If you told me that George Bush was becoming a Democrat, or that Joe Gibbs was becoming the Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, or that Bill Gates secretly used a Mac in his office, I would be less surprised than the recent news that Nikon Professional Services genius Scott Andrews is leaving Nikon to work for Canon.
(For those of you who know Scott, I know that that thud was the sound of your jaw hitting the floor.)
What could Nikon possibly do to fail to keep Scott on-board? For decades Scott has been Nikon's go-to guy in Washington, and, to be honest, around the nation for high profile events. From the OJ Simpson trial, where Scott got remote cameras working to get images out of the court room, to countless NASA shuttle flights where Scott's images documented, and facilitated the documentation by every other news outlet, to every inauguration I've covered, Scott's technical know-how has been the driving (and supportive) force behind many a major news event. below is Scott's handi-work ensuring that over 100 cameras all are pointed towards the podium to capture the swearing in of the President. All are rigged to a single box, all are set according to the photographer's lens and camera choice, and this wouldn't be possible without Scott's know-how.
When the news made it to me today that Scott, as of last week, was no longer with Nikon, I thought for sure he'd gone out on his own, or gone to work in the technical section of the photo department of National Geographic. When I heard he was to begin working for Canon, I didn't know what to think.
I have been critical of Nikon's leadership in the past, to be sure. The failures of the D2x and the inaccuracies about that camera's noise was what caused me to shelve my Nikons, and purchase a Canon system. Recently, I was excited about the D3's impending arrival (Nikon D3 Spotted in the Wild, 10/31/07), because I had purchased one (They've Been Ordered, 9/3/07) and I looked forward to dusting off my trusty Nikon lenses. Then that excitement was dimmed by Nikon's promotion of an extremely poor business practice - shooting on spec, in their magazine. (Even When Nikon Gets It Right, They Figure Out a Way to Get it Wrong, 11/27/07).
Now, again, I can't imagine what Nikon did, or didn't do, to cause this cataclysmic shift in the photo world. I can't think that Canon finally decided to throw an ungodly sum of money at Scott, because, aside from the likelihood that they can't do that, Scott's not for sale. Scott has always been 100% truthful and straightforward with photographers about cameras - brands of all types - and their strengths and weaknesses. I am certain that Scott will bring back lost glory of Canon's days-gone-by to Washington, but what the hell is Nikon thinking (or doing) that created this situation? How can they get one more thing wrong when they are on the verge of getting a camera right for a change?
Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.