Many customers ask our opinion on which cameras and other equipment we recommend regarding durability, availability of
parts, and expense of servicing. Below are the cameras and manufacturers that we can recommend, based on the quality of
their cameras, the ease of getting parts and price of repair parts, and their cooperation in supplying service information.
Specs that Matter
Optical zoom, not digital
6 megapixels is plenty
10X optical zoom
RAW file support
Wide angle/macro lens
Optical image stabilization
Optical image stabilization
High ISO for low light shots
Fast shutter speed
Canon - wide range of features, models for the
average consumer and the professional,
reasonable parts prices, very efficient response
JVC - good quality, parts are reasonable and
Pentax - Like Olympus, poor designs and late
entry into digital has hurt them. Parts/service has
been taken over by a third party.
Sony - huge variety of models, wide range of
features, modular design for low repair costs,
parts readily available.
Casio - very nice features, small size, but service
is VERY expensive due to parts prices and overly
Fuji - repair parts almost impossible to obtain,
little communication, no response to inquiries
HP - no parts are available for any HP digital
camera. Has to go to HP for trade-up.
Infocus - no parts are sold by Infocus for their
LCD projectors - they charge $150 estimate fee.
Kodak - average quality, Kodak does not sell
most internal camera parts. Cameras must be
returned to factory service centers by the owner
for service. Factory service is expensive and they
charge for estimates. Kodak entered Chapter 11
bankruptcy as of Feb. 2012.
Konica/Minolta - Sony has taken over all parts,
most are no longer available.
Samsung - parts almost impossible to obtain
Nikon - since 2010 their camera factories in
politically unstable countries like Thailand began
to affect parts availability. As of July 2012 a new
Nikon policy eliminates the availability of repair
parts to over 200 independent shops AND
NIKON OWNERS nationwide - following in
Kodak's footsteps (who declared bankruptcy in
January 2012) - resulting in long wait times and
high prices for factory repairs. Any camera
needing a battery cover or rubber handgrip cover
will have to go to a Nikon Authorized Center, wait
3 to 4 weeks, and pay a factory price to "install"
the part. Nikon's service reputation has already
begun to suffer - see their BBB record here. It's
not your father's Nikon anymore! Time for a jump
Tamron - recent changes in repair parts policies
make parts very hard to obtain. Most internal
parts are not available.
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Last update May 23 2015
Panasonic - quality optics, up to 24x optical zoom.
Modular design makes for easy, economical repairs.
Parts readily available.
Olympus - Poor camera designs and late entry
into digital has them in trouble. Olympus closed
their NY/PA centers in May 2015 and
transferred parts and service to Texas.