Have you ever noticed how products labeled “professional” are rarely ever used by professionals? The Professional label has become yet another branding scam to lure naive consumers into thinking that they’re buying something  with the extra credibility that comes from professional endorsement. But from shampoos to cameras, the pros would rather be dead than caught using products available to consumers, primarily because they tend to buy based on different criteria from you and me. After all, if you can buy what they use…you might not need them anymore! And the pros are usually concerned about profit margins and tend to buy in bulk from private-label makers, or use products sold only to them in order to preserve the cachet of exclusivity. Others use their equipment for very specific purposes and don’t need the full range of capabilities that consumers think they need. But manufacturers long ago learned that they could significantly upcharge for models labelled “professional” and bedecked with cosmetic differences to distinguish them. I remember craving a black bodied Leica because of its pro look, then seeing a working pro with his camera, a silver model covered in black electrical tape to make it less obvious!

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