Survey forecasts demand for weather-proof cams
Weather-proofing topped the list as the most desirable feature camera buyers are looking for, according to a recent survey. J.D.Power’s Camera Usage and Satisfaction Survey revealed that, while point and shoot, and DSLR camera users are missing this attribute in their cameras, a majority of ultra compact users hope for more internal memory in future models. The survey also reveals that Internet product and review sites are the most important resource in guiding buyers with their market research.
Owners of Point and Shoot, Premium Point and Shoot, and DSLRs all placed weather- and water-proofing at the top of their wish-lists, while Ultra compact camera users want to see internal memory increased to several Gigabytes, rather than the Megabytes typically offered at present.
Weather Proofing and Built-In Memory Features are Most Desired by Owners for Future Cameras
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 31 -- The Canon EOS Digital SLR, Canon PowerShot G, Fujifilm Finepix S, Lumix (Panasonic) DMC-TZ, Nikon D and Sony Cyber-shot T series rank highest in customer satisfaction with digital cameras in their respective segments, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Digital Camera Usage and Satisfaction Study released today.
The study examines camera model lines in four body-style segments: point and shoot, premium point and shoot, ultra slim and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR). In each segment, four factors are measured to determine customer satisfaction: picture quality, performance, ease of operation, and appearance and styling.
The Fujifilm Finepix S series ranks highest in the point and shoot segment with an index score of 757 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in picture quality, performance and ease of operation. Kodak model series also perform well in the segment and follow the Fujifilm Finepix S in the rankings with the Kodak V series (739), Kodak Z series (731) and Kodak M Series (727).
Among premium point and shoot cameras, the Canon PowerShot G series and the Lumix (Panasonic) DMC-TZ series tie to rank highest, each receiving a score of 773. The Canon PowerShot, in particular, performs well in the picture quality and ease of operation factors. The Lumix (Panasonic) DMC-FZ series follows in the segment with a score of 766, receiving high ratings from customers in the performance factor.
In the ultra slim segment, the Sony Cyber-shot T series leads with 794, performing particularly well in all four factors driving customer satisfaction. The Casio Exilim Zoom series (766) ranks second and the Fujifilm FinePix Z series closely follows to rank third with 761.
The Canon EOS Digital SLR and Nikon D series both rank highest in a tie among DSLR cameras, each receiving a score of 823. The Canon EOS Digital SLR receives notably high ratings from customers in picture quality, while the Nikon D series-which ranks highest for a second consecutive year-performs particularly well in ease of operation, performance, and appearance and styling.
The study finds that among features that owners want in their next camera, weatherproofing is mentioned most frequently by owners in both the point and shoot (67%), and premium point and shoot (68%) segments, while ultra slim owners desire 4 GB internal memory capacity and DSLR owners desire waterproofing (63%).
"Digital camera manufacturers are constantly adding new features in efforts to differentiate themselves from their competitors," said Larry Wu, senior director of the technology practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, in adding new features, ease of use becomes critical in maintaining satisfaction, as average satisfaction scores are 235 points lower among customers who say their features were difficult to use, compared with those customers who say the features were easy to use. Designing features with the consumer in mind and providing clear and concise instructions can help maintain high satisfaction levels with new features and functions."
The study also finds the following key trends:
-- The resources that camera owners used most frequently during the shopping process to research digital cameras are consistent across all segments, with Internet product and review sites being the most frequently cited resource. Information or recommendations from family and friends, print reviews and in store salespeople follow as other frequently used resources.
-- DSLR owners take the most photos in one month, averaging 454 images, followed by premium point and shoot owners (159), ultra slim owners (96), and point and shoot owners (83).
-- Customers who purchased an extended warranty report significantly higher overall satisfaction scores (768, on average) with their cameras, compared with owners who did not purchase a warranty (732, on average). In 2008, 23 percent of DSLR, 17 percent of premium point and shoot, 16 percent of ultra slim and 13 percent of point and shoot owners purchased an extended warranty for their digital camera.
The 2008 Digital Camera Usage and Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 8,000 consumers who purchased a digital camera between April 2007 and March 2008. The study was fielded in June and July 2008.
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