the alternative? Don’t just leave us hanging here, Sony!

    I find the ad to be somewhat humorous, but it doesn’t really make me want to buy anything.

    • Lol.. Yeah. Somebody should do a counter parody of dslr shooters feeling like total douche bags after watching this video…. Then show them give up on their dreams because Sony is still too f’cking expensive.. “I only used a dslr because real people can afford one… :( but sony thinks i’m an amateur because of it.. :( So i guess i’ll just take out my 401k so i can pursue my dreams on a real man’s camera:( i suck.. Ftw.”

  • These ads are hilarious and make me glad that I still haven’t jumped on the DSLR bandwagon. Is there some kind of Sony I should be interested in, though? Still can’t tell from the ads.


  • I laughed, but I don’t know who/what is being mocked, if any. It’s just hilarious slapstick!

  • Álex Montoya on 11.15.12 @ 2:54AM

    Lol Anyway, nice rig in ‘the vidiot’!

  • Screw you Sony.

  • Shaun Wilson on 11.15.12 @ 3:32AM

    Brilliant (and true)

  • A great campaign and yes we all get the joke or should….though if you were marketing manager of their dslr line you may not be so happy

  • Its funny because no-one buys sony dslrs.

  • Love them! I think there are DSLR users out there who deserve that parody, if your not one of them then it’s not aimed at you, if you are one of them then you probably don’t recognise yourself. So really all that’s left is those who don’t use DSLR’s which is who Sony obviously wants to aim at. In other words unless your one of the dumb asses in the video don’t be a dumb ass and get on your high hours.

    I have to admit though I am a bit of a snob, I hate how everyone has DSLR’s now, I loved it back in the day when if another dude or dudette had an SLR you could strike up a conversation or at least give the “nod” of recognition. Today that would be like chatting to someone just because they have mobile phone and you do too.

  • Really confused by the title of this article and the fact that you don’t find this funny Dave. It’s just a bit of fun.

  • Although hilarious to watch, the message Sony sends out here somewhat pisses me off as well.

    If it weren’t for the DSLR revolution, Sony would still be making 1/2″ semi-shoulder-shit. No F3, F5, FS100, FS700. Those who joined the change and have learned to work around it, are now ready for the next wave of cameras. Why would you take the piss at your prospects? That is beyond me… Focus on the poor aspects of working with DSLRs, not its users…

    • Or make something you deem “worthy” of shooting video with that isn’t $9,000,000,000… Because honestly, an 8bit 4:2:0 avchd FS-100 seems like bullshit for $5000 when I can get a 12 bit raw cinema camera for $3000.

      • you can? That’s funny cause I’m not aware of ANY $3000 12bit raw cameras SHIPPING right now anywhere…

        • LOL, key word is “shipping”.

          4:2:0 8bit isn’t THAT bad, it’s being used more and more for broadcast and cinema.

  • mikko löppönen on 11.15.12 @ 6:19AM

    These are great! Yeah, they make fun of DSLR’s, so what? I think we can all relate to some of these moments. Sony makes DSLR’s themselves too. I think a bit of lightheartedness is a good thing, especially on the nerdy internet circuit.

  • Nothing offensive going ion here whatsoever. Pretty funny stuff.

  • Macro freak interests me very much, she doesn’t seem to mind the smaller things.

  • Some of you guys are misunderstanding where this is coming from. They are marketing their NEX line as an alternative to DSLRs. This link is posted on the youtube channel that has those ads:

    It IS weird that they don’t say so in the commercials themselves, since it is causing some confusion. The concept of the campaign makes sense, however, and I would say that what it’s saying is fairly bold: why are you still using big, heavy DSLR gear if the relatively tiny mirrorless gear will meet your needs? Obviously not everyone’s needs, but arguably a large portion of DSLR users’ needs.

    • That is true, but with an “EVIL” cam like the NEX, wouldn’t they all just be making the same exact mistakes only with a smaller unit? lol

  • trackofalljades on 11.15.12 @ 11:57AM

    I can’t help but think this is part of some “pull out all the stops, greenlight everything we’ve ever said no to before” movement inside Sony as the sharks start circling and employees start looking suspiciously at each other wondering who’s going to start feeling the company’s shrinking sustainability first.

    It’s sad considering that they’ve had such an interesting year in our niche camera-related world, but overall Sony The Megacorporation At Large is starting to circle precariously above the drain.

  • Isn’t it important to remember that these ads are targeted at the Australian market? Perhaps we’re not looking at them in the right cultural context?

  • Harry Kemball on 11.15.12 @ 4:51PM

    Just cause you have a DLSR – doesn’t make you a photographer nor cameraman…..just an idjit mit a camera.

  • As amusing as these are, what are they selling?
    They are basically saying that dslr shooters are morons but don’t give any alternative.

    We all know of people like this and I am sure we went through a gear stage as well, but as an advertising campaign just I don’t see the point.
    They seem to have forgotten that they sell dslr cameras too. Plus, most people I’ve seen using the Sony alpha line aren’t professionals.

    Oh, and just on a side note… I am Australian.

  • Ah, I’ve finally noticed the link to their mirrorless camera range.

    Why didn’t they show this in their advertisements?
    The idea that a small mirrorless camera is better for a lot of people than bigger dslr cameras is one that I agree with.
    I think the ads would have worked better if they didn’t create confusion from the start.

  • I love these. I have totally been this guy, and I do grow weary of people obsessing over gear instead of storytelling. Long live humor!

  • I was wondering the same Keith.

    I saw it earlier posted on dvxuser, but didn’t pay attention to who it was from or even understand it as a commercial.

  • They should have showed them uploading their work onto the web desperate for some recognition.
    Maybe obsessing about super fast lenses and sharpness and then shooting everything wide open.
    Possibly spending thousands on equipment and then churning out the same stuff as everyone else on the internet before going “pro” and realising there’s no money to be made.
    I could go on.

    • altnetid on 11.15.12 @ 6:38PM: “going “pro” and realising there’s no money to be made.”


  • Ooooh those were Sony commercials?! lol, I thought they were funny cause we’ve all been there (as DSLR noobs) or know someone still there. It is kinda mean spirited though.

    We may laugh cause we know better now and the completely uninitiated may laugh cause they think we’re like that but those just trying to learn can’t help to feel embarrassed or offended by it.

    I think as an advertisement it fails; first cause I don’t even know what it’s for, second it’s a negative message and third(same as 2nd) it seems to be alienating their demographic, the one’s still learning photography, cause those of us that need and know how to use DSLRs properly won’t be swayed to anything that doesn’t have real phase detect or optical viewfinders and those happy with cellphones and point&shoots obviously don’t need or care about anything “better”.

    So I assume this advert is directed to “entry-level” DSLR users telling them; “You look like an idiot, so get…” lol actually I don’t know what their message is “…get a Sony, but not one with a mirror”?, or “…stick with a Sony Mobile Phone Camera and Cybershot”? or is it “…get a NEX and do all this stuff you just saw, but with a smaller camera”?

  • Very funny. Not sure what they are selling but admit I was the guy with the flash popping up.

  • Ha ha, I am sure I am the vidiot. And I have been at it for some 18 years! My Zacuto and Letus gear don’t help either :-)

  • Gary Simmons on 11.16.12 @ 2:14AM

    This certainly makes me feel better about myself but I did start with a lot of good books by industry pros and am
    confident I had more of a clue than the idiots in the videos. Or did I?

  • Tyler Breeden on 11.16.12 @ 2:48AM

    The Macro Freak spot cracked me up. Twisting the lens like a maniac with the af system going bonkers trying to figure out what type of shot to take. I can see a bit of myself in all of them I guess and think they’re funny as hell. Though, I’m not sure what they’re advertising.

  • As an advert, I can see it’s meant to be funny – however I find it slightly disconcerting. I’ve been a DSLR user for years and whilst I don’t work as a professional photographer, I’m pretty serious about it.

    I agree with P337 that the advertisment fails. Why should people who have an interest and want to learn be laughed at? Why should people who want to achieve better be made fun of?

    • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 6:53AM

      I agree with you and P337 And even though they’re going mirrorless (except, you know, their flagship camera, the F65!)…as camera makers, it’s incredibly disingenuous. Yes, it’s great to be able to laugh at ourselves (I’ve crawled around taking close ups of flowers many times, and maybe I’ve over-kitted my gear a few times…), this isn’t good natured, it’s offputting. They sell cameras to people of all walks of life who shoot all sorts of things things (as opposed to Apple, that just sells cameras [in phones and computers and iPad] to consumers, or Arri, to motion picture professionals). People shoot things with their cheap phones and point and shoots and F3′s and F65′s, and everything in between. Considering all these people in the videos they’re making fun of are using cameras in this in-bewteen stage, they’re making fun of the very people who they probably want to buy their product. Perhaps their angle from an advertising/marketing point of view is to shame people into not using D-SLR’s…they’re just as likely alienating their potential customers instead of making them aspire to their better-than-d-slr camera lines.

  • Jonny Pedersen on 11.16.12 @ 6:13AM

    I find this video amazingly stupid, fun in one way.. but if it is a commercial for their NEX cameras..
    I must say i fell they have totally lost their perspectiv. I bought a Nex-VG20.. and it become a BIG disapointment… The camera was totally useless for me as DP, becouse of the leak of manual control for contrast, saturation… and sold it, and went for a Mark III, that gives me all i want, and more…
    So.. developeing my dslr rigs, and steadicam.. is FUN and interesting.. having a camera that gives full frame, black is black, and the contrasts.. amazing.. So.. after my experience with Sony.. i will NOT recommand their cameras.. NOT even their DSLR…

  • It’s made for the Australian market, they love it

  • Sony’s had some success with their mirrorless cameras, so assume they are going to try to float the idea that the DSLR is some kind of large, heavy relic and mirrorless cameras like the NEX-5N are what people in the 21st century, who know what they’re doing, use. “Buy a NEX and don’t be one of those DSLR guys, a Vidiot.

    To me the ad spot is more laughable than funny and I agree it sends mixed messages. But you’d be surprised how many people on the forums around the web fall for the idea of the DSLR as an anachronistic tool. In the various gear forums, it’s not unusual to read posters who have been so thoroughly indoctrinated into a “small mirrorless is better” kind of mentality. It’s not uncommon to read condescending references to a DSLR as a “dinosaur” or “boat anchor”. There is also the mirrorless soothsayer: the annoying guy who predicts “in ten years there will be no more big, bulky DSLRs and everbody will be using tiny cameras with one touch Facebook uploads”. I suppose they’ve been convinced that miniaturization at all costs, even IQ and ergonomics, is a good thing. Funny thing is for all the predictions of DSLR extinction only a small percentage of amateurs are using mirrorless kits instead of DSLRs. I guess Sony needs to help bring that percentage up hence the ad campaign.

  • the only people wound find this offensive are the ones that it would ring true about.

    • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 6:57AM

      I disagree. I consider myself “graduated” from D-SLR’s (except for stills)…but it’s still offensive and not that funny.

  • Not everyone who owns a camera thinks of themselves as a photographer. Sony isn’t tring to selll the NEX to photographers with these ads. Their target audience is people who want something better than their P&S/Smart Phone (an audience I don’t think really exists, at least in large numbers).

    Normal people (non-photographers) find Very Serious Photo Enthusiasts amusing. The first time I saw a chaged DSLR, my though was WTF …

    • Yeah and F##k the A99! …. :) .. seems the advertising alienates a large portion of potential sony DSLR video shooters…. because lets face it. If you were serious about buying a DSLR for video stuff… you wouldnt choose sony anyway.. maybe one of their wee NEX cameras… ooh wait… they did just shit over their A99 customers! awesomeness.

  • This is just greed! Nothing more. They find they are competing with the DSLR’s for video and they are not listed as the go to company when it comes to a good DSLR. So they are craving for more attention and crying bitter grapes. “If I can’t have them, I might as well make fun of them”.

  • If we look a little bit further, everyone (or almost :-) wants to grow to the pro level where someone like Sony will assign him/her with a job to produce such a … vidiotic and meaningless product. Not Sony, but all those agency’s guys are to blame for extorting millions from the multinationals with ‘great’ ideas and vocabulary, market research and programs. The real lough is when you imagine what enormous resources were put behind the clips!