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Most reliable brand digital cameras

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

More expensive digital cameras are generally more reliable than less expensive ones. And some brands are more reliable than others.

It’s not surprising to learn that more expensive digital cameras ($300 and above) are generally more reliable than less expensive ones The finding was one among many made by Squaretrade, a company that provides warranties for consumer electronics including digital cameras.

Over a period of three years, Squaretrade analyzed the failure rates of more than 60,000 new digital cameras covered by their warranties. Their report was published in 2010.

They found that just under 11% of digital cameras fail within two years, and 15.6% are projected to fail within three years. Approximately 6.6% of the failures come from malfunctions and 4.1% from accidents.

The most reliable digital cameras

According to the Squaretrade report, the most reliable point and shoot digital cameras are made by Panasonic (5.3% failure rate). Among the least expensive cameras, FujiFilm, Olympus, Sony, and Canon all had a roughly 6 percent failure rate, not too far below Panasonic. The failure rate for kodak, Nikon, and Pentax were just slightly higher. Polaroid and Casio had the highest rates (11.9 percent and 13 percent, respectively).

Expensive Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras tended to be the most reliable. The reliability of cameras made by Nikon and Canon were found to be equal.

Two year malfunction rate of digital cameras under $300

Two year malfunction rate of premium digital cameras

Digital cameras damaged by accident cost more to repair

The accident rate accounts for about 40% of digital camera failures. Because accidents also tend to cause severe damage than cameras that simply malfunction, they have a higher cost of repair. The average cost to fix a camera that is accidentally damaged is 20% higher than the cost to fix a manufacturer defect.

While studies like this have their limitations, the information can be useful when buying a new digital camera. Bottom line: don’t by a cheap one. Yes, you get what you pay for.

You can read the full report by downloading it from the Squaretrade website.

Note: Do you know the most common way a digital camera gets dropped? The answer may surprise you. Read more >

Photo by EvelynGiggles


  • Policeman, according to SquareTrade’s study, Panasonic makes the most reliable digital camera. However, several well-known brands come in as very close runner-ups and I wouldn’t hesitate buying one of those brands.