Watch those rubber grips, Ladies and Gentlemen
It's been a sticky few days for Canon. They've recalled some S100s because under certain atmospheric conditions the lens can get stuck, delivery of the EF 24-70mm has been delayed for a second time, and now there's a problem with the grip on the 650D (that's the T4i, if you're across the Pond from me).
Between 31 May and 15 June 2012, whoever was adding the rubber accelerator to the pot slipped and added a bit too much. This excess accelerator can react with 'other substances' (nothing more descriptive than that from Canon), particularly in high temperature and humidity conditions, to create zinc bis, which'll turn the grip white.
Apart from the newly-whitened grip ruining the aesthetic of the camera, it's possible that some people might experience an allergic skin reaction to the zinc bis. If they rub their eyes with it on their hands, they might go red and sore, too. Canon is advising people to seek medical attention if they're experiencing any allergic symptoms.
Meanwhile, how do you know if your bright shiny new 650D is affected? Check the serial number. If the sixth digit of the serial number is 2 or higher, you're safe. Got a 1 - get in touch with Canon. Alternatively, you could just enter the serial number into their handy-dandy checker, which'll spew out an answer in seconds. That's found here.
Canon UK has requested that anyone with an affected camera get in touch with an authorised service facility. There will be a free repair service in place after 17 July. Until then, wash your hands after touching your camera, especially if the grip has turned white. For affected Canon customers elsewhere, get in touch with your local support team.
To mis-quote Oscar Wilde, to have one product recall is misfortunate; two have two is carelessness. If I were an owner of an 650D or an S100, I wouldn't be feeling too confident in Canon's manufacturing processes right now. Should I own both, which isn't exactly an outlandish combination, I'd be far from impressed. I'm pretty much tied into Canon products now, but if I were just starting out, this is the sort of harries-up that'd make me consider a different manufacturer.
You can, and need to, do better than this, Canon.