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Top seven compact camera brands for 2017

By Ryan Shaw

Discover the best and worst compact camera brands for reliability according to our independent survey of digital camera owners.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Our reliability survey shines a light on the most dependable camera brands and, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best compact camera for you to buy. 

Every year we survey thousands of Which? members about their AV products to find out which are the most - and least - reliable. Our unique survey helps us to identify the brands that people trust and would recommend to a friend. This guide provides verdicts on the biggest camera brands, including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony. To see our in-depth verdicts of individual models visit our compact camera reviews.

Below we’ve collated all our camera test results, plus our unique reliability ratings and customer service scores, so you can see how compact cameras from all the major brands compare.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Brand Average review score Reliability rating Customer score
M 59% ***** 79%
One of the most recognisable camera brands, it's likely to have something to offer no matter what kind of camera you're after. It currently has three Best Buys, including cameras with full manual controls and waterproof models.
M 68% ***** 77%
A well-known brand with a big reputation. These cameras are typically reliable and score well in our testing, securing four Best Buys.
M 69% ***** 76%
This specialist digital camera brand tops our reliability ratings with its range of simple and advanced cameras, with most models costing around £200.
M 61% ***** 70%
One of the pioneers of digital photography, this brand has been making digital cameras since 1996. The huge range should have something for everyone, from simple point-and-shoot models to more advanced models.
M 64% ***** 68%
A high street brand that previously enjoyed a large market share in cameras. At the time of writing, this brand has secured only one Best Buy, with plenty of room for improvement in overall picture and video quality.
M 57% ***** 61%
A brand known for its other AV products, there haven't been many new releases from this manufacturer of late. Previously, it was pushing the envelope on new technology, but other brands have since caught up with their own innovations.
M 67% ***** 61%
This instantly recognisable brand was another of the early pioneers of digital photography. Despite it receiving the equal-lowest customer score of all the compact camera brands, it still produces top-scoring and reliable cameras.
Table notes
Sample size 811 (reliability), 934 (customer score). Based on a survey of 10,893 Which? members in March 2016. Test lab data correct as of 17 March, 2017.

Choosing the best brand of compact camera

The table above reveals an overview of real-life experience of people with their compact cameras. To sum up, cameras from a brand with a higher reliability rating are less likely to suffer from faults or stop working completely.

93%The highest compact camera reliability score

Of all the compact camera brands surveyed, the best secured a fantastic 93% reliability score and 79% customer rating. Meanwhile, the worst recorded a customer score of just 61%.

How we calculate the best and worst brands

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite tech brands. Every year we ask Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own - from how likely they would be to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they get them home. This year nearly 11,000 Which? members told us about more than 30,000 devices.

We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey. This year we had enough respondents to report on popular high street digital camera brands, such as Canon and Nikon, as well as other well-known brands, including Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. The most recommended brand has a customer score of 79%, compared to 61% for the least recommended brand.

Our reliability surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best cameras you can buy.

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