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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.

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 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.

81% - 89% 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.
Brand Average test score Customer score Reliability rating
71% 89%

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

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66% 87%

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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68% 81%

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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Member Content
Table notes
Sample size 689 (reliability), 808 (customer score).  Based on a survey of 10,893 Which? members in July 2016. Test lab data correct as of 21 July, 2016.

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:

  • Stopped taking pictures (16%) - there's not much use for a DSLR camera that's unable to take a photo.
  • Fault with battery/charger (13%) - it could be an issue with poor contact between the the battery and the battery terminal, which is a simple fix. Alternatively, chargers that fail to charge a battery can be easily replaced when under warranty.
  • Control buttons stopped working or intermittent (11%) - a camera isn't much use when the buttons you use to control it stop working or only work intermittently.

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 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 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 89%, compared with 81% 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.

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