Camera Recommendations
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
Point-N-Shoot
Digital SLR
Optical zoom, not digital
8+ megapixels
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
Recommended
Cannot Recommend
Canon - wide range of features, models for the average consumer and the professional, reasonable parts prices, very efficient response times.
JVC - good quality, parts are reasonable and readily available.
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 complex designs.
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 to Canon?
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.
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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.