Digital cameras: Best camera brands

  • The best camera brands for reliability revealed
  • Verdicts on brands like Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony
  • Find out the camera brands you can trust
The best digital cameras take top-notch quality photos in all types of lighting conditions. You wouldn't want to miss that fun-filled holiday shot because the lens is malfunctioning or find that the battery is faulty. That's why it's important to choose a camera brand you can trust.

81% - 90%The range of reliability scores
for digital 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, with verdicts on camera brands like Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony.

To find out the digital cameras that came top in our rigorous tests, head over to our Best Buy cameras.

Best compact cameras for reliability

Digital cameras can be expensive - especially if you're buying a rugged model or one with a big zoom - but the good news is that they're generally very reliable products.

The table below shows the reliability scores for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony. The highest-scoring brand of camera achieved a reliability score of 90%, whereas the least reliable camera brand scored 81%. Lesser scoring brands will leave you not only disappointed, but also out of pocket; that's why we recommend buying a reliable camera brand.

To see the scores and ratings for each brand, try Which for £1. If you're already a member, you can log-in to unlock the table.

Compact camera reliability ratings
Camera brandReliability ratingReliability scoreCustomer score
CanonSubscriber only contentSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
FujifilmSubscriber only contentSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
NikonSubscriber only contentSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
OlympusSubscriber only contentSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
PanasonicSubscriber only contentSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
SamsungSubscriber only contentSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
SonySubscriber only contentSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content

Common compact camera problems

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

  • Deterioration of picture quality (16%) - over time, picture quality can degrade thanks to dirt/dust in the lens or issues with the camera sensor. This was the most common problem.
  • Stopped taking pictures (13%) - there's not much use to a digital camera that's unable to actually take a photo.
  • Developed a fault with the battery/charger (13%) - issues with the battery and/or charger are a common problem, with batteries failing or chargers unable to recharge the battery.

Digital camera reviews

Our annual reliability surveys helps us understand which are the most common digital camera problems. Combined with our extensive lab tests, this means we can recommend the best digital camera for you to buy. We test how easy the camera is to use from initial setup to doing everyday tasks; plus technical testing that includes image quality, light sensitivity, image stabilisation and recording with video.

Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test, so our advice helps you to make the right choice and avoid costly mistakes.

More on this... 

  • Digital camera Best Buys – the best digital cameras, whatever your budget and your needs 
  • Buyer's guide – we tell you what to look for in a digital camera, and how to make the right choice for you
  • Features explained – what do all those specifications mean, and which features do you actually need?