One of the Interesting things about this job is getting a new point of view on how Marketing and PR work - and applying it things I see away from work. I've seen Microsoft accused of spreading "Fear Uncertainty and Doubt" and I've seen FUD used against Microsoft too. I've recently seen a textbook example of the FUDer's art in the photography world... It might be instructive to look at the main techniques away from the IT world, and show why my group in Microsoft try to stay away from FUD.
Here's the backgroundShake limits the shutter speed you can use when hand-holding a camera. Longer focal lengths amplify hand shake and need faster shutter speeds to get a sharp picture. Nikon and Canon SLR cameras have had lens based systems to reduce the effect of hand shake which for years. Nikon call theirs "Vibration Reduction" (VR) and Canon use the term "Image Stabilization" (IS); and they allowed film cameras to get 2 or 3 shutter speeds below what was otherwise possible. Digital offers the possibility of stabilization by moving the imaging sensor. In 2006 Pentax and Sony introduced models with such systems. Sony inherited "Anti-shake" when they bought Konica Minolta's camera business. Pentax call their system "Shake reduction" or SR, and their K100 and K110 models are identical except one has SR and one doesn't - the price difference is $100 US.Samsung re-badge the Pentax and call the system "Optical Picture Stabilization". The web seems to be awash at the moment with Pentax owners (including me) showing the incredible results they're getting with SR. Names aside, the downside with an in-body systems is that the image recording system is stabilized, but the viewfinder isn't. However the big win is every lens is stabilized. The Canon IS system has only 16 lenses, and only a couple come in under $1000 US. The IS and Non-IS versions of their EF 70-200mm f/4L USM sell for $ 1,060 and $ 545 respectively. The difference is more than the cost of a Pentax body with SR. And with IS in the lens the customer buys stabilization again and again with each lens.
Now for the FUDCanon recently took out an advert in "Outdoor photography" magazine, not for a new camera, but to make the case for their IS system, and its 16 lenses . Here's my Fud-spotters 101 with examples from their Ad
Actively spreading Fear Uncertainty and Doubt about a point where competitors are beating you on one specific feature.
If you catch me doing it, then you have my permission to ridicule me.
Update: Thanks to Alain D who pointed out I must have been cross-eyed when I read the prices of Canon's IS lenses.
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