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Digital Camera Failure Rates

Are you in the market for a digital camera? In an effort to keep consumers more informed about the reliability of the products they buy, we periodically publish the results of our research on repair rates. Our analytics team just completed another extensive study on failure rates, turning their attention to data collected on over 60,000 digital cameras purchased since 2006.

The results are in! So, which models are most reliable? Highlights are below but be sure to check out the full study.

  • On average, 10.7% of digital cameras fail within two years, and 15.6% are projected to fail within three years.
  • Accidents account for slightly less than 40% of camera failures
  • More expensive cameras are more reliable than less expensive models, with cameras over $300 being significantly more reliable than under $300.
  • For Point-and-shoot cameras under $300, Panasonic cameras had the lowest 2 year malfunction rates (5.3%), and Polaroid and Casio had the highest malfunction rates (11.9% and 13.0%).
  • For DSLR Cameras, Nikon and Canon were equally reliable.

The study found that 11 percent of digital cameras fail in the first two years of ownership. Of these failures, 6.6 percent come from malfunctions while another 4.1 percent experience damage due to accidents. When the data from the study is projected out three years, 15.6 percent of digital cameras are expected to experience some sort of failure – either accidental or malfunction.

2 Year Malfunction Rate by Price Range
2 Year Malfunction Rate - Value Cameras (Under $300)
Manufacturers: Vast Differences in Reliability, Panasonic leads the PackThe majority of digital cameras are purchased for less than $300, and this study measured the two year failure rate of this popular price range and broken down by individual manufacturers. Panasonic led the pack with a failure rate just above 5 percent. Fujifilm, Olympus, Sony and Canon all stayed close behind with failure rates around 6 percent.

  • Panasonic is the only manufacturer to have less than a 6 percent failure rate for sub-$300 models and they achieved a less than 2 percent failure rate for $300-500 models.
  • Casio and Polaroid were found to have the least reliable cameras under $300 with failure rates of more than double the failure rates of the top 5 brands.

Thoughts on this study? Sound off below! (or join SquareTrade on Facebook or Twitter.)

And check out our other studies on laptopsgame consolesiPad 1 vs. iPad 2, the iPhone 3GSiPhone damage, and iPhones in the home.