California-based research firm J.D. Power and Associates reported yesterday that consumers ranked DSLRs from Canon and Nikon highest for customer satisfaction over the past year.
On a 1000-point scale evaluating four factors (image quality, performance, ease of use, and styling), consumers gave Canon's EOS cameras and Nikon's D models highest mark. Interestingly, the two leading DSLR manufacturers ended in a dead heat, with an average satisfaction score of 823 apiece.
Canon's PowerShot G models and Panasonic's Lumix TZ cameras earned highest marks among premium compact cameras, with each manufacturer scoring a 773 out of 1000 possible points. The Fujifilm FinePix S cameras were the favorite among point-and-shoot cameras, garnering a score of 757.
A satisfaction score of 794 overall for Sony's Cyber-shot T cameras makes them the most highly rated among all fixed-lens cameras, as well as the winner in the ultracompact segment.
Drawing on responses from more than 8,000 consumers who purchased cameras between April 2007 and May 2008, the study also found that waterproofing/weatherproofing and more internal memory topped the list of features most requested by camera buyers. Ease of use also plays a significant role in how favorably photographers rate their cameras overall: consumers who found the features of their camera difficult to use rated their total satisfaction an average of 235 points lower than users who responded that their cameras were easy to use.
Finally, it comes as no surprise to us that internet product reviews remain "the most frequently cited resource" for conducting pre-purchase research.