If ever there was a controversial question amongst the hordes of digital camera enthusiasts, it has to be “What is the best digital camera brand?”. Sometimes referred to as “What is the best brand of digital camera to buy?”, but not to be confused with “What is the best camera to buy?”. Because everyone knows that regular (film) cameras are far superior to digital cameras. Hang on a sec, or was that the other way around? Who can keep track these days? Now before I digress too far from the topic, lets take a look at that age old battle, and see if we can determine which brand is best.
First things first, in the spirit of full disclosure, I need to declare that I do in fact own several cameras. They represent a variety of brands. I have two Canons, a Fuji, and a Kodak. I must confess, that I am somewhat partial to Canon, but I’ll try not to let that cloud any editorial comments I may subsequently make.
If digital camera sales were any indication of what the best brand was, then according to Amazon.com Canon would be a clear winner. As I write this, Canon manufactures 18 of the top 25 bestselling cameras on their best seller list. In addition, Canon holds 9 of the top 10 spots, with the top 3 being the PowerShot A570 IS, the PowerShot SD1000 Digital Elph, and the PowerShot SD850. Sharing the top 11 spots with Canon are 2 of the Pure Video manufactured Flip Video cameras. Nikon has 2 cameras in the top 25 including the Nikon D40, and the Nikon D300. Panasonic sneaks in with a couple of their Lumix models, specifically the DMC-TZ3K and the DMC-TZ3A. And finishing in a strong 25th spot, that old stalwart Kodak with the Easyshare Z812IS.
Of course being popular, or the best seller does not the best brand make. It simply means you have the best salesmanship. In that world, Canon seems to be having the most success. How exactly would we determine the best brand? Best service, best design, best features, best customer support, best images, and best user experience are all valid traits. Perhaps a critical / scientific /empirical examination of all cameras models by manufacturer would be in order. Let’s see if we can aggregate a lot of the work already done by a couple of camera review sites who take the above traits into consideration.
A perusal of one top camera review site under their 5 star category, show 39 Canon cameras, 18 Sony cameras, 17 Nikon cameras, 6 Fuji cameras, 5 Olympus cameras, 5 Panasonic cameras, 3 Pentax cameras, and 1 Konica camera. A second camera review site under their top 103 cameras showed 46 Canon cameras, 21 Sony cameras, 20 Nikon cameras, 5 Pentax cameras, 3 Fuji cameras, 2 Samsung cameras, 2 Panasonic cameras, 2 Kodak cameras, 1 Konica camera, and 1 Casio camera. If you total all that up, the top 3 end up being Canon with 85, Sony a distant second with 39, and Nikon a very close third with 37. Everyone else had less than 10 top rated cameras.