The most reliable camera brand? This user survey shows surprising results

photo of olympus camera

Camera reliability can depend on many things, one of which is the brand name, and in a recent magazine survey of users, the results were surprising.

The Australian magazine Photo Review recently published the results of a reader survey in which 271 respondents were asked about their perception of the reliability of their cameras of assorted brands.

The results were somewhat surprising in terms of the camera brands perceived as the most and least reliable.

Curiously, it was owners of OM System cameras (what used to be called Olympus) who delivered the most favorable overall response to how trustworthy and functional their cameras were. On the other hand, owners of best-seller brand Canon’s cameras reported being the least satisfied.

A few things about the survey have to be mentioned as caveats, and for taking its results with a grain of salt.

First of all, with only 271 participants, it can hardly be considered a broad look at the camera marketplace and its consumer participants. 1000 or more respondents, carefully selected to be free of specific biases would have been a much more professional survey.

Image source: Photo Review magazine

Secondly, 44% of the respondents were talking about DSLR cameras and 22% about compact cameras. In both of these cases, we’re not talking about the mirrorless cameras that today represent the majority of cameras produced by all major brands (including Canon).

The DSLR cameras in particular were likely older devices by the time the survey was conducted and would have had more time for developing quirks and defects. Many of these would in fact be Canon cameras too since its DSLRs are still high sellers.

In other words, if this survey were to have included more mirrorless cameras of a newer sort instead of older DSLRs, its results could have been different.

photo of canon mirrorless EOS R5 camera

Canon’s new mirrorless cameras are entirely different from their previous DSLR lineup.

It’s also worth noting that a 66% majority of the respondents were amateur photographers with possibly lower knowledge of what makes their cameras work well or how to maintain them well.

In other words, the survey results are interesting and worth keeping in mind, but far from conclusive evidence of how well any one brand performs.

With that in mind, here are the results of Photo Review magazine’s consumer survey rankings from “best” to “worst” camera brands:

  1. OM/Olympus: 95% Satisfaction
  2.  Nikon: roughly 92% Satisfaction
  3. Sony: 88% Satisfaction
  4. Fujifilm: 77% Satisfaction
  5. Panasonic: 64% Satisfaction
  6. Canon: 60% Satisfaction

Bear in mind that the survey didn’t review equal numbers of respondents for each brand and that for this reason, some brands like Leica, with few owners having responded, didn’t even get listed despite their high reputation.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

1 Comment

  1. MDB Edelsohn on May 25, 2023 at 2:15 am

    Yup, Canon is a junk brand. The 1DX Mark III that just came out two years ago for a pretty decent amount of cash, already started to brick 🧱 on me… Randomly out of nowhere, almost every day… Missed countless shots because of it. Googled it, it’s a known issue since the Canon 1Dx already… Needing replacement of the PCB board (not under warranty after two years and no recalls..), but even than customers report returning issues after a while. This is totally UNACCEPTABLE for this price and makes it the most unprofessional camera available. Since Reliability is the number one criteria for professionals, and the reason we’re willing to put down these amounts of money. We’re are here in The business of capturing fleeting moments that don’t represent themselves twice!

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