Pentax-645D-AngleI’ve been proclaiming for many years that Pentax digital cameras are highly underrated, and a recent study shows that the Japanese brand is the most popular when it comes to customer satisfaction. A J.D. Power and Associates report measured satisfaction levels with customers across all major camera brands in the following categories: picture quality, durability/reliability, variety of features, ease of operation and shutter speed/lag. Out of a 1,000-point scale, Pentax scored an 899, Nikon scored an 891 and Canon scored an 888. Pentax did exceedingly well in all categories, though Canon took the prize for the highest image quality score.

This is no surprise, as Pentax DSLRs are built with weatherproofing and ruggedness in mind. Pentax cameras also offer a plethora of shooting features, including some that no other camera brands offer like Focus and Exposure Peaking. The menu systems are easy to navigate, the cameras are quick, and image quality is dynamite. This certainly puts to rest the age-old Canon-Nikon showdown, though photographers will still continue to argue which brand is better till the cows come home.

Another interesting fact is that the average sale price of a DSLR today is $1,291, up by more than $350 from 2011, which saw $937 as the average sale price. This means photographers are willing to pay a bit more for quality and might be abandoning the proprietary mirrorless formats like Micro Four Thirds due to their incompatibility with superior DSLR lens families.

What camera brand do you think is the best?


J.D. Power and Associates Reports: DSLR Camera Average Online Purchase Price Increases By More Than $350 from 2011

Pentax Ranks Highest in Online Buyer Satisfaction with DSLR Cameras

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 28 June 2012—Online buyers of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras pay $1,291, on average, for their camera, up from $937 in 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer ReportSM released today.

The report examines satisfaction with digital single-lens reflex camera brands among verified online buyers. Responses were collected via PowerReviews—a social commerce network recently acquired by Bazaarvoice—and reflect the attitudes of actual DSLR camera owners who used an e-commerce site to make their purchase. The study measures satisfaction with DSLR cameras across five factors (listed in order of importance): picture quality (including picture clarity, sharpness and color); durability and reliability (including damage resistance, battery life and sturdiness); variety of features (including zoom, image stabilization and low light settings); ease of operation; and shutter speed/lag time (overall speed of the camera, including shutter lag time).

Pentax ranks highest in online buyer satisfaction with a score of 899 (on a 1,000-point scale), followed closely by Nikon (891) and Canon (888). Pentax performs particularly well in durability and reliability; variety of features; ease of operation; and shutter speed/lag time, while Canon performs well in the picture quality factor.

“Pentax’s customer base has shifted since 2011 from casual photographers to those who consider themselves semiprofessional or professional photographers,” said Sara Wong Hilton, director at J.D. Power and Associates. “In fact, across the industry, the results indicate a slight increase in self-identified semiprofessional photographers, possibly leading to the purchase of more high-end camera systems.”

Despite a shift in DSLR camera buyer demographics, overall satisfaction remains stable (888 in 2012 compared with 887 in 2011).

The 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer Report is based on responses provided to J.D. Power and Associates through PowerReviews from more than 8,100 verified buyers who purchased a DSLR camera online. The study was fielded from May 2011 through April 2012.[press_end]