11th Feb 2006

Choosing a digital camera brand

This digital camera review comparison will help you make a good decision when choosing a digital camera brand. Believe it or not, most brand name cameras are the same when it comes to quality, mean time between failure, repairability, and price ranges. This may not be the case with off-brand and no-name cameras.

Brand Name Appeal

Some cameras have a higher perceived value because of the association of their brand name with other product lines that they manufacturer. Sony, for example, is world renown for their consumer electronics, so people naturally transfer the company’s reputation to their digital camera line.

Canon, very well known for its analog camera line, is naturally thought of as an excellent manufacturer of digital cameras. The same thought process applies to Kodak cameras because the Kodak name has been synonymous with photography since its founder, George Eastman, brought the first camera to market in 1888.

Manufacturer Servicing is not a Concern

As mentioned in our Digital Camera Repair article, most digital cameras do not actually get “repaired”. Other than a few exterior parts, everything inside of a digital camera is electronic and is simply taken out and swapped with a new part. Since this is the case, repairability is not generally a consideration when purchasing a digital camera although the locations and number of authorized service centers might very well be.

There are Storage Differences

Knowing that there is very little quality or functional difference between the major brands, you might well be asking what, if any, difference there is. One of the greatest differences is the type of photo storage memory device the camera uses. In our article on digital storage, we discussed the various types and their features and benefits. It is important that you choose a brand and model that supports your preferred storage schema.

What About Resale Value?

Another common question deals with resale value. Does one particular brand have a history of higher resale values than another.

The answer to that is mostly “No”. The resale value on used digital cameras isn’t very high. If you are planning to trade one in on a better model, be prepared to take about 40% of the camera’s original value. The exception to this rule comes in with the very high end digital cameras used by photojournalists and other photography professional. Even then, trade in values run only as high as 50% as a rule.

A lot of people try to sell their used digital camera on eBay, or at garage sales, or camera swap meets. My research shows that while you might end up getting as much as 50% of the camera’s value, the auction fees and/or the time invested in selling the camera eats of the 10% difference between selling the camera directly and using it as a trade-in.

This digital camera review comparison does not cover every detail of determining the difference between major brands, but is does hit about 95% of the differences (or lack of them) that matter to the casual digital camera user.

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