Best DSLR camera brands

Digital SLR cameras

Best DSLR camera brands

by Ryan Shaw

Discover the best and worst DSLR camera brands for reliability according to our independent survey of DSLR camera owners in this Which? guide.

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Our reliability survey not only shines a light on the most dependable brands, but it also helps us understand which DSLR camera problems are the most common. Combined with our extensive lab tests, this means we can recommend the best DSLR camera for you to buy. 

We test how easy each camera is to use from initial set-up to doing everyday tasks; and we subject them to technical tests that include testing image quality, light sensitivity, image stabilisation and recording with video. All together, this makes up our in-depth DSLR camera reviews.

77% - 91% The range of customer scores for DSLR camera brands

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, and this guide provides verdicts on the biggest camera brands, including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony.

Best and worst DSLR camera brands

A DSLR camera is a big investment – you’re not just buying a camera, but investing in a system of lenses and accessories that you might be using for many years to come. The good news is that most DSLR camera brands are pretty reliable.

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

Which? members can log in to see the DSLR camera brands behind the ratings. If you're not already a member, you can take a Which? trial.
BrandAverage test scoreCustomer scoreReliability rating

This specialist digital camera brand tops our reliability ratings with its range of budget and advanced cameras, with one Best Buy model costing less that £350.

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One of the most recognisable camera brands, this is likely to have something to offer no matter what kind of camera you're after.

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A long time maker of lenses, this brand is very well known, with a big reputation. Its cameras are reliable but aren't as successful as other top-rated brands.

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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 compact system cameras to more advanced models.

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One of the largest electronics producers in the world. Its cameras are reliable, and they perform well in our tests, however, they're not as successful in securing Best Buys as other top-rated brands.

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Member Content
Table notes
Sample size 801 (reliability), 810 (customer score). Based on a survey of 10,927 Which? members in July 2015. Test lab data correct as of 7 July, 2015.

Samsung axes cameras in the UK

Samsung announced in late 2015 that they will stop selling cameras in the UK. While some Samsung cameras may still be available in stores, Samsung won’t be supporting their range by releasing any additional lenses or accessories in the future. 

If you're concerned about the warranty of a camera you purchased previously, Samsung will continue to honour warranties for products bought in the UK, as set out by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If your camera is faulty, you can still return it to Samsung.

Common DSLR camera problems

Thanks to our unique survey, we're able to identify the most common problems when things do go wrong with a DSLR. Of all of the issues experienced by camera owners, the most common problems are:

  • Developed problems with flash (15%) - problems can occur with the flash when it fails to trigger when shooting in low-light conditions, or when the flash doesn't pop up at all.
  • Stopped taking pictures (15%) - there's not much use for a DSLR camera that's unable to take a photo.
  • Developed problems with shutter (13%) - people reported problems with the shutter failing and remaining locked in the closed position.

Choosing the best brand of DSLR

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 happy they are to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they're home. This year, almost 11,000 Which? members told us about more than 57,000 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 DSLR 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 91%, compared with 77% for the least recommended brand.

Our reliability surveys help Which? to uncover common DSLR camera problems that can affect owners over time. Combined with our extensive lab tests, this means that we can recommend the best camera for you to buy.