You might have seen my piece on Wednesday on how to approach those things that create an expensive life. In that piece, I used my brand new “Pilgrim-cam” – a Canon FS20. I absolutely love the camera, but I will never buy a Canon product as long as I can draw a breath. I normally don’t like to unleash the wrath of Pilgrim if I can help it, but in this case I’m going to make an exception.
Let me explain the cause of my consternation. As I mentioned in the video, I had been using a Flip Cam, which is great – small, light, good quality and really easy to use. You just record and connect to your computer. The camera does the rest. The only problem is that it’s so small, I can’t find it at home! I went out to replace the Flip cam.photo by Jessicafm, Flikr
I did a little research, but apparently not as much as I should have. I explained exactly what my needs were to the nice young man at Best Buy and after spending about 45 minutes with me, he suggested the Canon. Mind you, I explained to my Best Buy Buddy that I am 100% non-techie. (Those of you who know me in the PF blogging world are rolling your eyes with the magnitude of understatement in that…but I digress.) He assured me the Canon would do the trick. I asked him three times about the ease of editing and downloading videos to the internet.
My Best Buy Boy reassured me, so I released my credit card from its usual lockdown and bought my Canon. I got the camera home, and indeed its recording features were impressive. But then it came time to edit my videos, and that’s when I started getting frustrated. The camera comes with editing software but absolutely no editing features. I mean nothing. It was completely useless. I tried to use Windows Movie Maker to edit, but that didn’t work. I called my pal at Best Buy, who told me that Movie Maker doesn’t work with XP (my operating system).
This is strange because I edited all the Flip cam videos with Movie Maker on my XP machine. To his credit, the lad at Best Buy really did work hard to try to help me. In fact he gets an A for effort, but he just didn’t have enough background to solve my problem. In the end, I had to rely on the luck of the Pilgrim – which always seems to come through. I stumbled upon a great program that edits the Canon videos with no problem – it’s called Video Pad (not an affiliate link). Mind you, this was after five frustrating hours in which I drove my middle daughter and everyone else in my home completely crazy.
So…here is my question to you: Does all the responsibility lie with me – the consumer? Or do the retailer and manufacturer bear the weight? All in all, I have no real issue with Best Buy. They have so many products that it wouldn’t be fair to expect them to know all the ins and outs of every product they have. I have a huge problem with Canon. I can absolutely guarantee that nobody in the Canon factory ever tried to actually edit a video using the software they provide. So, am I off on this? Are my tech skills so poor that it’s my fault? Was it my fault for not doing enough research? Is it OK for Canon to assume I’m an electrical engineer? Have you ever encountered such a problem? I’m out of the loop for a few days and won’t be able to respond to your comments right away, but I will later…so please let me know your thoughts.