SOURCE: SquareTrade


March 31, 2010 08:59 ET

SquareTrade Study Finds Drastic Differences in Reliability Among Makers of Digital Cameras

Casio and Polaroid Models Projected to Have a 13 Percent Failure Rate; Panasonic Is Found to Be the Most Reliable Manufacturer

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) -  SquareTrade, the largest independent warranty provider in the world, just completed an extensive study on failure rates for digital cameras. Based on data compiled from over 60,000 digital cameras purchased since 2006, 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 a malfunction.

Other findings from the study include:

  • Panasonic is the clear leader in digital camera reliability. They are 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.
  • More expensive cameras are more reliable than less expensive models, with cameras over $300 being significantly more reliable than under $300.
  • Accidents account for slightly less that 40 percent of camera failures.

Failures Reflect Purchase Price

When excluding accidental damage and examining camera malfunctions, purchase price proved to be a good indicator of failure rates. Units purchased for $500 and above, including DSLRS, proved to be the most reliable with failure rates around 4 percent. Premium point and shoot cameras in the $300 - $500 range were one-third less likely to fail when compared to a value point and shoot camera. The least expensive cameras, with price points at or below $150, experienced failure rates greater than 7 percent in the first two years.

Manufacturers: Vast Differences in Reliability

The 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. The most common malfunctions came from Polaroid and Casio cameras, whose average failure rates more than doubled those of the top brand.

Premium Point and Shoot Cameras: Panasonic wins again!

Across the board premium cameras beat the reliability of lower priced models and again Panasonic was the manufacturer found to be the most reliable, with less that 2 percent of their premium cameras malfunctioning within two years. Following in the middle of the pack, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus have failure rates of at an average of 3.6 percent respectively. Canon's premium point and shoot cameras were the least reliable amongst the five brands and showed little improvement over the reliability of their value cameras with malfunction rates of 6.25 percent for Premium and 6.39 percent for Value cameras.

The full study is available for download at:

About SquareTrade
Founded in 1999, SquareTrade makes warranties that make sense, offering fair prices, a no-pressure way to buy online, and no-hassle 5-day service. Buy your item anywhere (online or in a store) then get a better warranty directly from or call 877-WARRANTY. SquareTrade offers consumers an alternative to big retailers' or manufacturers' overpriced and under-serviced warranties and costs 50 percent less on average than big retailers. SquareTrade is the only service consistently rated 5 of 5 by consumers. SquareTrade is the largest independent warranty provider in the world for consumer electronics and appliances. Privately held, SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, go to

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