A photographer bought a “new” camera from DigitalRev, only to find out that the device had already been used by someone else.
Rob Dunlop is a popular photographer from London, UK. He is also a creative director who has published two photography books so far. Being impressed by the capabilities of the Canon 5D Mark III, he decided to purchase two units. As DigitalRev is a well-known retailer from Hong Kong, he figured that it was a safe bet, so he bought the two cameras from this store. If he did not notice anything weird with the first camera, he would see that the story was completely different with the second.
DigitalRev shipped the two Canon 5D Mark III units in different packages
Dunlop ordered two cameras from DigitalRev and they arrived in visually different boxes. The photographer only bought the camera bodies, without any lenses. Despite that, the second camera was shipped in a camera + lens package, though the lens was obviously missing because it was not a part of the deal. He thought that the retailer had decided to save a few money on packaging, which is considered common practice among many retailers. However, when the second camera was turned on, the shutter counter was up to “60”.
This meant that someone had used the camera to take photos. At that time he thought that Canon or a company employee took a few test shots, in order to make sure that there was nothing wrong with this particular 5D Mark III.
Fast forward to six months later, he found the Stolen Camera Finder website. It allows photographers to search the web for the unique serial number of a camera in images’ metadata.
First, he searched the site for the first camera’s serial number and no images had been taken with it. However, Stolen Camera Finder found four results for the second camera. The tool showed all the details about the images, including who uploaded them. As one would expect, all four photos were uploaded by DigitalRev and taken in Hong Kong.
In the images, people were carrying umbrellas, meaning that it was raining. Additionally, the description of the photo invited Rob to click on an interesting review for a lens tested on the already used Canon 5D Mark III. And in the video, Dunlop spotted his “shiny new” camera with raindrops on it and the reviewers happily using it to test a new lens.
Normally, that should not have been such a big deal, but the retailer had advertised the gear as brand new and it clearly was not the case. The unit even had its LCD protective cover on it, most likely because DigitalRev’s employees had planned this all along. The camera was used for another video review as well, proving that the Canon 5D Mark III was a long way from being brand new.
DigitalRev is considered one of the most trusted retailers. Its reviews are very popular on the web, fact confirmed by the company’s YouTube channel which features more than 500,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.
Rob Dunlop did not mention whether he contacted the retailer or not, while DigitalRev has not issued an official response so far.