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October 02, 2012

Canon 3D leaked at B&H Photo website? Or Hoax? - we Investigate CSI style

The mythical Canon 3D made another mythical appearance on the internets earlier today. Nine Volt, a company that sells camera accessories, posted on its blog that they accidentally searched for "Canon 3D" at the B&H Photo website last night, and lo and behold, the results returned the Canon 3D with all its glory, revealing a 46-megapixel full frame sensor, just as previous rumors pointed out.

This started making the internet rounds, buzzing around at F/Stoppers and Petapixel and Canon Rumors and many other places.

I haven't read every post in every forum, so I don't know if Nine Volt was the only one who noticed this, or there were other people as well who spotted this.

Canon Rumors, who specializes in Canon rumors and I am sure has received plenty of hoaxes in the past, rates it as a CR0, no credibility. Canon Rumors points out that B&H Photo is closed for religious holidays and the manufacturer number of the 3D matches that of an older Canon Elph/Ixus/Ixy model.

On the other hand, some 3D believers may say that this may have been a placeholder entry that was being worked on, and it accidentally made it to the live site. The fact that B&H is on holiday helps this case as well: it may have been caught if people were working as usual. Websites can have pre-scheduled and automated updates, they don't necessarily need a human to be present. Anyone who worked with complex computer and software and database systems knows that there are scenarios where one thing leads to another, and things like that can happen. The digital butterfly effect.

This looks strange
Having looked at hundreds of B&H product listings through the years, one thing grabbed my attention that I have not seen mentioned in previous posts. It is the area below annotated with a green rectangle (added for emphasis):


Newly announced and newly released products at B&H do not have the "Click to see our price". The starting price is the price set forth by the manufacturer. The discounting process that requires the "Click to see our price" happens typically weeks/months after a product is released (released; not announced).

Obviously this may have been part of the in-progress placeholder listing, so it doesn't necessarily prove or disprove beyond reasonable doubt.

What about those manufacturer codes?
The alleged product code of the leaked 3D Body only shown in the aforelinked leakage is 5266B002.

The code for the 6D is 8035B002 (body only) and 8035B009 (w/24-105)

The code for the EOS-M is 6609B033 (w/22mm pancake).

The code for the 5D Mark III is 5260B002 (body only) and 5260B009 (w/24-105)

The code for the 5D Mark II is 2764B003 (body only) and 2764B004 (w/24-105)

The code for the 1D X is 5253B002.

The code for the 1D C is 6994B002.

The code for the 60Da (astrophotography) is 6596B002.

There are two parts of the manufacturer code. The first part is the first four numbers. The second number is Bxxx. The first-part is the camera/product model, the second-part is the kit. The kit might be whether it is body only or with lens or whether it is the US or Canadian version.

That's why a google search for the alleged Canon 3D code (5266B002) returns the silver Canon Elph 510 HS but at Canadian websites. The US product code for the silver Elph 510 HS is 5266B001.

How about the ones who found it?
One not uncommon form of viral marketing is finding things like this and promoting them. The thinking is that the wave of attention will result in net tangible and intangible benefits for the website/company who finds these. Anyone who is chasing unreleased camera models is familiar with this type of thing. 3D Deniers can point out that this is 9V trying to piggy-back on 3D mania.

3D Believers on the other hand will point out that Nine Volt has a solid reputation - if you look at their eBay Store Feedback, they have a 99.8% rating and they have been on eBay since 1999. Of the last 12 months, they have 723 completed transactions, with just two negatives (wrong item, and fungus in lens that was refunded except for shipping) and one neutral (complaint about import duties, which is typically not the seller's fault).

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